Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 2nd, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got more reviews for you. Four more! One comes from our pal Mikhail, who has hustled to get a review ready for the brand-new release Unpacking. The other three are from yours truly, with evaluations of Dungeon Encounters, DUSK, and Cotton 100%. Wow, that’s some good classic-style gaming fun. There are several new releases today, but most of them are a bit dubious. We summarize them anyway, then wrap a ribbon on it with the latest sales and soon-to-be-expired discounts. Let’s get in there!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Over the years, Humble Games has become one of my favorite publishers because of the variety of games it releases. Unpacking from developer Witch Beam is the newest Humble Games-published release, and it is pretty damn great. As the name suggests, Unpacking has you unpacking belongings at different stages of someone’s life to put together a narrative with the help of zen-like puzzles and gameplay.
Your aim is to open boxes and arrange various kinds of items in a specific room or more than one room as the game progresses. It blends in fitting puzzles, placement puzzles, common sense, and more as you try and arrange all sorts of things in different parts of a house. While it initially felt a bit too simple, I soon saw the attention to detail in Unpacking. It also helps that the pixel art is superb and the music is sublime.
The only fail state so to speak, is if you haven’t placed a specific item in the correct location. This is where common sense comes into the picture, but there are some items where I either couldn’t tell what they were, or why they fit in a specific place. This led to some trial and error and felt like the only area the game was too vague for its own good. If this annoys you too much, you can enable an accessibility setting to place things anywhere. This removes the puzzle element, but will no doubt help you when you’re stuck.
On Nintendo Switch, Unpacking has great HD Rumble and touchscreen support. It plays really well with a controller thanks to sensitivity settings, but feels perfect with touch controls. I can’t wait to replay this if it does come to iOS in the future. You can also use touch controls here for the interface. The developers really went the extra mile for the Switch version of Unpacking.
The art in Unpacking is brilliant. While there are some small items that I couldn’t figure out placement for, everything looks exactly as it should, and the animations for certain things are subtle and nice. Unpacking has been a pleasant surprise in just about every way.
When Animal Crossing: New Horizons released around the time people were going into lockdowns across the globe, a lot of people praised the way it helped people. Unpacking is exactly that for me right now with so many long games and deadlines. It has been a perfect game to dip into as a break from longer and more stressful games. While the gameplay might be too simple for some, Unpacking has managed to make something as mundane as arranging furniture and items be a lot of fun. It also helps that Unpacking on Nintendo Switch makes great use of the system’s features. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Dungeon Encounters ($29.99)
I hate to lean on a cop-out like this, and I promise I will elaborate a little, but: if you think this game looks like your jam, you will probably love it. What the development team has done here is boil an ATB-based dungeon RPG down to its barest mechanical form. Story? Not really. A little context to book-end it all, but don’t count on much of anything in the middle. Character personalities? Only the ones you make in your head. Gorgeous graphics to contextualize the areas you travel through? Goodness, no.
Here is what you get: a grid that represents the dungeon, with each square potentially containing an event of some kind, but usually not. A party of characters you pick from the start, each with slightly different stats. A turn-based battle system that uses the traditional Final Fantasy Active Time Battle system and a mechanic wherein you need to break the enemy’s defense before dealing damage. Some uncharacteristically poor music from Nobuo Uematsu. And perhaps most importantly, a punishing level of difficulty that hearkens back to early Wizardry games. You can wipe out on the 90th floor, and if your rescue party isn’t strong enough to go pick up the corpses, you can lose everything you worked for. Wow.
Dungeon Encounters is not going to be for everyone. It’s not even going to be for most. But if you relish the idea of a challenging, no-frills dungeon crawl with a familiar yet slightly novel battle system, a game that cuts the genre right down to its gameplay skivvies? This is it. I can’t imagine a better realization of such an objective, no matter how niche a target it may be. Maybe if it had better music. Just be warned that the game may well bring you closer to spiking your controller than you’ve been in a while.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
If you enjoy classic first-person shooters like DOOM, Rise of the Triad, or Duke Nukem 3D, you need to pick up DUSK. It perfectly nails the high-speed, cool action of those games. Yet at the same time, it manages to use its own theme, setting, and gameplay mechanics such that it doesn’t retread the ground those games laid down. You wake up in what you soon realize is a cultist’s house. You probably won’t figure that out until you’ve already racked up a bit of a body count, mind you. From there you find that you’re in the middle of a forest, and that cultist’s house is part of a whole messed-up town. And if you think the people are bad, wait until you see what lies beneath.
DUSK is an amazingly authentic ode to the old kings of the genre, and it’s as fiendishly fun as it is filled with carnage. This Switch port is virtually flawless, allowing you to enjoy this game in a pure, uncompromised form. I’m always skeptical of recommendations about this sort of game, as I often find they don’t quite measure up in one way or another. DUSK? It had me from hello and kept me all the way through to the bitter end. Then I started it up all over again just to have another ride on this ridiculous roller coaster.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Cotton 100% ($14.99)
The current owners of the Cotton IP seem hell-bent on getting every classic Cotton game out on modern platforms, and I applaud that effort even if they haven’t all gone well. Cotton 100% isn’t the least of those in terms of quality, but it may well be the least interesting. Originally released on the Super Famicom, it falls somewhere between a redo of the first game and a brand-new entry. Side-scrolling shooting, an assortment of magic spells to use in a pinch, and a rudimentary leveling system all return in this game. It’s a fair bit easier than most of the other games in the series, and I personally feel that’s just one of the ways that it comes off a bit bland.
Ratalaika Games seems to have handled this release for publisher ININ Games. It uses their familiar emulator and interface we’ve seen in releases going back to Turrican Legacy, with a similar set of options and extras. There are a few bugs present, and some of the settings don’t work at the moment. The game also lacks any language options for the in-game text beyond the original Japanese, though a patch is apparently on the way that will add the usual set of languages. It’s an okay version of an okay game, but not much more than that.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
World War Z ($39.99)
The expert port-smiths at Saber Interactive have applied their magic to one of their own games this time. It’s a third-person shooter with support for up to four players via local multiplayer. Based on the book and movie of the same title, you choose a class and head out to try and survive the zombie apocalypse. I can’t give any first-hand impressions of this particular port, but if anyone could pull this off, it would be Saber Interactive.
Well, this is an interesting way to tell a story. You’re unpacking and packing a person’s rooms at various stages in their life. What you pack, unpack, and leave behind gives you clues as to what is going on. The actual gameplay is a combination of space management and decoration. You’ve seen Mikhail’s review by now, I’m sure. I don’t really have too much else to add to it.
Peruvian game developer LEAP Game Studios has a fresh-looking beat-em-up for us to dig into, taking you and up to three buddies via local co-op on an adventure to unravel the secrets of the Amazonian jungle. You can choose from five different characters, including guest character Hat Kid from A Hat in Time. They’re quite a diverse group with lots of different moves to master, and you will want to use all of them to rack up stylish combos an earn a good grade. I haven’t had a chance to play this yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
Cupid Parasite ($49.99)
Otomate and Idea Factory have another offering for those who enjoy their brand of otome visual novels. You play as something of a celestial matchmaker who has been given your most difficult job yet: helping the infamous Parasite 5 find love. But what will you do if their true love turns out to be you? A love questionnaire at the beginning of the game will determine which route you’ll end up on, and you’ll have to make a variety of choices throughout the game that will hopefully lead you to a happy ending.
Occult Interrogation: The Ritual of Little Nightmares ($4.99)
This feels very, very thin. The idea is that you’re being put on trial and must prove your innocence by answering questions. If you are found guilty, you will be condemned to Hell. There are multiple endings, and you have a limited amount of time to answer each question correctly. The issue is that there isn’t much more than twenty questions to it. Granted, it is only five dollars, but don’t count on it lasting all that long.
Galaxy Shooter ($4.99)
This is a fairly generic vertical shoot-em-up that does very little to distinguish itself. Even at such a reasonable price, that’s a big problem on a platform as rich in shoot-em-up goodness as the Nintendo Switch. There are worse ways to spend a fiver, but you can easily find more interesting and enjoyable shoot-em-ups around this price point on the eShop.
Air Racers ($4.99)
Benjamin Kistler has fished up another probable template, this time a racing game with a flying theme. Up to two players can join via local multiplayer. There are five tracks, and three gameplay modes. Perhaps to no one’s surprise, it’s not very good.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Wow, Owlboy is on sale. That’s a rare one, and it’s ending soon. Make sure you grab it if you’ve had your eye on it. Another rare sale is on Project Warlock, a great game to grab if you’re looking for a DUSK chaser. There are a few interesting things in the outbox, though I expect the bulk of it to roll back around before too long. Make sure you scope those lists with your own peepers, though. I am not the Governor-General of Gamesalesia, after all.
Select New Games on Sale
Owlboy ($12.49 from $24.99 until 11/4)
Regalia: Of Men & Monarchs ($9.99 from $24.99 until 11/8)
Lichtspeer: Double Speer ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/8)
Darkwood ($5.99 from $14.99 until 11/8)
BUTCHER ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/8)
Klondike Solitaire ($1.99 from $8.99 until 11/8)
MouseCraft ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/8)
My Memory of Us ($2.24 from $14.99 until 11/8)
Winds of Change ($13.99 from $19.99 until 11/8)
Cinders ($1.99 from $19.99 until 11/8)
Food Truck Tycoon: Asian ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/8)
Urban Flow ($1.99 from $14.99 until 11/8)
My Coloring Book ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/8)
WARSAW ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/8)
Moonshades: Dungeon Crawler RPG ($8.99 from $17.99 until 11/8)
Bonkies ($5.99 from $14.99 until 11/8)
Project Warlock ($5.99 from $14.99 until 11/8)
Breakfast Bar Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/8)
Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz ($9.99 from $29.99 until 11/8)
Curved Space ($12.99 from $19.99 until 11/9)
Amazing Princess Sarah ($4.80 from $8.00 until 11/12)
Mech Rage ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/15)
Frontier Quest ($9.59 from $11.99 until 11/15)
Bargain Hunter ($8.74 from $12.49 until 11/16)
Time Tenshi ($10.49 from $14.99 until 11/16)
The Outer Worlds ($23.99 from $59.99 until 11/16)
XCOM 2 Collection ($12.49 from $49.99 until 11/16)
BioShock Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/16)
BioShock 2 Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/16)
BioShock Infinite: Complete ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/16)
BioShock: The Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 11/16)
Borderlands: GotY Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 11/16)
Borderlands: Handsome Collection ($15.99 from $39.99 until 11/16)
Borderlands Legendary Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 11/16)
Tales from the Borderlands ($19.99 from $24.99 until 11/16)
LA Noire ($24.99 from $49.99 until 11/16)
Carnival Games ($9.99 from $39.99 until 11/16)
PGA Tour 2K21 ($19.79 from $59.99 until 11/16)
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 ($7.49 from $29.99 until 11/16)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI ($8.99 from $29.99 until 11/16)
WWE 2K18 ($19.79 from $59.99 until 11/16)
WWE 2K Battlegrounds ($15.99 from $39.99 until 11/16)
Ghost: Elisa Cameron ($2.99 from $9.99 until 11/16)
1912 Titanic Mystery ($2.99 from $9.99 until 11/21)
Faircroft’s Antiques: ToT CE ($2.99 from $9.99 until 11/21)
Fate of the Pharaoh ($3.99 from $9.99 until 11/21)
Family Vacation: California ($3.99 from $9.99 until 11/21)
Subsurface Circular ($2.99 from $5.99 until 11/22)
Deiland: Pocket Planet ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/22)
Suicide Guy ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/22)
Suicide Guy: Sleepin Deeply ($1.99 from $5.99 until 11/22)
Ghost Files: Memory of a Crime ($2.09 from $14.99 until 11/22)
SkyScrappers ($2.49 from $9.99 until 11/22)
Moto Rush GT ($1.99 from $14.99 until 11/22)
Pizza Bar Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/22)
Trancelation ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/22)
Solitaire Deluxe 3 in 1 ($1.99 from $14.99 until 11/22)
Ludomania ($1.99 from $3.99 until 11/22)
Chess Ace ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/22)
Dadish ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/22)
Dadish 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/22)
Super Fowlst 2 ($2.00 from $10.00 until 11/22)
Figment ($2.19 from $19.99 until 11/22)
Binaries ($2.59 from $12.99 until 11/22)
Quarantine Circular ($2.99 from $5.99 until 11/22)
Flowlines VS ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/22)
Safari Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/22)
Adventure Pinball Bundle ($2.24 from $8.99 until 11/22)
Ultimate Racing 2D ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/22)
Isolation Story ($5.49 from $9.99 until 11/22)
Endless Fables: Shadow Within ($2.09 from $14.99 until 11/22)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 3rd
Adventure Field 4 ($6.49 from $9.99 until 11/3)
Agatha Christie: ABC Murders ($13.49 from $29.99 until 11/3)
Alternate Jake Hunter Daedalus ($4.80 from $39.99 until 11/3)
Angel’s Punishment ($1.99 from $24.99 until 11/3)
Assault ChaingunS KM ($7.99 from $9.99 until 11/3)
AVICII Invector ($13.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Bamerang ($5.24 from $6.99 until 11/3)
Close to the Sun ($9.99 from $24.99 until 11/3)
Crash Drive 2 ($1.99 from $8.99 until 11/3)
Crazy Oce ($2.99 from $5.99 until 11/3)
De: Yabatanien ($11.19 from $13.99 until 11/3)
Death Road to Canada ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/3)
Diablo: Prime Evil Collection ($41.99 from $59.99 until 11/3)
DreamGallery ($2.99 from $5.99 until 11/3)
Dune Sea ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/3)
Explosive Dinosaurs ($5.59 from $7.99 until 11/3)
Hope’s Farm ($1.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Immortus Temporus ($3.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Inferno Climber: Reborn ($4.75 from $13.99 until 11/3)
Jump King ($6.49 from $12.99 until 11/3)
KASIORI ($5.60 from $7.00 until 11/3)
Kowloon High-School Chronicle ($21.00 from $29.99 until 11/3)
LEGO Harry Potter Collection ($12.49 from $49.99 until 11/3)
Little Nightmares Complete ($7.49 from $29.99 until 11/3)
Little Nightmares II ($20.09 from $29.99 until 11/3)
Marooners ($1.99 from $14.99 until 11/3)
Medieval Tower Defense ($4.89 from $6.99 until 11/3)
Mononoke Slashdown ($4.20 from $6.99 until 11/3)
Number Place 10000 ($2.94 from $5.89 until 11/3)
Overwatch: Legendary Edition ($19.99 from $39.99 until 11/3)
Ox LOGIC PUZZLE 1000 ! ($7.00 from $14.00 until 11/3)
Path: Through the Forest ($2.99 from $5.99 until 11/3)
Professor Rubik’s Brain Fitness ($8.99 from $29.99 until 11/3)
Riverbond ($8.49 from $24.99 until 11/3)
Summer Sweetheart ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Syberia 3 ($4.99 from $49.99 until 11/3)
The Bluecoats North & South ($13.49 from $29.99 until 11/3)
The Missing: JJ Macfield ($7.50 from $29.99 until 11/3)
The Sisters Party of the Year ($22.49 from $29.99 until 11/3)
Uchu Shinshuchu ($4.00 from $8.00 until 11/3)
What Comes After ($4.89 from $6.99 until 11/3)
Worldend Syndrome ($10.00 from $39.99 until 11/3)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, some news, some sales, and perhaps a little more if time permits. Probably not, though. that’s already a lot! I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!