Hello gentle readers and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 17th, 2019. There are a ton of new releases today, so we’re going to just go ahead and get right to them. Other than that, I’ve put together the usual list of sales, and not much more than that. Sorry, that’s just the way it goes in the old Thursday SwitchArcade business. Let’s get down to business!
Roof Rage ($14.99)
For how popular Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is, there sure aren’t many other games that try to build off its mechanics. Perhaps other developers are resigned to the idea that Smash only sells big because of its roster, and I can’t say that they’d be fully wrong to think that. But I firmly believe there’s something to its gameplay as well, so it’s nice to see titles like Roof Rage that take a stab at the idea. Now, obviously, this is an indie game and you’re not going to see Cloud and Banjo battling it out with Mario in glorious 3D. But the sprite work here is pretty well done, and the thirteen different characters and thirteen different stages give you a lot of fun combinations to work with. You get multiple modes including local multiplayer support for up to eight players. Online play is apparently coming in an update later. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a good party fighter.
Kine is an interesting puzzle game about three musical instruments who dream of making the big time in a band. They have to work hard to achieve their dreams, and that work largely consists of moving things around on a 3D grid. Each instrument has its own shape and moves about a bit differently, so you have to learn how to play each one of them before the big finale brings them all together. The puzzles are quite challenging but certainly solvable, and the game’s sense of style is in a good place. Naturally the music is strong, but the visuals also have an interesting sketchy look to them that just works well in motion. It’s a good puzzler with a lot of character to it.
Sea Salt ($14.99)
Well, this is a quirky one. It’s a Lovecraft-inspired strategic action game where you play as an ever-growing horde of minions who swear fealty to the evil Dagon. Led by an Apostle chosen from a list that grows as you play, these monsters target humans and their lands. You need to guide them, and keep in mind that humans can defend themselves pretty well if you don’t use your wits. Take advantage of the terrain, know which monsters to employ at what times, and take command of 16 different types of units. Get to know their ins and outs and you may have what it takes to bring down even the mightiest of human hunters. Very cool game, but I’d have to spend more time with it to see exactly how it fares over the long haul.
The Jackbox Party Pack 6 ($29.99)
Does anyone actually need opinions on new installments of The Jackbox Party Pack these days? I feel like we all know where we stand on these by now. This is the latest in the line, the one that will have to hold you and your social gatherings over until next year. It includes Trivia Murder Party 2, Role Models, Joke Boat, Dictionarium, and Push The Button. Those games cover a wide variety of interests and tastes, and are sure to liven up your parties for the immediate future. Push The Button is particularly zesty, as players have to figure out which of the other players are aliens and lock them out of the ship before time runs out.
The wild adventures of a rabbit who is brought into another world and changed into a human girl, Rabi-Ribi is a 2D platformer game with tons of content to offer. It’s a little Metroidvania and a little bullet hell, and the result is an incredibly intense game that should appeal to anyone who likes a good side-scroller. And yes, there are bunny girls. And cat girls. That sort of stuff is scattered around as you go through the game. Don’t let that stop you from getting into one of the more charming takes on this genre that I’ve played in quite some time. Oh, and although the game can be quite hard on its default settings, there are tons of options here to tone things down a bit for those who want a more relaxed adventure.
Summer Sweetheart ($19.99)
It’s weird how taking something as typical and well-worn as the dating simulation game and putting photos of real people in it can make it feel so different. And honestly, I’m not sure it’s in a good way? The situations in dating sims are often deliberately over the top, and attaching real humans to them works about as well as that live-action Ranma 1/2 TV series from ten years back did. But that’s really just me. If it’s not a problem for you, by all means enjoy a rare English-translated Switch example of a rather straightforward dating sim game. Carefully plan your schedule to best woo the girl you’re after, and try to get a good ending. You know the drill. Other than its use of real photos, there’s nothing really special about Summer Sweetheart, but the options are somewhat limited on Switch so I’d understand if genre fans go for it anyway.
This is another arena battler, though it’s less informed by Super Smash Bros. and its sumo-esque gameplay and is instead more of an all-out action game. You battle against up to three opponents using one of twelve wild characters. You can play either versus the CPU in the arcade or challenge modes, or take on some friends in three local multiplayer modes. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with this one unless you can take advantage of the multiplayer mode pretty often. But if gaming with your friends is a regular activity on your calendar, this is a reasonably enjoyable way to go about it. Kind of a shame it’s out so closely on the heels of Killer Queen Black, because I’m not sure how many people are going to look up from that one to try another in the genre so soon.
Felix The Reaper ($24.99)
This game’s premise is really cute. You play as a reaper named Felix who works at the Ministry of Death. He falls in love with a woman who works at the Ministry of Life and figures his best shot at running into her is in taking a field work job that sends him to the human world to reap souls. Basically, he has to make sure the people who are supposed to die actually do die. His foolproof plan for wooing his love is in being a good dancer, so he’s constantly practicing his moves. It’s an interesting image. The game itself is something of a puzzle adventure that involves working out how to kill all the necessary humans. It’s alright, but it definitely gets repetitive after a while. If you come to this party, do it for the silly and endearing premise rather than the gameplay.
Stranded Sails – Explorers of the Cursed Islands ($24.99)
The weather started getting rough, your tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of your fearless crew, the ship would be lost. The ship runs ground on the shore of an uncharted desert isle, and that’s the Gilligan’s Island lyrics run out. You have to survive, which is actually kind of easy to do if you have even the smallest bit of experience with slow-life farming/crafting games. Work the land and farm up some food that you can cook, explore the islands, expand your camp, and battle against the ghostly forces that inhabit the titular cursed islands. This is another game that isn’t particularly poor or great, so if you’re hurting for a new adventure of this sort, you’ll likely find it inoffensive enough. I’ll have a more detailed review in a few days.
Battle Planet – Judgement Day ($14.99)
Well, this checks off the twin-stick shooter requirement for the day. You play as an escaped convict who has to survive as long as they can against the authorities and whatever else comes along. The game takes place on procedurally-generated planets, but they’re kind of small and not terribly distinct now matter how the RNG rolls, so don’t worry too much about that. The enemy waves are similarly randomized, so you never quite know what you’ll have to deal with. You won’t get too far early on, but as you unlock permanent upgrades, things get a lot more manageable. I don’t know, it’s okay. Not much more than that, not much worse than that.
Sublevel Zero Redux ($14.99)
Okay, this one is definitely not going to be for everyone, so I won’t be giving it any sort of general recommendation. However, if you have happy memories of games like Descent and Forsaken where you bobbed around in a gravity-defying ship shooting at things above, below, and around you, you’re going to get on well with Sublevel Zero. It fits that gameplay into a roguelite structure, and while that combination probably isn’t going to sit well for those who would prefer a more structured approach, I think it’s not a bad combination. The Switch version isn’t as smooth as other versions, but you can take it with you. With roguelites, I believe that counts for a lot.
SEGA AGES Columns II: A Voyage Through Time ($7.99)
We’ve got a pair of SEGA AGES releases today, and I regret to inform you that neither of them is particularly great. Columns was of course SEGA’s answer to Nintendo’s exclusive Tetris rights back in the day, and it has never quite shaken that “second choice" air it carries about it. I’ve played worse falling block puzzle games, and it could be argued that Columns was partially influential on the massive match-3 sub-genre, but there’s just something about it that doesn’t quite click. Columns II never came out outside of Japan until now, but it offers a variety of modes to enjoy. The best of the lot sees you clearing stages to unlock a parade of SEGA character cameos. It’s hard as nails but I won’t lie: I spent hours and hours trying to get them all. Therefore I must begrudgingly admit that I liked this release better than I expected to, and would probably consider it the best Columns game.
SEGA AGES Ichidant-R ($7.99)
On the other side of the street, we’ve got Ichidant-R. I actually was looking forward to this one as this sub-series has a cult following in Japan. This is kind of an early ancestor to the likes of Mario Party, as you go through randomly-selected mini-games alone or with a friend. It’s alright enough, and can be fun with a second player. But there are two reasons why I don’t recommend picking this up and indeed consider it the worst Switch SEGA AGES release so far. First, one of the mini-games in the arcade mode involves sharpening a pencil by rotating your stick as fast as you can. And you really need to crank it to clear the game and move on. Those with long memories will remember this sort of mini-game led to Nintendo having to issue weird gloves to people after they rubbed their palms raw on their controller sticks. With how many problems Switch sticks already have, I can’t feel confident doing such a motion at the speed this game wants me to. Luckily, it includes the Mega Drive version which alters that game to a button-tapping style. Unluckily, that Mega Drive version is 100% in Japanese. Just… not a good fit for this line at all, if you ask me.
Where the Bees Make Honey ($9.99)
This is a rather unique puzzle adventure, and I really wish I could say it was a good one, because it has a lot of heart. Unfortunately, the game basically bites off more than it seems to be able to chew at almost every point, resulting in a bag full of ideas that just don’t work in practice. You play as a character named Sunny who is reflecting back on her childhood. You have to play through vignettes that lead to some puzzles, and these vignettes take on many forms, most of them quite bad. There’s a lousy RC truck section, a dreadful bit involving a rabbit, and more. Perhaps worst of all, the story just isn’t all that interesting. The framing isn’t bad, but these memories that are supposed to form the meat of the narrative feel utterly random. It’s not worth suffering the bad controls and confusing objectives for, that’s for certain.
Miniature – The Story Puzzle ($3.99)
This is a pretty cheap game and the screenshots definitely look pretty, so you’re probably waiting for the other shoe to drop. And indeed it does. This is a really simple puzzle game where you’re presented with dioramas that tell a story. You need to put five different steps in the correct order to show the tale. There are twelve such puzzles included here, and although that’s not a terrible amount of content for the cost, the bigger problem is that it’s just not enjoyable. The sequences are either obvious, in which case they’re quickly solved, or really out there, in which case you just shuffle the parts around until it works. It looks nice, but that only carries a game so far.
Well, as usual for this time of the week, there are probably going to be a lot of new sales posted between when I write this and when it’s posted. But we’ve got some decent ones already on the board, with nice discounts on Death Road to Canada, Mom Hid My Game!, and more. The outbox has some interesting stuff in it, but nothing that won’t be back around before too long, I suspect. Still, I won’t blame you too much if you opt to bite on some of those discounts instead of going for pricier new releases.
New Games on Sale
Mom Hid My Game! ($3.49 from $4.99 until 10/31)
Death Road to Canada ($8.99 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Lost Sea ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/7)
Iro Hero ($3.89 from $12.99 until 11/7)
Bomb Chicken ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/21)
Madorica Real Estate ($9.99 from $14.99 until 11/7)
Coffee Crisis ($0.99 from $9.99 until 11/7)
Blue Rider ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/7)
Utopia 9 ($0.99 from $9.99 until 11/7)
Unit 4 ($1.49 from $14.99 until 11/7)
Switch ‘N’ Shoot ($2.29 from $4.59 until 10/24)
Everdark Tower ($2.99 from $4.99 until 10/31)
Ghost Blade HD ($11.99 from $14.99 until 11/7)
Soul Searching ($7.99 from $9.99 until 11/7)
Parallel ($2.99 from $9.99 until 10/30)
Otto ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/30)
Super Inefficient Golf ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/30)
Omensight: Definitive ($13.99 from $19.99 until 10/23)
Mars or Die! ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, October 18th
Bad North ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Dandara ($4.49 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Doom & Destiny ($9.59 from $11.99 until 10/18)
Duke of Defense ($1.99 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Freecell Solitaire Deluxe ($6.74 from $8.99 until 10/18)
GoNNER ($2.99 from $9.99 until 10/18)
Hiragana Pixel Party ($5.84 from $8.99 until 10/18)
Hyper Sentinel ($0.12 from $12.99 until 10/18)
Kingdom Two Crowns ($13.99 from $19.99 until 10/18)
Kingdom: New Lands ($4.49 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Miner Warfare ($6.39 from $7.99 until 10/18)
Monster Energy Supercross ($17.99 from $59.99 until 10/18)
Neverlast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/18)
Nuclien ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/18)
OlliOlli: Switch Stance ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Out There: The Alliance ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Semblance ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/18)
Silk ($9.74 from $12.99 until 10/18)
Skies of Fury DX ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/18)
Space Lift Danger Panic! ($0.49 from $4.99 until 10/18)
The Bradwell Conspiracy ($17.99 from $19.99 until 10/18)
The Legend of Evil ($6.39 from $7.99 until 10/18)
Trax – Build it Race it ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Ultra Hyperball ($6.49 from $9.99 until 10/18)
Urban Trial Playground ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/18)
Uurnog Uurnlimited ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/18)
That’s all that’s good for today, friends. So many new games to play, so very little time to play them all. Tomorrow isn’t going to make things any better, either. But there are worse problems than having stuff like A Hat in Time, Return of the Obra Dinn, and Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth to play, right? Right. I’ll see you all tomorrow to check out the new games, dig into the new sales, and maybe even look at some news. Perhaps a review if time allows. I hope you all have an excellent Thursday and, as always, thanks for reading!