Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase’s Multiplayer Is Rudimentary

By Jenni . September 25, 2017 . 12:00pm

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People in search of puzzle games have another option in North America. Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase, the second entry in the Soldam series, has appeared on the eShop in our region. While some may wonder what would make it worth picking up, especially if they previously purchased the Japanese version with its multi-language support, there is one major change. The North American version actually has online multiplayer.

 

For some reason, this option is not present in the Japanese version of Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase. If you head to VS. Showdown in the main menu, it will continually prompt you to have both controllers check in to play a local match. It is only in the North American version that offline and online options appear.

 

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In both situations, gameplay proceeds in a rather similar fashion. Player one is attempting to make and match red lines, what with their screen having a red orb border, while player two is attempting to make and match blue lines. In between the two fields, you will be able to see the next block of four orbs that will drop and can attempt to place your piece faster as to perhaps claim it. Your goal is to survive longer, making chains of matched lines that forces your opponent’s screen to fill. It is rather basic stuff and quite like Othello.

 

The problem here is this, Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase’s online experience is not pleasant. There is a big problem with lag. While you can see the next piece that can go to one person or the other and feel like you have assured you will acquire it next, lag will impose itself and rob you of it, giving you a piece you have not planned for. When I was placing my pieces, I sometimes noticed the controls didn’t feel as assured as they did in the single-player or offline versus. It was more imprecise and occasionally a piece moved, even though it should have dropped into a stable position, altering my plans.

 

The lack of control appears in two other areas in Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase’s online. For one, you can not determine who you play against. There is no friend match option. When you choose to go online, you will be paired against the next possible person also there. I was attempting to play with a friend and, thanks to the online not exactly being a bustling hub, managed to make it happen by both of us agreeing to press the connect button at a designated time. While a ranked mode might not have been exactly possible, it would have been nice to at least have the option between facing friends or everyone currently available.

 

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What is even more frustrating is that the loser decides if you keep playing. When a Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase match is complete, a screen will pop up asking if you want to continue. If you won, you can’t do anything. That screen has no meaning. You can only watch, helpless, as your opponent teases you by cycling between the two choices as the same four second clip of music repeats ad nauseam. It is frustrating to have so little control over the situation. There should have at least been an option where things would only continue if both people chose to play again.

 

That online multiplayer is there does count for something, I suppose. It is not present in the Japanese version. It is just a shame that Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase’s VS. Showdown is so bare-bones. When you start it up, you have no control over who you face. While you are playing, the lag can impede play and mess with your strategies. After a match ends, you have to wait for the loser to decide whether it all ends. All of these feel like things that could perhaps be improved with eventual patches, but it is a shame things are so rudimentary at launch.

 

Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase is available for the Nintendo Switch in North America and Japan.


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