The Sinking City (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Frogwares
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: Switch

The Sinking City (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: Fluent port on the Switch, Impressive concept
Bad: Dull combat, Dead city, Long loading times
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Back in July, we had our first run-in with The Sinking City for PC. We noticed that the game looked incredible and that the foundation was laid properly for an interesting detective story, sadly the filler content of having to walk around constantly and the bland combat design dragged the entire experience down. This means that we weren’t immediately waiting for the Switch port of the game, but it does show what some adaptations can do, and that fairly big games can also run on the Nintendo Switch. Sadly, the gameplay remains the same, making this a fairly mediocre trip down memory lane.


The game throws you in the role of Charles Reed, a detective who is troubled by nightmarish visions about monsters swallowing you whole. The visions are a constant factor in your life now, and for some reason, they are calling you to Oakmont, which is also appropriately called the Sinking City. You soon notice that this city is a place like no other on our planet, as it’s the only place that also houses people who are part animal. The game does not offer much more in terms of story value, except for the cases you solve. It’s all about the strange visions and why you have them. Overall the story is an interesting experience, but sometimes it feels like the raison d’être of the game.


Graphically the Switch version of The Sinking City is like a candle in the wind next to its next-gen counterparts. Nonetheless, for a Switch port, the game looks extremely good. The world is full of clutter and life, making this a rather heavy Switch release. While there are arguably a lot of rough edges you can spot throughout the entire experience, there is also very good usage of textures, showing a small glimpse of its original graphical prowess. The Switch’s hardware isn’t nearly as strong as the PS4 Pro’s or the Xbox One X’s but the port has been properly scaled down, and there are no real frame drops to be noticed. You do however notice long loading times, which do hamper the overall fluency of the game.


The sound design of The Sinking City is top-notch. You’ll get a lot of great voice acting accompanying you on your journey through a strange and eerie Oakmont. The backdrop is rather subtle, as you’ll be able to hear the sound effects properly most of the time, but the game does set the atmosphere with a fairly cinematic track-list.


The Sinking City tries to name itself an action-adventure survival horror experience. While the game does have some horror elements embedded in the gameplay, as well as some action portions, the game is a lot about puzzling cases together to help yourself and the people of Oakmont. Most of the time you’ll be going from one scene to another to investigate what happened, not only by examining everything on the scene but also by using some of the special detective skills you have at your disposal. The game does have some combat sequences, but these feel a bit clunky and unfinished. It feels like the developers wanted a bit too much content for their game, which doesn’t always work out well.

You’ll notice that the game is divided into two sections, one is going from one scene to another to investigate what transpired. This is done in several phases, by investigating what you can see with the naked eye, but also by looking at a scene with your paranormal ability, to see scenes of things that truly happened. You’ll have to put these in order and then you can draw your conclusion to progress to the next scene or to turn in what you found. The second portion of the game is the combat, which is mind-numbingly dull. The game is clearly not designed for heavy combat sequences, as things feel extremely clunky. The game does set the stage for combat scenarios by making the main currency of the game bullets. It’s fun to see a game where bullets are more important than actual money.

Even though the game has a fairly big, and interesting looking map, the city of Oakmont feels somewhat lifeless. There are many useless landmarks and you’ll often only concern yourself with the places you’ll have to perform research in. Many other places aren’t accessible or feel somewhat empty. It’s fun that the developers tried to create a big hub for the game, but perhaps a slightly smaller map, with a lot less walking around, might have been better. As the game does not hold you by the hand, you’ll have to see where you have to go yourself, by placing markers on the map at the right streets.


The Sinking City is an okay experience for those looking for a decent Lovecraft-inspired title. The game does have some interesting cases to solve and runs fairly smoothly on the Switch, which is a decent feat, especially when looking at the original prowess of the game. The only downsides of this game feel like a lot of filler content by walking around a lot and the incredibly blandly designed combat sequences. This is certainly a fun game for the Switch, if you can buy it at a discount.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Sinking City (Switch) - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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