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.
Disgaea 1 Complete blows raspberries at po-faced, self-serious strategy games by mixing complex systems with comedy to delightful effect. This remaster is a great introduction for series newcomers, provided you can forgive the odd mismatching texture and an inflexible camera.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an impressive package if you skipped the original, offering the best of modern-era 2D Mario, madcap multiplayer and glimpses of the outrageous invention that was to come in Super Mario Odyssey. Only the most fervent fans will find enough new content here to justify double-dipping, though, especially if you already played the Luigi expansion.
A few rough edges do little to disturb the tranquillity Cattails lulls you into with its fun mechanics, cheerful writing and lovely soundtrack. Despite the conflict at its heart, you could happily while away hours frolicking in the fields, catching butterflies and chatting with your feline chums. If you're after something light-hearted to relax with until Animal Crossing arrives next year, this fits the bill very nicely.
This War of Mine remains an affecting survival experience on Switch and this edition is a comprehensive package. A couple of minor technical issues do little to diminish its power and, although the lack of touch controls is odd, sleep mode is a winner for squeezing in a few days as-and-when you can. Switch arguably helps make this downbeat game as accessible as possible, though there's little point in double-dipping if you've tried it elsewhere. It deserves to be played in whatever form you can find it, though, and is therefore a very welcome addition to Switch's diverse catalogue.
While reminding us just how much we'd love to see FTL on Switch, Everspace manages to carve out an impressive identity for itself. With gratifying space combat, an addictive ‘rogue-lite' core loop and even some light, entertaining writing along the way, it performs admirably – if not flawlessly – on Nintendo's console. Overall, we had a hell of a time with it and this port does a cracking job of preserving the full experience on a handheld. If any of this sounds remotely enticing, we'd heartily recommend investigation.
Kingdom Two Crowns offers a hell of a view, but you may find its brand of light strategy too sedate if you're not one to ‘smell the roses'. Give it a chance, though, and it really grows on you. Disappointing framerate aside, it's a great introduction to the series, and valuable split-screen co-op adds a fresh, more relaxing dimension to its tower defence. If you bounced off New Lands, this won't win you over, but if the last game piqued your interest but passed you by, Two Crowns is a much easier recommendation.
Within its common-sense (and, thanks to Wii Fit, well-known) limitations, Fitness Boxing is a breezy, energetic success that gets your blood pumping. For the one-time price of a month's gym membership, it delivers some light CV and takes pointers from Just Dance and various rhythm games to provide a convenient and engaging workout. It's no substitute for hard hours at the gym, but there's certainly potential to tone up those arms and shed a few of the mince pies you put away while watching Groundhog Day over the holidays. It would be a mistake to buy this thinking you're getting a game or some magical antidote to your spare tyre. However, it kept us coming back and if you're after a reason to justify cancelling that direct debit to Gold's, this is as good as anything you'll find on a console.
We struggle to recall a dystopia quite as cheerful as the one found in Pikuniku. It's a short game, but one packed with heart and imagination, with a great single-player component and excellent couch co-op that can genuinely be enjoyed by anyone. It makes us remember the fun we had cutting pieces from our friends in Snipperclips, but where we occasionally hit a brick wall with that game, Pikuniku sidesteps frustration in favour of a breezy and charming adventure; a perfect salve if you need a break from the backlog, but don't dive in expecting endless hours of gameplay.
Billed as a side dish, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes has been prepared with enough love and affection to become a filling meal on its own, packed with the spice and spirit you'd expect from Travis Touchdown. It's a fun, indie-inflected blast of hack-and-slash which doesn't change the world mechanically (and don't go in expecting No More Heroes 3), but its sincerity and energy are charming. It's an adult game – a gamer's game – foul-mouthed and dripping with style. If you're sitting on the fence, we'd recommend diving in, if only to support its infectious, celebratory spirit; Suda51 seems to have a real affection for Nintendo hardware and this makes you feel lucky to have him working on Switch.
Despite the logo giving the impression of a garish knock-off or mobile port, When Ski Lifts Go Wrong delivers some captivating simulation puzzling, with a light dusting of Excitebike helping to set it apart from the crowd. The UI and controls work very well on Switch and, although not being able to share or sample others' creations online is disappointing, the base game works beautifully to provide a very enjoyable package if you're after some rock solid, physics-based fun.
OlliOlli is one of those games you really have to live with; perseverance pays dividends, but so does taking a break and coming back in the morning to find muscle memory kicking in. Before you know it you'll be grinding elegantly and racking up impressive points, but you need to stick with it. With the skateboarding genre largely on hiatus, this is an easy recommendation to newcomers with the patience to master it. This version doesn't bring anything new to the table if you've played it before, but it's a fine game in fine form on Switch.
Remarkably solid and satisfying, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a card battler with an abundance of charm in its art, mechanics and writing. The presentation is slick, the dialogue's witty and the gameplay's addictive, although nothing about it feels particularly special – not in the way SteamWorld Dig 2 felt special. It does what it does well, though, and it's still a thoroughly enjoyable time in that universe. As long as you're not expecting anything revolutionary, we recommend anybody who likes turn-based battling or who enjoyed any previous games in the series check it out.
Mechanically-speaking, there's little you haven’t seen elsewhere, but it’s a good-looking, fun third-person romp dripping in slimy nostalgia, and the chance to spend time in the company of these old friends – some of them dearly departed – is too good to pass up if you've ever strapped on your school backpack and gone out to catch ghosts in the garden.
Farming Simulator 20 won't be for everyone, but if you're after high-octane, instant gratification, why are you sniffing around something called 'Farming Simulator 20'? It requires time and devotion – if you're not one to enjoy the long, languorous journey you'd be better off sticking to more abstract farming sims. Once you get into its low-key repetitive groove, though, there's a wealth of wholesome, calming work to get lost in and a satisfying flow to cultivating a field, sowing seeds, harvesting, repeating and watching those numbers go up.
On paper, searching a large database of phone-filmed video clips doesn't sound too exciting, but Telling Lies offers an exhilarating few hours of detective work thanks to clever construction, strong performances and exceptional polish. Given that the game takes place almost entirely in windows on a virtual desktop computer screen (and would therefore seem 'at home' on PC), it survives the transition to Switch entirely intact. While there's not much incentive to reopen the investigation once it reaches its climax, uncovering Telling Lies' web of relationships and intrigue is a case definitely worth taking on.