Welcome to the SwitchArcade Roundup for April 26th, where we’re doing a deep look into Sky Rogue, and covering all the new releases. Forget any news, forget any sales, today has more than enough in terms of new games alone that you need to just dive in and check out everything that’s new today. The best part about the Coming Soon page? It doesn’t even show everything that’s actually releasing, so you get the occasional surprise, like the Naruto games that popped up on the store today! It came up on me like a ninja!
Sky Rogue ($19.99)
I suppose it’s just a coincidence that this is the second airplane dogfighting roguelike to hit in two weeks. But even if you love Rogue Aces, Sky Rogue offers a lot that’s different, and is well worth checking out on its own. unlike Rogue Aces, Sky Rogue is three-dimensional, and offers an entirely different theme from Infinite States’ 2D game. Also, landing the plane is a lot easier.
The controls are rather accessible. You will have to deal with your plane stalling out if you’re not flying it properly, but the game does warn you when this is happening, and pretty much the only mistake you can’t come back from is crashing into something big. You can also rotate the camera around you in all directions to get a better view of the battlefield, and click in the right joystick to re-center your view on your target. You can also use tilt controls with the Joy-Cons in split configuration for throttle and flying in Danger Zone mode. These are tricky to use, but if you want something more akin to a real plane-flying experience, this is the mode for you!
The one thing that separates the game from a “true" roguelike is the inclusion of long-term upgrades as you level up. Otherwise, you start fresh, and you get to choose your loadout based on unlocked items. However, the missions are random every single time, but steadily get more difficult, as you have more targets and more dangerous enemies to defeat. You earn money for destroying targets, so on a flight, you’ll want to destroy as many buildings and defeating as many enemies so that you can buy more upgrades before things get too difficult. Upgrades enhance your weapons and your planes’ stats, and you can swap planes between missions as well, if you’d prefer something that can be more agile in fights, or something more designed for air-to-ground combat. Each weapon takes up either payload or avionics, and planes have different amounts of each stat, affecting what you can use in battle.
Sky Rogue succeeds because it doesn’t get in the way of the player enjoying the thrill of going on a bombing run, or dueling against enemy fighters. The game throws exciting scenarios, and give you the freedom to tackle them how you want. Use the weapons you want, complete optional objectives, just get the job done. It’s such a fascinating experience, because you don’t know what will come next, and even on a bombing run, you might wind up trying to avoid enemy encounters. It’s a game that doesn’t throw innately difficult challenge at you, beyond learning how to not mess up in your plane. Don’t crash into the ground or giant ships, learn to master your plane, then the game starts to throw more difficult tasks you way.
What fascinates me in particular is the game’s aesthetic. It’s got a low-polygon look similar to a PS1 game, but it looks great in high resolution. The game seems intentionally cold and distant though: there isn’t any name or humanity applied to the enemies, everything is just a vehicle, or a building. No context or story is provided: it’s just you versus the enemy hordes, and don’t bother to ask why. I think that’s an interesting, conscious approach to how the politics of war in games can get rather sticky, to say the least. This game conspicuously avoids asking why. Compare this to the recently released Rogue Aces where the game does take on a vaguely World War II flair in its theme. Sky Rogue is more of a sterile future, and I dig it.
Pretty much the only negative thing I have to say about Sky Rogue at this point is that the game is kind of buggy in its launch edition, occasionally freezing at loading screens, but an update will soon be available that fixes this. Definitely give this one a spin, its highly-replayable nature makes it ideal for the Switch and playing whenever.
Light Fall ($14.99)
Here’s a platformer that tries to blend the artsy style of puzzle-platformers with the fast-paced gameplay of a speedrun title. You travel through a silhouetted, glowy world…but you also have to go real fast. You use a magical box called the Shadow Core to help navigate the world, bouncing off of it and on top of it as you try to complete levels as quickly as possible. I was intrigued by this one at PAX South, and look forward to playing more of it.
The Sparkle Zero ($2.49 launch sale, $4.99 regular price)
Another Sparkle game, where you try to evolve a creature from humble beginnings into the ruler of the sea. This is an interesting gambit: launching at half-price, before going full-price later on. Still, the publisher puts these games on sale often enough that you don’t necessarily have to jump in now unless you really feel like it.
Agatha Knife ($11.99)
The problem with eating meat is that it involves killing other creatures. But have you had meat? It’s delicious. I’ve rationalized it away by saying I like meat, and that’s what’s important, plus what we’re doing is probably less cruel than in nature where any day, some creature could come and attack you out of nowhere, and eat you while you slowly die. Frankly, is a slaughterhouse any worse? Possibly, but I like buffalo wings too much to care. Agatha Knife is a girl who found a better rationalization: create a religion called Carnivorism that convinces animals that sacrificing themselves is the key to eternal happiness. Things get darker from there! You can play with touchscreen or controller, though, so that’s nice.
A Robot Named Fight ($12.99)
DEATH TO THE MEGABEAST! Developed by solo dev Matt Bitner and published on Switch by Hitcents, this is a Metroidvania-inspired action game with roguelike elements. You have to explore procedurally-generated worlds, and bring down the MEGABEAST. There are over four billion unique runs in the game, and you can tackle the adventure with a friend in local co-op. Looks cool, and it promises “an unreasonable amount of meat!" Yo Agatha, check this out.
Saturday Morning RPG ($9.99)
The game that inspired Shaun Musgrave’s streams of RPGs on Saturday mornings is now on Switch! The game is chock-full of references to 1980s, especially Saturday morning cartoons, along with tributes to JRPGs. The soundtrack is authentically 80’s thanks to Vince DiCola’s work (known for Transformers: The Movie‘s soundtrack), too. This is actually published by Limited Run Games, so expect a physical copy of the game, but you can also nab it digitally. Bits are infinite, mwuahahahah!
Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story ($5.99)
The sequel to A Normal Lost Phone is now on Switch. Expect more puzzle-solving and narrative elements as you try to figure out what happened to Laura, that caused her to just abandon her phone all of a sudden. While perhaps the experience is best on an actual smartphone, you can play this in landscape mode on your Switch if you so desire as well.
Goetia ($6.99 launch sale, $9.99 regular price)
This is a creepy point-and-click adventure, where you’re a ghost named Abigail Blackwood. You’re in the ruins of Oakmarsh, and you discover what happened with your family, and why you died. It’s on sale at launch, if you’re curious to check this out. Hard to go wrong with more point-and-click adventure games, that’s for sure.
KORG Gadget for Nintendo Switch ($48.00)
Not a game, but a tool for creating music, from legendary synthesizer company KORG. You can just noodle around with virtual synths, using the Joy-Con to manipulate sounds, and playing with other people at once. Or, you can sequence and create your own tracks using a deep array of built-in tools. It includes some interesting synths, including the Kamata, which simulates the NAMCO CUSTOM30 from classic Namco arcade games. You know what would be great with this? Support for the Labo keyboard.
Hello Kitty Kruisers With Sanrio Friends ($29.95)
It’s kart racing with the Hello Kitty crew. I guess there’s cartoons and whatnot, but I always felt like Hello Kitty got popular just by being a cute cartoon character, and nothing beyond that? Like, with Sailor Moon, or Transformers, there was appeal to a narrative, and to characters, beyond “magical girls!" or “cool transforming robots!" whereas Hello Kitty was always just “look at this cute freakin’ cartoon cat." Maybe I’m dead wrong on this one. Regardless, if you dig the whole Sanrio gang, you might like this. I don’t think Retsuko from Aggretsuko is in this. I actually want to watch that anime because death metal.
Late Shift ($12.99)
This FMV crime thriller makes its way to the Switch. Thankfully, since the days of Night Trap, the quality of video and acting performances have greatly improved. Here, you ‘play’ as Matt, making choices that will help to try and prove that he was innocent of the robbery of a London auction house where he was forced to participate. Impressively, the game boasts a branching plot and multiple endings. The game does take up 6.9 GB, so it might suffer from the same fate that many mobile games do: it’s good, but it gets deleted quickly when trying to save space.
ACA NEOGEO GHOST PILOTS ($7.99)
Another week, another HAMSTER NeoGeo emulation wrapper. From 1991, Ghost Pilots is a vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up where you use a seaplane to fight giant military weapons. Pretty standard shoot ’em up setup, you know the drill here.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy ($39.99 for the trilogy, $19.99 for each game separately)
This is a remastered version of the action games based on the Naruto anime, where you get into one-on-one battles with heroes and enemies from the popular anime series. The games have been rather well-received, though you’ll likely enjoy them the most if you’re into the whole series and know what a “Boruto" is, unlike me. There are actually four games, and this only includes the first three, but at $40 for three games, that’s a really good deal. You can also buy the three games individually if you so choose.
Glaive: Brick Breaker ($9.99)
Look, you’ve played Arkanoid or Breakout in your life, you know what’s going on here. Nothing wrong with a straight-up brick breaker. It’s basic, but you’ll likely have a good time.
Usually, these mobile-style games at least sell for non-mobile prices. Nope, this auto-runner where you fly through the air, moving between nine different positions, is only a dollar. Originally released on the 3DS, this is now on the Switch, and I hope it goes on sale at some point, just for how ridiculous it would be to see this game drop to like…20 cents. It actually looks pretty cool for an endless runner, but good luck making a profit on the game at that price on a crowded Switch marketplace, I guess.
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!