I’ll admit that I was kind of skeptical when going into this once. After all, Physical Contact: Speed is brought to us by the people that delivered those awful Mysterious Stars games on 3DS. The trailer for this game wasn’t any better.
But who knows? Maybe for Nintendo’s new console, Collavier took things up a notch and released something that could be enjoyable.
The visuals remind me a lot of the version of Othello released on Nintendo Switch months ago. They even have similar-looking title screens. As far as card games go, Physical Contact: Speed is standard fare. The only oddball in the presentation is the use of player icons. Some have pixel art, others are drawn, and many of them are strangely portrayed. The broken English is also something to be concerned about.
The music and sound effects are both stock. Songs are randomly selected for every time one plays. They’re rather generic, but they do at least fit the relaxed theme . I actually really like the piano track; I wonder where I can find that one. As for the sounds, I heard these same ones in the Mysterious Stars titles. The only exception is probably the sound for a card being shuffled into place.
I’ve never actually heard of Speed when I first played this, and it didn’t help that the game didn’t provide any instructions. Sure, one can watch the footage online to see how it’s played. But how would anyone know that the only way to play a card is to press Up on the D-Pad? For some reason, the buttons are underutilized. You can’t use either analog stick, nor the A, B, X, and Y buttons (unless you’re playing 2-Player). The touch screen is used, but only for the menus and not the actual game.
I don’t know what “Physical Contact” is, but Speed is a simple card game where players try to one-up each other with their respective card decks. A card can be placed if the cards in the middle have numbers 1 lower or 1 above said card. This includes the Jack, Queen King, and Ace; the last of which is placed before 2, but after King, allowing it to loop the number order. If neither person has a usable card at the moment, the game will take a card from both decks and place them in the middle. The first person to run out of cards to use wins. The result is a game that lasts a few minutes per session, but can make for intense play when two people actually do play against each other. Weirdly, the 2-Player mode only has a vertical screen layout; you can still play on the TV, but it definitely was designed to be played in portable mode.
What is the single-player, then? Well, there are 100 “Floors”. Each floor is a game of Speed against CPUs that very slowly gradually increase in difficulty. Yep, that’s 100 games of Speed! It isn’t too bad, though. Since each game does last a couple minutes, it is as if they are levels anyway. I really wish the game was more challenging earlier on. It takes a while longer than necessary to get past the easy CPUs. There’s no congratulatory ending for whatever reason, but throughout the venture, players get rewarded with coins that can be used to unlock all kinds of icons and background themes. It’s merely cosmetic, but I do suppose it adds a nice amount of replay value for completionists.
I’d say Physical Contact: Speed is best enjoyed from a casual perspective. It can be good for killing time until the player(s) switches over to playing or doing something else. Otherwise, it’s nothing anyone would really write home about. Should you buy into it, though, there’s a lot worse you can do with the five bucks you’d spend. What I can certainly say is that this is a solid improvement over Collavier’s previous releases.