Construction Simulator (2022) seeks to give the series new life, but doesn't quite strike the nail right on the head. Its beautiful visuals offer a richly detailed world to explore and work in, but its simplified mechanics and tedious design choices can turn some hardcore simmers away. Yet it still provides an all-round decent heavy machinery experience.
All things considered, as a $19.99 USD standalone purchase, this is easily the wildest, largest, and most ambitious expansion to grace the Forza Horizon franchise to date. It makes Horizon 3’s offering seem like a prototype by comparison. This is the production model, and boy can she drive.
Now five entries into the Monster Energy Supercross series, the latest is running on fumes. While the sim-like mechanics of its driving model are nice, the overall package is bland, repetitive, and shows barely any progression from past entries.
GRID Legends absolutely nails its role as a tried and true "simcade" experience thanks to well-balanced gameplay mechanics, a healthy variety of vehicle types and track designs and just an overall fun feel. It's easily one of the most well-built racers I've played in a while.
Hot Wheels Unleashed has a lot of good concepts and ideas that are sullied by awkward execution and weird design choices. Its physics could use some more fine-tuning, and its AI needs to be rebalanced, along with a revamped track builder. Yet, there's still some glimmer to its toy car shine.
Art of Rally excels at providing a stylized rally experience that strikes a decent balance of being both realistic yet approachable. It features a good variety of cars and landscapes, all wrapped in a clean low-poly art style. While it does have some graphical limitations, this is still a fun racer that's definitely worth looking at for off-roading fans.
Bus Simulator 21 certainly kicks things into high gear above its predecessor with a lot of appreciated quality-of-life improvements. But, it's brought down by an awkward driving system, UI clutter, AI clunkiness, and apparent optimization issues. Yet, it remains a solid new product in the active driving sim genre.
With Truck Driver, Soedesco is trying to break into an already spoken-for market with an offering that comes off feeling like a cheap imitation. While it spares itself the humiliation of being considered shovelware, it also lacks the heart needed to call it an actual truck simulator. Perhaps a second, stronger entry can prove the new IP's worth, but this is a pretty weak first impression.
Glider Simulator keeps things simple through and through. It's easy to learn for an up-and-coming sim fan, easy to run, and easy to get lost in for hours thanks to its small, but immersive virtual world. While it may be small, it's still a solid package if you look at it from the right perspective.
Despite its limitations, SnowRunner on Switch can rightfully be declared as a "late but great" kind of port. This is a rare occasion where Switch owners will feel their patience has been respected. Considering the complexity of SnowRunner's simulation, foliage-dense open maps, and high-quality exterior and interior models, the fact that this is all somehow running on a 7-inch tablet with 2015 hardware is simply amazing to me. This is a feature-for-feature port, so there's nothing that Switch owners are missing out on compared to on the other platforms. Rather, there's only the key addition of portable play. So, is it worth it? By all means!
Ultimately, Tadpole Treble Encore is absolutely worth the pick-up, whether this is your first rodeo in Thunder Creek or you're deciding to visit the likes of the totally-not-Frank Sinatra male tadpole in Midnight Bayou for the 50th time (because that song is just awesome).
Despite using "pro" in its name, I'm walking away from PBA Pro Bowling 21 feeling okay at best. It's certainly not a bad game, but the difficulty curve and pay-to-win mechanics hamper what otherwise is a solid bowling title. However, there's a decent selection of other bowling games on Switch like Strike! Ten Pin Bowling and the bowling minigame in Clubhouse Games. These titles aren't as feature-rich as PBA Pro, but they're certainly not lacking and overall offer some satisfying gameplay. Gauge where you are on the bowling fan spectrum when you go to purchase one of these titles.
What really impressed me about Traffix is that all of this madness is wrapped up in a super clean, minimalist aesthetic that has sharp lines, bright colors, and funky "elevator" music. This overall calming theme contrasts with the infuriating gameplay, but it works so well. Failing a level for the 40th time isn't exactly fun, but it was hard for me not to keep restarting and trying again. This is a pleasant little strategy game that's bound to keep you hooked for a good while. Perhaps if you find yourself stuck in traffic again (as a passenger), you can whip this out and take control of the situation.
Truck Driver isn't some revolutionary new title in the truck sim genre, and I don't think it's trying to be one. For a console sim, it looks good, runs well, and has a lot of hours' worth of content. While it's not as fleshed out as SCS Software's more seasoned offerings on PC, this has still proven to be a decent experience. And there's virtually nothing else like it on Switch so far, so it has the room all to itself for the time being. If you've played truck sims in the past or want to get your feet wet, Truck Driver on Nintendo Switch is a good first step. And as for Soedesco, I hope to see the team build upon this concept with an even more ambitious project in the future.