As an experience, The Gardens Between is a journey that's well worth embarking on. Its puzzles are gratifying, and its world is gorgeous and filled with personality. Its price may be too step for those looking for a meatier experience, and veteran fans of the genre might wish for tougher puzzles, but those hankering for a small game with a big heart will find plenty to love in The Gardens Between.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is an easy recommendation for Life is Strange fans as well as for those who have never touched the series before. Clocking in at 90 minutes, the episode can easily be completed in a single sitting; the episode's characters, on the other hand, will stay with you long after you put down the controller. If you have a free afternoon and some space on your hard drive, you have no excuse: Give Captain Spirit a whirl. It's free.
Despite its poorly told story, repetitive material grind, and wonky scoring system, Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack is a solid investment for fans of the 2D platformer genre. Gunvolt may not be Mega Man, but the series offers up much of the same charm and challenge that made Capcom's iconic franchise such a big hit. The pair of games doesn't quite hit the same highs as many of the Blue Bomber's greatest adventures, but Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack earns serious points for trying something new. Despite the wealth of platformers that have come to the Switch in recent weeks, Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack makes a compelling case for being an addition to your growing library.
In spite of its faults, Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a fantastic follow-up to an already great game. It improves upon the formula of the original title while offering a fascinating look into two of the series' most captivating characters. Beautiful, charming, and devastating, Before the Storm is a must-play for fans of the series and a phenomenal way to tide players over until the release of Life is Strange 2.
Despite some minor performance issues and the occasional on-the-nose writing, Layers of Fear: Legacy is a fantastic horror experience for Switch owners. You get two great stories, both accessible right from the menu screen — I highly recommend you play the main story before Inheritance, though — that offer gripping tales and shocking scares. Better yet, both are playable in portable mode, ensuring that the courageous and unafraid can get their fill of terror before bed. It may not be P.T. in name, but for those seeking that same level of atmosphere and hallway-twisting tension, Legacy fits the bill.
The Alliance Alive is a good game that's held back by some unfortunate missteps. Its fantastic premise and strong narrative provide a storyline that feels surprisingly fresh compared to other JRPGs, while its combat provides some welcome depth to its turn-based gameplay. The title often feels too easy, even by JRPG standards, and several features could have been better fleshed out, but the overall product is a stark improvement over studio Cattle Call's previous effort. With the 3DS on its way out to pasture, those with a hankering for an old-school JRPG with some new ideas should find something to like with The Alliance Alive.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is a game that's bursting at the seams with interesting ideas. Its story is gripping thanks to a diverse cast of nuanced characters, while its time-traveling structure and grid-based combat provide a challenging mix of planning and puzzle-solving for those familiar with RPGs. At the same time, however, its frustrating backtracking and slow-as-molasses pacing drag the experience to a disappointing halt at times. Despite its issues, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is a strong addition to the 3DS and a fitting swan song for a handheld that's beginning its descent into the annals of gaming history.
Teslagrad is a fun little adventure that works well on the Nintendo Switch. Its forgettable story is easily forgiven since smart puzzles, a well-designed map, and carefully hidden collectibles extend the life of the game. Frustrating bosses and the occasional poorly designed level bring down the experience, but not enough to quell Teslagrad's electromagnetic current. Fans of Metroidvanias looking to work their brain and reflexes should enjoy what Teslagrad has to offer.
Chess Ultra is a great chess game and a welcome addition to the Switch's digital library of titles. Its in-depth tutorial offers a useful starting point for those new to the sport, while challenges, AI difficulties, and customizable matches ensure that established players have the tools needed to improve their game in a variety of formats. While the lack of a real-time filter for matchmaking is a bummer, Chess Ultra more than justifies its budget price tag of $12.50. Whether you are a grandmaster or a complete novice, Chess Ultra is a worthy entry into the world of virtual chess.