Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 27th, 2020. In today’s article, we’ve got a small slice of news, a full review of Superliminal, and a handful of Mini-Views including Carrion, Rock of Ages 3, and more. Oh, and we’ve got the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales as you like them. We’ve got plenty to look at today, so let’s get down to business!
Switch Online Subscribers Can Play ‘Pokken Tournament DX’ For a Week
It’s been a bit since Nintendo has done one of these outside of Japan, but the company is making Pokken Tournament DX available to play free for one week for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. From July 29th to August 4th, you can play to your heart’s content. If you like what you play, the game will be available to buy at a discount when the trial period ends. Your save data will carry over, of course. If you happen to have a Japanese Nintendo Account, you can hop onto the Japanese eShop and get the party started today.
Superliminal has a very strong gimmick to its gameplay that gives it a lot of up-front impact. It explores that gimmick in a variety of ways, and then it ends before it overstays its welcome. The idea here is that you’re exploring your own dreams, and nothing is really what it seems to be. Almost all of the puzzles in this first-person adventure can be solved by manipulating perspective, whether that be getting yourself at just the right angle to make a painted surface into an object, or positioning blocks near or far away from you to change their sizes. It’s interesting, more than a little trippy, and just loose enough with its rules to let you feel like you’re finding novel solutions.
The game only lasts for a few hours, and there isn’t a lot of replay value to it beyond going through the story again. Once you’ve figured out the tricks to each puzzle, you won’t get much out of doing them a second or third time. From a narrative point of view, there are a lot of compelling bits that sadly culminate in a bit of a nothing ending. A simple platitude is offered and you’re sent on your way. It would be less disappointing if it hadn’t been so intriguing in its vague hints that are woven through most of the game. There are also a couple of “puzzles" that just don’t communicate themselves well at all.
That all said, most of the time Superliminal is engaging and enjoyable. If you like oddball puzzle games like Portal and its ilk, or just want to slide into a different kind of experience, Superliminal will hold your attention from start to finish. It would be nice if it were a little longer, but I appreciate games that don’t stretch themselves too thin and that could very well have happened here. So instead, I’ll just moan a little about the lackluster ending and give the game a strong recommendation anyway. Oh, and if you find yourself dealing with a persistent pit, take a careful leap of faith and watch your feet.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Reverse-horror, eh? Imagine one of those stories about some weird creature being contained at an isolated facility that breaks out and goes on a killing spree. Now imagine you’re the creature, and that’s Carrion. It’s a Metroidvania where you’re playing something that reminds me a lot of one of those alien symbiotes from Spider-Man, and that automatically earned it bonus points with me. You can climb all over the place, grab things with your tendrils and whip them around, and chow down on humans at a brisk clip. I don’t have a ton of complaints but the lack of a proper map sure made things a lot harder than they needed to be. Things get more unwieldy as you grow larger and gain new abilities, leading to some minor backtracking and control quirks. There’s another bit I didn’t enjoy much but don’t feel like spoiling. Otherwise, it’s a lot of fun, extremely stylish, a bit violent, and well-paced; just the kind of game we’ve come to expect Devolver Digital to publish. Developer Phobia Game Studio did a nice job here with a rather wild concept.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Radical Rabbit Stew ($15.99)
I’m a sucker for these top-down puzzle-action games in the vein of Bomberman, and Radical Rabbit Stew doesn’t disappoint. Your goal on each stage is simple enough. There are pots of stew placed around the stage, and you’ll need to whack a rabbit into each of them using your trusty spoon. The rabbits can and will bite back, so you need to be careful how you approach them. You’ll gain new abilities and items, and the stages start seeding in more gimmicks and obstacles to deal with. There are also boss battles that are quite well-done. You also get a multiplayer mode, but it doesn’t come together as well as I expected it to. Still, the game earns its keep on its relatively meaty and fun single-player campaign. Oh, and the presentation is fantastic. Love those sprites, and the music is catchy as heck. Just a really well-made “gamey" game that scratched my puzzle-action game itch in all the right places.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break ($29.99)
If you loved the first two games in this series, you’re going to really like Rock of Ages 3. You get another hilarious story to play through, some new gimmicks to deal with, and the rather impressive “Make" mode that allows you to build your own custom stages. You can play with up to four players in the online multiplayer mode, and if you can get a good group going you’ll have hours of fun ahead of you. On the other hand, the core gameplay hasn’t seen that many changes and is no longer as novel as it once was. I had a lot of laughs with this one, but I found myself getting tired of the core mechanic well before I pushed through all of the content. It also felt like the loading was a bit on the excessive side, but that’s perhaps just part of the Switch experience these days. Setting aside my complaints that are largely born from playing a bit too much of the first two games, this is another solid game in a quality series. And if you’re new to the series, this is definitely the one to get.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
This is a puzzle game whose core mechanic is a very familiar one. You’ve got different animals that you need to move around each stage to reach designated goal squares. Animals will move in the direction you push until they hit a wall or other obstacle, so you have to think carefully about where you’re directing them. There are some gimmicks to put a twist on the idea as you go along, but nothing that really makes a huge difference. You get almost a hundred stages, and there are lots of unlockable characters. If you like these kinds of sliding puzzles, Cubicity isn’t too bad. But that’s about all I can say for it.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Some interesting sales came in over the weekend. A few good games hit some very cheap prices, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Swords & Soldiers, and Swap This!. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid celebrates its latest update with a sale on both the base game and the first two seasons of DLC. There are some other decent titles in there, so have a careful look. As for the outbox, the latest sale on the Naruto games is coming to a close. Beyond that, it’s a lot of the usual suspects, so feel free to focus your attention on some of those games that went on sale late last week instead.
Select New Games on Sale
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain ($2.99 from $29.99 until 8/14)
Swords & Soldiers ($0.74 from $7.49 until 8/13)
Viviette ($6.99 from $9.99 until 8/13)
Purrs in Heaven ($2.79 from $6.99 until 8/13)
Blood Will Be Spilled ($2.99 from $14.99 until 8/13)
Silk ($4.41 from $12.99 until 7/31)
Mystery of Woolley Mountain ($0.99 from $12.99 until 7/31)
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid ($11.99 from $19.99 until 8/3)
Swap This! ($0.10 from $4.99 until 8/13)
Hyper Sentinel ($0.61 from $7.99 until 7/31)
Toki Tori ($0.49 from $4.99 until 8/13)
Toki Tori 2+ ($1.49 from $14.99 until 8/13)
RIVE: Ultimate ($1.49 from $14.99 until 8/13)
Earthlock ($5.98 from $29.90 until 8/14)
Almost There: The Platformer ($0.69 from $9.99 until 7/31)
Deployment ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/2)
3000th Duel ($8.99 from $14.99 until 8/16)
Voxel Pirates ($5.82 from $7.28 until 8/15)
Voxel Galaxy ($5.94 from $7.43 until 8/15)
Voxel Sword ($4.90 from $7.00 until 8/15)
Voxel Shot ($5.60 from $8.00 until 8/15)
Desktop Soccer ($4.97 from $7.11 until 8/15)
Desktop Rugby ($5.20 from $7.43 until 8/15)
Desktop Dodgeball ($5.21 from $7.45 until 8/15)
Desktop Bowling ($5.17 from $7.39 until 8/15)
Desktop Table Tennis ($5.18 from $7.41 until 8/15)
Desktop Baseball ($5.10 from $7.29 until 8/15)
Our Flick Erasers ($9.07 from $12.96 until 8/15)
Chalk Dash Carnival ($0.85 from $7.09 until 8/15)
Locomotion ($9.89 from $10.99 until 8/1)
Summer in Mara ($21.24 from $24.99 until 8/11)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 28th
-Klaus- ($12.74 from $14.99 until 7/28)
Aborigenus ($1.24 from $4.99 until 7/28)
Aldred Knight ($0.49 from $1.99 until 7/28)
Arcade Fuzz ($0.49 from $1.99 until 7/28)
Bear With Me: Lost Robots ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/28)
Beast Quest ($11.99 from $29.99 until 7/28)
Caveman Warriors ($1.29 from $12.99 until 7/28)
Croc’s World 3 ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/28)
Deer Drive Legends ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Degrees of Separation ($1.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Diabolic ($1.24 from $4.99 until 7/28)
Dogurai ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/28)
DreamBall ($3.24 from $4.99 until 7/28)
Fin & the Ancient Mystery ($0.69 from $4.99 until 7/28)
Furwind ($3.99 from $9.99 until 7/28)
Guess the Character ($1.00 from $2.99 until 7/28)
Knight Swap ($0.49 from $0.99 until 7/28)
Naruto: Ninja Storm Trilogy ($19.99 from $39.99 until 7/28)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 ($34.99 from $49.99 until 7/28)
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots ($1.99 from $9.99 until 7/28)
Override: Mech City Brawl ($23.99 from $39.99 until 7/28)
Pew Paw ($3.98 from $6.99 until 7/28)
Reknum ($3.24 from $4.99 until 7/28)
Run the Fan ($0.39 from $3.99 until 7/28)
Smoots Summer Games ($6.49 from $9.99 until 7/28)
Subdivision Infinity DX ($6.50 from $14.99 until 7/28)
Super Hyperactive Ninja ($1.00 from $8.99 until 7/28)
The Deer God ($0.39 from $7.99 until 7/28)
Trine 4: Nightmare Prince ($11.99 from $29.99 until 7/28)
Trine: Ultimate Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 7/28)
Troll and I ($2.99 from $29.99 until 7/28)
That’s all for today, friends. Somewhat surprisingly, there are a bunch of new games coming out tomorrow. We’ll have summaries of all of those releases, along with whatever news and new sales come along in the interim. I may have a full review ready as well, but it depends on how much time I’ve got as usual. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!