When a new system launches, there are certain holes you hope developers fill. One is for the must buy games. These are the ones that make you buy the console and play it as often as possible. Others are the multiplatform releases where it is nice to have the option of playing on either an old, faithful system or your new BFF. Finally, there are the time sinks. These are the games that you might not buy the first day they launch or necessarily adore after the launch window ends, but do a good enough job of keeping you satisfied. Soldam: Blooming Declaration is one of those precious Nintendo Switch time sinks.
Soldam: Blooming Declaration is one of those puzzle games that isn’t especially exciting, yet does a competent job doing what it does. Put simply, it’s a mashup of Reversi and falling block games. You place colored orbs in such a way that you eventually clear lines of the same color. When surrounded by the same color, those of differing colors in between them will change to color on either end. When a line is cleared, it goes to the bottom of the grid to act as a control, allowing you to make further matches. It… makes more sense when you see it in action. Suffice it to say, in both the single and multiplayer modes you are attempting to survive for as long as possible, clearing rows of orbs by matching colors.
With Soldam: Blooming Declaration, the most exciting element is the history behind it. This was a Jaleco Entertainment game from 1992. It was available in arcades for a year before receiving a Game Boy port a year later, but never left Japan. City Connection is a revival of the company that made the original game, under the name of another classic Jaleco title. This Nintendo Switch release is an opportunity to easily access a sequel to something that was once ridiculously rare, if not entirely unobtainable.
It’s also important for the niche it fills on this new system. Soldam: Blooming Declaration is the sort of game you can use as a palate cleanser. It isn’t demanding of your time. Rather, it’s an easy to understand puzzle game that doesn’t take up too much space and allows you an opportunity to quickly engage in some thought-provoking matches. The endless Soldam mode, where you can continually play for high scores and new cosmetic Plumi critters, is the one I found most handy and entertaining. You play until you get bored, then don’t bother with it again. Though, there is also a challenge mode where an objective is presented and you must clear it while using a set number of predetermined groups of orbs.
Where Soldam: Blooming Declaration really shines is with its multiplayer. Puyo Puyo Tetris is going to be the undisputed versus darling for the Nintendo Switch, but it isn’t available everywhere just yet and people in other regions may want to wait for its English release. In the meantime, Soldam is here, isn’t terribly complicated and offers match-ups that can be over and done within five minutes. Perhaps fifteen minutes, if both players are especially savvy. It’s bright, colorful and distinct. The matching rules are easy to understand. Also, since the versus relies on two colors, it hopefully means anyone who has ever played any sort of Reversi game will adapt to the situation.
Soldam: Blooming Declaration is the quick, simple puzzle game new Nintendo Switch owners need. It’s easy to understand, even with the language barrier. The matches therein never overstay their welcome. You can bring it out and offer anyone an opportunity to play, knowing it shouldn’t prove too overwhelming. It’s a nice quick fix for folks to enjoy while waiting for or taking a break from bigger, better things.