Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 15th, 2020. There are a lot of new games today. It took me about seven hours to research and write about all of them. There are also some new sales. They did not take seven hours to type up. Contrary to many inside jokes, Shaun does not get paid by the word. Let us proceed with today’s parade of new games.
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut ($9.99)
Not to take away from the achievements of the first game, but Shantae: Risky’s Revenge is the game that properly put Shantae on the map. It’s a much more playable game than the original, and it had the notable advantage of being available to anyone with a Nintendo DSi as opposed to late Game Boy Color collectors and/or millionaires. So it’s nice to see it arrive on the Nintendo Switch, joining its bigger and occasionally better follow-ups. This is the Director’s Cut, which includes a new mode of play and some adjustments to various game elements. It may not be quite as good as some of the other Shantae games you can get on the Switch, but it’s certainly worth ten bucks if you haven’t played it before.
Shoot 1UP DX ($5.99)
Yes, it’s another vertical shoot-em-up, but this one has a neat gimmick. As you play, 1up items will appear fairly often. Pick them up and you will not stuff them in the drawer for future use but rather deploy them immediately. You can have up to 30 ships in play at once, and in the local co-op multiplayer there can be a total of 60 ships out there. Wow! If keeping them safe sounds tricky, I’m happy to inform you that you can suck your ships into a compact formation whenever you need to. This new DX version offers more content, addressing one of the bigger issues with the original. With a nice price and a novel concept, this is a pretty good pick-up for the discerning shoot-em-up fan.
A story-heavy adventure game steeped in Scandinavian folklore, Roki follows the story of Tove, a girl on a journey to save her family. She travels to a forest pulled straight out of a dark fairy tale, complete with legendary monsters and creatures that she’ll have to deal with one way or another. The puzzles aren’t too tough, as the game seems to want you to experience its compelling story fully. But they are there, and I appreciate that. Really though, the strongest aspects of Roki are its excellent atmosphere and emotional story. Come to it for those things and I can’t imagine many of you will walk away disappointed.
Seers Isle ($16.99)
Very bold setting a game in a section of a failing department store chain, but what can you… oh, I see. Seers Isle. Well, you can see how I made the mistake. All jokes aside, this is an awesome narrative adventure set in a fantastical version of medieval Europe. Some apprentice shamans visit a sacred island to learn the ways of magic, but they’re shaken when they keep having dreams of a strange woman with horns. You take the role of one of the members of the group and need to make choices to determine the flow of the story. There are a lot of different routes to find, and tons of optional artwork that you’ll only see by poking around with your choices. There are multiple endings, of course. The writing is really great in this one, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you enjoy choice-based adventure games.
Along the Edge ($16.99)
This is from the same developer as Seers Isle, and guess what? It’s also really good. This is again a choice-based narrative adventure where your decisions will determine the main character’s personality and appearance along with the general course of the story. That main character is Daphne, a young woman who is at the end of her rope with the way things are going in her life. She gets a chance to change things up when she suddenly inherits an old house in the middle of nowhere. But can a change of setting really make a difference in her life, or will she just fall back into old habits? That’s up to you, friends. Lots of different branches to explore in this one, each with its own art and situations to encounter.
Electronic Super Joy 2 ($9.99)
This follow-up to Electronic Super Joy is another brilliant, ultra-tough platform with a strong sense of style and ideas to burn. Make your way through more than fifty stages, many of which have a specific hook to call their own. Battle four bosses and keep your eyes open for secrets as you hop, slice, and run through wild and wacky hazards. The action is solid and the game is just plain fun to play. Note that there will be extra paid DLC for additional levels and such, just as with the PC version. As far as I can gather, this initial purchase just includes the base game, but that’s still plenty for ten bucks.
The Jackbox Party Pack 7 ($29.99)
Look, there have been six of these things already. I imagine you’ve all made your minds up as to how you feel about them by now. This seventh installment includes five party games to enjoy with friends. Quiplash 3 works like the first two Quiplash games. The Devils and the Details has you playing as a family of devils trying to fit into the suburbs. Champ’d Up is a drawing/fighting game where you create a fighter and then battle them to win titles. Talking Points sees one player giving speeches on the fly, responding to picture prompts given to them by another player who is the Assistant. Finally, Blather Round forces you to describe a secret prompt with a very limited vocabulary. As usual, local multiplayer only, up to eight players. It’s fun with friends.
Hardcore Mecha ($24.99)
A 2D action-platformer featuring mechas. It has great cut scenes and it was pretty obviously made by people who love mecha anime. It’s actually really good, especially in its single-player campaign mode. I think it helps a lot if you have affection for mecha battles, but I feel like on some level most people do? There’s also an online and local wireless battle mode for up to four players, and a same-screen local option for two players. It can be fun, but for me it’s all about that campaign. You can unlock and use 42 different mechas, and there’s a surprising amount of variety in their designs and how they play. Cool stuff.
Ring of Pain ($19.99)
Well, this is kind of neat. It’s a roguelite card game of sorts that deals you a bunch of cards in a ring, with each one representing a room in the dungeon. As such you can see a little bit ahead and try to plan for it. There are 16 core path dungeons with 2 branching endings, hard mode items you can unlock, a daily dungeon, a bunch of special dungeons, and more. Lots of dungeons, friends. There are also a whole bunch of items. More than 180, if you can believe it. And while we’re throwing numbers out there, you can look forward to dealing with more than 40 different creatures. Seems like a neat concept, but I’d need to spend more time with it to make any kind of decision about it.
Space Crew ($19.99)
This is the follow-up to Bomber Crew, and it really feels like it. Basically move the setting to space and add a few more plates to keep spinning while everything is on fire and you’re nine-tenths of the way there. You have to explore space and carry out missions with your stalwart crew, which is totally boring until trouble arrives and you’re left trying to make things work without really having enough resources to do so. It’s certainly no FTL, but you don’t have to be the best to be good. And this is, by and large, quite good. Just know what you’re getting into. This game is really tough, and it’s a bit repetitive as well. Look for it to fill little pockets of time where you can afford to get ticked off.
Castle of No Escape ($2.99)
Castle of No Escape 2 is a decent game, all things considered. I’m not sure I’d say the same about the first game, which feels very much like the result of a game jam. And I suppose it should, because it is. That manifests in a lot of ways, with the most obvious being that there’s no actual way to escape the castle. It’s right there in the title, after all. Collect all the treasures, defeat the last boss, and that’s really all you can do. The game doesn’t end after that so I guess just muck around until you’re bored. I suppose it’s only three dollars, which may make it interesting to pick at if you’re looking for something really cheap today.
Burst Shooter ($1.99)
Uh oh, there’s another challenger for the cheapie crown today. It’s really hard to say which is better. Or worse, I guess. This is a horizontal shooter where you control a bird and need to blast the incoming enemies. Doing so will increase your health points, which in turn increases your energy level, which results in upgrades for your bird. Given the plethora of great shoot-em-ups on the Switch, I’m not sure why you would choose this one. But I am not privy to the darkest secrets in the hearts of humankind nor do I especially want to be. Do what you must.
Alpaca Ball: Allstars ($29.99)
I kind of expected this to be a disaster, but it’s actually pretty fun. It’s a wacky physics-based soccer game where you field alpacas who swing their heads around to knock the ball into the goal. Kind of like a cuter Rocket League, but not quite as good as that. Up to eight players can get in on this locally, and the more people you have the more hilarious nonsense you’ll get up to. There’s also a career mode if you don’t have other people on hand, but it’s really not the point. It’s a shame there’s no online mode in here, and the game could probably use some unlockable goodies to keep players coming back, but the core gameplay does its job and that may be enough for our party-oriented readers.
Dustoff Z ($14.99)
The Choplifter-inspired action of Dustoff Heli Rescue 2 meets the zombie apocalypse because, hey, why not? Maneuver your chopper just right, pick up zombies to bring back for research, or wreak a little havoc. The Dustoff Heli Rescue games tended to be decent games you’d pick up for cheap and have some fun with. We’ll have to see if this game punches things up enough to justify its higher price, but at the very least I think we can say that if you enjoyed the previous games in this series you’ll want to give this one a serious look.
Aw heck, it’s Sabec. You have got to be kidding me. Seriously, Sabec? A fighting game? You’re just going to go ahead and generic up a fighting game? Going to price that a couple bucks more than something like fifty NEOGEO fighters whose heinies your game isn’t fit to wipe? Heck, I guess I should be thankful there’s an option for a second player, even if it just local. Get out of here with this, you absolute hacks.
Tricky Spider ($5.00)
Hmm. Well, fine. You play as the spider, and you need to avoid the pink birds. At least until you unlock other things. But the idea is that you press and release the button to move the spider up and down to avoid the incoming obstacles. If you want to play with a friend, there is support for local multiplayer. See who can make it the farthest and get the best score. That’s it, that’s the game. Moving on.
Dead Z Meat ($9.99)
From the makers of Mad Bullets comes this zombie-blasting light gun shooter minus the light gun. Like that game’s Switch version, Dead Z Meat requires you to use a Joy-Con as a substitute for the light gun, to mixed results. Note that you can’t use a Pro controller, and you won’t be able to play on a Switch Lite unless you own separate Joy-Cons. Anyway, this works a lot like Mad Bullets in practice. Point, shoot, collect cash for doing well, buy upgrades and new guns, and head to the next stage. Single-player only, unfortunately. I do like the comedic take on the undead here. Still a little spooky and grotesque but very cartoony. But yeah, it all hangs on how well the Joy-Con as a pointer works for you.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a delivery person in a cyberpunk world? No? Well, then I don’t know how to introduce this game! Thanks a lot! Let’s just go to it, then. There are a lot of interesting narrative adventures hitting the eShop today, and this is another one. It has an exploration element that ties in with the main theme of you being a delivery person in a neon metropolis, and a cast of weird and charming characters that you’ll be interacting with. It’s oddly kind of chill? Not really a must-have but it’s not bad either. I’d say if the screenshots and basic premise appeal to you, go for it. You’ll probably dig it.
This is the Zodiac Speaking ($19.99)
Look, we all know who the real Zodiac Killer is. But if you want to entertain other possibilities, This is the Zodiac Speaking lets you do that. This is an adventure game where you play a character loosely based on one of the real survivors of the Zodiac Killer. You have to search for clues and try to determine their identity, but if you’re not careful you may end up as another victim. It sounds good, but sadly it just doesn’t work on most levels. The puzzles aren’t very interesting, the story has poor pacing, and the whole enterprise has so many technical problems that it’s really hard to enjoy.
Well, good luck finding anything on the internet about this game with a title that generic. I have no idea if this game released somewhere else before, but its developer Rising Win Tech is a little easier to find info on. They’ve done a couple of adventure games before, and they usually lean more towards the escape room end of things. In Dream, you wake up in the morgue of a strange hospital and need to explore it and solve puzzles to figure out its mysteries and how all of it ties in with you. If this follows quality-wise in the footsteps of the developer’s previous titles, it’s probably decent but not spectacular.