Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 24th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got four reviews for you to read. Three of them involve whacking monsters in dungeons! The other is about EXTREME DISC TOSSING. We have a bunch of new releases to look at, but please don’t get too excited. There must have been something in the eShop water this weekend, because… well, you’ll see. Finally, we round things out with the usual lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s get going!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Demon Gaze Extra ($59.99)
The first-person dungeon crawl RPG found a strong second wind about fifteen years ago thanks to handheld game consoles. The most famous and popular of the bunch, Etrian Odyssey, remained a Nintendo console exclusive up to its most recent installment, but those who preferred to play on Sony’s handhelds weren’t hurting for choice either. The Vita in particular had a wide array of this sort of game, some of them wildly creative. One of the more well-regarded ones was Kadokawa Games and Experience Inc.’s Demon Gaze. Several years have passed since its initial release, and it now makes its way to the Switch via Clouded Leopard Entertainment in the form of Demon Gaze Extra.
Demon Gaze follows the story of Oz, a rather ordinary young adventurer were it not for the fact that he has a special eye that allows him to seal and control demons. Through a rather forgettable sequence of events, he finds himself staying at a unique inn filled with other adventurers and is forced to earn his keep by completing quests and delving into dungeons. You can choose the rest of the party members, allowing you to customize your group as you like. Should Oz defeat a demon in battle, he’ll seal its power and be able to summon it as needed. Be careful, as summoned demons can run rampant if you let them off their leash too long.
The story isn’t terribly interesting, but the setting and characters do make a decent impression. Being that this is a transplant from the PlayStation Vita, you might expect there to be a fair amount of shounen manga-style fan service, and you wouldn’t be wrong. It doesn’t go as far as the likes of Mary Skelter, but you should be aware that it’s here whatever your feelings are on the topic. Most of this happens back at the inn when you’re chilling out with NPCs between dungeon runs, which adds a bit of levity to break up the monster-stomping.
This is the basic flow of Demon Gaze, and it makes for as breezy an experience as you’re liable to get from this sub-genre. Pick up a quest, head out to the appropriate dungeon, battle enemies and do whatever you need to do to complete the quest, and head back to the inn to upgrade and refresh before setting out again. The addition of the summoned demons to the battle system throws in a bit of spice, but otherwise this is a fairly orthodox take on the genre in terms of mechanics. Still, there’s a nice flow to it that makes it easy to sink hours upon hour into.
Demon Gaze Extra takes a solid dungeon crawler, gives it a new coat of paint, and adds a little extra bits here and there to entice veterans to give it another go. I wouldn’t say that content is necessarily worth replaying the game for on its own, but those who haven’t played Demon Gaze yet will find a good, well-paced dungeon romp here. The story doesn’t really go anywhere that interesting, and those who don’t care for fan service will probably want to steer clear, but if what you crave is some dungeon RPG comfort food Demon Gaze Extra won’t let you down.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Windjammers 2 ($19.99)
The best way I can describe Windjammers 2 is that it feels like a sequel that would have been made to the original game in its original time. Well, graphically it’s as modern as any of Dotemu’s other recent efforts. But if you replaced the visuals with some mid-90s NEOGEO art, nothing else here seems like it would be out of place in a 1996 arcade. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Mostly a good thing for Windjammers fans, though. More characters! More moves! Refined gameplay! New minigames! New arenas! And you can even play against other people online, provided you can find anyone.
Indeed, if you’re a Windjammers veteran you’ll almost certainly have a great time here. It pushes the concept even further along the road towards being a fighting game-style experience. Newcomers are going to have to be patient as they learn the ropes, because the game frankly does a miserable job of teaching its mechanics. There’s no training mode, and the CPU opponent is quite aggressive for a beginner even on easy difficulty. If you have a friend to play with locally, you can learn the game together. You can also head online, and if you’re able to find an opponent they will likely be easier on you than the CPU. Once you learn its mechanics, you’ll realize how special Windjammers is.
It’s a bit of a problem that you have to go so far to figure things out, though. Windjammers 2 is pretty light on extras overall, but by far the feature it could use most is a good practice mode. It’s also a bit disappointing that the Switch version doesn’t feature cross-play with any other platforms. I hope the situation with the online population improves, but at the moment it’s really hard to find people to play with. The game features rollback netcode so if you do find someone chances are good you’ll have a decent slice of arcade fun. Sadly, the online features are rather limited in a way that only adds to the obstacles.
In the end, Windjammers 2 is a return to the classic arcade experience in more ways than one. It’s a bit threadbare in terms of features, and you really need to pull in a friend to get the best out of it. You’re only given the barest of instructions, so you’ll have to either study up or learn on the fly. Put the time into learning it, and you’ll be rewarded with a truly thrilling game. Those who loved the original game can jump in without worry. The passion for the original game shines through brightly here.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Headland is a fairly basic hack-and-slash dungeon crawler, and while the Switch is hardly bereft of such experiences I find it hard to say no to another one so long as it’s well-built. There are some rough bits here to be sure. The technical performance isn’t great, and there are occasional fits with the collision detection. There really isn’t much technique to the combat at all. Not a lot of loot to speak of either, as new weapons are distributed by finding blueprints in special stages. There’s a fairly simple upgrade and leveling system implemented, and that’s about as deep as it gets.
Still, there’s a certain charm to Headland that helps carry it through to its conclusion. The levels are colorful, and it’s fun to hunt the secrets in each. The combat may not be fancy, but it’s functional enough. The game’s overall message was a nice one, and while I can’t see myself coming back to the game all that often, I enjoyed going through it. Headland is worth considering if you’re looking for some simple monster mashing enjoyment, but don’t expect it to tax your skills or wits in any serious fashion.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Labyrinth Legend ($14.99)
It’s apparently dungeon crawler review day, friends. Labyrinth Legend is another hack-and-slash approach to the concept, but it’s considerably more complex than the other game we looked at today. There’s a full random loot system, multiple character classes, equipment upgrades, all kinds of gear to equip, and even a local co-op option. And yet for all those elements, Labyrinth Legend is another very straightforward take on the idea. The penalty for death is relatively minor, and your might from leveling up and improving your gear will eventually make right against any of the forces opposing you.
Labyrinth Legend is one of those games that is nice to play when you want something relatively mindless to pass the time with. In that respect, it does what it does well. It’s engaging enough to keep you from getting bored, but it doesn’t demand a lot of heavy decision-making or tests of dexterity. The story isn’t very interesting, the setting is as generic as it gets, and I can’t really say it has any special gameplay mechanics to set it apart. This is not a game that will live in my memory very long now that I’ve completed it. But I can’t say I didn’t have a good time slowly digesting it over the course of a few evenings.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Parking Simulator ($9.99)
It is what it says it is. Park a variety of cars and other vehicles with skill to earn stars. You’ll also have to do a bit of driving on the roads. Try to go easy on the car!
Magic Code ($12.48)
A logic puzzle game of sorts with one hundred levels to play, bolstered by a level editor that you can use to make your own. It tries to take an educational angle, saying it will teach your kids the basics of coding. Really, you’re just pre-programming your character’s moves to try to complete the stage in one go. Yes, that is kind of how coding works in an abstract sense. But I don’t think your kids will be moving on to C++ or Java coding immediately after playing this game or anything.
Hammer Kid ($9.99)
A cute-looking 2D platformer starring a kid that tosses hammers, Hammer Kid has that five-dollar Switch platformer energy that we all know and love. The, uh, price doesn’t quite match, but let’s not dwell on that. You get forty hefty levels to explore, filled with bits and bobs to collect and enemies to thrash. Seems fun, if not necessarily the most exciting thing I’ve seen lately.
Benjamin Kistler has been digging around in the bins again, giving us what is probably yet another Android template flip under his new Kistler Studios label. Place the pieces to make lines, taking care not to leave yourself without room to place the next piece.
Football Killer ($6.99)
This is a puzzle game where you need to kick the soccer ball at just the right angle and speed to kill the other players. A variety of gimmicks try to keep things lively, but the whole thing is leaning hard on a gag that gets old fast. Naturally, you can unlock an assortment of cosmetic items to dress up your character.
Shadow Quest ($0.99)
Gametry has a platformer that is almost certainly a template flip for us, and as a special bonus it’s handheld only. Button controls in a platformer? Who wants those? Even as cheap as it is, I’m sure you could still find a better way to spend a buck.
Pure Mini Golf ($3.99)
And Gametry isn’t done yet today, friends. Here’s a probable template flip that takes the form of a miniature golf game. It has support for up to four players locally, and offers fifty stages to play.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
A big list of new discounts, but not a great one in my opinion. Tons of common sales, but RPG fans will want to get on Baldur’s Gate I & II EE and the Planescape/Icewind Dale EE packs. Ten dollars each for a pair of classic RPG bundles? Yes, please. From the outbox, you may want to grab ToeJam & Earl while it’s this cheap. Those are all of my suggestions, but feel free to rifle through the lists yourself and see what grabs you.
Select New Games on Sale
The Game of Life 2 ($20.99 from $29.99 until 1/28)
Coast Guard Beach Rescue ($4.79 from $11.99 until 1/28)
Detective Driver: Miami Files ($4.79 from $11.99 until 1/28)
Gas Station Highway Services ($4.79 from $11.99 until 1/28)
City Bus Driving Sim ($4.79 from $11.99 until 1/28)
Brawl Chess ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/28)
My Friend Peppa Pig ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Zoids Wild Blast Unleashed ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Transformers Battlegrounds ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Hotel Transylvania 3 MO ($17.99 from $29.99 until 1/31)
JUMANJI: The Video Game ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
The Last Kids on Earth: TSoD ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
PAW Patrol On a Roll! ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
PAW Patrol The Movie: ACC ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Gigantosaurus The Game ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Ice Age Scrat’s Nutty Adv. ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Ben 10 ($11.99 from $19.99 until 1/31)
Ben 10: Power Trip! ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
DreamWorks Dragons DoNR ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
DreamWorks Spirit LBA ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Crayola Scoot ($5.99 from $29.99 until 1/31)
Adventure Time: Pirates ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Trollhunters: DoA ($23.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Fast & Furious Spy Racers RoS ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
PJ Masks Heroes of the Night ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Blaze & the Monster Machines ACR ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Event Horizon ($1.99 from $5.99 until 1/31)
Debtor ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/31)
Mushroom Quest ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/31)
Colorful Colore ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/31)
FunBox Party ($1.99 from $2.49 until 1/31)
Tactical Mind ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/31)
Pew Paw ($1.99 from $6.99 until 1/31)
Skull Rogue ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/31)
Grood ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/31)
Mad Carnage ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Swordbreaker the Game ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)
One Person Story ($1.99 from $2.99 until 2/1)
Breathing Fear ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Dark Burial ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/1)
Atomic Heist ($1.99 from $7.99 until 2/1)
Dead Dungeon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Johnny Turbo’s Arcade, Assorted ($2.71 from $7.99 until 2/1)
Johnny Turbo: Heavy Burger ($3.39 from $9.99 until 2/1)
Skulls of the Shogun ($6.79 from $19.99 until 2/1)
GALAK-Z: The Void DE ($5.09 from $14.99 until 2/1)
Treadnauts ($10.04 from $14.99 until 2/1)
Real Heroes: FireFighter ($5.09 from $14.99 until 2/1)
SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off ($5.99 from $14.99 until 2/1)
What the Zombies?! ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/1)
Planescape & Icewind Dale EE ($9.99 from $49.99 until 2/5)
Baldur’s Gate I & II EE ($9.99 from $49.99 until 2/5)
Neverwinter Nights: EE ($9.99 from $49.99 until 2/5)
Mickey Storm & the Cursed Mask ($9.99 from $17.99 until 2/7)
Taxi Chaos ($14.99 from $34.95 until 2/7)
Angry Alligator ($19.99 from $29.99 until 2/7)
AnShi ($12.49 from $17.99 until 2/7)
Ancient Rush 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Meteoroids 3D ($3.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
WeakWood Throne ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Slots of Poker at Aces Casino ($2.99 from $7.99 until 2/7)
Caterpillar Royale ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Panda Jump ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/7)
Collide-a-Ball 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Sokodice ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/7)
Dungeon Shooting ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Super Ping Pong Trick Shot ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Battle & Crash ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Ping Pong Evolution Trick Shot ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Animal Hunter Z ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Speed 3: Grand Prix ($14.99 from $39.99 until 2/7)
Super Street: Racer ($12.49 from $39.99 until 2/7)
Om Nom: Run ($3.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Farabel ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/8)
Polyroll ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/10)
Depth of Extinction ($4.99 from $14.99 until 2/10)
Race Track Driver ($5.99 from $11.99 until 2/11)
Street Racing: Tokyo Rush ($5.99 from $11.99 until 2/11)
The Hong Kong Massacre ($4.99 from $19.99 until 2/11)
Beautiful Desolation ($4.99 from $19.99 until 2/11)
Demon’s Rise War for the Deep ($1.99 from $6.99 until 2/11)
OctaFight ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/11)
Mana Spark Complete Edition ($1.99 from $11.99 until 2/11)
One Strike Complete Edition ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/11)
Not Not: A Brain Buster ($1.99 from $2.49 until 2/11)
Horror & Adventure Pinball ($7.49 from $14.99 until 2/11)
Wild & Horror Pinball ($7.49 from $14.99 until 2/11)
Viviette ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/11)
Golf Club Wasteland ($3.99 from $9.99 until 2/11)
Shipped ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/11)
Party Treats ($1.99 from $2.49 until 2/11)
Dark Fantasy: Jigsaw Puzzle ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/11)
Dark Fantasy: Jigsaw Puzzle 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/11)
The Suicide of Rachel Foster ($11.99 from $19.99 until 2/12)
Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/12)
The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/12)
The Dark Eye: Memoria ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/12)
Felix the Reaper ($1.99 from $14.99 until 2/12)
Air Strike: WW2 Fighters SC ($2.79 from $6.99 until 2/12)
Fire: Ungh’s Quest ($4.99 from $14.99 until 2/12)
Tower of Babel ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/12)
Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/12)
Midnight Evil ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/12)
Dyna Bomb ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/12)
Metaloid: Origin ($3.49 from $6.99 until 2/12)
Best Sniper Legacy: Dino Hunt ($2.79 from $6.99 until 2/12)
Pool: 8 Ball Billiards ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/12)
Ghost Sweeper ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/12)
The Skylia Prophecy ($3.49 from $6.99 until 2/12)
Final Light, The Prison ($1.99 from $6.99 until 2/12)
Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure ($3.49 from $6.99 until 2/12)
JARS ($9.99 from $14.99 until 2/12)
Racing Xtreme 2 ($2.09 from $6.99 until 2/12)
Xtreme Club Racing ($1.99 from $9.89 until 2/12)
Green Game: TimeSwapper ($2.00 from $2.99 until 2/12)
BlackJack Math ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/12)
Top Bike Racing & Moto Drag ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/12)
Ghosts & Apples ($6.99 from $9.99 until 2/12)
Tank Battle Heroes ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/12)
Road Racing Highway Car Chase ($3.99 from $9.99 until 2/12)
Top Speed: Drag & Fast Racing ($2.39 from $7.999 until 2/12)
Moto Rider Go: Highway Traffic ($2.69 from $8.99 until 2/12)
Top Boat: Racing Sim 3D ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/12)
Run the Fan ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/12)
Racing Classics Pro: DR & RS ($2.79 from $6.99 until 2/12)
Poker Champion: Texas Hold’em ($3.99 from $9.99 until 2/12)
InfiniteCorp: Cyberpunk Card Game ($2.39 from $7.99 until 2/12)
Super Arcade Soccer 2021 ($2.10 from $7.00 until 2/13)
Brotherhood United ($1.99 from $8.99 until 2/13)
Halloween Snowball Bubble ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/13)
#Wish Travel, Puzzles Dream ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/13)
#womenUp, Puzzles Dream ($2.06 from $6.19 until 2/13)
#NoLimitFantasy, Puzzles Dream ($2.06 from $6.19 until 2/13)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 25th
.dog ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/25)
Azure Saga: Pathfinder DE ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/25)
Guards ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/25)
MagiCat ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/25)
My Lovely Daughter ($5.99 from $14.99 until 1/25)
Racing Karts ($4.49 from $4.99 until 1/25)
Rage in Peace ($5.19 from $12.99 until 1/25)
She and the Light Bearer ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/25)
Tardy ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/25)
ToeJam & Earl Back in the Groove ($2.09 from $14.99 until 1/25)
Ultra Space Battle Brawl ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/25)
War of Stealth: Assassin ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/25)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with some new releases that I hope will provide more thrills than today’s batch. I should also have another review or two for you to enjoy, plus whatever news and sales roll in during the next day. I hope you all have a fantastic Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!