Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase
Developer: City Connection
Publisher: Dispatch Games
Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase - Switch Trailer
Soldam is a lovely little blast from puzzle gaming's past. It comfortably earns its place among top-tier Switch puzzlers like Puyo Puyo Tetris and Magical Drop II, but it's also different enough to those two that it doesn't feel redundant to have all three on the same system. Even better, Soldam's various modes — the quick-paced endless survival, the slow and deliberate Challenge stages, and the streamlined battle mode — play so differently from one another that it almost feels like a puzzle game collection in its own right. Add in the online play and thoughtful quality of life improvements in this localized version, and Soldam on Switch is a complete puzzle package.
Soldam is a fun concept, but out of the box there's some issues that hopefully will be addressed in the future. The online is barely playable, and there's a major accessibility failure present. Still, it's fun for a quick round or two if you're looking for a break from the hardcore Puyo Puyo Tetris marathon.
Soldam has really surprised me over the time I’ve played it for review. While I’d started out somewhat skeptical of its very different mechanics once I passed a certain point (assisted by the Challenge mode) I began to more clearly see what it was doing and am fairly impressed by the way it all works. Old puzzle gaming habits are difficult to break and in order to be successful in Soldam you’ll need to develop an entirely new set of tactics for how best to contend with things like garbage pieces specifically. The high-pressure moments as your stacks get closer to the top are where the game shines, and you’ll need to think quickly, adapt, and perhaps have a little luck on your side to get out of it. The good news is that with the color-changing mechanic it is very possible you’ll be able to complete many lines in quick succession with only a few pieces, meaning that you’re never truly sunk unless you just give up. With its very different approach, terrific Versus mode, and fresh strategic challenges Soldam is a worthy contender for puzzle fans!
Soldam is a very impressive remake of a fun Arcade gem, doing a great job at bringing an obscure hi-score chaser to the modern age. However, it didn’t really add much new stuff to the mix, and outside of the puzzle levels and the Plumidex, the only goal is to get a high score in single player over and over again. No online leaderboards, no VS COM mode, and the online community for this game is really, really dead despite the game launching several weeks ago.