SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Hot Wheels Unleashed 2’ & ‘Wargroove 2’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 23rd, 2023. In today’s article, we’ve got a few reviews to get the week started with. I take a look at Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged, Wargroove 2, and Bang-On Balls: Chronicles to see how they fare. After that, we have a rather unimpressive line-up of new games to check out. Well, there’s one good one I suppose. We finish things up in our usual manner, with lists of new salese and expiring discounts. Quite a few new sales today, actually. Let’s get going!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged ($49.99)

I really enjoyed Hot Wheels Unleashed. It did a great job of making a fun racing game that also felt like you were using toys as your vehicles. It was also absolutely packed to the gills with content and added a whole lot more via paid DLC. It ran well enough on the Switch, too. The only real issues with the game, as far as I’m concerned, involved the difficulty curve being as reliant as it was on how lucky you were with pulling good new cars via the blind boxes. If you didn’t pull a good one, you ended up having to grind races until you got something decent. I also felt like some of the races went on way too long.

I’m happy to report that Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 fixes all of that. The races run a more sensible length in most cases, and the luck factor has been greatly reduced by allowing you to pick out cars rather than rely entirely on the blind boxes. Beyond that, I also appreciate that the cars have ever so slightly more weight to them while still maintaining a lightweight toy-ish feel. The new jump move fits the brand well and opens up a lot of fun elements in the races along with a couple of annoying ones. Watch out for obstacles before gaps, because if you jump too late you’re going to be eating dirt.

The new story is suitably ridiculous, with you being tasked with stopping some accidentally huge creatures. The difficulty curve here is a lot gentler than the first game, at least up until the main story is completed, and by the time it gets spicy you should have a good mix of cars at your disposal. If you’d rather just race, you can do that too. There are multiple race types to choose from in Quick Mode, whether you’re playing alone or with someone else via splitscreen. There’s also online play, but I wasn’t able to find anyone to play with to test it. The track builder returns for those who like to tinker, and you don’t have to blow your coins on unlocking the parts for it this time.

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged is just as fun of an arcade racer as the first game, and the various tweaks and improvements to the formula makes it a far smoother experience. It feels like it’s sometimes just a little much for the Switch, with moderately lengthy loading times and some resolution issues, but the actual racing action keeps its speed properly. Some players might run into some issues with the challenging post-game content, but that’s why it’s in the post-game. If you enjoyed the first game, you’ll probably like this one even more. Series newcomers should feel comfortable jumping immediately to this sequel, too.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Wargroove 2 ($19.99)

Second verse, same as the first. Wargroove 2 doesn’t change things up much at all from the original game, but that game was kind of amazing so I think that’s fine. It hits a little differently now that we have an actual Advance Wars release on the system, because there’s no denying that Wargroove borrows a lot of its steps from that series. That’s where Wargroove‘s charming presentation swoops in to save the day, though. The art is great, the audio excellent, and the writing is a pleasure to read.

The new unit types and Commanders mix things up a little, and I really like the new Conquest mode. It puts a roguelite spin on the genre, and it was nice to have something to pick at after finishing the campaigns. The online modes and campaign creators return from the first game for those who enjoy them, which present more ways to keep the good times rolling.

Wargroove 2 is a very safe sequel, but I can’t really disagree with that approach given how good the original game was. With a robust new story to play featuring three campaigns, an interesting new roguelite mode, and a few new features and additions here and there, this game might be preaching to the choir but it’s hitting all the points they like. I’m not sure I’d be up for a third game that follows the formula as closely as this one does, but for now I’m more than satisfied with another heaping helping of that Wargroove good stuff.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

Bang-On Balls: Chronicles ($24.99)

This is a really cool game, and if you like 3D platforming with a lot of exploration, I’d highly recommend it. Just… not on Switch. I knew almost from the start this was going to be a rough experience on the system, and it only got worse from there. You see, Bang-On Balls almost always has an awful lot going on. Tons of balls attacking, lots of effects, tons of foliage and destructible objects. And anytime any of that pops off, the framerate dives off a cliff. This is a game where you really don’t want that to happen, because it means missed jumps, taking unnecessary hits, and just generally getting it the way of a good time.

The mad-cap energy of Bang-On Balls: Chronicles and its sprawling, jam-packed playgrounds make it a 3D platforming experience that would be easy to love were it not for the severe technical issues that plague its Nintendo Switch incarnation. I highly recommend checking this game out, but I would do it on another platform if it’s at all possible. If the Switch is all you have, then all I can say is that you should proceed with the utmost caution.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

New Releases

Cats and the Other Lives ($19.99)

Bernard Mason has shuffled off the mortal coil, and his broken family comes together at the family mansion for one last time to mourn him. You, however, are a cat. The family cat, Aspen. You must explore the mansion and act as a silent observer to the various discussions between the family members, unraveling the past piece by piece. And it is you, Aspen, who will somehow help those people make the changes their lives need. Or you can just be a little jerk and mess up their dinner. Your call. An interesting premise and a decent enough execution. If you like the sound of it, give it a shot.

The Bin Bunch

Letters to Heaven ($0.99)

Long Run ($0.99)

Blub ($2.99)

Lamphead ($4.99)

Space Games Galaxy Attack ($4.99)

The GhostX : Sniper Simulator (Tactical Shooting & Eliminator) ($12.99)


(North American eShop, US Prices)

A lot of sales came in over the weekend, so the inbox has a fair bit in it. There are some new low sales on games like Curious Expedition 2 and Beyond a Steel Sky, plus some other more usual deals. Over in the outbox, pinball fans should take note of the expiring Pinball FX sales. That Marvel Pinball discount is deep indeed, and well worth picking up. Check those lists, as ever.

Select New Sales

The Game of Life 2 ($5.99 from $29.99 until 10/29)
Disjunction ($4.79 from $15.99 until 11/1)
Imp of the Sun ($8.59 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator ($10.43 from $17.99 until 11/1)
KeyWe ($8.49 from $24.99 until 11/1)
Little Friends: Puppy Island ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
No Straight Roads ($8.49 from $24.99 until 11/1)
Pumpkin Jack ($8.99 from $29.99 until 11/3)
SteamWorld Dig 2 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate ($2.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech ($6.24 from $24.99 until 11/3)
Lonely Mountains: Downhill ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Source of Madness ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Curious Expedition 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Rigid Force Redux ($1.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)

Silver Chains ($2.49 from $24.99 until 11/3)
Crowns & Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit ($15.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine ($7.49 from $9.99 until 11/3)
Paper Cut Mansion ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Super Dungeon Maker ($11.99 from $19.99 until 11/5)
Memorrha ($3.99 from $19.99 until 11/5)
Slime Rancher: Plortable ($12.49 from $24.99 until 11/5)
Latte Stand Tycoon+ ($6.99 from $9.99 until 11/7)
NeonPowerUp! ($3.99 from $4.99 until 11/10)
Eventide 2: Sorcerer’s Mirror ($1.99 from $14.99 until 11/11)
Doomsday Hunters ($12.59 from $17.99 until 11/11)
Ghost Files: The Face of Guilt ($1.99 from $14.99 until 11/11)
My Time at Portia: Deluxe Edition ($3.19 from $31.99 until 11/12)
Batora: Lost Haven ($12.49 from $24.99 until 11/12)
Neon Abyss Deluxe Edition ($6.99 from $27.99 until 11/12)

The Knight Witch ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Ship of Fools ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Blasphemous ($9.99 from $24.99 until 11/12)
Thymesia: Cloud Version ($14.99 from $29.99 until 11/12)
Bravery and Greed ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Alfred Hitchcock: Vertigo ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands ($13.99 from $34.99 until 11/12)
Arkanoid: Eternal Battle ($3.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
The Quest for Excalibur: Puy du Fou ($11.99 from $29.99 until 11/12)
Beyond a Steel Sky ($11.99 from $39.99 until 11/12)
Roman Rumble in Las Vegum: Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 ($3.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ($8.99 from $29.99 until 11/12)
Agatha Christie Collection ($14.99 from $29.99 until 11/12)
My Universe: Fashion Boutique ($4.99 from $24.99 until 11/12)
My Universe: Interior Designer ($8.99 from $29.99 until 11/12)

Bunker Life ($8.54 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Car+Toon Race: Rally Valley Champion ($1.99 from $10.99 until 11/12)
Counter Recon: The First Mission ($2.84 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Counter Delta: The Bullet Rain ($3.44 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Counter Delta 2: Eastern Crisis ($10.49 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Dungeon Limbus ($2.84 from $14.99 until 11/12)
World War: Prologue ($8.54 from $14.99 until 11/12)
World War: Tank Battle ($3.44 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Modern War: Tank Battle ($3.44 from $14.99 until 11/12)
World War: Combat Guardian ($8.54 from $14.99 until 11/12)
ANIMUS: Revenant ($4.36 from $22.99 until 11/12)
Counter Crossline: Crime War ($3.44 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Haunted Zombie School ($3.44 form $14.99 until 11/12)
Haunted Zombie Slaughter 2 ($11.99 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Haunted Zombie Slaughter ($5.54 from $14.99 until 11/12)
World Class Champion Soccer ($4.06 from $10.99 until 11/12)
Crime Busters: Strike Area ($5.54 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Counter Recon 2: The New War ($5.54 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Dead Rain: New Zombie Virus ($4.06 from $10.99 until 11/12)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, October 24th

A Little Golf Journey ($3.99 from $19.99 until 10/24)
BIT.TRIP Collection ($2.49 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince ($9.74 from $14.99 until 10/24)
BPM Bullets Per Minute ($12.49 from $24.99 until 10/24)
Bridge Strike ($1.99 from $6.99 until 10/24)
Demon Turf: Bundle ($14.83 from $26.98 until 10/24)
Into The Sky ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/24)
John Wick Hex ($1.99 from $19.99 until 10/24)
Leap From Hell ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Lil Gator Game ($11.99 from $19.99 until 10/24)
LOUD: Rockstar Edition ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Pinball FX: Marvel Collection 1 DLC ($8.15 from $23.99 until 10/24)
Pinball FX: Twilight Zone DLC ($6.69 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Pinball FX3: Aliens Vs. Pinball DLC ($3.39 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Pinball FX3: Williams Vol. 3 DLC ($3.39 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Return of the Obra Dinn ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/24)
Venba ($12.74 from $14.99 until 10/24)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews, some new releases, a bunch of sales, and maybe even some news. Getting anything else done on the weekend was really tough this time thanks to Super Mario Bros. Wonder. What an absolutely amazing game that is. I hope you all have a magnificent Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!