Nira is an action-adventure role-playing game that was developed by Baseline Games and published by Graffiti Games. If you have played games such as Minecraft or Terraria before, the mechanics of Nira won’t be a stranger to you. However, does it stand out against other titles in this genre?

Review: Nira (Nintendo Switch) |

The game doesn’t have much of a story to it. Nira begins with a Totem waking you up and dropping you into a randomly generated area. From there, you can explore, gather materials, craft items such as weapons, and build a home. There are enemies, too, such as goblins and orcs that come out at night.

You start with two wooden axes to help you gather basic materials such as wood. I had fun wandering around to gather materials until I realized I needed to find feathers for the totem. Unfortunately, this got me stuck for quite a while. There were birds around, but I couldn’t figure out how to find feathers.

Review: Nira (Nintendo Switch) |

I ended up wasting an entire day, and when night happened I was ambushed by enemies and died. The first time you die, the totem will give you all of your things back. However, each time after that, you lose everything. This made the beginning of the game pretty stressful and tedious.

Also, I was on an island surrounded by water. I could easily swim to nearby islands, but there were sharks in the water that was much faster than me. 

Upon beginning Nira, you can choose a game difficulty from easy, normal, or hard. I tried playing on all three difficulty levels, and they were each hard in their way. It takes a while to get used to the game’s mechanics and figure out the best way to survive based on what you start with.

Review: Nira (Nintendo Switch) |

The controls of Nira are responsive, for the most part. But, unfortunately, I always had a hard time-fighting enemies, which caused me to lose all my progress many times. It sometimes got to the point where I’d rage quit. Actually, there was a gaming session where I played for about ten minutes and then had to stop because I got so frustrated so fast.

However, crafting and gathering materials were simple enough. So, as long as enemies weren’t nearby, the gameplay was simple. If there was a creative mode without enemies, I think I would have enjoyed that more. I’d at least be able to get a good feel for the game before diving into hordes of enemies.

Review: Nira (Nintendo Switch) |

The pixel art was cute and charming, as were the music and sound effects. Together, these design choices immersed me in the game, not that I would ever want to be trapped on an island.

Overall, Nira was an interesting experience. I don’t see myself going back to the game to play during my downtime, but I had fun with it while it lasted. There are ways Nira could be improved, but I can see how it can be a solid game to some. If you enjoy survival/crafting games, give it a shot. But after a while, I found myself losing interest.