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Hammerwatch: Nintendo Switch Review

Hammerwatch joined the Nintendo Switch lineup on 12/14/17 and was originally released on August 12, 2013 on Steam. Hammerwatch also made it’s way to Xbox and PlayStation on December 15th and 19th respectively thanks to publisher, Blitworks, and developer, Crackshell making the decision to bring it to consoles.

If you are unfamiliar with Hammerwatch, it is a fast paced dungeon crawler RPG. The campaign is rich enough to enjoy in single player, but it also allows multiplayer for up to four players. The game has been received well in the past and is long overdue on consoles.

What’s New in Hammerwatch?

Crackshell made a wise choice by not just simply re-releasing the same game for consoles years after original release on Steam. What they have done is added a new character/class to the game, the Sorcerer, to make it almost feel like an expansion pack similar to the Diablo series.

Better yet, the Sorcerer was made available first on consoles. The class is a mana dependent ice-wielding caster that fits right in the world of Hammerwatch. Additionally, Hammerwatch has gone through balance changes to classes so that fans of the game from 2013 will notice a difference in how a class may have played then vs the 2017 version.

Consoles will be receiving online multi-player capability. This is incredibly attractive for all console users, but this is especially meaningful to Switch players who are always looking for the next online game to play with friends.

Lastly, the control system for each console was redesigned with gamer feedback in mind. This means that the developer and publisher took the feedback from the community and tried to streamline the basic controls to fit better into what is currently offered on the marketplace. The game truly plays like a dual stick shooter as a result, much like Enter the Gungeon, which we reviewed last week.

Class Choice

Hammerwatch offers a robust selection of up to seven different classes with the newly minted Sorcerer headlining the group. Those classes are:

  • Paladin: The Paladin is a durable melee class who wields a sword and shield. He is also a healer and a must have in any party.
  • Wizard: The Wizard packs a fiery punch and is a ranged caster packed with power. Less durable, but certainly packs a wallop.
  • Ranger: The Ranger has the best range of any of the playable classes. He shoots arrows from a distance and possesses the ability to attack on the move.
  • Warlock: The Warlock is a melee class that uses a dagger and staff. He wields the power of lightning and can drain life from enemies.
  • Thief: The Thief is a dagger-wielding melee class that possesses fan-favorite abilities such as Grapple and Fan of Knives.
  • Priest: The Priest is a ranged class that has the primary function of healer. The Priest is harder to solo, but is a great addition to any party.
  • Sorcerer: A ranged caster with an affinity for ice. It has low HP but high utility and damage making it the perfect class for group or solo play.

Character Advancement and Difficulty

Hammerwatch is different from most RPGs and dungeon crawlers in that you do not level up your character. Instead, you purchase new abilities and upgrades with money you collect while making your way through the dungeon. As you explore you will come across vendors who all unlock new or improved skills for you to unlock.

As you explore you may come across vendor coins. As these coins are collected, your discount level with vendors in that dungeon increases, which allows you to maximize your funds and efficiently improve your character.

Hammerwatch is known to be a challenging game, especially in solo play mode. There are several play modes available:

  • Castle Hammerwatch
  • Temple of the Sun
  • Survival Mode
  • Hero Defense

Castle Hammerwatch and Temple of the Sun are campaign play modes with Castle Hammerwatch being the main campaign. Survival mode pits your class against waves of enemies which needs to be balanced with character upgrades in order to keep up with the waves and defeat the final boss. Hero Defense is a fun quick play mode where the player must prevent enemies from reaching a certain point.

Each play mode has adjustable difficulty, but all represent a challenge to gamers of all talent levels.



The game is absolutely packed with content. From the start, you are given seven playable classes to pick from each with their own unique play-style. Whether you are a solo adventurist, or playing with a group, the game does a great job of balancing the time invested with the reward gained through character upgrades and multiple play modes.

The game is accessible due to adjustable difficulty settings and features a very attractive price tag of $10 USD on the eShop. Crackshell did a wonderful job of enhancing the games core features, aesthetics, and adding new content. Hammerwatch is the perfect fit for Nintendo Switch and consoles in general.

Redonkulous Gaming gives Hammerwatch for Nintendo Switch a score of 9/10

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ReDoNK View All

Avid gamer across PC, Xbox, and Switch platforms. Check me out on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

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