Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 5th, 2023. In today’s week-starting article, we’ve got reviews of two recent releases: the fast-paced first-person shooter Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun, and the hybrid roguelike Monster Menu. After that, we’ve got a selection of relatively dubious new releases. Mondays are like that sometimes. We finish up with the usual lists of new and expiring sales, as you like it. Let’s get going!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun ($21.99)
I’ve been through this a few times with other genres and I know how it’s going to play out, so I’m just going to cave and use the term: Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is a “boomer shooter" through and through. Despite being set in the lore-rich Warhammer 40,000 universe, there isn’t much story here at all. You’re a Space Marine who has been sent to investigate some shenanigans that a group of heretic monks are getting into. Your ship crashes, wiping out your whole squad except for you. You’ve got a chainsword, you’ll quickly find the titular boltgun, and your significant physical prowess gives you the ability to quickly zip around the battlefield. Your arsenal will expand as you go, in usual first-person shooter fashion. Just kill everything that moves. Rip and tear. It’ll be fine.
The levels are sprawling and occasionally labyrinthine, with some optional areas and secrets to find. Lots of opportunities for big shoot-outs and interesting enemy layouts, and the game takes full advantage. The action is fast and feels great, and I especially loved dashing around and sawing the heck out of enemies whenever I could. It’s a good, solid example of its genre. I do have a few nits to pick, however. There are performance issues here, and they sometimes affect the way the game controls. There isn’t any support for gyro aiming, and it would really benefit from such. And while I acknowledge this is a small problem, I wish the secrets felt more like secrets rather than just taking a left instead of a right.
With some improvements on the technical side, Warhammer 40,000: Bowgun would be a game I’d recommend to any first-person shooter fan. As it is, it’s still a lot of fun, but you’re going to have to deal with fits of jerky controls, audio stutters, and varying framerates. Those who have come to get used to gyro aiming might also be frustrated by its absence here. Nothing that can’t be tweaked with some patches, but here and now the Switch version is enjoyable but hard to recommend over playing Boltgun on another platform.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook ($49.99)
I like this one on paper. Roguelike adventures. A crafting and cooking system for modifying your characters. Turn-based tactical combat. An intriguing premise with an impactful story set-up. Explore the dungeon floors, kill the monsters, gather their guts and other foraged bits, cook them into dishes to make your characters stronger so they can tackle the next floor. This should work. And I suppose it does work, but it’s just so dreadfully dull. It feels like the game has played most of its hand after the first few floors, and even though it’s certainly challenging enough, it just gets a little too tiresome a little too soon.
No matter how many runs you do or how deep you go, much of the game comes down to repeating the same process. You’ll always cook and eat as much food as you’ve gathered ingredients for. The tactical options don’t promote many interesting strategies, and the dungeon floors themselves aren’t very exciting to explore. Story comes in sparingly doled out snippets, and depending on how much trouble you have with the game’s systems you could go a long time without the story progressing an inch. Persistent upgrades for your team are infrequent, and the cooking system doesn’t give you a lot to play with considering it’s ostensibly what the game is pinning its hopes on.
I could imagine some people getting into Monster Menu. As I said, it’s not as though it doesn’t work as a game. But its signature mechanic isn’t fleshed out enough to carry an otherwise rote affair with so many other far more interesting roguelike games out there to enjoy. I would like to see a sequel hammer some of the ideas in here into something a lot better, because there is almost something to it. For here and now, it’s hard to generate much enthusiasm for this particular title.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Kitten Island ($9.99)
A rather generic platformer featuring a cat. Serious five-dollar Switch platformer energy, but costs twice that. Game Nacional is the publisher, so expect frequent deep discounts.
Pool Together ($4.99)
A rather generic billiards game. No cat, unfortunately. You can play against the AI at three levels of difficulty, or go against another player in local multiplayer. Well, it’s a fiver.
Fishing Vacation ($1.99)
This is a short fishing-themed comedic horror game. It was originally released as a Game Boy game, as you can probably tell. And hey, it’s pretty good. That two-dollar price is more than fair, if you ask me. Nothing amazing, but a fun way to spend an evening.
Hentai Girls ($19.99)
Ridiculous. An absurdly over-priced brain-dead “puzzle" game where you reveal pictures of anime girls in various poses and outfits. There are better ways to enjoy the kind of thing this is selling.
NoEvidence – Scary Horror Quest Survival Story ($7.99)
Midnight Works has another serving of its low-effort junk, this time a horror adventure where you play as a police detective. Handheld mode only, because implementing button controls in a mobile template takes some measure of work. Leave it in the bin and enjoy several delicious Snicker bars instead.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Some new low prices I want to highlight: the enjoyable platformer Demon Turf, the neat Zelda-like Blossom Tales II, the classic Grand Theft Auto parody Retro City Rampage DX, and the tax evasion simulation Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. Not much to fuss about in the outbox, so I’ll leave that to you to sort out.
Select New Games on Sale
Ori & the Blind Forest ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/9)
Ori & the Will of the Wisps ($5.99 from $29.99 until 6/9)
pixelBOT EXTREME! ($6.99 from $9.99 until 6/11)
Chernobyl Origins ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/11)
Strayed Lights ($19.99 from $24.99 until 6/12)
Atelier Ryza ($29.99 from $59.99 until 6/13)
Atelier Ryza Deluxe ($35.99 from $71.99 until 6/13)
Atelier Ryza 2 ($29.99 from $59.99 until 6/13)
Atelier Ryza 2 Deluxe ($35.99 from $71.99 until 6/13)
Atelier Ryza 2 Ultimate ($54.99 from $109.99 until 6/13)
To Hell with the Ugly ($17.99 from $19.99 until 6/13)
Dig Deep ($2.39 from $4.99 until 6/16)
Railways ($2.74 from $4.99 until 6/19)
Lil Gator Game ($12.99 from $19.99 until 6/20)
Demon Turf ($12.49 from $24.99 until 6/20)
Demon Turf Neon Splash ($3.49 from $4.99 until 6/20)
A Little Golf Journey ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/20)
Blossom Tales II TMP ($9.74 from $14.99 until 6/20)
XEL Complete Edition ($10.99 from $21.99 until 6/22)
Itorah ($13.99 from $19.99 until 6/22)
Retro City Rampage DX ($4.99 from $14.99 until 6/23)
Shakedown Hawaii ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/23)
Darker Skies ($3.59 from $17.99 until 6/23)
Ski Resort Driver ($6.49 from $12.99 until 6/23)
Kuroi Tsubasa ($3.99 from $4.99 until 6/23)
Restless Soul ($2.99 from $14.99 until 6/23)
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion ($5.09 from $14.99 until 6/23)
Lila’s Sky Ark ($2.99 from $14.99 until 6/23)
Blue Fire ($6.79 from $19.99 until 6/23)
Kitten Island ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/24)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6th
BIT.TRIP Collection ($2.99 from $9.99 until 6/6)
Cardpocalypse Time Warp Edition ($7.49 from $29.99 until 6/6)
Catlateral Damage ($5.09 from $14.99 until 6/6)
Clone Drone in the Danger Zone ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Crash Drive 2 ($1.99 from $8.99 until 6/6)
Crash Drive 3 ($1.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Crysis Remastered ($9.89 from $29.99 until 6/6)
Crysis Remastered Trilogy ($27.49 from $49.99 until 6/6)
Faeria ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Faeria: Premium Bundle ($14.99 from $59.99 until 6/6)
Formula Retro Racing World Tour ($12.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Fury Unleashed ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Gang Beasts ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/6)
L.A. Noire ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/6)
Marooners ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/6)
Pillars of Eternity Complete ($12.49 from $49.99 until 6/6)
Plague Universe ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/6)
RazerWire: Nanowars ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/6)
Sockventure ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
The Hand of Merlin ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/6)
Unmetal ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Wintermoor Tactics Club ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Yaga ($9.99 from $24.99 until 6/6)
Yum Yum Cookstar ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/6)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, sales, reviews, and perhaps some news. That all depends on things out of my hands. I played a lot of We Love Katamari on the weekend, and it’s been nice diving into that game again after so long. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!