Desert Child is one of those “love-it-or-hate-it” titles. On one hand, it's got a great soundtrack and excellent visuals. On the other, its gameplay is dull and repetitive. Be sure you know what you're getting into with this one.
Desert Child is a real tribute to some of the greatest 90s pop culture, and it is also a good and innovative racing game.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Though its pixellated visuals and bright environments do provide brief pleasantries in the first hour or so, the little variety in its missions and very reason to stay invested other than grinding until the climax results in a game caught between two minds, committing, sadly, to neither one in the process.
Desert Child is certainly a different type of release that puts you in the shoes of a young guy who must find the balance between racing (work) and fixing his vehicle and eating (life). This release is not for everyone, but it is still enjoyable as a unique style of experience.
Desert Child strikes is a fun indie title that balances being a racer, a RPG, and being unconventionally cool.
From the gorgeous pixel art to the incredible soundtrack, Desert Child looks outstanding. Looks can be deceiving though, and it's clear that much more time was spent on crafting a distinct style than fine-tuning gameplay. If you've so much as watched a trailer for Desert Child, you've already experienced everything worth seeing in the game.
Desert Child is indeed a very special release. It’s not only unique in being an M-rated indie on the Switch, but it’s also perhaps the most impressive indie title that I’ve played in years. Every aspect of the game is teeming with originality and the passion of the developer comes across clear as day. That’s to be expected though, as creator Oscar Brittain created nearly every aspect of the game himself. The relatively short gameplay certainly detracts from the game’s overall score, but I can mostly look past this given how impressive my time with it was. I’d say that this one lies somewhere between a 4.25 and a 4.5 on the review scale. Desert Child released for all major platforms on December 11, 2018. I played the Switch version, but it can also be downloaded on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. At just $11.99 on any of them, I can’t recommend it enough.
There seems to be a seed for what could be a decent game in Desert Child but it honestly feels unfinished. If the focus had been on the action of the racing and slowly layering more elements to that action with some progression I would have probably been fine just stopping there. At least it would have had a clear focus and the central activity could have remained interesting through slowly and smartly evolving. Instead you’ll quickly find yourself wasting your time walking around a city for no really good reason beyond demonstrating some artistic flair with different angles in each area and playing through variations on the same theme over and over again. Perhaps an audience can dig in and find the enjoyment but with so many better conceived games on the eShop it’s hard to give Desert Child a recommendation.
Desert Child's final outcome is not enough to secure a completely satisfying experience. While its game play can be pleasant, but equally limited. After several hours its game play loop ends up disappointing and the initial curiosity to explore its beautiful city and mechanics loses itself on what is a forgettable quest, despite the excellent soundtrack.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
An aesthetically pleasing game is worthless if its gameplay is repetitive, dull and unimaginative. Oscar Brittain seems to not have realized that on time, unfortunately, and Desert Child ended up becoming another beautiful but extraordinarily shallow indie game.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
There’s no denying Desert Child is a stylish and unique RPG, but beneath its striking facade, it’s simply too hollow to make a mark. The racing is repetitive, the side-activities lack variety and the lack of technical fidelity is too noticeable to avoid, overall, making this bland racer an underwhelming disappointment.
Desert Child is an ambitious cyberpunk racer that feels more like a preview of what could be a truly terrific game, hampered by short length and lack of gameplay variety.
I think that Oscar made a really smart game with Desert Child, with music to hum to and a graphic style that takes you back to hippest part of your past. It just turns out that it is not very fun.