Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 25th, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got more than twenty-five new releases to look at. Holy smokes. As you might expect, I don’t have too much more for you beyond the new release summaries, but the usual incoming and outgoing lists of sales are here as well. There’s a lot to go through, so let’s get started!
Barrage Fantasia ($9.99)
An enjoyable, well-constructed retro-style vertical shooter, Barrage Fantasia is a better game than it initially appears to be. There are five stages and three challenges, with a few different modes that affect how you encounter that content. The arcade mode has you playing all of the stages in a row, while the short mode lets you pick one stage and play it. Training mode is very cool, as it allows you to skip to wherever you want in a stage so that you can practice particular sections. As such, this is an excellent game if you want to learn how to hone your shooter skills. It falls into the bullet hell sub-genre, but it’s not overly punishing by any means. I’ll have a review of it in a bit.
Get-A-Grip Chip ($14.99)
Oh good, grappling fun! Games where I can use a grappling hook or rope or, you know, webline of some kind immediately start off on the right foot with me. This is one of those precision platformers where you have to nail down the sequence just right in order to move on. You play as a little robot who can’t jump but compensates for it by having a grappling device on its head. You can use that to attach to any of the grappling points in the stages, and there are enough of them to give you flexibility without breaking open the game. Boo, let me break open the game. Your goal is to rescue your friends and make it through the game’s thirty stages. Nice presentation, good level designs, and delivers on its grappling mechanic. I like it.
Arcade Archives Swimmer ($7.99)
Time to hop way back in time for this one, friends. Swimmer is a 1982 game from Tecmo back when they were known as Tehkan. You control the titular swimmer as he tries to reach an island full of treasure. You’ll have to do some skillful dodging, well-timed dives, and the occasional power-up to make it through. Taking its age into consideration, it’s okay. Definitely feels of its era, though. Hamster has done its usual excellent work in bringing the game to the Switch as accurately as possible, so no worries there. I mean, if nothing else it’s at least something different.
This is a quirky puzzle game whose theme is more attention-grabbing than its gameplay. You pilot a drone and need to use it to assemble ships by fitting pieces together. How you choose to go about things will determine the path of the story in each run. You’re given a blueprint to look at before heading out to build whatever it is you’re supposed to build. You’ll have to work from memory, and that can be funny. You’re on a timer, too. Oh, and your drone has somewhat challenging controls. Well, you can see how this goes. You have to live with any mistakes you make, as you can’t restart the level. That’s part of the fun, though. All the while, the narrative moves on based on your actions, with plenty of humor and silly overdone “Russian" accents. It’s fun in short bursts but I find the more I play it, the more irritated I get. You may take to it better.
Little Kite ($9.99)
Looking for something depressing today? Little Kite might be the game for you. This is a point-and-click style adventure game about a dysfunctional family. After a car accident results in the death of her husband, Mary and her son Andrew build a new family with a man named Oliver. Mary is still dealing with her grief. Oliver likes his booze a bit munch and tends to get violent when he indulges. Andrew just wants to escape. If you can deal with the subject matter, there’s a solid adventure game here with an interesting story to tell and decent enough puzzles to solve. Just be aware that it can get very real at times, and it’s probably not going to resolve the way you might hope.
From Shadows ($4.99)
Play as Werewolf or Vampire in this side-scrolling action game. You battle various monsters and bosses as you make your way through 21 decent-sized stages. It features a two-player mode via local splitscreen, so I guess that’s something going for it. You also have twelve skills that you can upgrade as you go, giving the combat a little bit of depth beyond just hitting the attack button. Alas, it’s just not very good at all. It’s floaty, everything feels extremely rough around the edges, and it’s more boring than anything else. There are many better games of this sort on the Switch that you can get for around the same price, so unless you’re really into that Werewolf/Vampire team-up I would recommend taking a pass on this.
Black Legend ($29.99)
Turn-based tactical RPGs usually go for either a fantasy motif or a sci-fi setting. Black Legend takes a different turn, aiming for a horror vibe. A group of mercenaries enters a cursed town seeking to help a resistance against a deadly cult of fanatics. A mysterious fog covers the town, driving the residents mad. There are fifteen different job classes and an alchemy system involving the four humours to come to grips with, which gives the turn-based battles plenty of depth. There’s also an exploration component between battles where you search the streets of the city for items and equipment to use in the fights ahead. The novel setting helps this game stand out against the competition, but I’d have to spend more time with it to see how I ultimately feel about it.
Ghost: Elisa Cameron ($9.99)
This is a fairly standard hidden object puzzle game. You wake up in a bathroom without any memory of your whereabouts. You need to figure out what happened, make your escape, and solve the mystery in order to save the world. Yes, it goes there. There are fifty different locations, fourteen mini-games to play, and lots of decent art to gawk at. Other than that, I don’t have to much to say about the game. If you can’t get enough of Artifex Mundi’s and Ocean Media’s games in this genre, this is certainly another one of them.
Evil Inside ($12.99)
I haven’t played this particular first-person horror game, but a quick search on the internet tells me that a whole lot of people think it reminds them of Hideo Kojima’s ill-fated P.T. demo. That feels like a lofty standard for a game of this scale, but I doubt the comparison came up entirely on its own. Anyway, you play as a teenager who needs to explore a house to find pieces of a spirit board, which he will then use to contact his deceased mother and find out the truth behind her supposed murder at the hands of his father. Again, I haven’t touched this game at all, but how much do you want to bet that it turns out the teenager is the one who killed his mom and has just buried the memory? Well, even if I’m right, it’s not like we play these kinds of games for the unconventional stories. Feel free to pick it up to see how good my guess was.
Krystopia: A Puzzle Journey ($7.99)
This is an escape room puzzle game, albeit one that is a bit more colorful than we typically see in the genre. I suppose it helps that you’re not in a room. Escape deserted planet puzzle game? Anyway, you get the standard hidden object stuff, plus an assortment of individual bits like laser-reflecting and pattern-matching puzzles. It seems like you have to have plenty of those in a game like this, and Krystopia doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t pull its punches, either. Some of the puzzles are downright nasty in terms of how complicated they can get. As you play through, you’ll get little story snippets that paint an interesting enough picture to pay attention to. Overall, I think it’s worth the journey as long as you don’t mind the stiff challenge in the back end and the somewhat repetitive nature of the puzzles.
Bladed Fury ($19.99)
This game is quite gorgeous and the hack-and-slash gameplay has its fundamentals down. It’s fun while it lasts, which isn’t nearly as long as you’d hope. There are shades of Vanillaware here, with comparisons to titles like Muramasa and Odin Sphere easy to make. That said, the Chinese-inspired style of the presentation and story make this feel like its own thing. I felt like this game was just right for the price it sells for on computers, so I’m a little disappointed to see it on the eShop for double that. It goes from being an easy recommendation at ten bucks to slightly more guarded approval at twenty. That said, if you’re in the mood for something Vanillaware-ish on your Switch, this is probably as close as you’re going to get for the time being.
Future Aero Racing S Ultra ($6.99)
Another game to remind us that F-Zero and Wipeout are dead. At least this one is reasonably priced. This is actually a surprisingly full-featured game, with five cups to race containing a total of fifteen tracks. There are ten teams to unlock, and forty different car skins. On top of that, there are thirty challenges to complete. You get three different modes covering the standard stuff we see in racers. There’s the typical championship mode, a time attack, and a custom mode where you can set up your desired race conditions. There’s even multiplayer support for up to four players via splitscreen local play. On the grand scale of high-speed futuristic racers, this one feels a bit more F-Zero than Wipeout. This is genuinely good considering the size of the developer.
Rip Them Off ($8.99)
Well, this one is odd. In a good way, mostly. It’s sort of a puzzle game, but also sort of a tower defense game. Basically, each stage sees waves of potential customers lining the streets, and you need to line your pockets by strategically placing shops in such a way that they’ll pop in and spend all their money. There are different kinds of shops you can build, and each has its uses depending on the situation. Rather challenging, and once you get a ways into there really isn’t much room for improvisation. You either figure out the proper way to solve the puzzle, or you fail. The whole thing is wrapped in some obvious satire, and I found that aspect of it pleasing. Not a bad little game, but it’s probably a bit too tough for its own good. If that idea doesn’t bother you, give it a go. It’s cool.
Danger Scavenger ($9.99)
A top-down twin-stick shooter with roguelite elements and a cyberpunk theme. The biggest gimmick is that the areas you’re battling in are rooftops, which is a cosmetic thing but is still cool. There are six different characters each with their own skills, and a rudimentary crafting system to customize your weapons with. You can grab a friend or family member to play with you via local multiplayer, or go it alone. Reviews on this game were quite mixed on other platforms, with many people noting that it’s a bit on the slow side. Apart from that, I’d say the biggest problem with the game is that it doesn’t seem to be doing anything to stand out in an extremely crowded genre. Like, Tesla Force just came out yesterday and it’s way more interesting an example of this concept. I feel like at the stage we’re at in the system’s library, ‘decent’ really isn’t cutting it anymore.
Gold Digger ($4.99)
Hmm. This is a timing-based puzzle game where you need to crush gold bars with a hammer that swings back and forth across the field. Drop it at the right time to hit the weak point on the gold bars until they break, then move on to the next layer. Clear all of the layers and you’ll finish the stage. There are 32 levels to play, plus an endless mode to keep you entertained once you’ve finished those. There are some power-ups to collect and missions to clear, similar to the pattern seen in many mobile games. I mean, it seems okay. Nothing I’d knock down the doors for, but I suppose I could see myself playing it now and then. I’m sure there’s some kind of free game on the App Store that does this exactly, but it’s not like five dollars is a huge ask either.
The road of edutainment is a rocky one. Kids usually don’t want to learn in the scholastic sense while they’re playing video games, and unless they’re very young they’re going to sniff out any attempts to teach them pretty easily. BodyQuest has two main components. In first, you’re traveling around inside a living body on a hoverboard solving various problems, mostly by collecting things and bringing them places. It’s okay, I guess. Not very educational. The other component is a quiz, and while it’s certainly educational it’s also a little too obvious. The only way kids are going to be able to answer these challenging quizzes is by reading pages of in-game text, and let me tell you how interested the average kid is in reading in-game text to pass in-game tests. I’ve seen far worse pieces of edutainment at far higher prices, but I don’t think too many kids will fall for this one.
MazM: The Phantom of the Opera ($14.99)
This installment of the MazM series applies the adventure gameplay of the last game to a whole new setting. This time, you’re in the world of The Phantom of the Opera. Decades after the events of the original story, you play as a detective seeking the truth of the Phantom. Collect hints, interrogate characters, and see if you can piece together the truth while the Phantom watches and waits. It’s an interesting idea for an adventure game, and it’s certainly no different in terms of quality when compared to the previous MazM game, but I found it a bit dull. The gameplay elements are minimal and the story just isn’t strong enough to pull the game along the way it needs to.
Toon Shooters 2: The Freelancers ($2.00)
Four Fats is back with another cheap, somewhat rough, but very charming game. This time it’s a horizontal shoot-em-up with fifteen stages of blasting action. There is local coop multiplayer for up to four players, and an online multiplayer mode of some sort as well. Like other Four Fats games, there are quite a few characters to choose from. Eight, this time. There are also seven wingman pets, adding further customization options. There’s a lot of competition in this genre on the Switch, even on the lower end of the pricing scale, so I’m not as eager to recommend this one. Still, if you enjoyed other Four Fats games like Blackmoor 2 you probably won’t feel bad about dropping a couple bucks on this.
Paperball Deluxe ($17.99)
This is a ball-rolling game where you need to guide your paperball to the goal on each stage. There are 250 stages in total, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. The stages look really colorful and the 15 different environments offer quite a bit of variety from one to the next. You also get seven game modes to help mix things up. While the game can be enjoyed solo, there is local multiplayer support for a second player to join in either competitively or cooperatively. Motion controls are in, and so is HD rumble. If you enjoy ball rollers, this seems like a solid one. The price is a little high, but it’s hard to argue with the sheer amount of content you get.
Mancala Classic Board Game ($4.99)
If you’ve played Nintendo’s Clubhouse Games you may have encountered mancala on the Switch before. It’s a classic game that originated in Africa and is enjoyed by many around the world. This particular version offers up a single-player mode against a computer opponent at one of five different difficulty levels, and a local two-player mode that you can play against a friend or family member. There’s a tutorial if you’re not familiar with how it’s played. I think the version in Clubhouse Games is better, but if you only want to play mancala this is a cost-effective way to do so.
Mahluk Dark Demon ($9.99)
Another silhouette platformer, eh? Well, this one isn’t as puzzle focused as these sorts of affairs usually are. Rather, it’s more of a standard side-scrolling action game. Your character levels up when he gets enough experience, and you can find new weapons and abilities as you go. There are sixteen levels in total with three big bosses to battle. It seems okay, but other than its look there really isn’t much to catch the eye in any sense of the expression.
Wild Park Manager ($14.00)
I feel like I could get away with using one or two templates to write up Kairosoft games. Perhaps fittingly, as it seems like the developer itself has one or two templates. In this one, you’re building an animal park. Build facilities, try to lure in visitors so they can spend some money, and attract new animals to your park. Eventually you’ll be able to expand, allowing you to build your park bigger and better. My one size fits all opinion: if you’re not sick of Kairosoft games yet, you’ll enjoy this. If you are, there’s nothing new here. Also, you can get it for almost one-third of the price on mobile. Do with that what you will.
Mega Mall Story 2 ($14.00)
Surprise! Two Kairosoft sims in one day! This is a follow-up to the original Mega Mall Story, which is admittedly one of my favorites from this developer. You’re once again building a mall, but you have more options and can create bigger, more complicated malls. With this being a direct sequel, the issue of over-familiarity is even more of a problem than usual. That said, if you loved the first game and wouldn’t mind basically playing it again with some new options and content, you’ll enjoy this. If you haven’t played either, this is the one to get. And with this being a slightly more expensive purchase on mobile, you’re only paying twice as much for the courtesy of having it on your Switch.
Clea 2 ($14.99)
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Clea, but it certainly had an audience. Clea 2 offers up another serving of tense, horror-flavored fun for that crowd. Four years have passed since the incidents of the first game, and former maid Florine is about to get elbows deep in a new mess. There are lots of things to unlock and at least a few reasons to replay the game, and this sequel certainly improves on the original in some respects. By and large, it’s similar enough in terms of gameplay that I doubt it’s going to change the minds of anyone who already has an opinion on the first game. The storytelling also flows in a similar style. And that’s fine, really. You don’t fix what isn’t broken, and there’s no denying that many people loved what the last game had to offer.
Mr Trials ($0.99)
This is a simple little stunt bike game that is so cheap, you probably won’t care if it’s good or not. There are fifty levels spread across five worlds, and your aim is to clear each level as fast as possible in hopes of earning Golden Helmets. As you play, you’ll collect coins that you can use in the shop to buy some new characters and bikes. And that’s really all there is to it, but for less than a dollar I’m not sure how much you should expect, anyway.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Similar to last week, we’ve actually got a decent list of titles in the inbox already as I write this. Arc System Works is having a sale, and depending on how much you like brawling you may or may not want to pick up some of its games. There are also some neat adventure games in Arc’s catalog like Jake Hunter and Worldend Syndrome. Beyond that, most of the sales are on games we see here quite often. The outbox doesn’t have too much going on in it, so you might as well save your money and see what happens tomorrow.
Select New Games on Sale
Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Bundle ($20.00 from $39.99 until 4/1)
River City Melee Mach!! ($4.80 from $13.99 until 4/1)
Stay Cool, Kobayashi-San! ($5.60 from $13.99 until 4/1)
River City Ransom ($3.50 from $4.99 until 4/1)
Super Dodge Ball ($3.50 from $4.99 until 4/1)
Kill la Kill -IF ($10.00 from $19.99 until 4/1)
Guilty Gear ($6.90 from $9.99 until 4/1)
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus ($9.80 from $14.99 until 4/1)
Double Dragon ($3.50 from $4.99 until 4/1)
Double Dragon II: The Revenge ($3.50 from $4.99 until 4/1)
Double Dragon III: Sacred Stones ($3.50 from $4.99 until 4/1)
Double Dragon 4 ($3.50 from $6.99 until 4/1)
Blazblue Cross Tag Battle ($5.00 from $19.99 until 4/1)
Blazblue CentralFiction Special ($19.50 from $49.99 until 4/1)
The Missing: JJ Macfield ($10.20 from $29.99 until 4/1)
Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus ($4.80 from $39.99 until 4/1)
Worldend Syndrome ($16.00 from $39.99 until 4/1)
Damascus Gear Operation Osaka ($2.40 from $19.99 until 4/1)
Code Shifter ($4.50 from $14.99 until 4/1)
Mononoke Slashdown ($4.20 from $6.99 until 4/1)
Warsaw ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/6)
Nine Parchments ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/7)
Trine Enchanted Edition ($3.74 from $14.99 until 4/7)
Trine 2 Complete Story ($4.24 from $16.99 until 4/7)
Trine 3: TAoP ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/7)
Boreal Blade ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/7)
Hexologic ($2.00 from $2.99 until 4/8)
Naught ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/11)
Flying Soldiers ($8.99 from $17.99 until 4/11)
Don’t Give Up: Cynical Tale ($8.49 from $9.99 until 4/12)
Freedom Finger ($5.99 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Space Crew ($11.99 from $19.99 until 4/13)
My Hidden Things ($4.68 from $6.99 until 4/13)
Mystery Mine ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/13)
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind ($12.49 from $24.99 until 4/13)
Hotshot Racing ($11.99 from $19.99 until 4/13)
A Knight’s Quest ($7.49 from $24.99 until 4/13)
BDSM ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/13)
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels ($8.99 from $29.99 until 4/13)
HardCube ($2.10 from $7.00 until 4/13)
One Dog Story ($5.99 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Beholder: Complete ($3.74 from $14.99 until 4/13)
For The King ($8.49 from $24.99 until 4/13)
American Fugitive ($6.79 from $19.99 until 4/13)
Hue ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/13)
When Ski Lifts Go Wrong ($2.24 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Pumped BMX Pro ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Bomber Crew ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Manual Samuel ($2.49 from $9.99 until 4/13)
Velocity 2X ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/13)
The Swindle ($3.74 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Rogue Aces ($2.59 from $12.99 until 4/13)
Smoke and Sacrifice ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/13)
The Flame in the Flood ($3.74 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Serial Cleaner ($2.24 from $14.99 until 4/13)
Golazo! ($3.99 from $14.99 until 4/14)
Roarr! Jurassic ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/14)
Hellbreachers ($3.99 from $4.99 until 4/14)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, March 26th
Ace Strike ($2.99 from $3.99 until 3/26)
Arcanoid Breakout ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/26)
BringIt to MOM ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/26)
Deadly Days ($4.74 from $18.99 until 3/26)
Down in Bermuda ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/26)
Dragon Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 3/26)
Hyper Sentinel ($1.99 from $7.99 until 3/26)
Leisure Suit Larry: WDDD ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/26)
Mermaid Castle ($3.99 from $4.99 until 3/26)
Mystery of Woolley Mountain ($3.99 from $12.99 until 3/26)
Pancake Bar Tycoon ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/26)
Silk ($2.59 from $12.99 until 3/26)
Sky Racket ($1.99 from $14.99 until 3/26)
Speedway Racing ($3.99 from $9.99 until 3/26)
Squeakers ($2.00 from $2.99 until 3/26)
Titans Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 3/26)
Warplanes WW1 Sky Aces ($6.99 from $9.99 until 3/26)
Zombie Hill Race ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/26)
That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow will see a bunch of other games release, with the most noteworthy being Monster Hunter Rise. We’ll have summaries of all of them, along with whatever sales and big news items come in the meantime. I hope you all have an awesome Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!