Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 8th, 2020. Today is one of the biggest single days of new releases I’ve seen since I started doing these articles a couple of years ago. There are somewhere around 25 new games hitting the eShop today, and that’s not accounting for any surprises that may show up. As you can imagine, the bulk of the article today is wrapped up in summaries for those games, with the usual lists of sales to round things out. Oh, and be sure to check out the demo for Pikmin 3 on the eShop. It’s fun! Let’s go!
If you like a good puzzle game, you’ll love Filament. You’re exploring an abandoned spaceship, trying to figure out what happened to it and its crew. The set-up here is similar to some other puzzle adventures where there are the main puzzles you’ll have to solve to just reach an ending, but there are also hidden puzzles you’ll need to keep an eye out for if you really want to see it all. The core idea of the puzzles is that you need to thread nodes together with a filament. You might wonder how much mileage a game can get out of that, and all I can say is that you’ll have to play the game to see just how far it goes. You have a lot of flexibility in terms of what order you complete puzzles in, so you’re free to wander about and pick at what you like. A really great game, in my opinion.
Puddle Knights ($9.99)
This is a good day for puzzle games, friends. In Puddle Knights, a princess is walking through more than 100 stages set throughout the kingdom. There’s just one problem: there are mud puddles everywhere! Will she get her fancy silks all crusty with the brown belches of Mother Earth? Worry not! Chivalrous knights with long flowing capes are around and willing to lay down their mantles to help Her Highness cross the land unspoiled. This is a really clever spin on the whole Snake idea of having a long tail behind you, and offers a ridiculous amount of content for its sub-ten dollar price.
I Am Dead ($19.99)
I Am Dead is an unusual puzzle-adventure game where you play as a recently-deceased museum curator who has to save the island he called home from an incoming disaster. He has a bit of help in the form of the ghost of his dog Sparky. Together they’ll have to solve the mysteries of the island and help other ghosts by solving puzzles in various locations. It’s a fairly chill experience, but as you would expect given the topic matter it’s a bit sad at times too. We’re sure getting a lot of games recently about death and the afterlife, aren’t we? Some solid puzzles and a rather touching narrative combine to make this one a real winner.
Game Dev Tycoon ($14.99)
First up, it is as ever my duty to inform you that you can play this game on your mobile device for a fraction of the price of this Switch port. That fraction would be “one-third", if you demand such precision. Setting that aside, this is quite a good game. Build up your studio from a tiny indie operation to a massive AAA goliath, developing games and engines as you see fit. Train your team, invent new technology, and rake in that cash. If you need an extra challenge, pirate mode forces you to balance all of that stuff while software piracy takes a bite out of your profits. This Switch port features cross-platform saves so you can pick up from where you may have left off on other systems. A very fun game and one that suits the Switch well if you don’t mind paying the premium over other platforms.
Ghost of a Tale ($24.99)
The minstrel mouse Tilo is searching for his true love Merra in the nasty dungeons of Dwindling Heights Keep in this adventure. There’s a bit of puzzle-solving, some light RPG elements, frequent stealth sections, and a whole lot of exploration involved in this game. While it does all of them reasonably well, it’s not great at any of them. What is great is the game’s gorgeous presentation, even if it isn’t as pretty as other versions. The developer of the game is an animator by trade, and it really shows. Is it nice-looking enough to make up for its flaws? Almost. But if you’re in it for that, the Switch probably isn’t the place to see it at its best.
Arcade Archives Arabian ($7.99)
Way back in 1983, when it was still known as Sun Electronics, Sunsoft released a Donkey Kong-inspired game in the arcades called Arabian. It features four different stages, and in each of them your goal is to avoid enemies while collecting the seven jars that spell out the word ‘ARABIAN’. You have some limited defense against most enemies, but you’ll need to watch out for the genie that pops out the jars at times. It’s an okay game, and Hamster has done its usual fine work with it. I find Arabian wears out its welcome fairly quickly, but if you’ve got the right sort of nostalgia for it you’ll be happy with this version.
AstroWings: Space War ($9.99)
Well, if you’re going to make another shoot-em-up, it doesn’t hurt to be a bit original. AstroWings: Space War is a bullet-hell style shooter where all of the action happens on one screen. You can rotate in 90 degree chunks to change your shooting angle and avoid bullets. There are lots of upgrades to buy and each stage has a three-star ranking. There are six different types of ships you can buy and use. It has the feeling of a mobile game, and may indeed have been one at some point. Worth ten bucks? Not to me, but perhaps you’re more interested in an odd shoot-em-up than I am today.
Skatemasta Tcheco ($4.99)
Who needs Tony Hawk when you’ve got Skatemasta Tcheco? Ride your skateboard through auto-scrolling stages set across various awesome locations like a street or the Moon. Yeah, it’s kind of an auto-runner. Use your skateboarding skills to defeat a variety of enemies, tackle the stages in whatever order you choose, and dig the 8-bit aesthetics. I can’t quite put my finger on what the gameplay reminds me of, but it might be Adventure Island/Wonder Boy‘s skateboarding segments? Anyway, it seems decent for a fiver. Nothing too substantial but that’s hardly rare at this price point.
The Legend of Ninja ($7.99)
Wow, this looks like a plain ol’ ordinary side-scrolling action-platformer. And that’s just what it is. Play as a ninja who is probably saving the world or something. Let me check the description. Okay, you’re trying to save your beloved princess who has been kidnapped by, and I quote, “a Dracula". Hop and slice your way through 30 levels, battle nasty bosses, and upgrade your skills to make it to the end and defeat a Dracula. Kind of looks like a waste of time and money to me, but you may feel differently about it.
Tacticool Champs ($9.99)
Another entry into the increasingly crowded local multiplayer arena battler field, Tacticool Champs has you pick from ten characters and engage in shooting action against three other combatants in ten different environments. You can play with other humans or battle against bots, with the former obviously being a lot more enjoyable of an experience than the latter. There are lots of field gimmicks to spice things up, adding in some gameplay variety. I’ve said this about many games before, and it’s true here as well: if you have friends or family who want to play games with you regularly, you might be interested in this game. If you don’t, there really isn’t much to make this worth grabbing.
This puzzle-platformer sees you as a demonic warrior who gets trapped in the form of a ball. If you want to gain your form and freedom back, you’re going to have to fight hard. Use your ball form to bounce and roll with precision to make it past some incredibly tricky obstacles and hazards. Fight enemies, chat with friendlies, solve some puzzles, and follow the story as you make your way through the game’s areas. It’s a pretty good game, albeit one that can get maddeningly frustrating as it goes on. You really need precise platforming chops to see this one through.
Adventures of Chris ($14.99)
I’ve been playing this game for review purposes, and I’ve got mixed thoughts on it. From a mechanical standpoint, it’s a solid game with a lot of interesting elements to it. The main character Chris gains the properties of a balloon due to certain circumstances, and inflating and deflating becomes a core part of the action. You get new abilities and upgrades as you go, but it’s not what I would call a Metroidvania so much as it is an unusual platformer whose levels have some extra secrets to find. The game’s sense of humor, however, is not going to be for everyone. Chris is overweight, and the fat jokes fly fast and loose throughout the game. It goes to that well so often and from so many characters that it feels considerably more mean-spirited than funny. So yeah, good game, but its attempts at comedy will probably turn some people off.
Dodge These Balls ($0.99)
I could write almost nothing here and it would still be more effort than what went into this game’s eShop page. Which I suppose is appropriate, as the game itself doesn’t exactly look like a AAA production. You play as red ball. You have to dodge the gray balls. The longer you play, the more gray balls appear and the harder it gets to avoid them. Try to survive as long as possible, then do it all over again and see if you can beat your score. This feels incredibly thin, even for a game that costs a dollar.
Torn Tales: Rebound Edition ($7.99)
This is a top-down action RPG featuring characters from story books. Your party is made up of Snow White, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and Robin Hood. Battle your way through twisted versions of fairy tales and folk stories to try to save the fabled lands from the dark ambitions of Bookbinder. You control all three characters, and sadly the multiplayer mode from the PC version has been cut here. Well, it’s half the price. You get the usual stuff like skill trees and loot, with an arena mode tossed in for you to enjoy some endless battles even after you’ve wrapped up the campaign. You know what? It’s fine for how much it costs. Shame about the multiplayer, but for some people that won’t matter at all.
A turn-based tactical RPG with an unusual setting, Ikenfell seems to have a lot of promise. You play as a group of magic students who are exploring a magic school and generally getting their noses in places they probably shouldn’t. There’s a timing mechanism to the combat here, calling to mind the combat system from the Mario RPG games. As you would expect given the narrative focus on magic, there are dozens of spells available to you. With plenty of locations to visit, lots of enemies and bosses to battle, and lots of loot to find, Ikenfell could be a nice treat for fans of strategy RPGs. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, so I can’t give any strong verdict in either direction yet.
Well, that sure is Panel de Pon/Planet Puzzle League/Tetris Attack, isn’t it? As near as I can gather, there isn’t much here separating the game from Nintendo’s largely-dormant puzzler series apart from a selection of power-ups. Still, it’s rather well-featured for what it is. There are a few different modes, including a proper campaign and a multiplayer mode that supports up to four players locally. It looks decent enough, which is more than a lot of puzzle game… “homages" muster. It’s worth pointing out that if you have a Switch Online subscription you have access to the Super NES Panel de Pon, which will probably serve your needs for this kind of affair well enough.
The Ramen Sensei ($14.00)
Kairosoft is back with another port of one of its mobile simulation games. This time around it’s The Ramen Sensei, which puts you in charge of building and running a ramen shop, all the way down to creating the recipes for your dishes. Set dressing aside, this is essentially the same sort of affair as Kairosoft’s other shop-oriented sims. Extremely fun if you’re not tired of the formula, kind of mind-numbing if you are. And as ever, I must bang my drum about how the game plays perfectly well on mobile and is available at a fraction of the price. That said, if you don’t mind paying more to play on your Switch, this is a fine port.
Digerati Presents: Make It Quick Bundle Vol. 1 ($31.99)
Another Digerati bundle with a new naming style. I can promise that title is getting considerably shortened whenever it shows up in the sales list. Anyway, you get three games in here that in theory should provide quick thrills when you don’t have a lot of time to spend. Those games are Bleed (making what must be its fourth or fifth bundle appearance), Chicken Assassin: Reloaded, and Don’t Die, Mr Robot! DX. Decent games, but if you’re into bundles you probably already own at least one of them. As always, check if the included games are on sale before you buy this bundle. There’s a chance they’ll be cheaper individually depending on when you look to buy them.
Falcon Age ($19.99)
Un-VRing VR games and releasing them on the Switch isn’t terribly uncommon, and how the game fares when separated from such a powerful feature certainly varies. Falcon Age is a first-person action-adventure whose chief bullet point is the feathered companion who joins you on your journey. You name, feed, and teach your falcon and can even dress it up like one of those people that puts a deer hunter cap on a bulldog and takes it for walksies. Haha, delightful. You’ll battle robot colonizers using a stun baton and your falcon as you explore the lands and take them back from the mechanical oppressors. You can fist bump the falcon apparently? The game lives or dies on how much you buy into the falcon angle, as it has a number of flaws that are really only smoothed over by petting the lovely bird baby.
Piofiore: Fated Memories ($49.99)
Here’s the latest otome visual novel from the folks at Idea Factory. The heroine is an innocent young woman named Liliana who was raised in a church in the middle of an Italian town. Her peaceful life is soon thrown into chaotic disarray when she meets the handsome young leaders of three local Mafia groups who are at war with each other over territory. The atmosphere is tense and the chance of everything sparking into a massive explosion is high. It would take the patience of a saint to sort all of this out… or perhaps just the love of one? Oh Shaun, you’ve done it again! I think Mikhail was taking a look at this one; perhaps he’ll regale us with a tale of his adventures in a review at some point.
Neighbours back From Hell ($14.99)
Neat, another port from the Gamecube/Xbox generation. Okay, this is probably a port of the PC versions of the games, but that’s the era it’s from. You get both Neighbours From Hell and Neighbours from Hell 2: On Vacation here, all spiffed up and HD-ified for your gaming pleasure. The idea here is that you have some new terrible neighbors, and you decide to torment them in a reality TV show that they don’t even know they’re in. You have to set up traps and make their lives miserable. In the first game, you’ll do that in their house. In the second, you’ll go to various locations to cause mischief. Certainly a unique pair of titles for the puzzle fan seeking something off the beaten track.
Aery – Sky Castle ($9.99)
Aery‘s back again for a third round, and you probably know how this goes by now. You play as a little bird and fly around exploring gorgeous areas and experiencing the story. There are a few little puzzles here and there, but this is generally meant to be a relaxing experience on the whole and as a result will not throw a lot of resistance your way. There isn’t too much more I can say here. If you liked the previous games, you’ll probably have a nice time chilling out with this one. If you didn’t? Well, I don’t think Sky Castle is going to change your mind.
Tiki Brawl ($0.99)
Let’s set the stage: you’re having a party with no more than eight friends, you need some gaming entertainment, and you’ve only got one dollar to spend. Perhaps Tiki Brawl is what you’re looking for. The idea here is that you and the other players are around a big old fire pit. You need to try to toss the other players in. That’s about all there is to it. There’s only one arena, but there are some power-ups to spice things up. There’s support for local multiplayer for up to eight players, and you can fill out empty seats with AI opponents if you need to. Probably not a game you’ll be playing for months and months, but for a dollar it doesn’t really need to be that substantial.
Home: Postmortem Edition ($7.99)
Home has been around for a while now. How long? When looking up articles on it, I actually found one going over the old argument about if a game is still a game when you can’t lose or die. Phew. Anyway, this is the Postmortem Edition of Home, and that’s interesting because it means you can play the game with developer commentary. Or without, if you like! That’s probably how you should play it if you haven’t before. It’s a slightly horror-tinged adventure game about trying to get home, with multiple endings and storylines depending on the choices you make. A little like a graphical take on a branching choice story. You also get a new gallery in this version, allowing you to check out the game’s design documents and other bits of stuff.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
The big list of new sales will be coming in tomorrow’s article, but the current discounts as of when I’m writing this aren’t too bad at all. Some discounts from the nice folks at FDG on titles like Oceanhorn and Blossom Tales, a couple of KEMCO RPGs, the first three Trine games, and some assorted cool games like Yes, Your Grace, Roundguard, and Lair of the Clockwork God. Not a lot in the outbox, but make sure you check it out anyway.
Select New Games on Sale
Dirt Trackin 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/10)
Roundguard ($11.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
Deleveled ($7.49 from $9.99 until 10/16)
#Funtime ($9.74 from $14.99 until 10/16)
Madorica Real Estate ($8.89 from $14.99 until 10/20)
Nine Parchments ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/21)
Trine Enchanted ($4.49 from $14.99 until 10/21)
Trine 2: Complete ($5.09 from $16.99 until 10/21)
Trine 3: Artifacts of Power ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/21)
Boreal Blade ($1.99 from $19.99 until 10/21)
Reflex Unit 2 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/23)
HyperBrawl Tournament ($22.49 from $24.99 until 10/26)
Yes, Your Grace ($11.99 from $19.99 until 10/27)
Skatemasta Tcheco ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/29)
Cloudpunk ($19.99 from $24.99 until 10/29)
UNI ($0.49 from $4.99 until 10/29)
Lair of the Clockwork God ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/29)
Behold the Kickmen ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/29)
Slayin 2 ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/29)
Venture Kid ($0.99 from $9.99 until 10/29)
Oceanhorn ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/29)
Blossom Tales ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/29)
Fernz Gate ($7.79 from $12.99 until 10/29)
Asdivine Dios ($7.79 from $12.99 until 10/29)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, October 9th
Akane ($0.99 from $4.99 until 10/9)
Car Driving School Sim ($10.49 from $13.99 until 10/9)
City Driving Simulator ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/9)
Clumsy Rush ($0.99 from $4.99 until 10/9)
Cyber Protocol ($0.99 from $9.99 until 10/9)
Dex ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/9)
Fractured Minds ($1.79 from $1.99 until 10/9)
Gas Station: Highway Services ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/9)
ICEY ($8.49 from $9.99 until 10/9)
Journey of the Broken Circle ($6.40 from $8.00 until 10/9)
Lode Runner Legacy ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/9)
Naught ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/9)
Nirvana Pilot Yume ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/9)
OMG Police ($0.99 from $4.99 until 10/9)
Perfect Traffic Simulator ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/9)
R-Type Dimensions EX ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/9)
Rimelands ($0.99 from $9.99 until 10/9)
Tharsis ($7.19 from $11.99 until 10/9)
The Wardrobe: Even Better ($6.79 from $19.99 until 10/9)
To The Moon ($8.39 from $11.99 until 10/9)
Warlocks 2: God Slayers ($1.79 from $17.99 until 10/9)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with a ton of new sales to look at, along with the remaining new releases for the week. If any majorly pressing news comes in, we’ll check that out too. I’m confident Nintendo has said all it’s going to for this week, but who can really tell? I hope you all have a terrific Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!