The thing with ports on the Nintendo Switch is that we are getting many older favourites appear. Whist that is a good thing it makes them pretty difficult to actually review. Case in point, Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike. A game that was originally released 5 years ago.
All reviews about how it plays and what it is about are already out there and many have decided if it is their thing or not. So in theory this review could end here, with me saying. “Yeah, it’s an excellent port, if you liked the original release then you’ll love this”. But that is too short.
In all seriousness, Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike is a game that does exactly as it says on the tin. Your ship has crash landed on a planet and it need repairing, so you need to take a convoy out to recover parts and get to fixing the ship to get going again.
Of course it isn’t that simple and as you make your way through the wasteland you’ll encounter enemies and various quests that will both hinder and aid you in your journey. Convoy is a roguelike and as you’d expect, it is also procedurally generated. Having a story told via interactive text options.
Think of this as FTL meets Mad Max and you have a solid idea of how this plays out. Whilst I am sure that comparison has likely been made in nigh on every single review over the past few years, I am not one to try and be different.
I did give this a go back in 2015 and according to my Steam statistics, I spent a good 16 hours on this. But I do remember not getting on with it initially. In part due to not really playing many tactical styled games and struggling a little with the concept. I then went back a couple of years later and loved it.
Where Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike works rather well is in how clearly defined each section of the game is. You have an overworld map you move through to get to each objective, or to get to camps and side quests. You’ll then get either quest based interactions, or random encounters, where they game moves to a combat phase. This whilst tactical in nature, is real-time combat with you selecting units to move and attack. Doing this to protect your main unit, because should that die, then it is game over.
Don’t worry though, as it is a roguelike, you will die a lot. However like other games in the genre what you learn is important for moving forward. You get to visit camps too where you can upgrade and equip new items and weapons to continue your journey. Everything is clear and easy for even newcomers to understand.
There are minor issues that seem to be more relevant on the Switch in handheld than I remember on PC. The cursor during combat is difficult to see which made moving it around the screen a pain and did lead to some missed selections. It is the same in menus, where it wasn’t immediately clear what I was selecting.
What is clear is that this was a PC game and you’d have the mouse controls for the most part. It would only take a tweak or two in a patch to fix this and make things clearer and I hope it comes, because it is the one let down in an otherwise fantastic package.
Listen, FTL is still the best in the genre in my opinion, but I did and still do love playing Convoy, it is a fantastic game to pick up and play for shortish bursts when you have a few spare moments. FTL though isn’t on the Switch and this is and it is more than welcome. You’d do well to pick this one up.
Code provided by Triangle Studios for review purposes.