Squish Review

The Squish Academy

After first seeing Squish at Play NYC 2021, I knew this would be a party game that I would sink my teeth into. Its simple premise with addictive gameplay was the exact party game I was looking to share with my friends. However, though the chaotic couch multiplayer antics are top-notch, there’s little beyond that for the single-player gamers.

In Squish, you play as a glowing skeleton that needs to strategically maneuver blocks so you can squish the other skeletons into oblivion. The last skeleton in each round wins the round and gets closer to being the game’s winner. With up to four players locally or online, the craziness quickly becomes one of its best features. In the numerous times I’ve played this game on show floors, I had a blast when playing with strangers. This time around, the fun factor was cranked up even higher. The constant smack talk, silly moments, and constant ghost-dabbing gave the game an unmatched level of party-fun that I haven’t experienced in quite some time. It’s also worth noting that Squish can be played online on multiple servers, but at the time of this review, there were no opportunities to test it out.

Visually, the game looks beautiful on the Nintendo Switch OLED and runs fantastically on it as well as my PC. The bright colors and vibrant particle effects really shine on my portable device and don’t come close to stuttering on either platform. Furthermore, the music is perfect for the game – fun techno-pop which really hones in on the rave aesthetic, which is even more amplified with the ghost DJ in all the backgrounds. Squish is a feast to the eyes for the players and has enough happening to engage people in the room that aren’t playing as well/.

The standard mode (Classic Crypt) focuses primarily on being the last ghost standing each round, but Squish also offers a few variations of the game itself. Crystal Caves, another game mode, is nearly identical to Classic Crypt, but instead can have players fall off the edges. Space Rave, also nearly identical to Classic Crypt, however its slight adjustment has players maneuver with much lower gravity (and thus much higher jumps).The last multiplayer game mode, Treasure Grab is the only truly varied game mode among these five. Like the others, there are blocks falling from the top that you must avoid, but instead of solely trying to squish your enemies, you’re challenged to collect 30 coins. This was my second favorite mode (first was Classic Crypt) since it offered objectives to juggle as well as a steeper difficulty curve for players to master over time.

Unfortunately, my biggest disappointment of Squish is the complete lack of single-player modes in the game. The only game mode that is exclusively solo, Gooby Gobble, doesn’t offer much in gameplay – essentially an arcade version of the game where you want to earn the highest score possible. What’s even more disappointing is the fact that none of the other game modes can be played with bots or CPUs for practice or single player rounds. Additionally, although there are more than 20 outfits and skins for the ghosts from the start, it doesn’t seem like there are any unlockables for the game, lessening the options to grind or play this as a single player experience. 

Verdict: 8.0 Out of 10

Squish, by Grave Rave Games, is an absolute must-have with a group of friends or for social events. The two-button gameplay and movement is easy to grasp and can result in loads of fantastic moments of engagement. Though there isn’t much in the single-player-sphere, what’s there can be a fun challenge for those who chase high scores. Regardless, you’re bound to have a sensationally satisfying time in the world of Squish.

A copy was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review on Nintendo Switch and PC.

Follow Harry Loizides, to hear all about his love for niche indie games on Instagram and Twitter.

A version of this review is also posted on Six One Indie.

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