Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 13th, 2021. In today’s article, we have the usual Wednesday news item to check out before we head into a trio of reviews. Not as long as yesterday’s reviews, I promise. Some actual Mini-Views this time. After that, we have five new releases to check out. A few potentially interesting games but nothing that is jumping out with much strength, in my estimation. We finish up by checking out the latest sales, of which there are not many. Not the right day for that, really. Well, let’s get to business.
Blast it All in the Next ‘Super Smash Bros.’ Event
This week has been considerably less exciting for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate news than last week, but at least for now we can count on our weekend event announcements. No new Spirits this week, but we might see something interesting on that front next week. Or not, who knows with Kingdom Hearts and Disney and all that fluff? Instead, we get a tournament event focused on the Blast Box item. During this tournament event, you’ll be seeing a lot of these highly volatile items appearing. Use them to your advantage or suffer like G did. Pile up those wins and you’ll get better quality Spirits for your efforts. The event kicks off on Friday and runs for the usual three days through the weekend.
Reviews & Mini-Views
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl ($49.99)
Disclosure: Although he did not work on this particular game, former TouchArcade Editor-in-Chief Eli Hodapp is currently an employee of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl publisher GameMill Entertainment.
Expectations can be brutal, and I can’t think of a better recent case of a hype ball clearly rolling out of control than Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. I think some people felt like this game was going to be the next Super Smash Bros., and that is a bit silly. It is certainly a Smash-inspired game, and it may well be the best one of those we have seen. But at the end of the day, this is a licensed game from a mid-tier publisher and an independent developer that wears the scope of its budget on its sleeve. There was never a chance it was going to unseat what is literally one of the biggest events in recent gaming history.
With those ideas set aside, let’s look at the good and the bad here. The bad? You can feel this game’s concessions all over the place. Absolutely no voice acting apart from the announcer. Not even any grunts or yells. No licensed music or tunes based on the music you remember from the shows. Some rough edges on the visuals. And clear signs that there will be paid DLC characters in the future, which wouldn’t be so bad if the core roster wasn’t a little on the thin side. Don’t expect any of the fun extra modes and bonuses from the Smash games, either. You get a basic Battle mode, an Arcade mode, an Online mode, and a little Extras section with some art, a list of moves, replays, and a jukebox.
The good? While the visuals have their rough points, they don’t look bad. The roster is varied and fun, with some unexpected choices. The actual battle mechanics are surprisingly strong, which is why I feel this is the next best thing to Super Smash Bros. itself. The online functions well enough. The stages cover a variety of styles and layouts, with lots of fun places to fight. The bottom line is that what is here is generally well-realized. Oh, and I like the announcer. Nice energy. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a lot better than I was personally expecting it to be. The developers have gotten a lot of the hard parts right, and one could easily imagine this game being built on like Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid was and becoming something truly great.
Indeed, it seems like the developers have done the best job they could have given the scope of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. But I can’t ignore that it’s missing a lot of the things that make these kinds of cross-over games fun. No voices, no familiar music, and a lot of Nickelodeon properties going unrepresented. A scant number of modes, without any really good single-player stuff to chew on. It feels a bit on the cheap side, to be frank. A person could buy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for just a little more money, and unless they’re a Nick fan, they probably should. But if you already have Smash and are looking for something else along those lines, this is a good pick-up.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
This is a fairly straightforward physics-based puzzle game. Each stage challenges you to get your characters to the exit, which will generally involve using various items and gadgets to create a safe path for them. It’s easy enough early on, but the challenge steps up as you make your way through the game. As with many games that rely on physics puzzles, you can sometimes find surprising ways to accomplish your goals. I found the game ran out of ideas before it reached its end, however, and I often felt like I was doing the same things again and again. It’s particularly annoying if a puzzle has multiple steps and you mess up near the end, as you’ll have to do the whole thing from scratch. Some of the machines are very slow, and watching your digger slowly dig through the soil again so you can get to the tricky part loses its charm fast.
Underland is an okay puzzle platformer, but it doesn’t have a lot of new ideas and it really hurts the game over the course of its thirty stages. I ended up relying on a lot of similar strategies, and everything moved a lot slower than I would like. If you’re in the right mood, I could see it being a nice way to spend a lazy afternoon, but you can probably find many more interesting things to play on the Switch.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Antonball Deluxe ($14.99)
You don’t see a whole lot of Pong games these days, but its immediate progeny Breakout still pops up in various shapes and forms. Antonball Deluxe puts a bigger twist on it than some do. You control a character rather than a paddle, and need to platform around to whack the ball where it needs to go. Antonball Deluxe includes a few different games that revolve around a similar theme, and they’re all reasonably fun. The multiplayer game, Vs. Antonball, can be a riot with the right bunch assembled. If you enjoy your brick breakers, you may want to give this one a look. On the other hand, if you find this type of admittedly vintage gameplay to be old hat Antonball probably won’t change your mind.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
A rather pretty platformer that is as demanding as it is good-looking. There are a whopping 170 levels to play through, and it has the faint whiff of Celeste about it from a mechanical standpoint. If you enjoy precision platformers, you may want to look into this one. If nothing else, the price sure is enticing for what you get here.
Immortus Temporus ($4.99)
This is a speedrunning focused game where you have to guide your little puck around and grab all the pick-ups to open the exit. You need to do this as quickly as possible. Death only costs you time, but sometimes it might be a good call. Any changes will persist after you die, so it might be worth sacrificing a few seconds if your next life can make up for it by skipping the obstacle you just took out. It seems okay for what it is.
Starlight Alliance ($9.99)
This is an action-RPG that seems pretty ambitious for its price. That tends to put me on guard. You control a pair of characters in this sci-fi adventure, though only one at a time. The other will always be controlled by a pretty basic AI, so good luck with that. Battle robots and explore a dystopian futuristic city as you investigate why the drone network has been malfunctioning. Seems pretty rough, but I don’t know what else one should expect from a ten dollar 3D action-RPG from an indie.
Hey, a Nicalis release. You don’t see too many of those these days. This game has been in development for a pretty long time, and it shows. It’s a roguelite action game with a strong Game Boy Advance visual aesthetic, with three different characters to play as, oodles of weapons to find or buy, and hundreds of branching paths. I haven’t had the opportunity to play this yet, but it looks quite solid.
Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide ($4.99)
This is a quirky little puzzle game with some similarities to Chu Chu Rocket. You need to guide a flow of spirits from the entrance of each of the thirty stages to the exit by plunking down cardboard boxes. You can play this one in co-op and indeed you will need a second player with you to clear some of the stages. It certainly has a striking visual style, and the price makes it an easy punt if you like puzzlers.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Not the most impressive list of sales, to be sure. I think the two most notable games in there are Battle Brothers and R-Type Final 2, both of which I believe are having their first post-launch sales. R-Type Final 2 doesn’t run all that well on the Switch, but if that’s your only option it certainly has a lot to chew on in terms of content. In the outbox, Circle Entertainment is finishing up some of its latest discounts, so you may want to consider picking up games like Mercenaries Blaze, Shadows of Adam, or Rabi-Ribi while they’re a bit cheaper. Or not. Check those lists yourselves, naturally. I am merely a guide.
Select New Games on Sale
Ninjin Clash of Carrots ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/19)
Bear With Me: The Lost Robots ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/19)
Skully ($7.49 from $29.99 until 10/19)
Ary & the Secret of Seasons ($9.99 from $39.99 until 10/19)
Remothered Broken Porcelain ($9.89 from $29.99 until 10/19)
Battle Brothers: TB TRPG ($20.99 from $29.99 until 10/27)
R-Type Final 2 ($31.99 from $39.99 until 10/28)
Halloween Forever ($8.69 from $9.99 until 11/1)
Weaving Tides ($19.99 from $24.99 until 11/2)
Perception ($2.99 from $19.99 until 11/2)
Crypt of the NecroDancer ($3.99 from $19.99 until 11/2)
Werewolf Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/2)
Mummy Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/2)
Halloween Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/2)
Pirates Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/2)
Immortus Temporus ($3.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Angel’s Punishment ($1.99 from $24.99 until 11/3)
Starlight Alliance ($8.90 from $9.99 until 10/18)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, October 14th
2in1 App Driver & Serial Killer/Sniper ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Adv. of Bertram Fiddle: Ep 2 ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/14)
Aliens Drive Me Crazy ($4.20 from $6.00 until 10/14)
Bishoujo Battle Mahjong Solitaire ($4.19 from $5.99 until 10/14)
Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Clumsy Rush ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Cozy Grove ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/14)
Cyber Protocol ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/14)
Defenders of Ekron ($3.49 from $13.99 until 10/14)
Evoland Legendary Edition ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/14)
Ghost Blade HD ($4.49 from $14.99 until 10/14)
Hentai vs. Evil ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/14)
Incredible Mandy ($5.99 from $14.99 until 10/14)
Instant Sports Tennis ($9.99 from $24.99 until 10/14)
Mercenaries Blaze ($13.99 from $19.99 until 10/14)
Mercenaries Saga Chronicles ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/14)
Mercenaries Wings ($7.79 from $12.99 until 10/14)
Never Stop ($3.74 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Nirvana Pilot Yume ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Northgard ($13.99 from $19.99 until 10/14)
OMG Police: Car Chase TV ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Project Starship X ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/14)
Rabi-Ribi ($20.99 from $29.99 until 10/14)
Rising Hell ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/14)
Robozarro ($2.44 from $6.99 until 10/14)
Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/14)
Shadows of Adam ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/14)
Sisters Royale: FSUF ($6.99 from $13.99 until 10/14)
Speed Limit ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/14)
Squad Killer ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/14)
Subnautica + Below Zero ($47.98 from $59.98 until 10/14)
Tales of the Tiny Planet ($11.24 from $14.99 until 10/14)
Tetragon ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/14)
The Adv. of Bertram Fiddle: Ep 1 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/14)
The VideoKid ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/14)
Trigger Witch ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/14)
When the Past Was Around ($4.24 from $8.49 until 10/14)
Will: A Wonderful World ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/14)
World Conqueror X ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/14)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with a look at somewhere near twenty new releases, because if there’s one thing we all need it’s more games. I expect that will be the bulk of the article, with the sales lists and maybe a nudge about the Animal Crossing Direct filling things out. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and as always, thanks for reading!