Gamedec (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Narrative-driven RPG
Developer: Anshar Studios
Publisher: Anshar Studios
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: PC

Gamedec (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: A ton of replayability thanks to how choices affect the story
Bad: Switch version suffers from glitches
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in November, we took a look at the PC version of Gamedec, the dystopian cyberpunk RPG brought to us by Anshar studios. Back then, we lauded the game’s narrative and immersive visuals but felt like the gameplay lacked some depth. The game has now arrived on the Switch, which seemed like a good opportunity to revisit it. After all, as Gamedec itself teaches us, a different perspective may lead to new insights and different conclusions. Join us as we return to both the virtual world and the real one to find out how Gamedec holds up on the Switch.


Based on a series of short stories from Polish sci-fi author Marcin Przybyłek, Gamedec takes players to a futuristic version of Warsaw. Unfortunately, this world, referred to as Realium, is a bit of a dystopia and so most people prefer to spend time in the virtual world instead as it distracts them from how horrible their everyday lives are. Even the virtual world isn’t a crime-free utopia, however, which is where the so-called gamedecs, short for game detectives, come in. Players step into the shoes of one such game detective as they have to deal with a variety of cases, ranging from murder to child trafficking.

The crimes they deal with aren’t just limited to the real world either, and in order to find culprits, they’ll have to alternate between the real world and the virtual one. What follows then is a series of narrative-driven cases that seemingly stand alone, but gradually it becomes clear that they tie into an overarching plot. Given that the flow of the story is determined through the choices made by the player and that there are literally hundreds of dialogue choices, we’re not going to spoil the main narrative, if only because there is a good chance that you’ll get an entirely different outcome depending on the choices you make yourself.


While Gamedec doesn’t push the Switch’s boundaries in the same way that a game like Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes does, it’s still one of the better-looking titles on the Switch. For the most part, this is due to clever aesthetic choices rather than that the game is super polished because if you were to really look closely at Gamedec’s visuals, you’d probably be underwhelmed by how simple the character models and in-game textures really are. Still, through clever use of static background images, lighting, and excellent art direction, the game manages to look more impressive than it actually is. Admittedly, we did notice the occasional frame rate stutter, especially when walking around in the real world, but it was nowhere near often enough to really bother us.


Unfortunately, Gamedec’s audio doesn’t live up to the visuals. For a game that is narrative-driven and incredibly reliant on dialogue, there is an egregious lack of voice acting here, and the soundtrack is very understated and instantly forgettable. While the music does set the right atmosphere while you’re actually playing the game, it doesn’t linger with you and will instantly leave your brain when you turn off the game. The same can be said about the sound effects, resulting in a soundscape that is functional but lacks substance.


Both the Nintendo eShop and Steam list Gamedec as an RPG but if you were to ask us, we’d say that that description doesn’t feel entirely accurate because the game does break the mold in more than one way. There is no combat system present, for example, nor are there stats to manage or experience points to customize your character with. What you’re getting here instead is something that looks like an isometric RPG but it feels like a point-and-click adventure or even a mystery game in the same vein as a Poirot or Sherlock Holmes title, except that it’s set in a dystopian cyberpunk world. Most of the flow of the game is determined by dialogue choices, so you’ll be spending a lot of time reading through lengthy conversations.

The gameplay feels rather limited as a result and mostly involves scanning environments for clues and questioning NPCs as you slowly attempt to piece together what exactly happened. At certain key points, you’ll have to answer multiple-choice questions about the case to progress the story and although you can brute force your way through by simply guessing the right answers, it’s far more enjoyable when you actually know the answers. The interesting thing here is that there is no specific path to follow and that you don’t need to collect every clue or talk to every witness in order to be able to solve a case. In fact, it’s entirely possible that you ask the wrong questions to a witness and they simply blow you off as a result. This is one of the rare cases where a game relies on a player’s own deductive reasoning instead of forcing them to take a specific path. This also ties into how replayable Gamedec is: there is a job system implemented, and taking on a specific job adds new dialogue choices and opens up new ways for you to figure out the solution to a case. A hacker will approach things in a different way than a thief, for example, and the game’s replayability ties into looking at cases from different angles.

While the solution to a case may be predetermined, you’ll often get a more complete picture of what happened by looking at it from different angles, and often the choices you make influence the overarching narrative in different ways as well. There is a tremendous sense of freedom present here, despite how limited the overall gameplay experience feels. That freedom does come with a few downsides, however. At times we felt that the script was a bit unfocused and could use some tightening up, and sometimes the game throws a response your way that doesn’t quite fit with the flow of the game. A character may refer to a character you haven’t met or an event that has yet to occur, for example. We understand that it’s impossible to craft a game like Gamedec in such a way that it can accurately react to every possible outcome on the decision tree, but it did take us out of the story more than once.

The transition to the Switch isn’t as seamless as we’d have wanted either. While the game’s performance itself is more than adequate, we ran into a couple of glitches such as instances where our character didn’t respond to control inputs in the way that we wanted. At first, we thought we were dealing with Joy-Con drift, but our Joy-Cons didn’t show issues with other games, and we tried several pairs to come to the conclusion that this was an issue with the game itself. There were also a couple of instances where we got stuck or when the game simply froze up and we had to revert to an earlier save. We highly recommend either waiting for a patch or simply saving often. Finally, navigating the menus also didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked, and it was clear that the game was designed to be navigated with a mouse. Even so, the technical issues we ran into didn’t deter us from enjoying the game and we’d happily return to Gamedec to look at cases from different angles.


While Gamedec is a bit rough around the edges on the Switch, it’s still a highly enjoyable title that is definitely worth looking into if you’re eager to play something different. What the game lacks in gameplay depth, it more than makes up for with its cyberpunk atmosphere, intriguing narrative, and unprecedented amount of replayability. You may want to wait for a patch or two down the road, but even in its current state, Gamedec is a title that should be on your radar.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Gamedec (Switch) - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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