Over the years, Windjammers has slowly achieved cult status due to its simple pick-up-and-play controls that hide complex mechanics that only become apparent the more you play against human opponents. Data East's extreme sports versus title has now arrived on the ultimate multiplayer-friendly console, once again brandishing the same fast and addictive gameplay that had us hooked in 1994. Despite the passing of the decades the core gameplay still manages to entertain, and the 2D visuals have likewise stood the test of time rather well. The bone of contention remains the single-player side of things; if you're playing alone, you'll get bored relatively quickly. However, with online play and easy-to-configure local multiplayer, there's plenty of scope to embrace the game's true USP: two-player action.
Cycle 28 disguises itself as a solid arcade shooter with minimalist aesthetics but slowly reveals itself to be something far beyond that. It successfully manages to engulf the player in the mystery that led to the player character's current predicament and entices you to seek the truth, find answers to questions you didn't know existed and attempt to break the cycle and… who knows, maybe freedom and a happy conclusion? We rarely get to play video games where each 'Game Over' offers the possibility to solve a mystery, so we kept coming back to it again and again - and so will you.
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps And Beans is a love letter to the career of both Italian actors and arcade side-scrolling brawlers. If you find yourself in either camp, this is a highly recommended option. If you happen to be on both groups, this is truly a no-brainer – even the relatively high price is more than justified by the quality and quantity of content that will keep you smiling, at least while the ride lasts. It's a shame Bud Spencer passed away back in 2016 – we believe he would get a kick out of seeing this game in action, bringing the duo's trademark slapstick comedy into a whole new medium and generation. Kindly slap us some beans, please.
VSR: Void Space Racing is a one-of-kind racing game that finds itself very welcome in the Switch library. There is simply nothing quite like it; you're wrestling with raw physics as much as your rival racers, and the overall experience is brutal yet incredibly rewarding. Be prepared to swallow your pride in the first few sessions - during which you will be nothing short of a space pinball - and then aim for the stars.
Express Raider remains a fun 2-in-1 game, with the fighting stages standing head and shoulders above the shooting ones, which is something of an oddity considering the Wild West setting. As such we recommend it to anyone who was a fan of the original or who played the home conversions and want to have the original on their virtual arcade Switch museum. But if you have an itchy trigger finger, we recommend you buy a ticket to a more steampunk kind of Wild West.
Squids Odyssey is the same charming package you might have played before. If you're a fan of the series, this Switch edition truly is the definitive way to experience it. It does lose touch controls when played docked, but this is an understandable design limitation of the core gameplay and far from a deal-breaking proposition. If this is your first time meeting old Winnick and his gang, you're in for quite a treat.
Assault Gunner HD Edition is (at the time of writing) the very best mech game available on the Switch. It provides more than enough bang for your buck but sadly doesn't do it in the spectacular fashion one would expect when controlling a gigantic robot. We still heartfully recommend this to mech game lovers out there, but other players will simply not be converted to the genre by this one. The wait for the definitive mecha Switch game continues, and hopefully, DAEMON X MACHINA will fill that gap.
Two Crude is one of the funniest grab-'em-ups ever made and 27 years later nothing has diluted the insane '90s colourful vibe in this package. Data East once more succeeded in adapting popular culture into a video game that ends up being more than the mere sum of its parts. Grab a friend and have no fear plunging into a fun-filled half an hour of pure arcade entertainment. Just make sure it looks like an accident every time you toss your partner around.
Miles & Kilo is another faux retro platforming romp landing on the Switch that adds yet another valuable choice for players looking to get their fix of the genre. It manages to be an equal parts casual and hardcore platform experience while incrementing on the already abundant charming appeal of the previous game with excellent humour.
Renegade/Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun represents a lovely and important piece of forgotten video game history. For the hardcore fans that were raised on it, or simply as a curio for a new generation of gamers looking to find out on how the scrolling beat-'em-up began, this is still a recommended if not essential purchase. There are certainly better options of the genre on the Switch already, but none of them might have even existed if Kunio didn't have such a short temper in 1986…
GRIDD: Retroenhanced is a nostalgic trip for anyone who was around when the game's visuals were state of the art. As a game, it does very little wrong once you get used to your ship's momentum, while the inclusion of ‘Glove of Power' mode makes the Switch version the definitive one to play. If you have exhausted the joys of Thumper and are looking for something new to challenge your reflexes, you have just found your next hurdle.
Iro Hero ends up being a competent euro-shmup homage to the dual phase/puzzle shmup gameplay pivoted by Treasure's Magnum Opus. While some designs choices could be avoided with some proper care while transitioning the game to Switch, what is on offer is solid shmup action for those who are seeking something a new challenge. Hard as nails, often unfairly so until you learn to play with perfect precision, we still consider it worthy of your time.
One Strike is a truly unique, 'pure' video game. For the asking price, you get a rather fresh take on the one-on-one fighting genre and it can quickly become your go-to game when you are in need of a break between other more complex games or just need a quick burst of intensive reflex exercise. Find a group of like-minded players to play it with you and it becomes your current best, most efficient option to ruin friendships on the Switch (at least until Super Mario Party is released). Grab it without fear and then... either strike or die. There are literally no other options.
Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn is a solid side-scrolling brawler. We were unsure of what to expect from this whole 'Settle the score of '94' tagline, but were pleasantly surprised with the amount of fun it offers. While it lasts, it serves up a fun-filled ride with silly dialogue, politically incorrect humour and excessive amounts of 'Shaqness'. You might even be entitled to get this game for free but those who must part with their money and are on the market for some mindless brawling, you could do far worse than this Shaq attack. It's official then: Shaq-Fu: A legend redeemed.
Samurai Defender: Ninja Warfare may not bring anything new to the table among the castle defence genre, but it does so in a charming feudal Japanese cartoon wrapper. Despite not setting the video gaming world ablaze (unlike the poor fools rushing at your door) anyone looking to blissfully slaughter wave upon wave of enemy cannon fodder soliciting at your castle gate need not look further.
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is an utterly accomplished 2D fighting game. Bursting with content and featuring the visual spectacle of combat that uses up every single trick in the book while doing so with the possibility of calling up a second character into the fray on demand sets Arc System Works title as the de facto current generation game fighting game to own on the Nintendo Switch. While we certainly appreciate the likes of Capcom and SNK (via HAMSTER) safely releasing previously proven hits of the genre, we were beginning to wonder when companies would notice that Switch is more than able to accommodate current generation titles as well. A few strange decisions aside it is very hard for us not to recommend you make this title a priority among your future acquisitions if you're a fighting game fan. Even if you never heard or are a fan of any of the franchises represented in this game because by the time you are done with this game (something we wonder is it is even possible with a strong online community) you will most certainly be.