We received FUZE4 free for review
Are you home schooling but your children just want to play computer games? Then FUZE4 may be just the answer you need! An award-winning coding application specifically designed for the Nintendo Switch which allows users to learn in line with the computing curriculum whilst still having fun with friends. They can create, edit and play their own games which can be shared. Plus FUZE4 have delivered outstanding Coding Workshops to schools across the country and constantly receives incredibly positive praise and testimonials.
FUZE4 is suitable for coding games and apps for absolute beginners and seasoned programmers alike – and has been designed and developed by a team of experienced gamers, programmers, artists and educators. It isn’t something just to keep children entertained though – it really is educational! So I had my husband take a look as he’s a Software Engineer – so knows what he is talking about!
FUZE4 Nintendo Switch is an impressive application that lets you create games for your Switch on your Switch!
FUZE4 provides a fully functional game engine that allows you to create impressive 2D and 3D games that can be played instantly on your device – in both portable and docked modes, you can also share these games with friends and other FUZE users via the FUZEArena.
The language used in FUZE4 builds upon the “best bits” of a mix of languages including C, Python and BASIC, and with ability to fully utilise the Joy-Cons (including Gyro, Accelerometer, Rumble and Analog sticks), as well as full ten point touch screen support, you can create any type of game that you want, from a simple text based adventure to a full blown 3D first person shooter.
The team behind FUZE4 are fully committed to supporting users that want to create their own games and have produced a full set of documentation and tutorials that can be accessed both on your Switch and via a PDF download, they have produced a series of YouTube tutorial videos, and even run school workshops and holiday coding & gaming clubs.
To get you up and running there is a small library of example projects that can be played straight away, but also can be copied and tinkered with, allowing beginners to easily jump in and tweak things and see what effect it has.
They are predominantly tech demos and not full games, each one designed to show off a few key techniques and how to achieve them in the code – such as side scrolling, spawning enemies etc.
You get access to thousands of 2D, 3D, and audio assets, and you can create your own images, sprites and animations using the built-in tools.
Currently there isn’t a way of uploading assets from an external source, so they either need to be from the provided collections or created on your Switch.
Full USB keyboard support (when docked)
Using a keyboard is highly recommended for several reason; the main one being that it is far easier to type a lot of code on a physical keyboard than it is on an on-screen one, also the on-screen keyboard takes up near enough 50% of the screen, which can make it quite difficult to work with your code.
There are keyboard shortcuts that will be familiar to computer users, such as Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste, as well as being able to undo/redo (Ctrl+Z/Y) and the ability to hold shift while moving the cursor around to highlight chunks of code.
The function keys (F1, F2, F3 etc.) allow you to easily navigate between screens and hide/show the built-in documentation – doing this with just the Joy-Cons can be a bit of a chore and involves going back and forth via the main menu, so being able to use the keyboard is really handy.
Disappointingly there is no mouse support, but this is not a deal breaker as the Joy-Cons can be used to move around the screen and create your images and maps.
There was a small quirk that when the numpad was used to enter a digit, it was duplicated – i.e. pressing 6 on the numpad resulted in “66” being inputted.
You write your code in a simple editor, there is syntax highlighting, but many of the features that you would get in a fully functional integrated development environment (IDE) are absent.
Also missing is some form of code completion, which can be very useful for discovering available functionality, and speeding up code creation.
You also can’t search within your code or find references to variables or functions, but you can add bookmarks to quickly navigate around.
The contents of your program also are constrained to being in the one file, which for larger projects, in conjunction with the above limitations, could make it quite difficult to keep track of your code.
However nice additions include being able to see the contents of the clipboard when you copy something, and being able to adjust the zoom level of the editor (when docked).
FUZE4 Nintendo Switch is a welcome addition to the Switch line-up, it offers the chance to create your own games that you can play on the go with full hardware support on one of the worlds best selling home consoles making game development accessible to a wide audience.
The experience is not quite as fully featured as what you might get when developing on a modern IDE on a computer, but offers the tools and support needed to make immersive games that can be shared with the world.
Whilst the tutorials and documentation mean that FUZE4 is accessible by beginners and experienced programmers alike, this is not a simple drag and drop game creation tool like Scratch, it will take more effort and perseverance to learn and may not be for everyone, but for those who do and enjoy the prospect of being able to create your own games, will be able to achieve some great results.
FUZE4 Nintendo Switch is available on the Nintendo eShop for just £12.99
For more information on FUZE please see www.fuze.co.uk