Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 4th, 2020. As many of you probably know by now, there was some pretty big news from Nintendo yesterday that came in a bit too late for our article yesterday. Oops! We cover that today, along with all of the latest releases and fresh sales. It’s a really big one today as a result of all of that, so let’s just get on with it, shall we?
‘Super Mario Bros.’ 35th Anniversary Direct Delivers the Goods
Naturally, just after I got home from the office last night and sat down to a tasty curry-and-rice dinner, a Nintendo Direct popped up out of nowhere. This was the long-rumored Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct, and it had a lot of cool stuff to see in it. For Switch owners in particular, there were five major things to check out. Beyond that, a cool Game and Watch that plays Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels was on display along with a special update for Mario Kart: World Tour and a whole lot of cool toys and merch. We’ll give each of the Switch announcements their own paragraph because they deserve them.
‘Super Mario All-Stars’ is Now Available to Switch Online Subscribers
Let’s start with the least of the new announcements. Nintendo Switch Online subscribers can update their Super NES apps to find a new release waiting for them: Super Mario All-Stars. This game contains 16-bit remakes of the first three Super Mario Bros. games from the NES, plus the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, known in the West as The Lost Levels. Nintendo likes to treat this game like spun gold for whatever reason, so having it available more or less as a free bonus is pretty sweet. Running through these classics is a good way to warm up for the next item on the list.
‘Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ Arrives on September 18th
This has been rumored for ages but for whatever reason I wasn’t really willing to believe it until I saw it. Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy have been bundled together and given some very slight improvements in this package celebrating 3D Mario games. There is no Super Mario Galaxy 2 because I suppose that would be entirely too much joy for 2020. Super Mario 3D All-Stars will be available digitally and physically on September 18th for $59.99, and for whatever baffling reason it will only be on sale until March 31st next year. So, you know, make sure you buy it in the next half-year if you want it. As long as you’ve bought it, you’ll obviously still be able to keep playing it, unlike the next item on our list.
‘Super Mario Bros. 35’ Hits Switch Online Starting October 1st
Having tasted some sweet success with blending a classic game and the battle royale format with Tetris 99, Nintendo now applies the formula to the landmark Super Mario Bros. in Super Mario Bros. 35. You’ll play through the game alongside 34 other players to see who will be the last Mario standing. Enemies you kill will be sent to other players, and vice-versa. An item roulette dispenses power-ups now and then, and you can choose your attack method in a means similar to Tetris 99. Super Mario Bros. 35 will be available for Switch Online Subscribers from October 1st of this year until March 31st of next year, at which point it will apparently be shot into the sun for its sins.
The Next ‘Mario Kart’ Takes Place in Your Home
At its heart, Nintendo is still a toy company. Nothing showed this off more in yesterday’s presentation than Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, a game that mixes video games and reality in one of the coolest-looking applications of AR I’ve seen yet. Race real RC cars around tracks of your own design with special AR gates to mark the path. The cars have cameras on them, and you play on your Switch to get a kart’s eye view of the action with all the power-ups and shenanigans you’d expect from a Mario Kart game. It releases on October 16th for $99.99 and will come with the game, a Mario or Luigi RC kart, cardboard track pieces, and a USB charging cable. Naturally, you can play multiplayer. Everyone will require their own systems, copy of the game, and RC karts, though. No split-screen on this one.
‘Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury’ Comes to Switch Next February
Nintendo’s quest to ensure every first-party Wii U game of note gets ported to the Switch continues with Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, an enhanced version of the Wii U’s multiplayer 3D Mario game. Arriving on Feburary 12th, 2021 for $59.99, this game features a number of gameplay improvements along with the new Bowser’s Fury content. Really not too much left to pull from that system in terms of prominent workable first-party games, is there? Oh well. This game is great and I’m glad a wider audience will get a chance to enjoy it. But it makes me even more annoyed that Super Mario Galaxy 2 isn’t in that collection. We could have had them all!
‘DOOM (1993)’ and ‘DOOM II’ Get Updated with Gyro Aiming and More
Looking back at the condition these games launched in, it’s impressive just how far the Switch versions of the classic DOOM games have come. Early updates focused on fixing various problems with the ports, and subsequent content drops have added more free campaigns to the games. This latest update goes beyond fixes, however. It adds great new features. Gyro-based aiming? It’s there. Proper widescreen support? You bet. An optional crosshair? I don’t really need it, but it’s here! There are also improvements to Deathmatch and mod support, and a new Ultra-Violence+ skill level. Plenty of little fixes round out these excellent new versions, so make sure you update ASAP.
Lair of the Clockwork God ($19.99)
Oh yes, friends. The latest in the Ben & Dan series has arrived on Switch, and it’s just as awesome and hilarious as ever. Unlike the previous two games, however, this is not just a point-and-click adventure. It’s only half point-and-click adventure! Ben’s half, to be precise. You see, Dan prefers to do some platforming, and that’s just what he does. You’ll have to progress with both of them if you want to get to the end of this wild quest. This game reviewed well on other platforms when it came out earlier this year, and I expect it will be received equally warmly by Switch owners.
NBA 2K21 ($59.99)
It’s the latest NBA game from the folks at 2K! Just like previous years, I wouldn’t expect too many improvements or indeed a whole lot of effort put in. There’s no competition and that seems to be playing out in textbook fashion. Still, I consider Switch basketball fans lucky. I’d certainly take a half-butt effort on an NHL game from either 2K or EA over the current nothing that we’re rolling with. Uh, anyway. The game description claims there are graphical improvements, updates to the gameplay and online features, and lots of game modes to enjoy.
Got room in the pantry for another battle royale game? Spellbreak lets you take control of a battlemage drawn from the class of your choice and sees you slinging spells and using special talents to overwhelm your enemies. Since the game is free-to-play you probably don’t need me to tell you whether or not it’s something you should check out, but for whatever my meager two cents are worth in this situation, I think it’s quite well-made. As long as you’re into the whole multiplayer battling concept, you’ll want to give this game a look. As a bonus, it’s cross-platform and even has cross-progression. That should help ensure that there’s always a healthy supply of magical warriors to take on.
Panda Jump ($5.99)
I had a joke I was going to make about this game, but I’m trying not to be too unnecessarily mean these days. So let’s tell it like it is: this is a rather… modest imitation of games like Doodle Jump or Jumping Joe and Friends where you need to climb as high as you can, collecting coins all the way. Gather enough of them and you can exchange them for a new character to use. Is this worth six bucks? Not to me. But I know some people dig this kind of thing and kids especially seem to get into these endless jumpers, so I suppose it’s fine that one comes along every so often.
Office Lovers ($14.99)
Well, here’s our otome visual novel release for the week. The premise of Office Lovers probably isn’t too hard to guess: you’re a young woman who ends up romantically entangled with one of a handful of handsome co-workers. To be specific, you work at a cosmetics company and you’ve been given the task of developing a new product in time for Christmas. Depending on your choices, sparks will fly with one of the men you come into contact with while working on the project. You can expect the usual character types, along with the typical scenarios that pop up in this kind of thing. Well hey, at least the art is good.
Awakening of Cthulhu ($11.99)
Cthulhu and JRPG protagonists have a lot in common in that there are many games that start with someone waking them up. This is an action-platformer using gaming’s fourth-most-played-out setting, with the usual business of Cthulhu calling to you and driving you to madness or whatever. I was hoping it would be in the vein of classic Castlevania, because that’s about the only kind of Cthulhu game I’d be interested in these days. It is not, sadly. It does seem to have some adventure elements, but I’m not sure how hard it leans into that end of things. Just to cut off the question before anyone asks: zombie apocalypse, fantasy, military. Fifth is “Japanese high school".
Paradise Killer ($19.99)
This game pitches itself as a first-person open-world murder mystery. It’s got a really weird premise and takes place in a very strange setting. You’ll have to investigate carefully, build a solid case, and bring the killer to justice. But just because you think you’ve found the truth, it doesn’t mean you’ve really figured it out. There are also some hidden areas and puzzles that you’ll need to sniff out if you really want to know what’s going on. Paradise Killer certainly has promise, but without playing it through I can’t really speak too much for or against it. I definitely dig its style, though.
Another visual novel from publisher Ratalaika, this one is developed by Winter Wolves. You can choose to play as Max or Anne, each with their own pool of potential romantic partners. There are lots of choices to make and even some life sim elements, so it’s not just straight-up reading. The general tone is fairly light and comedic, making for a nice slice-of-life experience. It’s a college setting, and most of the characters are the students who live in the dorms. Despite the fairly grounded setting, you’ll be dealing with some pretty weird situations and people. Critical reviews aren’t the strongest for this one, but players sure seemed to be fond of it on Steam.
Dirt Trackin 2 ($9.99)
Marketing text on the screenshots? Yes, this is a port of a mobile game, alright. But is it a good one? Well, the reviews on Google Play and the App Store seem solid at least, and the mobile version is a paid game without any egregious IAP as far as I can tell. That said, this particular sub-genre of racing may well be the Switch’s strongest, with Rush Rally 3 being the obvious competition around this price point. This game offers plenty of modes, real-world drivers and tracks, five different car models, and online multiplayer for up to 20 players. That’s… quite good for a ten-dollar game, I’d say. Might be worth taking a roll on if you’re looking for a new racer.
Solitaire Spider Minimal ($2.99)
Well, every word of that title checks out. This is indeed a very minimalistic take on Spider Solitaire. You can play with one, two, or four suits. There’s support for both button controls and touch controls. You can save mid-game and it keeps track of your stats, and that’s about it. Just some good ol’ solitaire. I think there are far better packages for playing Spider on your Switch, but not many of them are this cheap. This feels like deja vu, but I’m not going to examine it too carefully lest the entire space-time continuum unravel. Not much else I can say here, so… um… keep on truckin’ again?
Atom RPG ($15.99)
Atom RPG is one for the Fallout fans out there. No, not the first-person ones that came after Bethesda picked up the IP. It’s the first two games that Atom RPG seems to draw inspiration from, giving you a decidedly early-90s CRPG experience about a post-apocalyptic Soviet Union. It’s surprisingly robust, though not without its rough edges. Like the writing, for example. You also need to be down with the vintage experience it’s trying to emulate, obviously. Bugs? Yeah, there are probably some bugs if you go around kicking tires. But you know what? We don’t have enough games like this on the Switch for me to pick too many nits.
Batu Ta Batu ($4.99)
An affordable little puzzler with a fairly fresh premise. You need to slide tiles to combine them with other tiles of the same color, then shuffle them off the side of the board that matches that color. There are 10 different game modes, including a selection of modes where you can play with up to four players locally. You get hundreds of pre-built levels to beat, plus an endless mode if you want to change things up a bit. Add in a stylish presentation and you have a pretty nice pick-up for a low price.
Fantasy Tower Defense ($4.99)
This looks to be a relatively straightforward tower defense game, the kind that used to be all the rage on the App Store back in the day. There are 20 levels to tackle, and plenty of fantasy-themed enemies to defeat. You can make use of five different tower types, each of which can be upgraded. The towers also have special skills that you can use to turn the tide of battle. Nothing too fancy at all, but it seems competently made and the price is quite fair. I don’t love tower defense games enough to chug down every little game that comes my way, but if you do? This seems okay.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
It’s not as huge of a list as we sometimes see on Fridays, but there’s still a fair bit here. A handful of ACA NEOGEO games are on sale, a rare enough event to be worth noting. PQube is also having a sale on many of its games, so if you like games about anime girls doing various things, you’re in luck. A number of Team 17 games are discounted right now, and other random titles like SUPERHOT, Axiom Verge, and 20XX are on sale as well. Not too much going on in the weekend outbox, but as always have a careful look through to make sure you’re not missing anything.
Select New Games on Sale
ACA NEOGEO King of the Monsters ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/16)
ACA NEOGEO Power Spikes II ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/16)
ACA NEOGEO World Heroes 2 ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/16)
ACA NEOGEO Sengoku ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/16)
ACA NEOGEO Zed Blade ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/16)
Super Chariot ($1.49 from $14.99 until 9/16)
SUPERHOT ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/17)
Dreaming Canvas ($0.49 from $4.99 until 9/17)
Up Cliff Drive ($1.20 from $6.00 until 9/17)
PlataGO! Platform Game Maker ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/17)
DayD: Through Time ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/17)
Tower Climb ($1.20 from $6.00 until 9/17)
Gunman Clive HD Collection ($3.19 from $3.99 until 9/17)
Mechstermination Force ($9.59 from $11.99 until 9/17)
The Office Quest ($2.39 from $11.99 until 9/17)
20XX ($8.99 from $17.99 until 9/17)
Beach Buggy Racing ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/17)
Bulb Boy ($1.79 from $8.99 until 9/17)
Riptide GP: Renegade ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/17)
StarDrone ($5.99 from $9.99 until 9/17)
Dusk Diver ($24.49 from $34.99 until 9/17)
Vampire – Shadows of New York ($11.69 from $12.99 until 9/17)
Monster Energy Supercross ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/17)
Happy Animals Bowling ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/17)
Steel Rain ($9.74 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Half Dead ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/17)
Tanky Tanks ($4.01 from $5.99 until 9/17)
Jamestown+ ($8.99 from $17.99 until 9/17)
Cycle 28 ($1.39 from $6.99 until 9/10)
Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 ($8.70 from $12.99 until 9/10)
Yoku’s Island Express ($6.79 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Raging Justice ($3.74 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Overcooked Special ($6.79 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Overcooked! 2 ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/10)
Sheltered ($3.74 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Planet Alpha ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Axiom Verge ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Drawful 2 ($5.49 from $9.99 until 9/10)
Fibbage XL ($7.49 from $9.99 until 9/10)
Quiplash ($7.49 from $9.99 until 9/10)
Spinch ($13.49 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Worms W.M.D ($10.19 from $29.99 until 9/10)
Yooka-Laylee ($13.59 from $39.99 until 9/10)
Yooka-Laylee & Impossible Lair ($13.49 from $39.99 until 9/10)
Automachef ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Razed ($2.99 from $11.99 until 9/18)
Valthirian Arc: Hero School ($5.24 from $14.99 until 9/18)
Muddledash ($1.49 from $5.99 until 9/18)
Raging Loop ($20.09 from $29.99 until 9/18)
Warborn ($18.74 from $24.99 until 9/18)
Close to the Sun ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/18)
Ciel Fledge: Daughter Raising Sim ($12.99 from $19.99 until 9/18)
Root Letter: Last Answer ($20.09 from $29.99 until 9/18)
Gun Gun Pixies ($33.49 from $49.99 until 9/18)
Kotodama: 7 Mysteries ($13.49 from $29.99 until 9/18)
Our World Is Ended. ($22.49 from $49.99 until 9/18)
Nippon Marathon ($5.24 from $14.99 until 9/18)
Tokyo School Life ($5.24 from $14.99 until 9/18)
Hell Warders ($5.24 from $14.99 until 9/18)
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL ($3.89 from $12.99 until 9/18)
All-Star Fruit Racing ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/18)
Gal*Gun 2 ($13.49 from $44.99 until 9/18)
Warp Shift ($0.99 from $9.99 until 9/23)
Elena Temple Definitive ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/23)
Awakening of Cthulhu ($5.99 from $11.99 until 9/23)
Doodle Derby ($6.39 from $7.99 until 9/23)
Rigid Force Redux ($14.99 from $19.99 until 9/23)
Chameleon Run Deluxe ($0.99 from $5.99 until 9/23)
Cake Laboratory ($1.19 from $2.99 until 9/23)
The Keep ($2.99 from $17.99 until 9/23)
Colt Canyon ($10.49 from $14.99 until 9/23)
Paint ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/23)
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters ($10.49 from $14.99 until 9/23)
Rollin’ Eggz ($1.19 from $2.99 until 9/23)
Dark Quest 2 ($4.39 from $10.99 until 9/23)
Solitaire Klondike Black ($0.99 from $4.99 until 9/23)
Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher ($0.29 from $9.99 until 9/9)
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/9)
Garfield Kart Furious Racing ($11.99 from $29.99 until 9/9)
Warparty ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/11)
Clumsy Rush ($3.99 from $4.99 until 9/11)
Word Mesh ($3.49 from $6.99 until 9/14)
Dungeon of the Endless ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/14)
Turmoil ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/14)
The Almost Gone ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/14)
M.A.C.E. Tower Defense ($1.99 from $3.99 until 9/14)
Monster Blast ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/14)
Pix the Cat ($0.99 from $9.99 until 9/14)
Island Maze ($1.49 from $2.99 until 9/14)
Tactical Mind 2 ($0.49 from $4.99 until 9/14)
Farabel ($0.69 from $9.99 until 9/14)
Pixel Gladiator ($1.39 from $6.99 until 9/14)
It’s Raining Fists & Metal ($0.69 from $6.99 until 9/13)
Space Cows ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/7)
Tools Up! ($15.99 from $19.99 until 9/7)
Death Squared ($1.45 from $14.99 until 9/25)
Swaps & Traps ($0.29 from $8.99 until 9/25)
The Bridge ($1.49 from $9.99 until 9/12)
Paradise Killer ($15.99 from $19.99 until 9/12)
Tumblestone ($1.79 from $14.99 until 9/12)
Gurgamoth ($0.09 from $9.99 until 9/12)
Almost There: The Platformer ($0.99 from $9.99 until 9/12)
Dead Dungeon ($0.29 from $4.99 until 9/15)
One Person Story ($0.44 from $2.99 until 9/15)
Dark Burial ($0.49 from $3.99 until 9/15)
Pew Paw ($2.48 from $6.99 until 9/22)
City Bus Driving Sim ($5.99 from $11.99 until 9/18)
Sales Ending This Weekend
#Funtime ($11.24 from $14.99 until 9/5)
Bargain Hunter ($7.49 from $12.49 until 9/5)
Feudal Alloy ($3.39 from $16.99 until 9/5)
Hyper Jam ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/5)
Jumping Joe & Friends ($0.99 from $1.99 until 9/5)
Laser Kitty Pow Pow ($0.99 from $2.99 until 9/5)
Mini Trains ($0.99 from $5.99 until 9/5)
Monster Bugs Eat People ($0.99 from $1.99 until 9/5)
Not Not – Brain Buster ($0.99 from $1.99 until 9/5)
Party Treats ($0.99 from $1.99 until 9/5)
Pocket Mini Golf ($0.99 from $1.99 until 9/5)
Puzzle Book ($0.99 from $3.99 until 9/5)
Robonauts ($0.99 from $3.99 until 9/5)
Sheep Patrol ($0.99 from $1.99 until 9/5)
Time Tenshi ($10.49 from $14.99 until 9/5)
Wuppo: Definitive ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/5)
AeternoBlade ($3.88 from $14.99 until 9/6)
Aragami: Shadow ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/6)
Depixtion ($5.59 from $7.99 until 9/6)
Halloween Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 9/6)
Jets’n’Guns ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/6)
Lazy Galaxy: Rebel Story ($0.10 from $7.99 until 9/6)
Mummy Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 9/6)
Pirates Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 9/6)
Rampage Knights ($4.79 from $11.99 until 9/6)
Rocket Rabbit – Coin Race ($2.99 from $7.99 until 9/6)
Sparklite ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/6)
Stranded Sails ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/6)
Werewolf Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 9/6)
That’s all that’s good for today and this week, friends. It was a busy enough week on its own, but that Mario presentation sure closed things out with a bang. Will you be buying any of it? I know I’m on the hook for a fair bit of it. At any rate, I hope you all have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!