If you have been waiting for something approaching a new Super Monkey Ball, or just want a pretty direct translation of the Marble Madness formula, Marble It Up! has you covered. Just don't expect a lot from it and you will probably be very satisfied.
I like computer books. I have a shelf packed with programming textbooks, stories about the industry, and a library of eBooks on various languages I learn and work with. I also have one oddity published by O'Reily called Getting Started With Dwarf Fortress. Of course Dwarf Fortress is not a programming language, but a game. An infamous game known for an incredible depth of complexity and one of the worst user interfaces ever built. Aside the fact that the game is comprised entirely of ASCII characters, it is difficult enough to parse that it has its own sizeable text box. A shame considering it is one of the most unique and wonderful games around.I never mastered Dwarf Fortress, but it stoked the fires of my interest in the simulation genre and as the years have gone by there have been plenty of interesting clones of the game. Prison Architect is one such game, and while it chooses to ditch the mind boggling scope of Dwarf Fortress and focus the player on a singular task, it is not any worse off or lacking in depth because of this. After hanging around on PC, it has made its way to the Nintendo Switch, making it (for now...Rimworld, anyone?) the only notable title like it on the console.
Star Control: Origins was an absolute joy for me. Its story and characters were utterly charming and unique. Its combat is a ton of fun. Exploring the galaxy and trekking along the surface of planets, while not much of a challenge once your lander is fully upgraded, does get tedious, but once you are picking up valuable elements and leaving the less rewarding materials behind, it becomes less necessary. Stardock did an extraordinary job reviving a long-dead series, and I am excited to see how the game is updated going forward, and what potential there could be in further expanding its wonderful universe.
Apart from that it's a pretty milquetoast affair. Super Dungeon Tactics poses a decent challenge, some cheery art and a fluffy storyline and straightforward campaign with a respectable variety of missions whose tedium is helped by the variety in the mechanics upon which they sit. When it's put next to Disgaea or X-COM, it's almost laughably simple and cheap in comparison, but cheerful enough to grant a looksee if you have exhausted any and all other similar options on the Switch.
It kept me engaged and having fun throughout, apart from when I was skipping dialogue trees as quickly as possible to preserve my own sanity. It's a great blobber despite a dull story, and was fun enough to warrant hitting the “skip” button several thousand times in order to get back into the action.
If you are not a fan of simple arcade games, which it most undoubtedly is, you probably won't find much in Tempest 4000 to win you over. But for those who have any love for the series, and appreciation for the era of the arcade, you absolutely can't go wrong with this one. I prolonged this review longer than necessary because I just wasn't done playing it – and I'm still not. It's a winner.
I had a hell of a time with Horizon Chase Turbo. Of all of the retro revival games that have come out over the past few years, it is near the top of my personal list of favourites. I can't get enough of it. For future iterations it would be cool to see a track editor, and maybe an online multiplayer mode, or some other way to implement variety into the core game since even with various tracks the experience can get tiring and is best served by short bursts of play, but I like what's here. Horizon Chase Turbo succeeds in being a worthy successor to Top Gear and doesn't try to pretend to do much else beyond that.
Battlezone: Combat Commander is a relic of its time. It's clear this is a love letter to fans of the original, a nicer way to play a game plagued with some unfortunate problems back when it was released. A.I. is okay. The story takes a while to get going. Some of the mechanics are clunky, and the presentation is basic apart from improved unit models and environments. Even though it wasn't quite as unique for its time as its reputation might claim, it has a level of complexity and strategy present that's not shared by its predecessors and very much stands tall, even today. I found it an enjoyable romp and feel it is definitely worth a look for RTS fans who want to try something a little different.