For better or worse, Pandemic on Switch is little more than a digital recreation of the hit board game that you can enjoy solo or grouped-up. The lack of features, side modes, online play and presentation are disappointing, but at its core this is still one of the more fun cooperative board games I've ever played in a compact form on the Switch for a reasonable price.
Whether it's because I can play it untethered from the television or how it eschews the alien threat for a relatively more grounded espionage take on the genre, I found the break-up between on-the-ground missions and reconnaissance activities fresh if uneven, and the removal of dice rolls for hit rate removes obfuscation that for me made combat a much more rewarding endeavor. If you're someone like me who liked Mario + Rabbids but wished there was more depth or don't particularly love sci-fi themes, Phantom Doctrine is a worthy alternative.
If I have a grievance with European Conqueror X, it's that there's an enjoyable, robust, and competent turn-based strategy game at its core surrounded by nothing distinguishing. It satisfies that itch for its genre, but its dry presentation and impersonal nature might keep you from wanting to play for more than short intervals.
Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek is a one-trick pony that had a game built around the premise of drawing a reaction out of the player via jump scares, which it does very well. If the levels and puzzles were more focused and honed-in, there could be a logical and interesting foundation for an experiential dread and tension. Forget moving out of the neighborhood, I'd suggest moving to the next county over.
Deru: The Art of cooperation is a delightfully relaxing puzzle-solving experience that leans into its tone and provides a mellow fun whether you're sitting alone or with a friend on the couch. The levels are challenging without being aggravating and it's clear just as much thought was put into its presentation. I just don't expect you'll be playing this at a rooftop party with Karen anytime soon.
It should be noted that the Switch version is meant to also include an Escape Mode where you control an inmate trying to find their way out. For the purposes of this review, we haven't been able to check it out. Despite that omission, it's not hard to pour a bunch of time into Prison Architect, and I am happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a sim game to play on their couch.
If you have a game night with a group of friends who like playing a handful of silly multiplayer games that'll cause laughter and aggravation when getting too competitive, Slam Land with its visual goofiness, quirks, and crazy on-screen dunk action will belong beautifully as part of your rotation. I'll have a bunch of fun with my friends when they come to visit next, but the game will likely go untouched until then.
That fleeting moment of fun was solitary, and not indicative of the overall experience I left with. Moonfall Ultimate has the framework for what could have been a better game if given more time to iron-out its strange difficulty scaling, slippery and unresponsive controls, and oddly enough, spell-checking. With a partner and expectations set properly, it could be a suitable rainy-day game, but I cannot recommend it to a solitary soldier.
I persevered and beat the level in five days of off and on play, and rather than it turning me away, the frustration compelled me to respond with "just another run" to do better. The VideoKid is a short visit, not an extended vacation, into a quirky nostalgia-packed arcade run. I enjoyed my brief stay, but for you it might depend on your fondness for The California Raisins or The Thundercats.