De Mambo Review

Ever since I played De Mambo at EGX Rezzed, I’ve been intrigued with not just its unique look but also its mechanics.

De Mambo started life as a Kickstarter and was initially set to release on PlayStation 4 first. That was until Nintendo got their hands on the game and decided that it would be the perfect fit for their own fledgeling console. Having played it on the Switch, De Mambo feels like a natural fit for Nintendos’ new system, so much so that it’s like it was created with the Switch in mind, encompassing the anywhere and everywhere multiplayer advantages of the system.

Developed with Smash Bros. as a heavy inspiration to the team, De Mambo has come along way since its initial Kickstarter.

The main goal of De Mambo is to try and knock your opponent off the stage before the time runs out. It’s a simple, if familiar objective to anyone who has played Nintendo’s own brawler, but by keeping things simple, De Mambo’s gameplay is able to make every match and level both satisfying and tense. One minute you’re happily hitting away at opponents with your bright coloured ball, the next you’re hurtling towards death at the bottom of the stage.

The controls are simplistic with just one button used to deliver attacks and another to jump and double jump. Whilst the other buttons do have functions you will find that the A button (depending on which JoyCon you’re holding) will be your most used button. This one button will allow you to poke, spin or fire depending on how long you hold the button for. These controls make the game really accessible for people of all ages and difficulty levels. I did find this predominantly one button control scheme hard to get the hang of at first, but once you have it down, you will be Mambo-ing with the best of them.

I love how De Mambo has the pixeled charm of an older game in its appearance, but while still being new and fresh. This is encapsulated in its menu screen with an old style CRT TV delivering your options in a nostalgic way that the music and the single button controls also lean on.

De Mambo’s single player sees you working through the ominous Tower of Destiny as quick as you can. The levels have you trying to escape, destroy all the enemies, survive a myriad of enemies coming at you or simply collecting items.

There is a considerable difference between the difficulty levels and those looking for a real challenge will find De Mambo a real test if they so desire.

There’s also a Survival mode which pits you with up to four friends against waves of enemies. This reminded me a lot of Space Invaders in its set-up, although you’re able to move around much more freely and the level will disintegrate over time, making it harder to stay on top of everything that’s going on.

De Mambo Review Conclusion

De Mambo feels as if it was made for the Switch, with the game really embracing the multiplayer functionalities that the Switch has to offer. It’s great to play with a few friends, but also doesn’t alienate those who want a single-player experience. Add in some great retro aesthetics to go along with its frantic gameplay and De Mambo is worth a purchase.


We tested the Switch version of De Mambo after receiving a review code from the publisher. De Mambo is out now on Nintendo Switch.

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