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Warhammer 40K Dakka Squadron Switch review – simple Ork-based fun

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch version of Warhammer 40K Dakka Squadron and our review unpacks everything you need to know.

Dakka Squadron screenshot: Hangar bay loading screen

Our Verdict

Warhammer 40K Dakka Squadron is made by people who clearly love 40K, and Orks. But, while that leads to lots of initial fun, the game can eventually wear thin with repetitive levels and an incredibly dated aesthetic.

Despite being an eager devotee of the painfully expensive hobby 40K, I’ll willfully admit that when Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron initially released on PC at the end of 2020 it passed me by (to be fair, it was a busy year). So, despite knowing literally nothing about it, when I had the chance to get my hands on the Nintendo Switch port of the game prior to its debut on the platform on March 8, 2024, I lurched at the opportunity. A 40K game? About Orks? On my favorite handheld console? Yes, please!

My initial thoughts upon loading into the game were that I’d missed a memo, and as I played through the tutorial – and then the initial levels of the campaign – my assumption was that Dakka Squadron is a port to Switch of some forgotten relic from the early-2000s. Everything about the game – from the graphics (where the main culprit is the blocky, flat textures) to the gameplay and the incredibly basic menu screens reminded me distinctly of 2001’s Star Wars Starfighter (to be clear, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing). A brief bit of research in between playing sessions revealed to me that I was very wrong.

Actually, despite its retro-sheen, Dakka Squadron is a relatively new release, barely three years old. Huh. If you’re considering picking Dakka Squadron up when it comes to Switch, that’s probably something to bear in mind. Maybe it won’t bother you – it doesn’t really bother me – or maybe it will; certainly, if you’re after a shiny, innovative game in the 40K universe, you won’t get it here.

Thankfully, the fact that there is a lot that you will get from it balances this out, especially if you have a penchant for the malignant, maniacal Warhammer 40K Orks. That’s because nailing the appeal of the Orks is something that Dakka Squadron gets very, very right.

Dakka Squadron screenshot: flying into a building with combat screen

Right from the start of the game, at the outset of the campaign, you choose an Ork Klan to be a part of – these all have different strengths and weaknesses – and then you’re locked in. Whether your allegiance is to the Blood Axes or the Deathskulls doesn’t really matter too much, though. The core of the game remains the same: you fly through the sky on various missions, blowing things up while trying not to be blown up in return. That’s it, really. This is the game’s formula, and while there’s some variety across the levels, it certainly can become repetitive, especially if you’re aiming to settle down into a longer post-one-hour session.

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Really, the main attraction is the Orks themselves (let’s admit it, the best of the Warhammer 40K factions). You have a boss who talks to you through your radio, assigns your missions, and who tells you the campaign’s story as you progress (something we won’t spoil here, there are some fun twists and turns). This one-sided dialogue is full of suitably Orkish humor, and it’s this distinct flavor that is one of Dakka Squadron’s big wins. If you love 40K’s Orks, you’re in safe hands: clearly, the developers do too, and understand their appeal.

Truly, the chaos of the Orcs is a lot of fun to immerse yourself in. And, there is great satisfaction in controlling your jet as it cruises through the sky while you mow down your opponents and blast buildings to smithereens. Whether that combination alone is enough for you is down to your own personal preferences because, really, there’s not much else to Dakka Squadron. Technically, the port to Switch is a good one, and the controls are fluid and intuitive, but that isn’t a real surprise given the game’s all so simple.

Dakka Squadron screenshot: planets in the campaign screen

Of course, that simplicity does suit a game about Orks. These are simple creatures who have a drive for destruction. But, between that simplicity and the confusingly dated other elements of the game, it does leave me feeling that perhaps this isn’t enough.

If you love Warhammer 40K Xenos armies, and specifically Orks, Dakka Squadron is a game worth picking up because it shares that love, too. There’s undoubtedly fun to be had here. But, it can wear thin, and if this is somehow your first step into 40K, you might find yourself wanting more – quite a lot more.

If you’re looking for the best Nintendo Switch games, check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch RPGs and read our Mario Wonder review. Or, see what we know about the Switch 2 – rumored to release in 2025.