Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 17th, 2019. It’s Thursday, and that means we’ve got a ton of new releases to look at. As usual, that’s going to be the bulk of today’s article, so settle on in and get ready for some quick, scorching takes. Okay, probably not ‘scorching’. More like ‘lightly toasting’? ‘Baking until golden brown’? I don’t know, but whatever you want to call it, I’m going to do it. Let’s enter the jungle!
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG ($19.99)
I’ll be direct: I hated this game. I hated it more than I thought I could hate a game, and friends, that’s a lot. Some of the things I disliked are very subjective. You may detest the characters and plot as much as I did, or you may take a shining to them. I don’t know. You may find the battle system engaging or tedious. Other things are less subjective; I don’t know anyone who likes lengthy load times before and after every battle in an RPG, nor do I know that many folks who like bugs that stop you from progressing unless you reload the game. This is a surreal game about the redemption of a complete jerk, all wrapped up in a slightly inauthentic late 1990s style. Mechanically, it’s uninteresting at best, so I suspect whether or not you take to the game will depend on how you click with the story it’s telling. For me, it did not click. It really, really did not click. ‘Nuff said.
The Shrouded Isle ($14.99)
This is a stylish management sim-type game where you have to manage an island that plays host to a sort of death cult. It’s really weird and it’s easier to pick up than you might think. Unfortunately, it also loses a lot of its charm in the long run. It gets repetitive and predictable and given the immediate charm of the game is in just how odd it is, that’s not a good progression. I’m not sure I’d bite on it for the price it’s going for on Switch. If it hits the price it sells for on PC, it might be easier to recommend. But hey, if you want to get your weird Lovecraftian management sim on, don’t let me stop you.
The Office Quest ($11.99)
You know when a game makes a spelling mistake in its lead marketing screenshot, you’re going to be in for something interesting. Perhaps to no one’s surprise given the way it’s marketing itself, this is a mobile transplant. It’s a puzzle-adventure game with some light action-ish sections and a pretty unique sense of humor. The game’s chapters were delivered piecemeal over the course of time on mobile, and I found that the best parts of the game were front-loaded. The cleverest ideas are in the first chapter, and it kind of gets worse as you go. Well, it’s cute, and that first chapter is pretty good, so if you really like solving puzzles, you might enjoy it.
Spot The Differences: Party! ($4.99)
Up to four players can use a Switch to do one of those magazine puzzles that you poke at in the waiting room at the dentist’s office because you’ve already read all of the comics. Well, that’s not fair. It’s not one puzzle, it’s 360. Compare two pictures and race to find what is different between the two. This isn’t really something I’m all that interested to have on my Switch, but I suppose if you like this kind of puzzle, the price is quite reasonable.
Rampage Knights ($11.99)
If I had to describe this game on a tiny napkin, I would call it “Binding of Isaac meets Beat ‘Em Up”. Okay, it’s not quite on the level of Binding of Isaac, but it is awfully fun and feels different enough to keep in your collection. One or two players tackle randomly-generated dungeons, brawling against enemies in belt-scrolling style. There are new classes and features that will unlock over the course of multiple play sessions, and your main character’s appearance changes as you play, creating some very funky combinations. It’s a good bit of fun in single-player, and if you have a friend sitting beside you? Woof, very good times.
Octahedron: Transfixed Edition ($12.99)
Yeah, this one is really fun. It’s a vertical platformer where your character can create a platform under their feet. The neon aesthetic is a little played out by now, but the level designs are excellent, the controls are responsive, and there’s plenty of gaming bang for your buck. This Transfixed Edition includes new time trial medals, some new special challenges, and some post-game unlockables to keep you pressing on even after you’ve played all of the levels. Oh, and the soundtrack is hot fire. Very nice stuff.
Mega Mall Story ($12.00)
I really do like Mega Mall Story. It’s just different enough from the usual Kairosoft sim to make it worth owning even if you’ve already exhausted Game Dev Story and the like. You’re basically building your own huge shopping mall in a Yoot’s Tower-like side view. Get the shops that draw the widest crowds, build up and out, and make some serious bucks. The only thing that has me hesitating to recommend it on Switch is that it plays perfectly well on mobile devices and is less than half the price there. If you like sims and are totally allergic to playing something on your phone, though, this is a good game.
Left-Right: The Mansion ($3.99)
Well, this is a pretty cheap game for a new release. Looking more deeply at what it has to offer, I can certainly see why the publisher went for a lower price. Basically, all you do in this game is choose between two doors. One will move you forward, the other sends you back to the start. You have to memorize the correct path, or I guess write it down on a piece of paper, to rescue your dog. Might be fun for the younger ones? I don’t know.
Holy Potatoes! We’re In Space?! ($14.99)
Yeah, it’s potatoes in space. This is kind of a friendlier take on FTL, which isn’t on the Switch so I guess that’s one point in this game’s favor. A little combat, a little management, a little sim, Holy Potatoes! We’re In Space?!is certainly cute and charming, and some may find its less-punishing take on the genre more appealing. I think it’s okay but it lacks a lot of the long-term bite of FTL and I’m not super-thrilled with the price. Personally, I’d pass on it, but Real Potato Fans really only have one option here.
Gunman Clive HD Collection ($3.99)
Sometimes games feel like they’re ridiculously overpriced. A much more rare case is when a game feels ridiculously underpriced, and I feel like Gunman Clive has always been a shining example of that. The two games feature stylish graphics, great soundtracks, inventive bosses, and controls so tight you could bounce a quarter off them. It’s run-and-gun in stellar form, and while the games aren’t the longest things in the world, the fact that you can get both of them four measly dollars is just incredible to me. It’s hard to find a better way to blow a fiver on the Switch, and you’ll even have a dollar left over for some chips.
Football Heroes Turbo ($14.99)
This is more or less a throwback to classic sports games like Tecmo Bowl, with a dash of arcade-style Blitz thrown in for good measure. So basically, whether you actually like football or not, you might have some fun with this one. There’s a season mode for single-player fans, local multiplayer on the same screen or across multiple Switch devices, and even online play for those who can’t pull their friends over to their house at the drop of a hat. Customize your team, collect more than 250 characters, and have fun flaunting the rules. Looks like it could be a lot of fun if you’re in the right mood.
Feudal Alloy ($16.99)
Sword-swinging robots with fishbowl heads, hunh? Well, I guess if you’re going to put another Metroidvania out there, you need something to differentiate yourself. The other main gimmick here is that your robot body will overheat if you attack too vigorously, so you can’t just mash the buttons to deal with enemies. It has a nice art style and it looks good in motion, but the proof of the pudding in games like these is in the eating, and by that I mean eating the map. The map design. Consuming it, not eating it. Geez. Since I can’t speak to the quality of the overall design, I can’t really say if this is a good example of its genre or not. At the very least, it doesn’t look bad?
Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force ($39.99)
While they’re not totally my cup of tea, Idea Factory and Compile Heart’s RPGs have a pretty solid following. The Neptunia series is generally the most beloved of the bunch, but with no true Nep on the horizon, Switch-owning RPG players looking for that Compile Heart flavor will have to make do with Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force. It’s an enhanced version of the game that released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013, and was already released on PC and PlayStation 4 a few years back. This version includes all of the DLC that was sold separately on other platforms, and at that price, you’re definitely getting a lot of game for your money.
Dying: Reborn – Nintendo Switch Edition ($9.99)
This is a room escape game, more or less. The dark horror theme and first-person view combine to try to make you cry like a baby, and who knows? It might work. That said, this game got absolutely terrible review scores when it released on the PlayStation 4 a couple of years ago, and I can’t imagine losing the VR and reducing the graphical fidelity will have done it any favors. The main gripes seem to center around the lack of a decent story and some nonsensical puzzle solutions. I’m not a big room escape fan, so I can’t really say much more here. Tread with caution, I suppose.
Crazy Strike Bowling EX ($9.99)
Hunh, didn’t we just have a bowling game release last week? Two bowling games in two weeks, then. Feels like the Wii days are back again. This one looks suitably deep and seems to pack in a lot of content. You know, for a bowling game. The main selling point here is obviously the multiplayer mode, so if you have some buddies that like virtual bowling, this might be worth ten bucks to you. I certainly like the creative approach to the visuals. You know, for a bowling game.
Build a Bridge! ($14.99)
Hm, ad copy plastered all over the marketing screenshots, eh? I bet this is a… yes, it’s a port of a mediocre mobile game, alright. I’m not sure what to say here. This was a fairly uninspired Bridge Constructor knock-off in its original form, and it’s not any different here. I suppose you could argue that in the absence of vanilla Bridge Constructor on the Switch, there’s a good reason to go for this one. I’m not sure I’d recommend that, necessarily, but hey, it’s an argument you could make.
Bedtime Blues ($9.99)
Wow, what a weird thing this is. It looks for all the world like a knock-off of Five Nights at Freddy’s, at least in terms of its mechanics. Which, okay, that was a very popular game and I understand that’s going to inspire some similar games, but did they have to use a bear as the scary monster? I’m also chuckling at the description talking about the game’s “pixel-art” graphics when all they’ve apparently done is applied a low-res filter on 3D polygonal graphic, but whatever, I guess “pixel-art” is a buzz-word now.
ACA NEOGEO Ninja Master’s ($7.99)
Sigh, that misused apostrophe has been taunting me for more than two decades. Oh well. Ninja Master’s was the final NEOGEO fighting game from developer ADK, best known for its World Heroes games. At the time of its release, people were kind of sick of NEOGEO fighting games and it met with something of a middling reception. I think time has been kind to it, though, and most people today see it as a pretty good one-on-one fighter. Famous ninjas from Japanese folklore battle it out to see who is the best ninja, or something like that. The big gimmick here is that each fighter can switch between hand-to-hand fighting and their weapon, providing a nice bit of combat variety.
Yeah, it’s dry again today, at least at the time I’m writing this. But why complain? If you’re like me, you probably picked up a million games during the holiday sales. Go play them! If you really must spend some money, though, I’ll list those fresh discounts. Please ask yourself seriously if any of these spark joy before you buy them, though.
New Games on Sale
Red Game Without a Great Name ($1.49 from $2.99 until 1/23)
Green Game: TimeSwapper ($1.49 from $2.99 until 1/23)
Mech Rage ($5.99 from $9.99 until 2/4)
FunBox Party ($0.99 from $1.99 until 2/4)
Mad Carnage ($1.49 from $4.99 until 2/4)
Tactical Mind ($1.49 from $2.99 until 2/4)
Drowning ($2.54 from $2.99 until 1/30)
That’s the lot for today, but as usual you can expect another fairly beefy new release section tomorrow. We’ll also have some news and hopefully some interesting sales to look at, as well. If things look too thin, perhaps even a mini-review? I don’t know, we just sort of do what we want here. Very relaxed. Ties off. Anyway, thanks as always for reading!