When something becomes popular enough, it is sure to attract imitators. Sometimes these copycats combine so many different genres to try and capitalize on the popularity of a few other games. In the case of Waifu Impact, the developers have taken the principles that made Fortnite a resounding success and combined them with a healthy dose of fan service to attract players, as well as a Genshin Impact-style presentation. There is nothing wrong with taking what was popular in the past and presenting it in a new way; sometimes players need to get to know each other a bit to get comfortable with a new game. However, a high level of polish is required, and with the Waifu Impact, that polish just isn’t there. Even worse than the clunky and clunky gameplay, it’s just not fun.
Waifu Impact sees players being taken to the magnificent “Waifu Island”, a place that many visit every night in their dreams; a tropical paradise where cute girls run around and shoot each other with water guns. This is the basic premise we saw in Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash, but with reduced functionality. Instead of different teams vying for control of the arena, this is a game against AI-controlled enemies that look and play the same. Instead of barely contained chaos as the action comes at you from all angles – things that make other arena shooters fun to play – it feels tedious.
The Joy-Con is naturally not suited for precision shooting, so each shot from your water pistol takes an excruciating time to line up. Especially when you’re running around avoiding shockingly accurate AI enemies. Each character appears to be moving through a vat of pudding, slowly making his way around to find the best angle to attack. This is clearly a game that was designed for mouse and keyboard and didn’t translate well to controllers. The only salvation is that the hitboxes of the enemies are so ridiculously large that accuracy is not really needed to survive.
In total, there are eight different characters to choose from, each of which is armed with a different type of water pistol. Some of them have a higher rate of fire or deal more damage. There is a good variety here and players will find one character that suits their play style. However, they all have the same sluggish movement speed, which makes traveling around the island boring. The characters themselves cannot be upgraded, but each kill unlocks a new girl art, giving players a reason to play with each character.
For a game designed to be addictive, these images are pretty boring, offering a simple shot of a girl in a bikini after they get 50 kills (the “Nude Mode” from the Steam version seems to have been completely removed on the Switch, which isn’t surprising). . The only other collectibles in the game are 25 stars scattered throughout the island. For every five of them the player finds, a new character is unlocked.
Two additional characters can be unlocked by completing late game challenges, but just getting 25 stars is more of a hassle than anything else. Exploring the island is tedious, with sections of the platform feeling clunky and untested. Each jump feels like a challenge, but not in the way the developers intended, not to mention the framerate issues we experienced during playthrough.
Waifu Impact makes the mistake of believing that the promise of fan service is enough to keep the game alive for the duration of its run, however short it may be. This game takes the Fortnite formula, dips the character controls into digital molasses, strips away the multiplayer aspect that makes the game fun, and adds nothing of value. It’s more like a proof of concept, with no history or features to speak of. Most importantly, it’s just not fun to play. Even at a low price in an online store, the joke here becomes outdated within half an hour.