Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 24th, 2023. In today’s article, we kick things off with a little news bit from our pal Mikhail. After that, it’s new release time, and there are a lot of them. The headliners are Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe and Octopath Traveler II, but there is plenty here to sift through. After that, it’s time for the sales lists. I suppose that will do for a Friday, so let’s get to work!
Cozy Grove Retail Edition Revealed with Pre-Orders Now Live
Cozy Grove is getting a physical release on Nintendo Switch (and PS5) through iam8bit and Skybound Entertainment. We’ve covered Cozy Grove ever since it hit Apple Arcade, and it eventually made its way to multiple platforms. The mysterious life simulation experience is getting two retail releases with pre-orders now live. As a fan of physical games on Switch, I’m glad that more indie games are hitting retail shelves without being limited to a small pre-order window on just one site worldwide. Cozy Grove‘s retail release will be available through iam8bit’s own store and GameStop in the US. The retail edition is priced at $29.99 while the iam8bit exclusive release is $34.99 with the latter including one of 28 enamel pins. The retail edition includes sticker sheets and the new NeighBEARS DLC on cartridge. It is going to be interesting to see if Cozy Grove makes it onto our best Switch physical games of the year feature in December. -Mikhail Madnani
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe ($59.99)
Another Wii game gets a new lease on life with this remake of Kirby’s Return to Dreamland. You get the same main game, which is a fine Kirby adventure, plus some new extras to play around with. There are new Copy Abilities, some new minigames, and a whole new mode where you play as Magolor as he tries to recover his lost powers. There’s a demo available on the eShop if you want to try it out before you buy it, but I imagine you likely already have the gist of how it plays. We should have a review of this one early next week in case you need more convincing.
Octopath Traveler II ($59.99)
Here’s the sequel to Octopath Traveler, the hit 2018 Square Enix RPG that introduced the HD-2D graphic style that has since been used in a number of titles. The situation is certainly different this time around. The HD-2D thing isn’t as novel anymore, the game isn’t a Switch exclusive, and Nintendo obviously isn’t publishing. Is that any reflection of the game’s quality? From what I’ve played so far, absolutely not. This is another banger of an RPG from the folks at Square Enix, and I sure hope to be able to write up a review of it for you all soon.
Clive ‘N’ Wrench ($29.99)
A game more than ten years in the making, Clive ‘N’ Wrench is another one of those indie 3D platformers born out of a love of the classics and a concern that the genre was fading out. Here in the current year we know that isn’t a serious problem anymore, but I’ll never say no to another good one. I suppose the big question is if this is, in fact, another good one. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but it sure looks promising. I’m a bit worried about how it performs on the Switch, though. I recommend holding off on this game pending some reviews, no matter how charming it looks.
Valis: The Fantasm Soldier Collection II ($44.99)
If you thought the first Valis collection was a bit of a sketchy value at $39.99, things are somehow worse here. You do get four games instead of three here, but the quality on the whole is a big step lower. First, the PC Engine version of Valis IV which probably should have been in the first collection if the goal here wasn’t to milk the fans. It’s alright. Next, Syd of Valis and Valis: The Fantasm Soldier for the Genesis. Syd is rancid; Valis is fine but the version on the first collection is probably better. Finally, the MSX original Valis: The Phantasm Soldier, which is frankly a historical curio more than anything. Adding to the woes, there are some issues with the sound emulation on the Genesis games. You have to be a serious Valis fan for this to be worth your money, and even then… it’s really pushing it.
Roniu’s Tale ($7.99)
Oh hey, I played this one on the Evercade. This is a nifty little puzzle game designed for the NES. You have to grab all the necessary items and make it to the exit on each level using your wits, good timing, and a little bit of magic. The trick is that every step you take makes the path behind you crumble. Think before you move. There are forty-seven levels to play, and it doesn’t take too long to get through it. Still a very fun time and well-worth the asking price for puzzle fans.
Arcade Archives Don Doko Don ($7.99)
Taito’s Bubble Bobble may well be one of the most famous single-screen platformers ever made, but it wasn’t Taito’s only kick at the can by any means. Don Doko Don is one of its lesser-known efforts in that milieu, but that is certainly no reflection of its quality. You control a lumberjack and need to clear out all of the enemies on each stage by thwacking them with your hammer and tossing them at something hard. There are naturally plenty of opportunities to score extra points. If you enjoy games like Bubble Bobble, Rod Land, and the like, give this a shot. It’s fun.
Lootbox Lyfe+ ($9.99)
Lootboxes have destroyed the world, and it’s up to you to try to save it. This is a Metroidvania-style game with an emphasis on platforming. You get eleven different areas to explore, and a number of new abilities you can learn and items to collect. Those items, of course, come in lootboxes. Stain your soul and take what you must, I suppose. Your main character here is a bouncing ball type of creature, and you absolutely need to have some platformer chops to get through the game. It’s pretty good, though.
Pizza Tycoon ($14.99)
This game technically has some actual lineage to it. Over on PC, it is sold under the name Pizza Connection 3 and is a modern follow-up to some well-liked sims from the 1990s. That said, like a lot of modern follow-ups to cherished games of the past, this game just doesn’t seem to have the sizzle and spark of its predecessors. The goal is to create your own pizza empire, from the toppings of the pizzas all the way up to designing the floor plans of your restaurants and, er, dealing with your competition in unsavory ways. There’s a campaign mode to play through and a free mode you can enjoy after you’ve finished that. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Switch probably isn’t the best means of playing this game, but if you’ve got a business sim itch this could scratch it.
Grisaia Phantom Trigger 08 ($29.99)
Well, here it is: the finale of the Grisaia Phantom Trigger story. It’s been a long road, but the final battle with The Fatal Answer is upon the students of Mihama Academy. Haruto will have to go up against former members of the Phantom Trigger unit, and when the dust settles, what truths will come to light? If you’re coming to this series fresh, don’t start here. Head all the way back to the first chapter. If you’ve been following all along, I imagine you don’t need me to nudge you into picking up the ending of the series. I suppose that’s my work here done.
Tale of the Fallen Onmyoji ($19.90)
As ever, I’m going to note that any visual novel with screenshots showing broken word wrapping probably isn’t going to have a very good localization. With that in mind, this is a story about a world where humans and yokai co-exist. A member of a fallen onmyoji (“mystics", as a rough translation) family has to put a stop to a curse that has started to spread. The cure for the curse? A smooch, naturally. Luckily for him all of the afflicted parties are sexy ladies. Well, you know how this nonsense will play out. No one is here expecting War and Peace.
Hentai World ($14.99)
I give up. I’ve done some dangerous searching all over the web, and I can’t find out what kind of puzzle game this is. But if we take the eShop description on its word, it is a puzzle game where you can unlock risque pictures of cartoon ladies. Not full-on naked stuff, mind you. But probably stuff you wouldn’t want your grandmother catching you looking at, at least. I suppose the game is being honest in a sense by not showing any of the puzzle gameplay at all in its screenshots. Not one person in the world is going to buy a game of this title for the puzzles, after all.
Road Stones ($4.99)
This is a very slight twist on the usual tower defense concept. Instead of building towers to defend against the waves of monsters, you have crystals that you can move around for such purposes. I’m not the biggest fan of this genre, but this game seems to have gone over well with those who are when it launched on other platforms. Might be worth the fiver if tower defense is your jam.
This is one of those survival games, with the setting being in orbit around a planet. Well, that’s a dire situation. Use the wreckage of ships to craft what you need and try to build a space station to keep you safe and supplied. You’ll also need to figure out what happened to you and how you got into this mess. This one seems to be very well-liked by those who enjoy these survival games, and I sure can’t argue against its cool premise. The main criticism is that it’s a bit thin on content, but for ten bucks I reckon that is to be somewhat expected.
Big Adventure: Trip to Europe 3 Collector’s Edition ($14.99)
Find the hidden objects in various scenes. I’m all out of novel things to say about these kinds of things unless they actually have a story, and this one doesn’t have one worth mentioning. Thirty scenes to find stuff in, plus some minigames to break up the proverbial action.
Ink & Paper: DoodleCut ($4.99)
This is just QIX, but with a sketch and doodle theme. Slice away portions of the field to reveal doodles while avoiding hazards. You can buy real QIX on Arcade Archives for a few dollars more than this.
Neodori Forever ($4.99)
A drift-heavy arcade-style driving game, Neodori Forever offers up five game modes, a bunch of cars, a dozen or so environments to race in, and procedurally-generated levels. The aesthetic is easy to love, but the gameplay is a bit more hit-or-miss. Keep in mind that it’s selling for a fiver and you may go in with the right idea to enjoy what it has to offer.
Dark Dungeon Warrior ($8.00)
SAT-BOX applies its usual engine to a slightly different theme. Instead of doing desktop sports battles or something, you and up to four players via local multiplayer are exploring simple dungeons and battling monsters to complete missions. Don’t expect anything too fancy here. It’s mainly a casual experience to enjoy with friends.
Hunahpu Quest. Mechanoid ($3.99)
This is a platformer with forty levels and a bit of puzzling along the way. It kind of reminds me of the kind of 16-bit game you’d find at the rental store on a Friday night if you came too late. And hey, it’s even priced like renting one of those. But will it give you the same feeling of mild regret? Only one way to find out.
Dino Puzzler World ($14.99)
This too is just QIX, but with dinosaur pictures to uncover. Slice away portions of the field to reveal the picture while avoiding hazards. Once again I must remind you that you can buy real QIX on Arcade Archives, and in this case for about half the price.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
The inbox has a lot of Star Wars games in it today, but there are also a number of Bandai Namco games, THQ Nordic games, and indies like the excellent Arcade Paradise in the mix. Not much in the weekend outbox apart from the fine works of Onion Games, but if you don’t have those in your collection yet you might want to consider them. Check those lists!
Select New Games on Sale
Namco Museum ($7.49 from $29.99 until 3/6)
Bossgard ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/9)
Goat Simulator: The GOATY ($5.99 from $29.99 until 3/9)
Iron Lung ($5.09 from $5.99 until 3/9)
Sucker For Love: First Date ($8.49 from $9.99 until 3/9)
Star Wars Pinball ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars The Force Unleashed ($15.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Republic Commando ($7.49 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Episode 1 Racer ($7.49 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Jedi Academy ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Jedi Outcast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars KotOR ($9.74 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars KotOR II: Sith Lords ($9.74 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Wreckfest ($29.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)
Tribes of Midgard ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Operencia: The Stolen Sun ($10.19 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Catan ($7.49 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Ghostbusters Remastered ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning ($23.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)
Arcade Paradise ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary ($2.49 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Bulletstorm Duke of Switch ($7.49 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Torchlight II ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Torchlight III ($9.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)
Circus Electrique ($11.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Redout 2 ($20.09 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Redout 2 Deluxe ($22.49 from $44.99 until 3/10)
Dragon Fury ($17.49 from $24.99 until 3/10)
KURSK ($2.49 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? ($19.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Into the Dark ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Endling EiF ($19.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
InnerSpace ($1.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
The Gardens Between ($3.59 from $19.99 until 3/13)
The Bass Fishing ($6.74 from $14.99 until 3/16)
Earth Defense Force: World Brothers ($23.99 from $39.99 until 3/16)
Samurai Maiden Deluxe ($59.99 from $74.99 until 3/16)
Sales Ending This Weekend
Boxer ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/25)
Casino Golf ($2.99 from $9.99 until 2/25)
Cook Serve Delicious 2 ($1.99 from $12.99 until 2/25)
Cook Serve Delicious 2/3 Bundle ($2.99 from $24.99 until 2/25)
Cook Serve Delicious 3 ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/25)
Longhead ($2.99 from $9.99 until 2/25)
Once Upon a Time on Halloween ($2.99 from $9.99 until 2/25)
Black Bird ($13.29 from $18.99 until 2/26)
Capybara Madness ($3.84 from $6.99 until 2/26)
Dandy Dungeon: Brave Yamada ($13.29 from $18.99 until 2/26)
Melty Blood Type Lumina ($29.99 from $49.99 until 2/26)
Mon Amour ($6.29 from $8.99 until 2/26)
moon ($13.29 from $18.99 until 2/26)
That’s all for today and this week, friends. It sure feels like it was a long one for me, and I’d like to say I’m going to rest up now but in reality I have to hustle hard if I want to pay my bills this month and have enough left over for my web fluid. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!