Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for August 15th, 2023. In today’s article, we kick things off with a couple of short reviews. Action-RPG monster catcher Adore and the unique block puzzler Unidentified Falling Objects are the games in the hot seat today, and they both fare decently. We have a handful of new releases today, and they are considerably better than what we saw yesterday. After that, it’s the usual lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s get going!
Reviews & Mini-Views
It’s nice to see QUByte trying to punch a little higher than its usual weight class from time to time. Adore is an action-RPG that initially seems like it’s going to be another one for the pile, but quickly distinguishes itself with its monster-catching mechanics. You don’t directly attack enemies in the real-time combat, you see. All you can do is dodge around and issue commands to your team of monsters. If you have the resources, you can also attempt to catch a new monster. You won’t be doing that as much as you’d probably like to, though. Your active team can have up to four creatures in it, and when everything’s firing on all cylinders it is really fun.
The usual enjoyable parts of the monster catching genre are here. Building your team and thinking about how various attacks and skills can synergize is satisfying, and seeing the plan come together feels particularly good. The setting feels a bit derivative (you’ll probably conjure up the most probable source of inspiration immediately), but it looks and sounds fine. I got tired of the story pretty quickly, but that’s not terribly unusual for me with this sub-genre. The more unfortunate thing is that I started getting tired of everything else well before the game ended. You’ll have seen most of the cards it has to play within the first half of the game, leaving the rest of it as a bit of a haul.
Still, I have to commend Adore for trying something different and largely succeeding with it. Adding action to the monster-catching formula is always a fun twist, and depriving the player of a method of direct attack in an action RPG certainly freshens things up. There’s something really special at the core of this one, but it feels like it just couldn’t carry that spark all the way to the goal. If you’re intrigued by the premise, I can give it a mild recommendation.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Unidentified Falling Objects ($14.99)
It feels increasingly that the answer to how to spice up the falling block puzzler is to blend it with a platformer. Well, okay. If Shovel Knight is doing it, then I think that’s the green light for everyone to start piling in. Unidentified Falling Objects has you controlling a little character in the well, and you’ve got a gun, a double jump, and a kick to relocate the occasional block. You have to use these tools to stay alive long enough for whatever the stage or challenge you’re on requires. The blocks fall in different colors and patterns, and as you play more dangerous pieces will drop in.
Don’t get squished, don’t touch spikes, and don’t let the enemies take you out. While you’re at it, try to set up some spiffy combos by taking out tons of blocks at once. That’s how you’ll earn gems, and if you want to unlock everything you’ll need to have your eye on that end of the business. Relief comes in from time to time in the form of some power-ups, and they can make the difference between life and death.
Unidentified Falling Objects is perhaps hurt a little by a bland theme, but the gameplay works quite well and I think anyone who enjoyed Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon will have a good time here too. There are lots of challenges and stages to complete, tons of cool unlockables to earn, and a really strong multiplayer mode whether you go against a friend locally or manage to pull in enough people to play online. With solid mechanics, plenty of content, and a functional presentation, this is one UFO that puzzle game fans should enjoy being abducted by.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Moving Out 2 ($29.99)
Here’s Moving Out 2, or as the villainous Carter would call it, 2 Moving 2 Out. It seems to largely take the approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it", and that is fine. You get more situations to play through in some very off-the-wall locations, and I think that’s a pretty decent way to go about sequels in this genre. There are some refinements to the mechanics of course, but by and large you’re still doing what you did in the first game: moving things out as fast as you can despite the game’s best efforts to hinder you. Play with friends or family for maximum fun.
Black Skylands: Founders Edition ($19.99)
This is a very ambitious game but it appears to have more or less pulled it off. You are the captain of an airship flying around a steampunk world of interconnected sky islands. You can land on them and explore them on foot, gather resources, battle enemies on land and in the air, and solve the various mysteries that have been laid before you. It all plays out from a top-down perspective which is probably how it could realize such a big idea. Pretty fun game that keeps you coming back, and its positive reception on Steam bodes well for this Switch version.
Astro Flame: Starfighter ($9.99)
We’re getting a fair few of these lately. It’s a vertical shoot-em-up, one of those ones where you collect goobers, die, get some permanent upgrades, and then try again. Keep grinding until you win. You get fifteen stages in total, which is quite a few as this kind of game goes. The graphics look decent even if they’re a bit too busy for a shooter, and it seems to do pretty much what it intends to. If this sort of shoot-em-up is your bag, give it a closer look.
The Bin Bunch
Summer Valley Hike ($4.99)
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Lots of games I like in that inbox today. Chasm, Annalynn, Siralim Ultimate, Millie and Molly, and Rogue Aces are all little faves of mine, so give them a look if you’re looking to spend. Not much in the outbox, but give that a once-over just to be sure there’s nothing in there you’re interested in.
Select New Games on Sale
Chasm ($4.99 from $19.99 until 8/21)
Pinball FX3 Williams Vol. 1 ($3.39 from $9.99 until 8/21)
Annalynn ($3.99 from $4.99 until 8/22)
Siralim 3 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/22)
Siralim Ultimate ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/22)
Soulvars ($13.59 from $16.99 until 8/27)
Dark Deity ($12.49 from $24.99 until 8/29)
Jetboard Joust ($2.49 from $9.99 until 8/29)
Ruin Raiders ($4.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Monorail Stories ($5.99 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Hello Goodboy ($11.99 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Clouzy! ($4.94 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Coromon ($14.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Dessert DIY Complete Edition ($2.49 from $6.99 until 9/4)
Soul Searching ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/4)
Word Forward ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/4)
Rogue Aces ($1.99 from $12.99 until 9/4)
Bezier Second Edition ($1.99 from $19.99 until 9/4)
Rainbow Laser Disco Dungeon ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/4)
Death Ray Manta SE ($1.99 from $10.00 until 9/4)
Lumo ($1.99 from $19.95 until 9/4)
Millie and Molly ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/4)
Cardful Planning ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/4)
Journey of the Broken Circle ($1.99 from $8.00 until 9/4)
Please, Touch the Artwork ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/4)
Destructivator SE ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/4)
LOVE: A Puzzle Box ($1.99 from $19.99 until 9/4)
10 Second Ninja X ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/4)
Cecconoid ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/4)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 16th
Bunny Must Die! ($10.49 from $14.99 until 8/16)
Harvest Yuuka ($17.50 from $25.00 until 8/16)
Liberated Enhanced Edition ($4.99 from $19.99 until 8/16)
Like No Other: TLotTB ($5.24 from $14.99 until 8/16)
Super Zangyura ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/16)
Wind Peaks ($5.24 from $14.99 until 8/16)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, and perhaps some news. I’m technically still on my holidays right now, but I’m really bad at taking days off. I fear I might be a workaholic of sorts. At the very least, I’ll be going to watch that Barbie movie with Mrs. Musgrave in a couple of days. Definitely looking forward to that. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!