Developed by Hal Laboratory, Part Time UFO started life as a mobile game. I know what you’re thinking. “Another mobile game on Switch? Yeah, I think I’ll pass.” I can understand that train of thought, and I agree that the mobile games ported to the Nintendo Switch are mostly shovelware. That being said, there are definitely some that are worth taking a look at. And Part Time UFO may just be one of them.
Part Time UFO stars an adorable UFO equipped with an extendable claw. The game is a physics-based puzzle game with no real story to speak of. Our little alien friend shows up on earth and is ready (and eager) to help anyone and everyone who may need his assistance. Immediately after finishing your first job, you’re given a book filled with varying jobs to complete, allowing our alien friend to earn medals (to unlock more jobs) and money, for what else? More outfits! (more on that later) Read on, to find out whether or not this adorable, simple puzzler is a game you should download from the Nintendo Switch eShop.
Work Hard for That Money!
The jobs on offer vary wildly. One has you helping a farmer load his oranges in the back of his truck so he can take them to market. Another job has you trying to catch as many fish as you can in a specific amount of time. One of my personal favorites is an on-going series of jobs where you help a struggling museum curator who keeps knocking over priceless artifacts. Each job does have a timer, though (most of the time) if you run out of time it’s not game over. If you run out of time, the only penalty is that you won’t receive an extra bonus for completing the job.
A nice addition to each job is the inclusion of hidden bonus objectives that earn you extra cash and medals. Every job shows you three hints for each of the hidden objectives included in that level. Examples of the hidden objectives include finishing in a certain amount of time, stacking items in a specific order, or finding (and grabbing) a character or item hidden in the scenery. They add a nice layer of depth to an otherwise very simple game.
You can also recruit a friend to help you out through local co-op play. Adding a second player is as easy as passing them an extra Joy-Con. And you’ll probably appreciate the extra help. After earning all three medals for a job, you’ll unlock a more difficult variation of that job that changes up the objectives and makes things harder. Having an extra claw around may be very handy in some of these more difficult jobs.
One unique wardrobe
The money you earn completing objectives and finishing jobs can be spent on admittedly adorable costumes for your UFO buddy. Each costume also has some kind of effect that will make the UFO’s job just a little bit easier. The monkey costume will keep your claw and cargo from swinging as much as it normally does. The ninja costume, obviously, helps with movement speed. I haven’t tried all of them, yet, but there are a decent variety of costumes and they all have different effects. Without out spoiling too much, I’ll say this, the dog is pretty fucking cute.
Feats of Glory and the Tower of Infinity
In addition to the main focus of completing all the jobs inside the book, Part Time UFO has a few other areas where you can master your stacking skills. “Feats of Glory” are achievement/trophy like challenges to complete as you play through the game. Examples include transporting a total of 160 objects across all jobs or earn a certain amount of total medals. A nice touch is when you complete four specific feats, you’ll unlock a cute animated illustration.
The Tower of Infinity is an endless mode where you’re goal is to grab items being flown in by helicopters, and build the tallest tower you possibly can. The items being flown in can be any of the items you come across while playing the main game. Better hope that cheerleader you just placed on top, can balance both a squid and that museum artifact at the same time because it’s only gonna get worse. If one thing falls off the building platform then it’s game over.
Finally, you can go on treasure hunts. In this mode, you’ll explore ruins and solve puzzles in order to collect treasure. None of these extra modes are groundbreaking or revolutionary. Neither are they very deep. All that being said, what is offered here adds some much-needed depth and adds more incentive for players to continue working their way through the game.
All-in-all, Part Time UFO was a very pleasant surprise. When it was shown in the final Nintendo Switch Partner Direct, I didn’t pay it much attention. I picked it up on a whim while I was browsing the eShop and it’s turned out to be an impulse buy that I’m really glad I made. Available for only $8.99 on the NA eShop, the game has good value and is definitely worth the asking price. The gameplay is simple, the different modes are limited, and the only multiplayer is local co-op (which is only so useful in the days of Covid-19). However, the amount of care, polish, and charm oozing from the game is pure Hal Laboratory. The alien is endearing without communicating a single word the entire time. Dressing up in the various costumes, and trying to complete every objective and achievement, adds enough to the gameplay to stop things from becoming boring and too repetitive. Overall, Part Time UFO is a good title for casual puzzle fans and it’s a great game for anyone in the mood for a charming puzzler with some fun gameplay.
Have you played Part Time UFO yet? Let me know what you think of the game by leaving your opinion in the comments!
8/10 Highly Recommended Physics-Based PuzzlerA simple, charming puzzle game from the creators of Kirby
- Charm and personality to spare
- Fun physics-based gameplay
- Extra incentives to continue playing
- Not much replayability after completing everything
- May be too simple for “advanced” puzzle fans