Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 27th, 2020. Ol’ Shaun’s day job was a bit busier than usual today, so we’re going to go right to today’s new releases and round things out with the latest list of sales. No time for in-depth coverage of the news, but there’s a new Shovel Knight puzzle game coming this fall, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia releases worldwide on June 25th, Brawlhalla is getting a Tomb Raider crossover event, The Wonderful 101 Remastered launches on May 19th, and Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is coming to North America on March 31st. Phew, now let’s get to those new releases!
Wanderlust Travel Stories ($14.99)
I’m going to give this game a pass for it seemingly pretending to be inventing a new genre when it’s really a choice-based narrative adventure. It gets that pass because it’s quite well-written and very enjoyable on the whole. Five strangers who have been traveling to a variety of locations meet on Easter Island and share their stories. You’re prompted to make choices now and then which affect the progression of the stories and how the people in the present are reacting to them, which leads to a number of different outcomes. Aside from that, you need to do some light money management. It’s a bit long-winded in places, but overall I really liked how this one pulls you into its tales. The sounds and images help set the atmosphere of each story, too.
Hero Must Die. Again ($39.99)
I find as I get older, I’m more drawn to interesting games with rough edges than polished games that play it safe. With that in mind, I can’t help but find Hero Must Die a fascinating RPG. The hero has defeated the demon lord and saved the world, at the cost of his life. He suddenly finds himself back from the dead, given five days to put affairs in order before permanently passing on. You’re not given a lot to go on initially, so you have to explore the world and figure things out on your first playthrough. Yes, first playthrough. You can’t see the game’s true ending until you’ve played through a few times, setting up flags that make the next runs a bit easier. It only takes a couple of hours for a playthrough, though. Oh, and one other interesting wrinkle: while you’re at your former powerful self at the start of a playthrough, your body and gear degrade as the days pass. Better find some allies.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers ($14.99)
Mobile gamers likely need no introduction to the Kingdom Rush series, one of the best tower defense franchises on the App Store. This Switch port of Kingdom Rush Frontiers packs in all of the DLC from the mobile game at one reasonable price. That means you get all 16 heroes to play with, along with all of the missions, extra enemies, and so on. It’s not as comfortable to play with a controller as it is with touch controls, but I’m starting to feel like that’s always going to be a problem with games in this genre that make their way over from mobile platforms. It’s still a great game that will keep you busy for hours on end.
Ahhh! It’s a 3D Picross game! Friends, regular Picross games are like a dime a dozen on the Switch, but I’m pretty sure this is the first 3D Picross game we’ve seen on the platform. You get 176 puzzles that will create objects for 18 dioramas. I’ll have to put some time into this to say how well they’ve nailed down the interface, but it’s safe to say that if you like this uncommon brand of puzzler, you’ll probably be willing to put up with a few flaws here and there.
Heaven Dust ($7.99)
Heaven Dust is a Resident Evil-inspired horror game with multiple endings, lots of puzzles, and a twisty story that is only slightly hindered by some rough English writing. But I suppose even that awkwardness is in the spirit of classic Resident Evil, isn’t it? This game had a demo on PCs a while back that had some nice buzz around it, but I can’t say for sure how well the full game has turned out. I’d have to put some time into it before I can give it any sort of proper recommendation, but I really like the vibe it’s putting out. I mean, it’s not like Capcom is going to bring the Switch any new Resident Evil experiences or anything.
This puzzling mash-up came out several years ago on PC. It’s a combination of Tetris-style block-dropping and Lemmings-style herding. Each stage sees you guiding three mice to the goal. They just keep on moving ahead, turning around if they hit something they can’t climb over. If they fall from too great of a height, they die. And let me tell you, that’s not the only way the little fellows can bite the dust. You place Tetris-style pieces in the stage to try to make a safe route for the mice to collect all the items and reach the plate of cheese that ends the level. A few other gimmicks are sprinkled in as you go, but that’s the basic outline. Unfortunately, while the concept is good and the game is fun for a good portion of its run, it seems to hit a wall in terms of new ideas fast. Not a bad game, but I can’t help but think how it could have been a lot better.
Soul Axiom Rebooted ($12.99)
This first-person puzzle/adventure game is a beefed up version of a title that released on a variety of platforms including the Wii U. That version of the game had some problems that I could see being fixed without ripping up the carpet, including some clunky controls and technical issues. On the other hand, some of its other problems were endemic to its design and I’m not sure how well those have been addressed here. One of my biggest problems with Soul Axiom was in how it had a lot of enjoyable puzzles in its back end but made you play through literally ten or so hours of tedium to get to anything halfway interesting. It was far too bloated and lengthy for its own good. And from what I’ve heard about this Rebooted version, that particular issue hasn’t changed any.
Animated Jigsaws Collection ($9.99)
This is a collection of the three Animated Jigsaws games that have been released on the Switch so far: Wild Animals, Beautiful Japanese Scenery, and Japanese Women. Assuming you were interested in any of those, this is a good value. All you really get with these games are a bunch of animated images cut up into however many pieces you choose. Put them back together to enjoy the image. Just as boring as the real thing, but no worry about losing any pieces.
Dual Brain Vol.3: Shapes ($14.99)
Friends, I have a gut feeling that Nintendo’s Switch version of Brain Training isn’t coming to the North American eShop. But the Dual Brain series keeps on trucking along, with the latest volume covering shapes. You know, the price of all three volumes thus far more or less add up to the cost of Brain Training, and considering what you get in each one that’s a pretty terrible deal. Like in the previous volumes, you get six different mini-games that put your ability to think quickly to the test. Even if you get into trying to get the best possible time on each one, Dual Brain Vol.3 burns out just as fast as the other two did.
Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary ($14.99)
Celebrate the, er, 36th anniversary of the classic Boulder Dash with this port of Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary, the free-to-play mobile game that came out in 2014. One of the original creators was involved with this project, and if I remember right it was a pretty decent take on the classic gameplay. It was also loaded with IAPs, which is something you don’t have to worry about with this version. I think if you have a fondness for the original you’ll be happy enough with what you get here, but I’d recommend trying out the still-free mobile version to see how you like it before plunking down your bucks here.
Everyone wants some of that Switch local multiplayer party game cheddar these days. This one is a top-down racing game where you play as one of a number of chefs, cooks, waiters, and what-not. Each one has their own attack, by the looks of it. You race around kitchens, restaurants, and neighborhoods to try to serve people before anyone else can. Up to four players can join in locally, or you can play on your own against the AI. It looks okay provided you’ve got people to play with. And hey, it’s certainly reasonably-priced.
Portal Dogs ($4.99)
A puzzle platformer where you play as a pretty weird-looking king dog thing who has to rescue his subjects and help them get home. Once you rescue another weird-looking dog thing, it will follow behind you. Thus as you play through each stage your little train of characters gets longer and longer, which I suppose might make things more tricky? Seems to be plenty of gimmicks in play here, and the visuals are certainly crisp. The dog things are too weird-looking for my liking, though.
Puzzles for Toddlers & Kids: Animals, Cars, and More ($7.99)
This is exactly what it says on the tin. You get somewhere around 60 extremely simple puzzles where you drag and drop pieces onto pictures in order to complete them. When you finish a puzzle, some balloons or bubbles will appear that can be popped by touching them. I’m not the target for this, and chances are you aren’t either. But if you have a little one and want to give them something fun to swipe at on your Switch, I suppose this may be of interest.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
As usual for a Thursday, there are going to be a lot more sales posted by the time you read this. We will round those up tomorrow, but what’s here already has a few things worth getting excited about. The excellent pinball game Demon’s Tilt is on sale, and anyone who has fond memories of games like Alien Crush or Devil’s Crush will definitely want to check it out. Note that SEGA’s sale celebrating the release of the Sonic movie is wrapping up tomorrow. Most of the discounted games are worth owning, in my opinion. Not you, Sonic Forces. Sit down, buddy.
Select New Games on Sale
Demon’s Tilt ($14.99 from $19.99 until 3/4)
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/4)
Moonlighter ($9.99 from $24.99 until 3/15)
This War of Mine: Complete ($15.99 from $39.99 until 3/15)
Peace, Death! Complete ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/4)
Beat Cop ($5.99 from $14.99 until 3/15)
Police Stories ($5.99 from $14.99 until 3/4)
Story of a Gladiator ($7.69 from $10.99 until 3/17)
Puzzle for Toddlers & Kids ($3.99 from $7.99 until 3/17)
Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood ($5.99 from $14.99 until 3/8)
Gurgamoth ($0.99 from $9.99 until 3/6)
Deadlings ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/9)
Little Racer ($7.49 from $9.99 until 3/9)
Space Cows ($3.19 from $7.99 until 3/9)
Cyber Protocol ($1.49 from $9.99 until 3/5)
Family Tree ($3.99 from $7.99 until 3/19)
Perils of Baking ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/19)
Madoris R ($4.00 from $5.00 until 3/13)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, February 28th
Alien Cruise ($6.59 from $11.30 until 2/28)
Bucket Knight ($4.24 from $4.99 until 2/28)
Classic Games Collection Vol.1 ($1.49 from $4.99 until 2/28)
Escape First ($4.49 from $4.99 until 2/28)
Fishing Adventure ($8.49 from $9.99 until 2/28)
Gleaner Heights ($7.99 from $9.99 until 2/28)
Isoland ($1.89 from $2.17 until 2/28)
Isoland 2: Ashes of Time ($3.12 from $3.62 until 2/28)
Katana Kami ($26.99 from $29.99 until 2/28)
Little Triangle ($9.69 from $14.99 until 2/28)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games ($39.99 from $59.99 until 2/28)
Mushroom Quest ($1.49 from $2.99 until 2/28)
Otherworldly ($5.94 from $6.99 until 2/28)
Profane ($17.09 from $17.99 until 2/28)
Rain City ($6.40 from $7.58 until 2/28)
Rooms ($10.49 from $14.99 until 2/28)
SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog ($3.99 from $7.99 until 2/28)
Sonic Forces ($9.99 from $19.99 until 2/28)
Sonic Mania ($9.99 from $19.99 until 2/28)
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD ($29.99 from $39.99 until 2/28)
Team Sonic Racing ($19.99 from $39.99 until 2/28)
Ubermosh: Omega ($3.49 from $4.99 until 2/28)
That’s everything we’ve got time for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of this week’s new releases, a huge list of sales to ponder, and, should time allow for it, some news and other goodies. We shall see. I hope you all have a good Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!