If you’re interested in tactics games on the Nintendo Switch you have likely already heard of Thea: The Awakening, this indie darling has crafted quite a reputation for itself and, as its sequel has started to garner equal praise, the original Thea game has decided to make the jump to Switch. A jump that is no small feat considering the hardcore mechanics of the original game. Thea is full to the brim with management and strategy mechanics, all of which felt in depth on the original PC version of the game. Well I’m delighted to say that Thea: The Awakening plays fantastically on Switch and feels right at home on the portable console.
One of the most impressive things about Thea: The Awakenings Switch port is how easily the complex menus and quest lines have translated to the Switch’s control system. Moving between groups of settlers and settlements, managing their inventory and their production and sending them out on tasks and quests is never more than a few buttons away. It may take a small amount of a learning curve to find all the granular controls you need to maximise your time in the game. But once found the well-scaled UI means it’s easy to make use of again.
One of the biggest concerns about a game like Thea is how well it would translate to the handheld mode of the Switch, traditionally a game like this, with heavy strategy mechanics and lots of inventory and production management, would be best suited to longer sessions on a large screen. Luckily with Thea’s tight saving mechanics and the ability to accomplish bitesize segments of larger quests, It’s surprisingly easy to chip away at a larger game in handheld mode.
But, don’t expect Thea to be more forgiving on Nintendo’s console, Whilst the game can be bitesize you will still feel the weight of its large world and the mammoth task of progressing through it. In the few days, we had with the game before it’s release WGN struggled with it multiple times and lost many a settler to Thea’s harsh landscape and cruel encounters. That’s not to say it’s totally inaccessible as a game, but don’t let the platform fool you, you’re in for a sizeable, at times tough, experience.
To write a full review of Thea: The Awakening on Switch would take many many more hours of play and a lot of dead virtual settlers but our first play sessions were great, intuitive and performed extremely well on the Nintendo Switch. If it’s tactics you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with Thea.