SwitchArcade Roundup: Third-Party Docks, ‘Thimbleweed Park’ Sale, and ‘Vostok Inc.’

Welcome to the latest SwitchArcade Roundup, where we’re covering today’s latest Switch news, sales, and providing some impressions of twin-stick shooter/clicker Vostok Inc. No new releases today, so it’s a good time to catch up on that backlog and check out some of the sales. Also, try not to let your system explode, of course. Nintendo has some advice on that topic, as users are reporting that the Nyko Switch dock is bricking Switch systems on 5.0. Also, Nintendo provided a rare on-record response about third-party Switch docks:

Unlicensed products and accessories do not undergo Nintendo’s testing and evaluation process. They might not work at all with our game systems, and they could have compatibility problems with certain games, the Nintendo Switch system itself, and other licensed accessories and peripherals.

The problem is that a market for third-party docks exists because the official Switch dock is a whopping $90 new. This isn’t necessarily a crazy price, especially if you look on Amazon for high-quality USB-C PD chargers and USB-C HDMI and USB docks with charging passthrough. But it’s still prohibitively expensive for someone that just wants to have a second dock to have by another display, or something for traveling. Especially for traveling, a more portable dock solution would be great.

I’m not sure why all these third-party docks are causing such issues, but USB-C is proving particularly problematic despite its promise of standardization through one connector. Many early USB-C cables were also dangerous products due to cheaping out on materials. But it seems like manufacturers should have caught on a lot earlier than now.

But also, seriously, that Nintendo Switch dock doesn’t need to cost $90.

Kirby Star Allies gets new friends

Staff writer Mikhail Madnani’s game of the year so far, Kirby Star Allies, just got some new friends available. Rick, Kine, and Coo from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 are in the game now. So is Gooey from Kirby’s Dream Land 3 and Marx from Kirby Super Star. I miss Kirby’s Dream Land 2, hopefully that winds up on the Switch’s Virtual Console…if it ever comes.

Dragon Quest XI coming someday to the Switch

Western players waiting on the most recent mainline Dragon Quest game will get it on PC and PS4 later this year. However, the 3DS version isn’t coming this year, and a Switch port isn’t coming in 2018 at all. Hold out hope, gamers who want to play Dragon Quest XI on the toilet without having to bust out their Vita and doing Remote Play from their PS4! Such an act would be way too dirty.

Game Spotlight: Vostok Inc.

The problem with having a writing job is that it means that you’re constantly thinking. Physical work is tiring in its own way, but mental work can be draining in its own way. What this means is that when I’m looking to entertain myself in the down time I have, I want things where I can turn my thinking brain off, and don’t have too much of a commitment. Even some of the battle royale games work great because they’re so much about reaction, less than planning. And they are a great distraction from whatever’s on my mind. Vostok Inc. has quickly taken up a lot of time in my Switch-playing because it’s so mindless.

The progression of the game is exactly like a clicker, where you build outposts on different planets and fly to them, collecting your money and building bigger and better resource-generators. It provides that same sort of feeling of not having to do much work mentally, but giving off a lot of satisfaction. Perfect for mindlessly sitting back, watching some sports, and just taking your mind off of life, perhaps freeing up your brain from the stresses of the day to come up with good ideas.

The catch, of course, is that Vostok Inc. is actually a dual-stick shooter. You have to fly around from planet to planet to manage your planets, and you can not only upgrade resource collectors, but items and weapons for your ship. Instead of clicking, you shoot asteroids and enemies to mine Moolah, the game’s currency. Other organizations in the galaxy don’t like you intruding on their business, so you occasionally have to deal with bosses and their lackeys in the preferred way: blowing them up. Which nets you more Moolah, of course.

The whole concept works as a clicker with a feeling of actual gameplay, making it feel as though you’re not wasting your life on something dumb. However, managing different planets gets to be a bit annoying when they’re constantly in orbit around their galaxy’s sun and you have to track where they are. In the long term, that might suck a lot of the enjoyment I have out of Vostok Inc. Until then, I’m going to enjoy just mindlessly managing my intergalactic capitalist empire.

Do note that the game is on sale and has a free demo, but your progress doesn’t transfer from the demo to the paid version. The demo gives you a decent amount of playtime out of it, but at least it means that your time spent when you pick up the full version will be a bit more efficient since you know what you’re doing now?


LEGO Franchise Sale

  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 $29.99 from $59.99 until April 1st
  • LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game $24.99 from $49.99 until April 1st
  • LEGO Worlds $14.99 from $29.99 until April 1st
  • LEGO City Undercover $14.99 from $29.99 until April 1st

A whole bunch of LEGO on sale! The first two are if you prefer your LEGO action more based off of the Traveller’s Tales licensed titles that lightly joke around with their subject matter. If you want a more original adventure, Worlds boasts Minecraft-style creative gameplay, and Undercover is an open-world game where you play as a LEGO cop, taking down criminals. Those last two at those prices might be especially great for the kids.

The Jackbox Party Pack 2 ($16.24 from $24.99 until April 5th)

Need a party game experience that’s great for the extra $90 official “won’t blow up your system" dock you’ve got? Another one of Jackbox’s Party Pack compilations is on sale, containing the popular Quiplash. Each player gets two prompts on their phone, and they try to write a funny answer in response to the prompt. Players then vote for the best response, and the player with the most points wins. That sounds like a boring way to describe a game that’s really funny at parties, but if you have some friends with an absurd sense of humor, you’ll get a ton of fun out of this, and the other party games in this pack.

Thimbleweed Park ($9.99 from $19.99 until March 31st)

Do you want a LucasArts-style point-and-click adventure? Do you want it to be from one of the masterminds behind said LucasArts point-and-click adventures? Well, Ron Gilbert’s Thimbleweed Park is the game for you. It pays homage to the game genre he helped to define in its formative years. It features an absurd mystery-solving story that jumps perspective from character to character, and plenty of puzzles that will having you use item x with thing y, and seeing what happens.

Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!