This is an excellent port of a game that feels like it's found a natural home on Switch thanks to a plethora of control options and the console's natural facility with vertical orientation. Short of popping your 4K TV on its side, Switch offers the very best way to play Downwell. Its roguelike structure and twitch platforming might not be for everyone, but you should really give it a chance. For our money, it's a modern classic that should be in everyone's collection.
The sheer verve of Just Shapes and Beats is infectious. True to its name, the elements are simple, but Berzerk Studio explores and executes on its modest premise with an exceptional level of polish. It injects pure joy into the oppressive, pulsing panic of Super Hexagon and creates a celebratory explosion of the audio-visual in video games. Challenge mode and the hectic multiplayer will keep you occupied after you've conquered the refreshingly breezy story. Grab some decent headphones or, better still, some friends and hook your Switch up to the hi-fi. The neighbours will love you.
But, what is Florence? It's an evocation of the beauty, sadness and hope that comes from any human connection we make in our lives, whether with art, nature or another person. It's a succinct and incredibly successful exploration of moments you'll recognise from your own life, and the way it mirrors thoughts and feelings through small gameplay mechanics makes it one of the most affecting experiences we've enjoyed on Switch, or any other platform.
Resident Evil 4 is one of the best video games of all time, and if you’ve somehow managed to avoid it all these years, the Switch edition is a decent, convenient way to catch up – but the fact that the Wii Edition still has a legitimate claim as the 'definitive' version proves irksome. Handheld mode is the biggest draw here and that’s not only where the game’s ageing visuals work best, but also where its control scheme makes the most sense.
While it's not going to set your world alight with flashy features or ground-breaking mechanics, we enjoyed our time with Manual Samuel enormously. The joke risks wearing thin, but Sam's adventure is brief and self-aware enough to hold your interest. Co-op play is surprisingly fun with a willing accomplice and Time Attack offers some longevity, although for most players it'll be a short ‘one-and-done' affair. For our money, it's a pleasant amuse-bouche of a game – a welcome little treat between the larger courses being served up on Switch this summer.
Late Shift succeeds on its own terms by knowing exactly what it is and executing on its goals. It's a tight, movie-length, choose-your-own-adventure that doesn't let ill-fitting puzzle elements slow it down or dampen the tension it creates so well. While player agency is limited to the core branching system, its scale eclipses other FMV productions and, although it's resolutely on-rails, it's a far more seamless and satisfying 'interactive entertainment' experience as a result.
An emotional story that weaves big themes across its episodes, The Lion's Song is a poignant point-and-click adventure with excellent audio, a beautiful art style and great writing. The exploration of its subjects isn't muddied with obstinate riddles or ill-fitting mechanics and it's a satisfying, albeit brief, experience that is absolutely worthy of your time.
Despite threatening to fizzle under the weight of its reverence for Blade Runner, Observer manages to craft an impressive and affecting horror experience on Switch that doesn't outstay its welcome. It's arguably at its best when you surrender to the barrage of imagery and sounds rather than scanning pools of blood with detective vision. This port walks a technical tightrope and falters a little in docked mode, but fares much better as a handheld experience – its ambition and rich world-building are admirable enough to make up for any technical shortcomings. If Bloober Team doubles-down on the horror genre and keeps producing work of this quality, we'll gladly play whatever's next in the pipeline.
Despite a title that suggests it came out of a name generator, Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a satisfying slice of JRPG that forges a confident, colourful character of its own from formulaic ingredients. The approachable comic style, plus a couple of neat mechanics that encourage experimentation, give it a freshness that belies the age-old systems at its core, and it doesn't waste your time with filler. Depending on your skill, you'll probably spend around 30 hours on the critical path – comparatively breezy in RPG terms – though there's plenty of side content to occupy you beside the main quest, plus a trio of heroes you'll probably shun on your first playthrough. Disappointing performance dips aside, it feels at home on Switch. Ultimately, it's the same old story – numbers go up! – but it's shot through with an infectious exuberance and attention to detail that reinvigorates old tropes.
Our primary criticism of the first game has been addressed, making The Last Wind Monk a much easier recommendation. Experimentation is now a breeze with touch controls and the expanded possibilities offered by character-switching mean puzzles feel more varied. It maintains the original's great writing and presentation, but offers a far better all-round experience, making it the best entry point for Switch owners into the eccentric world of Asposia.
Sling Ming is a polished game with rock-solid physics and smart puzzles, all shot through with a simple, endearing story and a catchy soundtrack. Difficulty is carefully balanced with addictive mechanics that reward perseverance, leaving a game that can stand proudly with the best indie offerings on the eShop.
Forgotton Anne is an evocative, artistic triumph that nails that feeling of a ‘living anime'. Sure, the puzzles are hardly mind-blowing, and some later sections may test your patience, but the beauty of the art and the gentle humour of the writing should carry you through these irritations. Animation buffs should dive in without reservation, and we'd recommend anyone with even the slightest interest check this out.
Shio is a lovely surprise which offers up a precise and beautiful platforming experience. Although it lacks the level of polish as something like Celeste, if you've already conquered that mountain (or – sacrilege! – you're not a fan of its pixel aesthetic), this is a tightly crafted, technical platformer in a similar mould that's well worth a look.
The Spectrum Retreat is a valiant stab at a Portal-esque puzzler which largely pulls off what it sets out to achieve. It lacks the dynamite script and surgical timing of Valve's masterpiece, but the test chambers (sorry, ‘authentication challenges') withstand the comparison. If Gone Home's pace is a touch too navel-gazing for your liking, we'd heartily recommend a trip to The Penrose Hotel.