Press-Switch

Synopsis:
Press-Switch is a freeware Ren’py visual novel that follows an innocuous high school boy by the name of Calvin Hintre, whose life changes dramatically when he finds finds himself in possession of a device known as the DSM. An enigmatic doohickey capable of body swapping, mind control, transformation, possession, gender bending, and more. This naturally opens up a vast array of opportunities to Calvin, allowing him to turn his relatively humdrum life into something far more exciting… and potentially devastating. From an initial starting point, the title lays the groundwork for a vast array of different stories and possibilities that are being periodically built upon by the game’s sole developer, who goes by the handle of Skiegh. The game is available to download here.

History:
The first public build of Press-Switch was released amidst the TFGamesSite forums in 2012 as an ambitious little visual novel that took assets from eroge game developer Bishop, a grab bag of music from other Visual Novels, and refenagled them into an entirely original entity that centered around an assorted cast. Over the years, and through periodic updates, the title gained a cult following that became very pronounced in 2014 with the release of Version 0.3b. However, following the release of that build, Skiegh ran into assorted creative issues, largely attributed to his fixation on a single route, limiting his motivation and drive to continue development, thus leading many disgruntled fans to make their own visual novel known as Student Transfer, and an 8 month long development hiatus.

Then, on October 10th, 2017, over 3 years after the last update, Skiegh released Version 0.4a, which delivered a great deal of new content, characters, and general zaniness. Having the latest complete though, Skiegh reassessed where the game was and where it was going, eventually deciding that due to inconsistencies and issues they have with much of the game’s minutes, and its programming issues, that they would restart development with Version 0.5a, which released on March 7th, 2018. This new build and revised continuity have been iterated upon in each successive update. At least until Version 0.5c’s release on May 7th, 2019, after which the game underwent another delay until the release of the disconnected non-canon Press-Switch off-shoot Illia’s Mansion on April 8th, 2021.

Reviews:
I started reviewing this game with the release of Version 0.5a, as I was foolish back in 2014 and 2017, and assumed the game would be fixed up and improved in a larger update, when it wasn’t. Due to how the earlier releases (v0.3b and v0.4a) have been retconned, I do not have any intention of covering them. Though I do recommend playing them to get the “full Press-Switch experience” that I reference in many of these reviews. Download links to these earlier builds are available at the end of this page. You may also choose to patch in older content into Press-Switch v0.5c using the Press-Stitch tool created by Mariana Latynina.

Illia’s Mansion Version 1.0 Review
Press-Switch Version 0.5c Review
Press-Switch Version 0.5b Review
Press-Switch Version 0.5a Review

Flowcharts:
In addition to reviewing each iteration of this project, I have also become its go-to “Flowchart Girl,” creating elaborate flowcharts meant to guide players through this game because, oh boy, it gets messy at points. My apologies if some of them are a bit messy (especially the earlier ones), and if you find any errors in any of these flowcharts, please notify me.

Illia’s Mansion Version 1.0 Flowchart
Illia’s Mansion Version 1.0 Easter Egg Flowchart
Press-Switch Version 0.5c Flowchart
Press-Switch Version 0.5b Flowchart
Press-Switch Version 0.5a Flowchart
Press-Switch Version 0.4a Flowchart
Press-Switch Version 0.3b Night Flowchart
Press-Switch Version 0.3b Day Flowchart

Useful Links:
Nigma Box Press-Switch Tag
Press Switch TFGamesSite and Download Page
Press-Switch TFGamesSite Forums
Press-Switch v0.4a Download Links – 4Shared Mega
Press-Switch v0.3b Download Links – 4Shared Mega
Skiegh’s Youtube Channel
Narrated playthrough of the scrapped predecessor to Illia’s Mansion