Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 22nd, 2020. It’s the big release day of the week, and that means today’s article is largely dedicated to summaries of each and every one of them. There are some great games and some well-known games, and even one or two that fit both categories. Lots that fit neither. That happens. We’ve also got the usual incoming and outgoing lists of sales in case you can’t find anything that catches your eye among the new releases. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!
This game got a very sunny reception when it released on home computers last year, and I expect it will find a strong following on the Switch as well. A literal sandbox adventure where you play as a little toy figure in what looks to be a sandbox that has been loaded up with extra props, items, buildings, and stuff. You’re so small, however, that it seems like a huge world. It’s kind of a first-person Metroidvania, but the puzzles often have multiple solutions depending on your creativity and the items you have. It’s just full of boundless energy, with new ideas around every corner that keeps things fresh and exciting for virtually the entire game. Another great game in a week that seems to be full of them.
Torchlight III ($39.99)
I really enjoyed the first two Torchlight games, and I want to believe I’ll like this one too. But I can’t ignore the fact that this game has been getting some very middling reviews on other platforms, and I see no reason why the Switch version would buck that trend. For every bit of praise about its gorgeous art direction and clever class system, there are three bits of criticism about how it’s lacking in depth or is a step back from the previous game. I’m probably going to be reviewing this one, so you’ll know where I fall soon enough either way, friends. For now I would say hold off and see how the reviews pan out, especially given the somewhat premium price.
Disc Room ($14.99)
My first reaction when playing this game: this is way too simple, how can it possibly be fun over any length of time? My second reaction, which came in after a couple of hours? Uh yeah, this works. This really, really works. You’re traveling through dungeons, room by room, and each door requires you to pull off some challenge or another in order to open it. Also, the rooms are filled with discs. The kinds of discs that will slice you to ribbons if they so much as graze you. And those discs come in a bunch of different types, so you really need to pay attention to their shape, size, and color so that you know how to react. While you start off with just the ability to run around, you’ll soon earn other skills that can help you survive. Very hard to put down, and I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at how enjoyable it is given the pedigree of the people behind it.
A simple puzzle game, but it works well and the price is right. The idea here is that you have a bunch of tiles with numbers on them. Tiles can be moved to adjacent tiles, causing the numbers to be added together if they’re different or eliminated if they match. You have to clear the playfield to win. There are 40 levels in total, which is a decent amount for what you’re paying. Surprisingly engaging on the whole, and I can’t say I’ve played anything exactly like it before. The window dressing is a bit sparse, but that’s fine.
The original GONNER was a lot of fun, if a bit aggravating in how hard it was, and I’m confident that GONNER2 is going to be another good time. Like the first game, this is an action-platformer with roguelite elements such as a procedurally-generated world. Earn lots of cool heads, guns, and other upgrades to give yourself the edge over your enemies, but be careful because it can all come crashing down in a hurry. There’s a four-player mode included here if you can pull enough people together locally, and while I haven’t tested it yet I’d imagine it would be a riot. Still, I expect most of the value in the game will come from its tried and true single-player mode. If it’s anywhere near as tear-your-hair-out tough and compelling as the original, this will be one you can look forward to spending a lot of time with.
A platformer with a robot hero, Toolboy has some appealing visual effects but in most respects seems like a very plain take on the genre. You play as the titular Toolboy who goes on a simple repair job and finds himself swept up in a massive corporate conspiracy. Every so often, he gets a new power that will help him get around or deal with obstacles. For the most part though, you’ll be jumping around and solving some light puzzles. Oh, and there are some swimming sections too. I haven’t played this yet so I can’t really say much about it with certainty, but it’s not really exciting me from what I’ve seen. I’ll check it out and if it ends up defying my expectations, I’ll let you know.
I know, this looks like some kind of neat turn-based strategy game, but it’s actually a real-time strategy game. The most striking thing about it is in its tabletop game aesthetic, giving a gorgeous and unique look. The gameplay is an odd mash of card game, real-time strategy, and some tabletop elements. It sort of works, but not that well. It’s also a very content-light game, and with no multiplayer to keep you coming back, I really hesitate to recommend it at the price it’s commanding. It’s not bad, but it’s not really great either. Beyond its looks, anyway. Yeesh, it’s lovely.
Outbreak: Epidemic ($14.99)
This is a fairly poor third-person shooter in the style of games like Resident Evil 4. The big gimmick here is that you can play in split-screen with a second player. Local only, of course. Besides the campaign there are also a couple of extra modes to keep the, er, fun rolling after you’ve somehow dragged yourself through the main game. You can buy lots of Resident Evil games on the Switch for only a little more money than this. Even if for some reason you want to play this, you should do so on the PC where it has a bunch more features and a lower price tag. Blech.
Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure ($6.99)
Well, that’s just Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move, isn’t it? It has got to be getting up there as one of the games with the most straight-up copies ever made of it, hasn’t it? This one checks the boxes most of them do, with the bubble-popping gameplay working just as it always has. You get 50 stages to play through plus an endless mode. There’s also a battle mode where you can face off against another player in local multiplayer. Not a particularly ambitious effort, and it’s kind of sad that I can’t even call this the worst Puzzle Bobble knock-off on the Switch. It’s just… another one. Spend the extra dollar and get one of Hamster’s proper Puzzle Bobble ports. They’re better in every way.
Double Pug Switch ($8.99)
My mother had pet pugs a while back. Dreadful little beasts. Oh yeah, they seem cute. Until they wipe their faces on your pants and you’ve got pug snot all over your clothes. Just… ew. I’ll grant that a video game pug has fewer of such problems and can just be enjoyed for its adorable appearance. This game is about an adventure of a cat and a pug dog named… Otis. Hmm. At least the cat’s name isn’t Milo. No, this cat is Whiskers. After a lab accident, Whiskers has become an evil villain. Otis needs to use his dimension-hopping powers to put a stop to the evil feline’s machinations. You get 32 levels of auto-running platforming with a heavy phase-shifting element. Quite challenging, but I’ve played so many auto-runners now that it takes something truly special to make one stand out for me. This one just doesn’t have anything like that.
Restless Hero ($6.99)
You could probably have a good time with this if you were inclined to, but it feels a bit flat for my tastes. Restless Hero is a platformer where you have to make your way through 30 levels to escape a dungeon, get vengeance, and maybe redeem your soul. There are secrets to find on each stage, and you’ll need to sniff them all out if you want to get the best ending. You have access to some powers, though only one of them proves to be all that useful. I’ve certainly played worse, but I don’t feel like a person should necessarily be buying a game if that’s the best thing I can say about it.
They Bleed Pixels ($14.99)
I’m no doctor, but they should probably have that looked at. This game was released on the PC back in 2012, and I think this is the first console port. It’s a tough platformer in the Super Meat Boy vein with an extra action component. It’s definitely not afraid of the ol’ ultra-violence, either. The title promises pixel blood, and you will get plenty of it. The game holds up reasonably well given its age, though I think there are far better examples of this kind of affair on the Switch. There’s just something about the physics and the feel of the controls that keep this one from clicking completely with me. But hey, not bad.
This puzzle-adventure game makes its way over from mobile platforms, where it launched in 2018 to a reasonably good reception. It’s a fairly simple game that doesn’t last much more than an hour, but that proves to be a decent running time for exploring its ideas without overstaying its welcome. It’s all about the play between light and dark here. You have very little light to work with, and dangerous things can be waiting in the shadows. Sneak around and complete the puzzles to keep moving forward, but be cautious as you never know when something might be lurking in the darkness. Pretty enjoyable while it lasts, though nothing to run down the streets shouting at the top of your voice about.
The Red Lantern ($24.99)
Well, this certainly has a cool premise. You and your five-dog sled team are lost in the cold Alaskan wilderness. You need to survive and find your way back home. It’s a story-driven roguelite that gives you a different world to play through each time. There are around 100 different encounters that you could come across, and 8 different dogs to recruit for your sled team. Gain items, get upgrades, and learn more about your surroundings as you try to overcome the elements themselves to return safely. You can pet the dogs, and if you’re not comfortable with your furry friends being able to die there is an option to disable doggy deaths. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to play this yet, but it does look promising.
A Frog Game ($0.99)
Hunh, I think I had this game on the Intellivision. Um, there are two frogs sitting on lily pads. Flies come out, and you have to jump to try to catch them. Whoever catches the most when the round ends, wins. It has support for two players locally, and that’s probably your best hope of getting more than a minute and a half of fun out of the game. Yes, rope in a friend and you may have fun for as many as nine or ten minutes. At least it’s only a buck?
LUNA the Shadow Dust ($19.99)
This is a lovely hand-drawn point-and-click adventure game with an excellent dream-like quality to it. The presentation is really well-done all around, and it offers a nice three or four hours of pleasing treats for the eyes and ears. The puzzles aren’t all that great, and you’ll likely plow through them without much thought if you’ve got any experience with the genre. The story is really understated, so you probably shouldn’t expect a lot from it. It’s a decent enough adventure, but I’m not sure I’d drop twenty bucks on it.
Asterix & Obelix XXL: Romastered ($29.99)
Originally released in North America for the PlayStation 2 under the title Asterix & Obelix: Kick Buttix (yeah), Asterix & Obelix XXL: Romastered is an impressive remaster with upgraded visuals, new game modes, and an improved camera. There’s even an option to flip back to the original visuals if you’re feeling nostalgic. The original game is a 3D platformer with a heavy beat-em-up component that has a cult following among fans of Asterix in spite of its flaws, and I’d guess that this spiffed-up version is going to land similarly. It’s a bit of a button-masher, but there’s some joy to be had in that if you’re in the right mood.
Construction Simulator 3 – Console Edition ($19.99)
I could sit here and pretend that I’m interested in this game, but I’ve played enough these by now that I know I’m not. Perhaps you are! And maybe you don’t want to play the mobile version even though it’s one-fifth the price. You get a whole bunch of real brands, plus a fairly large map that tries to create the feeling of a European town in the Alpine foothills. There are more than fifty vehicles, and more than seventy contracts to complete. It has its moments but it’s all just a bit repetitive for my liking. That said, if you go in for these sorts of sims and in particular enjoyed Construction Simulator 2, you’ll probably like this.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Not a bad batch of sales so far considering the time of the day I’m writing this. There will be a lot more to check out tomorrow, naturally. But for now we’ve got some of the regulars, a couple of pre-order discounts like Oceanhorn 2 and Wallachia: Reign of Dracula, and some launch sales like Fracter. The most noteworthy one is probably Kingdom: New Lands. It goes on sale now and then, but rarely for such a low price. Between 2K Games and Bandai Namco, the outbox also has a fair bit in it. It would be downright concerning if I didn’t expect both of them to run sales again in a couple of weeks or so.
Select New Games on Sale
Ubongo ($9.09 from $13.99 until 10/26)
Istanbul: Digital Edition ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/27)
Eight-Minute Empire: Digital ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/27)
Oceanhorn 2 ($26.99 from $29.99 until 10/28)
Fracter ($5.59 from $6.99 until 10/29)
eCrossminton ($7.94 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Zenith ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Marblelous Animals ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/1)
Willy Jetman ($6.89 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Theme Park Simulator ($7.94 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories ($6.89 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Ginger: Beyond the Crystal ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Dead Synchronicity: TCT ($3.89 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Heart&Slash ($4.94 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Nightmare Boy ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/1)
Super One More Jump ($0.98 from $7.00 until 11/1)
Anima: Gate of Memories ($6.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Anima: GoM – The Nameless Chronicles ($6.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Anima: GoM – Arcane Edition ($10.49 from $29.99 until 11/1)
Freaky Awesome ($3.89 from $12.99 until 11/1)
Demon’s Crystals ($4.94 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Awe ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/1)
Leopoldo Manquiseil ($1.99 from $3.99 until 11/1)
Kingdom: New Lands ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/3)
Grimshade ($18.74 from $24.99 until 11/4)
Crawl ($4.99 from $14.99 until 11/4)
DragonFangZ ($12.49 from $24.99 until 11/6)
DreamGallery ($2.99 from $5.99 until 11/6)
Doggie Ninja Golden Mission ($2.00 from $8.00 until 11/6)
Doggie Ninja Burning Strikers ($5.00 from $8.00 until 11/6)
Speed 3: Grand Prix ($35.99 from $39.99 until 11/10)
Bullet Beat ($4.24 from $4.99 until 11/10)
Project Starship ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/12)
Red Death ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/12)
Null Drifter ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/12)
Kawaii Deathu Desu ($3.49 from $4.99 until 11/12)
Wallachia: Reign of Dracula ($11.99 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, October 23rd
Alchemic Dungeons DX ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/23)
Almost There: The Platformer ($0.19 from $9.99 until 10/23)
Ambassador: Fractured Timelines ($9.74 from $14.99 until 10/23)
Bioshock 2 Remastered ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/23)
Bioshock Infinite: Complete ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/23)
Bioshock Remastered ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/23)
Bioshock: The Collection ($39.99 from $49.99 until 10/23)
Borderlands GOTY Edition ($23.99 from $29.99 until 10/23)
Borderlands: Handsome Collection ($31.99 from $39.99 until 10/23)
Borderlands: Legendary Collection ($39.99 from $49.99 until 10/23)
Breakpoint ($3.74 from $4.99 until 10/23)
Carnage: Battle Arena ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/23)
Carnival Games ($9.99 from $39.99 until 10/23)
Clumsy Rush ($2.99 from $4.99 until 10/23)
Crown Trick ($17.99 from $19.99 until 10/23)
Cyber Protocol ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/23)
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth ($24.99 from $49.99 until 10/23)
Dungeon Warfare ($3.39 from $9.99 until 10/23)
Fight Crab ($16.99 from $19.99 until 10/23)
Galacide ($12.00 from $15.00 until 10/23)
Gurgamoth ($0.09 from $9.99 until 10/23)
Hyperforma ($2.99 from $9.99 until 10/23)
L.A. Noire ($24.99 from $49.99 until 10/23)
LocO-SportS ($1.43 from $5.99 until 10/23)
Membrane ($0.09 from $9.99 until 10/23)
My Hero One’s Justice ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/23)
My Hero One’s Justice 2 ($35.99 from $59.99 until 10/23)
Naruto: Ninja Storm Trilogy ($19.99 from $39.99 until 10/23)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 ($33.49 from $49.99 until 10/23)
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 ($7.49 from $29.99 until 10/23)
NBA 2K21 ($38.99 from $59.99 until 10/23)
Nirvana Pilot Yume ($2.99 from $4.99 until 10/23)
OMG Police ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/23)
Perfect Traffic Simulator ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/23)
PGA Tour 2K21 ($50.99 from $59.99 until 10/23)
President F.net ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/23)
Quell ($0.99 from $7.99 until 10/23)
Raji: An Ancient Epic ($22.49 from $24.99 until 10/23)
Reflex Unit 2 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/23)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI ($29.99 from $59.99 until 10/23)
Sky Racket ($3.74 from $14.99 until 10/23)
Spider Solitaire F ($2.50 from $5.00 until 10/23)
Strike! Ten Pin Bowling ($7.49 from $9.99 until 10/23)
The Bridge ($1.39 from $9.99 until 10/23)
Tumble Stone ($1.79 from $14.99 until 10/23)
Under the Jolly Roger ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/23)
Warhammer 40k: Space Wolf ($10.79 from $17.99 until 10/23)
WWE 2K18 ($19.79 from $59.99 until 10/23)
XCOM 2 Collection ($39.99 from $49.99 until 10/23)
#womenUp, Super Puzzles Dream ($1.48 from $6.19 until 10/23)
That’s all that’s good for today, friends. Another beefy Thursday with lots of games to consider, but which ones are you going to pick up? Feel free to comment below with your shopping list. For your games, I mean. I don’t really care which kind of potato chips you’re buying. Ah, that’s a lie, now I’m curious about that too. Comment below with your gaming and potato chip pick-ups, please. I hope you all have a great Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!