Concept Destruction Nintendo Switch Review – Destruction Derby x LABO
Developed By: Thinice Games
Published By: Ratalaika Games
Concept Destruction is all about driving miniature cars made of cardboard, and crashing them into each other to earn points by destroying them!
Pick from several different modes that suit your playstyle. Pick championship mode if you want to fight your way through mass production or choose survival mode to see how long you can survive a wave of deadly cardboard automobiles!
Unlock new cars with points earned by playing. Each car has a unique driving style that could turn the tide of battle!
As you can tell from the synopsis, Concept Destruction is, at heart, a Destruction Derby game, but with one obvious difference. All the vehicles you drive are made from cardboard!
Yes, that’s right, cardboard. After you watch the neat little intro movie before the title screen it’ll all make sense.
This movie is shot from the perspective of a designer. He explains that for his designs to come to fruition, he must first make concept models of them in cardboard. That’s where you, the player, come in.
Simply pick your motor, to which you start off with just the one with 7 more unlockable, choose one of the 8 varied and unique tracks and cause some serious carnage. Concept Destruction is a lot of fun and it really gave me a “Micro Machines” vibe, especially when it came to the different miniaturised tracks. Each of these tracks is fresh and new, with each based in office environments, complete with obstacles made out of office stationery and ramps that are sticky-taped in place.
Crumple The Competition
There is a decent selection of modes in Concept Destruction, each brings with it, it’s own disciplines and skill requirements. The modes on offer are as follows;
Championship – A pretty straight forward competitive tournament that serves as the meat ‘n’ potatoes of the game. You’ll compete in a series of races against the AI opponents. You must rack up the highest score you can by smashing and destroying anything that moves AND surviving till the timer runs out. You’ll want to get as many points as you can as this is how you unlock the rest of the cars.
Single Event – This is the pick-up-and-play mode. You get a choice of 3 modes here. Normal – Exactly the same as championship mode complete with the ruleset.
Survival – Everyone is gunning for you as you try to last as long as you can. In short, vehicular mayhem at it’s finest!
Then there’s the amusingly named
Tourism – The ultimate casual mode. The other cars just cruise around the track as you smash them up, oh and you’re invincible in this mode.
Multiplayer – Oddly, this mode was not available at the time of review. It’s difficult to say what exactly this entails as there was only a vague description. It’s unclear whether this mode will be activated by a day one patch or whether it needs to be unlocked. Although the eShop listing says it is for 1-2 players.
School – Go to school for your brief tutorial to the game. The 3 main lessons you’ll learn here are Car Control, Damage Control and No Control.
It’s also worth mentioning that before you select your machine, each has its own strengths and weaknesses, outlined in 3 basic stats;
Speed – Basically how rapid your car is. Remember, the harder you hit, the higher you score.
Handling – It’ll be pretty pointless having all that speed if you spend most of it going sideways wouldn’t it? This stat will give you an idea of how planted your motor will be on the road.
Weight – By far, probably the most important stat when it comes to a Destruction Derby. The more weight you have, the more damage you can deal and the faster you can destroy the opposition.
Small But Mighty
Concept Destruction is the sort of game that is fun for all ages and skill levels. I instantly fell in love with the visuals and thought it was cleverly drawn. Driving little cardboard cars around tracks that also happened to resemble scale replicas of real-world locales such as Parliament Square in London or Stonehenge in the south of England was a stroke of genius.
I also found it a cool little touch to see that, despite the cars having engine sounds, they don’t actually have engines. Just like you’d expect from toys or models, these cars actually have battery-powered motors in them. Look after your battery though, as this not only serves as your power source but also your fuel. Run out of juice or lose your battery to a well placed T-bone and it’s game over for you!
All is not lost though, should you run low on power, you can simply refuel by snatching someone else’s battery. I thought this was a nice little mechanic that added some extra depth into each race.
I had a lot of fun with Concept Destruction and so did my 6-year-old daughter. There were plenty of modes, cars and tracks to sink my teeth into. Although it was a bit disappointing that I couldn’t access any form of multiplayer as my daughter really wanted to play some 2 player mode with me.
Cars and tracks were all very well conceptualised, albeit not completely flawless. There seem to be quite a few clipping issues in many of the tracks. Sometimes I found myself suddenly getting stuck in the walls, floor or simply driving up a ramp. With no way to reset the car on the track, this led to quite a bit of frustration. Especially when it happened during a championship race that I just so happened to be winning and had no other option but to restart the race.
The game ran fine in both docked and handheld modes with only minimal slow-down when there was a lot of mayhem on screen.
The background music was also very well done. I was most surprised when I started up a race to hear it being accompanied by a banging Heavy Metal soundtrack. The sound effects, on the other hand, could do with some work. Whilst it was nice that each car sounded different, I would’ve liked some girthier engine sounds and some stronger representation to the impacts and crashes. Particularly owing to the fact that this is the aim of the game.
My last gripe will be down to how each race panned out. I couldn’t tell if it was simply a bug or some strange procedural generation or RNG going on, but there were a number of odd “happenings” taking place. Specifically, seeing a dead car almost straight after the lights went green, or tapping one of the strongest cars lightly only to insta-kill them! It was pretty jarring and led to me questioning the balance of the races.
Hopefully, these issues can be ironed out in a couple of patches as, despite them being there, the game really is a lot of fun and I feel that Thinice Games has made something truly special here. If you have a spare fiver burning a hole in your pocket, I don’t think you can go far wrong with this one.
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Game reviewed by Micramanic on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Ratalaika Games.