Double Cross Review
Developed by 13AM Games, Double Cross is that hearty 90’s Saturday morning cartoon come to life, both in its narrative and art style. Players take on the role of Zahra Sinclair, one of the top agents of the time and reality hopping agency R.I.F.T. which exists to keep balance between dimensions. R.I.F.T. upholds strict laws about what can and can’t move between which dimensions in an effort to keep the peace and avoid catastrophe by bringing advanced technology to worlds that have not yet learned or understood the ability to create these portals for themselves.
In the opening moments of the game, R.I.F.T. headquarters is attacked and invaded by Reptarrians – dinosaur like people from an Earth that was not hit by an asteroid and so they became the dominant species. It becomes evident that their attack on HQ was not only well coordinated, but impossible to pull off without help from the inside. It’s up to Zahra to investigate the break-in and discover which of her companions is behind the nefarious deed.
Good Things Come in Threes
You’ll travel to three specific dimensions on your quest for answers: Gootopia, Funderdome, and Reptarria. Each area has four missions in total that feature your standard platforming fare; defeating enemies, using the environment, and finding hidden areas to collect Upgradium, the material used to level up. Combat is fairly standard with jumping, light attacks, and heavy attacks, but its the use of the Proton Slinger that sets gameplay apart. Think of it like an electric hookshot; players can use it to catch and manipulate items or hook onto grapple points and pull themselves through the air towards it. Later levels can be incredibly intense as you must wait for the right moment to unleash the slinger or miss your shot entirely. It’s a mechanic that adds a ton of fun, and learning to master the Proton Slinger is easy and incredibly satisfying.
Platformers aren’t high on my list of preferred genres as many of them feel the same, but Double Cross was one I struggled to put down because I wanted to keep pushing forward. The campy yet adorable dialogue is full of a familiar charm that takes me back to the good old days of a bowl of cereal on the couch on Saturday morning, and the art style reflects that completely. The game is vibrant and crisp, reminiscent of shows like Kim Possible or the like.
What I couldn’t understand with the game was the “Fun” option in the menu. I initially assumed it was the difficulty setting as it comes set to “Very Fun,” however the other options include AAAAAA, No Items, Speedrun, Fairy-Type, Reverse, Kawaii, Swappers Only, Pineapple, Eldritch, and Sauerbraten. Flipping through each of these options I didn’t see any change in the gameplay, music, or any other notable event. Perhaps this option is deactivated until the release date of the game but for the moment it leaves me confused.
I also appreciate that – while each character has a backstory and unique characteristics – we aren’t beaten over the head with heavy exposition dumps to learn about the teammates. Reveals of their past and personalities come subtly through text, with the player putting the pieces together to get an idea of what each character is like. It’s handled in such a way to be respectful of the players intelligence and adds just a touch more maturity to the game as a whole. Given that Double Cross is so rich with narrative and it’s roster, it feels like this could easily become an episodic series in keeping with the cartoon-nature of the game. While childish at times, I found myself wanting to keep learning more about the cast and their adventures which is a mark of a well made game.
Double Cross is an enjoyable adventure through a fun and interesting Saturday morning cartoon. The characters are unique and charming, the art style grabs your attention at every turn, and the gameplay feels fresh despite being a simple platformer. While the ending was predictable early on, the journey to get there was captivating and fun, and the various unlockable abilities will surely make each players experience a unique one.
**Nintendo Switch code provided by the publisher**
- Charming Cast
- Fun, Intuitive Controls
- Memorable Art Style
- Great Soundtrack
- Predictable Ending