Dandara [$14.99] is out now on every single viable platform under the sun, including on iOS, Android, and Switch. This alone is unusual, because it's a monumental effort to release a game on six different platforms simultaneously from a technical perspective. Odds are, if you're interested in Dandara, and you should be, after reading our five-star review, you also have to choose which platform do you want it on: mobile, Nintendo Switch, or other?

The first thing to know is that if you're choosing between console/PC and Switch, you should definitely go with the Switch version. This isn't just because of the Switch's innate advantage of portable play, but for another reason: it supports touch controls, and Dandara is amazing with touch controls. If you're choosing between mobile and console/PC, from a pure gameplay perspective, go mobile. The tricky decision is whether to choose Switch or mobile.

Why care so much about touchscreen controls for Dandara? It's so much easier to aim precisely and quickly with swipes. The introductory sequence makes this clear. The game introduces its movement system to you as you have to hop between platforms. Try it with a controller, and there's a bit of fumbling around as you figure out that you have to point and then hit A to launch yourself in that direction. With the touch controls, you can just frantically swipe back and forth, and it feels amazing.

For a long time, there's an uncertainty with using the joystick - are you sure that this is where you want to aim? The Joy-Con analog sticks feel a bit small to give the proper range of motion to make the quick, confident movements that are otherwise available with touchscreens. Using a full-size controller is best if you do use a controller. Every time I go back to using the touchscreen, this game increasingly feels like it was built for touch and expanded for controller. Long Hat House has a knack for building games that work really well with touch. This should be apparent anyone who played Magenta Arcade and the way that it made the player's finger a part of the touch controls in the game.

The good news is that if you choose the Switch or mobile versions, you're not locked in to one control scheme. The mobile versions have controller support. The Switch version also supports the same touch controls! However, unlike the iOS/Android versions, there isn't a virtual joystick, which helps out with aiming, as well as movement. Plus, using the Switch without the Joy-Cons, holding it like a phone or slightly large tablet, isn't bad, but it's not ideal. The edges of the system aren't ergonomically contoured for holding it the way phones and tablets are designed. Plus, the Joy-Cons will stay powered on, so the battery life on them can drain if you play the game just with the touchscreen. Regardless, the Switch version does give you all the control options you might possibly need for Dandara.

The other thing to consider with buying Dandara is that it costs the exact same on mobile as it does on console: $14.99 at launch, with an $11.99 pre-order price. So the one major benefit that comes with buying a mobile game, the absurd discount even with cross-platform launches, is gone. You're picking purely based on which platform you want to buy the game on.

And unfortunately, there's the one major uncertainty with buying an iOS game: that it could someday stop working and not get updated. I have no reason to suspect Long Hat House and Raw Fury Games will let that happen, and maybe after the uproar over the 32-bit appocalypse, Apple is trying to ensure fewer things break in later iOS versions. But if someone expressed reservations that they don't want to spend full price on an iOS game given that they want to avoid a BioShock situation, I'd find it hard to fault them. Especially when the aforementioned Magenta Arcade isn't on the App Store any more.

Dandara

Nintendo, along with Sony and Microsoft, has strict certification policies that annoy developers because of how picky they can be, but they do help ensure that software released in 2018 is likely to work in 2023. Again, it's quite possible that Dandara will work on iOS 33, but that uncertainty does play a role. The counterpoint is that it's a $15 game, it's far from the end of the world if it ever stops working, beyond the general cultural shame that is poor video game archival.

What this all adds up to is that the Switch version is likely the best version of the game because of the versatility to play it at home on the big screen, or on portable, with the most ideal control scheme, and with the best future-proofing. Next up is the mobile version because you get the best control scheme, but with some questionable future-proofing. Ultimately, I'd say that any drawback between the mobile and Switch versions are minor that it's worth playing the game on the platform that most fits into the player's life. Long Hat House and Raw Fury went a long way to make sure that players can have their preferred Dandara experience regardless of platform.

  • metalcasket

    What the **** is a Carter Dotson?

    • OrangutanKungfu

      He is a villainous boomerang. Welcome back, Carter!

  • boydstr

    “it's far from the end of the world if it ever stops working”imo that’s exactly the point that I stop buying less games in the AppStore than I did the gaming landscape in the AppStore isn’t that great with all those FTP shenanigans sometimes there are some real cool games like Dandara but these are an exceptions.

  • Mr. Mayhem

    To be fair you can also play the iOS version “at home on the big screen” if you have an Apple TV.

  • brianj22

    The switch controllers are always charging when attached to the console even undocked. If you want to take them off just press the sync button to turn them off. The line about the controllers being on and losing battery when using touchscreen controls was not accurate.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/rrvirus redribbon

    yo eli, you really should make a dedicated switch section on TA. switch is really a great portable gaming platform and it deserves a forum like this.

    • Saveria

      Seconded

    • brianj22

      I'd argue if they want to survive, they'll evolve. Stick with a strictly mobile platform that refuses to work with mobile platforms to let your app survive, sayonara.

      You've made it clear you breach Apples BS rules for having an app. Try Android. Focus on Switch.

      Or crumble. I'd like to think you'll evolve with the times to survive instead of affecting your users negatively.

      If iOS is your homeboy so be it.

      I guess my point is it'd be cool if you had a switch TA app since I bet they'd be more willing to work with you.

      Sorry for being such a streisand

  • vonBoomslang

    How about if the only iDevice you own is an iPhone SE? Is it large enough to play this comfortably?

  • http://madmatt213.tumblr.com/ madmatt213

    I played about a hour of the game on my Switch (docked) last night, and I thought the controls worked great for me using a Pro controller. I generally play docked, so I don't even plan to check out the touchscreen controls.

  • Adam

    There’s one consideration I didn’t see you mention, but is a real one for Nintendo platforms: multiple devices. I can buy the App Store version and play it on any iOS device I own. If I buy it on the eShop, it’s tied to that one Switch and that’s it. Yeah, I can delete it and install on another one, but it’s a much bigger pain than how other stores work.

  • araczynski

    Burn me at the stake, but I'm not seeing anything there to make me want to play even if it was free.

    • http://mulderc.blogspot.com/ Cameron Mulder

      I wish this one was free with an IAP to unlock the rest as I am curious but the controls look odd and not particularly enjoyable.

      • Sebastian Gomez

        Think of HoPiKo when trying to move from one platform to another in a diagonal path, but even BETTER. As for the attack, think of any dual stick shooter (for aiming) and the basic attack is some kind of a shotgun that requires a short charge before you can shoot.

        Also, Magenta Arcade is awesome. One of my favorite shmups. I'm lucky because I kept an old IPA I downloaded from iTunes back when the game was still available. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if they re-released it under Raw Fury's publishing.

        I have iOS as my default/main gaming platform and don't own any of the other current gaming systems, so I choose iOS =P

        Aqueles caras da Long Hat House fizeram um excelente jogo!