The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03: Vehicle Kit is easily the best all-round experience that I have had so far with Nintendo’s new line of interactive make, play and discover kits. Remarkable to build, fascinating to learn how it all works and, importantly, content rich compared to the last two kits, this could be the start of a cardboard revolution.
Woodle Tree Adventures has potential but fails to ever realise any of it. The paint-by-numbers approach that has been taken to make this 3D platformer results in a game that feels more like a proof of concept or prototype rather than something that you would happily pay for. The greatest insult is that it had promised to “take you back to the good old days” when we were running around collecting Jigsaw Pieces in Banjo-Kazooie and Power Stars in Super Mario 64. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
With an engine sputter, Vroom in the Night Sky is an unarguable disaster. It wouldn’t be unfair to expect the early releases on the Nintendo eShop to showcase the portable home console’s potential. Dull, shortlived, and with an unjustifiable price point, Poisoft, if anything, painfully demonstrates what not to do.
There is certainly a place for 36 Fragments of Midnight on the Nintendo eShop, mainly as an inexpensive introductory experience to the platforming genre. But, it comes hard to recommend. Lacking in challenge and replayability, it fails to shine bright enough to guide you away from more worthwhile games.
Rough around the edges, Troll and I ends with as laughable a moment as it starts – even having the cruelty to leave your adventures in the Nordic wilderness open to a sequel. Spiral House has longed for the stars to align to allow them a chance to work on a game built from their own ideas. Let us hope that this nightmare has now ended, and they can find something far better to dream about.
Monster Jam: Crush It! promised players the chance to take control and experience Monster Jam like they have never seen, but it fails to ever entertain. There will be those that may blindly enjoy playing as their favourite Monster Jam trucks, but it doesn’t hide how pitiful this game really is – an effort that would look more at home on mobile rather than seeing release on Nintendo Switch and other consoles before it. At least there’s a button dedicated to pinging fireworks in every direction.
Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle is one to give a miss, then. That’s something that I take no joy in saying, either, as I had looked forward to checking it out when NIS America had announced that it was on the way to Nintendo Switch. There are certainly flickers of magic to be found, but this is a game that feels a generation or two behind where it needs to be.
The end result is that Fimbul is a soulless experience that never amounts to much more than something that will forever represent the developer’s unrealized vision. Throwing the unpredictable bugs, glitches, and wayward problems that are present on Nintendo Switch into consideration, it’s hard to not come to the conclusion that you’d be better off simply leaving it to someone else to prevent Ragnarök from happening.
I will always applaud developers that try to make learning languages more entertaining and accessible, but Hiragana Pixel Party isn’t the right answer this time around. Japan is a truly beautiful country with an equally fascinating language, and if you want to start learning it I’d easily argue that flashcards or an introductory lesson would be a more productive way to spend your money.
I worry that even fans of the show will be disappointed in Ben 10, which is a competent game, but one that never sparks any excitement, is far too short, and squanders the chance to be something greater. Being a hero can be hard work, we’re told, and it’s difficult to disagree when we’re left to suffer through games with such blinding shortcomings.
Ultimately Mecho Tales is derivative, borrowing tried and tested ideas rather than coming up with anything that ever surprises or astounds. It fails to leave a lasting impression to result in another forgettable platformer that is unable to compete with far more memorable and groundbreaking games in the genre that are available on the Nintendo eShop.
Even looking past the game’s sordid perversions, Gal*Gun 2 never becomes as entertaining as it needs to be to hold your attention for long. In many ways, that’s a shame as, while the game’s erotic nature may be an immediate turn off to some, it exists in an uncontested genre on Nintendo Switch.
Beneath the hue of its pulsating neon glow, Neonwall constructs itself around an interesting concept but struggles to find a way to make it as engaging as it needs to be. It will boggle your mind in ways unlike any other Nintendo eShop release, but lacks the staying power to maintain your attention for long beyond completion.
In essence, Radiation Island is a zombie-infested survival adventure game on a budget. It is yet another mobile game that has washed ashore on Nintendo Switch and one that fails to ever become a memorable experience on the portable home console. It has clear potential but ends up feeling incomplete, in needing more content to help keep the player both engaged and motivated.
This passion project has evidently been created with a modest budget, but Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is unremarkable in execution. It is the painting by numbers approach that leaves an overriding impression that the developer was arbitrarily ticking boxes as to what is expected in a first-person dungeon crawler, rather than making their own mark on modernising the genre. Instead, we’re left to brave a distinctly average experience that doesn’t hide many riches.
And, that’s it. Super Ping Pong Trick Shot certainly has an addictive gameplay loop but it exists within a mediocre experience that fails to ever truly engage and maintain your interest. Even Paper Toss is more entertaining, however mindless it is.
Squareboy vs Bullies: Arena Edition stands up to make itself known on Nintendo Switch, but, rather than choosing to pay homage to greats such as Double Dragon and Final Fight, more inventiveness was needed to make it memorable. There’s enough to entertain for a short while, but the repetitive design and lack of any real ambition hold back its potential – resulting in an average experience that’s little more than a pushover.
That largely sums up my experience with Yono and the Celestial Elephants, a passion project that wearily falls short from the potential that it clearly had. It is probably best that you wait for another millennium to see what adventures await the next elephant, which, we can hope, will be far more exciting than this one.
And, that’s it. It is a shame to see Astro Bears Party score success with its manic gameplay, huggable characters, and minimalistic art direction, only to leave players without enough of a reason to return to orbit their nearest planetoid. It suits Nintendo Switch with its local multiplayer, but a lack of variety makes it hard to recommend – especially with the Nintendo eShop becoming an ever-increasingly competitive place to be.
That’s why Caveman Warriors is best played with others, muffled laughter carrying you through the experience as you rally around to topple Undine, Lodrack, Cavernator v2.0, and the game’s many other bosses. There are still moments that can entertain like riding atop a triceratops as you helplessly shoot enemies that are chasing you and when you are transported into the future, but the game largely feels underbaked and leans too heavily on its inspirations rather than looking to make its own mark on the Nintendo eShop. For that reason, it’s a little too prehistoric for its own good and perhaps belongs in a museum.