It can't shake its past, running as it does through every beat of its game design, for better and worse, but The Serpent's Curse concludes satisfyingly, wrapping in such a way that has one just about forgiving, if not forgetting, its more frustrating moments. Players experienced with '90s adventure games will no doubt revel in how Broken Sword 5 moves in some maddeningly mysterious ways, and happily muddle through its poorly-paced first half. But those short on patience and with a low tolerance for bad acting (and worse accents) should seek out the aforementioned superior Switch adventures before investigating this curious concoction of mostly redundant old-school sensibilities mixed with flashes of evergreen flair and modern HD artistry.
Shenmue innovated in enigmatic ways that remain inspirational for today’s game designers. These games exude an unlikely warmth that maintains even when Ryo’s jumped by bad guys, clips his hand through a piece of scenery to buy a new toy, or is made to haul crates across dockyards opposite a grunting co-worker.
We're used to seeing Wii U games transfer to Switch, but for Ultra Smash to have moved across without a substantial makeover would have been disastrous. Aces, wonderfully, is anything but that – it's a superb arcade sports game that's generous with its suite of player options and only occasionally guilty of being a little cheap in its Adventure Mode. The presentation is spot on, and the core tennis action is absorbing whether you're trading simple strokes or firing off special shots. Some animations and voice overs are identical to Ultra Smash's, but everything around them has been overhauled to quite splendid heights. This is something of a Switch Port Plus, then – not quite a whole new experience, but so improved as to be near unrecognisable next to its preceding title.
Little Nightmares boasts some superb character and environment design, and exceptional sound too, with parts of the Maw screaming as if the ship was a gigantic bionic seafarer. Its story is compellingly told, and the way the main game connects with the DLC is immensely rewarding. But you never really feel like you have full control of Six, and the long breaks between restarts can dump you into a painful loop of spending less time in the game than you do in loading screens. These problems were present in the game's initial release back in April 2017, and Switch owners can be forgiven for feeling disappointed that Tarsier wasn't able to fix them for this port. If you can overlook them, though, Little Nightmares is an occasionally moreish puzzler with an exceptionally creepy cast capable of turning any stomach.
This is the Shadow of the Colossus that you thought you played over a decade ago, unfolding before your eyes. Every second as sad, as spectacular, and as exceptionally unique as it ever was. And worthy, indeed, of creating more memories with.
The Switch isn't short of games that have already taken a bow, or several, on other hardware, but Skyrim might be the one that most deserves another look from both hardy Elder Scrolls adventurers and absolute beginners alike. Despite its age showing, the countless little cracks in its already fractured façade, it still delivers a palpable sense of space, and the player's niche-carving progress through it, that few games before or since have managed. May its dancing northern lights never dim.
A genuinely creepy creation, Oxenfree combines a clever story and smart dialogue mechanics with superbly sinister music to leave a deep and lasting impression on the player, one that should encourage an all-important second playthrough. Fans of Stranger Things and Poltergeist will love the direction this game takes – if not to hell and back, exactly, then absolutely to some other place where horrors abound, just waiting for an invitation into our world. It's yet another Switch essential.
Point-and-click beginners may struggle with the myriad puzzles Thimbleweed Park lays across its curiosity-piquing plot, but its developers have rightfully made it possible to get ahead even when all you see are dead ends, with the inclusion of the tips line.