The Switch has been a bit of a sales sensation, leading to an inevitable glut of eShop releases ahead of Christmas. But while increased third-party support is never to be sniffed at, games like MUJO help no-one.
If you've been following smartphone games over the past several years, MUJO may well feel familiar to you; it was released onto iOS and Android in late 2014 to generally favourable reviews. The original was a very approachable and polished match-three puzzler with a cute Greek myth twist. You're getting the same basic experience here.
MUJO is all about gathering together clumps of coloured blocks in a grid and touching the screen or pressing a button to make them disappear. Each colour feeds into a tussle that's occurring between your trio of Greek gods and their rivals (think the Minotaur and Medusa). Red blocks initiate attacks, while the other colours help empower your Gods.
Before long you'll encounter foes with thousands of hit points who need to be felled in just one or two almighty attacks. This is where your ability to gather together multiple red blocks into one high-value unit comes into play. By doing so, and then matching those souped-up blocks in kind, you can lay the smackdown on your opponent.
Stirring things up are the occasional boss character, often with a strict move limit, as well as bombs that threaten to wipe out your level-1,000 attack block. You'll also encounter chests that, once matched or destroyed, grant you a random new Greek God to add to your roster. Each God has their own special abilities, such as being able to rearrange the grid or safely remove bombs, and you're free to swap individual members out to put together the ideal team.
So far, so decent. What's the problem here? We've already mentioned the most glaring issue: MUJO on Switch is the same as MUJO the mobile game. As in, exactly the same.
The developer has essentially ported this three-year-old mobile title onto Nintendo's console with no thought of optimisation or enhancements. The game retains its portrait perspective on the landscape Switch display, leaving ugly great borders to the left and right side.
You can press Y to zoom into the grid, but this feels like a fudge. Would it really have been so hard to shift the Gods and the rest of the UI elements to the sides?
Meanwhile the game's touch-driven controls have been mapped scruffily to the Joy-Con buttons. Selecting blocks in the grid with the left stick isn't so bad, but needing to scroll right down to use your God powers seems poorly thought through, as does needing to press two different buttons to activate a special ability.
You can use the Switch's touchscreen more directly in handheld mode, but thanks to that un-optimised view it's all too small and pokey to be truly effective.
All this is bad enough, and you'd probably stop at 'incredibly lazy' if that was the extent of MUJO's crimes. Slapping a notable price tag on this completely un-enhanced game is tougher to swallow, while keeping the original free-to-play game's energy system and related in-app purchases in place seems downright cynical.
There's an energy system at play here that sees you 'spending' lightning bolts to remove bothersome individual blocks and shortcut the whole God-collecting mechanic. After a while you may find that you run out of these bolts, leaving you with a choice of waiting for the daily replenishment or paying real money.
Such a system arguably has a place in a free-to-play mobile game. We struggle to see how it has a place in a paid Nintendo Switch game - even a budget one.
It's true that you don't have to spend money to play MUJO. But the very fact that this legacy system remains in place is indicative of the lack of thought and effort that's been put into this port.
MUJO is a decent casual puzzler with a pleasant aesthetic, but the total lack of effort made to bring the game in line with its new platform is deeply disappointing. The game's poorly optimised user interface and ill-fitting legacy in-app purchase system smack of a rush job.
We've got no problem with developers bringing mobile games across to Switch. This is a portable system that's built on mobile technology, and there are plenty of top mobile games out there that would make for a good fit with just a little effort. MUJO, however, is a deeply lazy and cynical port.