GREAT - In the gaming space of off-roading playground titles, SnowRunner is the pack leader by far. Having honed their franchise for the better part of nearly 8 years, the game has some of the best terrain deformation I’ve seen, and realistic-feeling physics that truly make you engaged like you’re slogging through completely inhospitable terrain. There are some drawbacks in terms of onboarding difficulty, and some platform specifics like handheld mode being a toasty battery drain unlike I’ve ever seen before, but if the Switch is your gaming console of choice, it’s a total treat to have SnowRunner perform so well and provide countless hours through its campaigns.
GOOD - Rise of the Slime is a very personable deck-building roguelike game. Robust gameplay mechanics with just the right blend of randomization and skill, as well as high replayability that makes it the perfect game on-the-go. The visuals are charming, but a bit lifeless, however the game is accessible through use of both the Touch and Joy-Con controls. With a competitive price point of $14.99, if you’re of a fan of games like Slay the Spire, Rise of the Slime will be good company in your library.
GREAT - The Game of Life 2 takes on the classic board game, and gives it a fresh look with several themes, and some updated and enticing gameplay. With the ability to play any way you like with friends, strangers, or just alone against CPU opponents on your lunch break, the game finds its footing equally with the cartoony graphics, responsive touch controls, and quick game rounds. The Game of Life 2 doesn’t disappoint for really any age group to dive in and see where life takes them.
WORTH CONSIDERING - Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 improves on its predecessor and delivers an engaging arcade monster truck experience for all ages. With a solid progression system, loads of trucks (fan favorites and more to unlock), and fictional environments to toy around in, there’s plenty of truck hopping fun to be had. You’ll have to navigate some minor to moderate grievances that may potentially effect hardcore players more so than younger kids, but we’re still talking about an enjoyable Monster Jam experience here.
WORTH CONSIDERING - Cultist Simulator brings a card-based roguelike to the table, with a great thematic setting and deep lore. The core game mechanics are simple to interact with, however the game struggles deeply to gain traction because of an intentional design decision to avoid any tutorials or context to what’s happening on screen, leaving me mostly stabbing at the dark to play the game. Some will enjoy the variable experimentation, but not all will drink the Kool-Aid.
MEDIOCRE - Empire of Sin wants you to be the Mob Boss in all of Chicago. From managing relationships, to hostile takeovers, running an underground economy, and with an X-Com inspired combat system layered on top for action moments, this game has all the right makings for a top-notch prohibition management game. However, the menus are cluttered, heavy, and an unnecessary time sink, and the combat is just too light with clunky opponents, making the whole experience a bit awkward for me to really love.
GOOD - Taking on the role of a DJ, you’ll be mixing licensed music tracks from plenty of genres to please your venue’s crowds, and also your pals at home. There’s a real skillset to master once you get going in the game, and it’s a lot of fun hearing your creations come to life. Sadly, none of the game’s multiplayer modes worked at all for me on the Nintendo platform, which is a big miss given the full $60 price point, and therefore forced me to play in solo venues only. If dreaming of being a DJ is your thing, you can fake it to make it here with Fuser and feel great as the crowd’s cheer.
GOOD - The much-anticipated Torchlight III has arrived on Nintendo Switch. The familiar art style and fantasy driven themes are back and as enjoyable as ever, however diehard fans of the series may be disappointed with the game’s back steps of previously deeper gameplay and strategy. This comes as a result of the game’s development changing drastically over the years. Still, the game offers all of the expected bullet points of an action-RPG styled game, and there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had with hacking and slashing in multiplayer with a friend.
WORTH CONSIDERING - Wartile brings diorama-based table top gaming to the Nintendo Switch with a Vikings and Norse mythology fictional theme. While the game excels at making a highly creative and unique artistic presentation, many of the game's features felt somewhat incomplete, marred further by a lack of clear game progression and a missed opportunity for stronger miniature character leveling up. Still, gameplay is fairly fluid once you get used to it, and the thematic settings are great. If you’re craving a digital table top micro-experience, Wartile might be something you’ll want to check out despite its shortcomings.
GOOD - Ring of Pain is an artistic blend of casual card combat, procedural dungeon running, with some roguelike mechanics. Its strengths are in the short play sessions, and dynamic outcomes that can be had, along with the more advanced strategy that’s possible. Shortcomings include a heavily RNG based system, where sometimes the cards just won’t be in your favor. Additionally, a lack of really any meta unlockable carry-thru content was a strong disappointment for me. Still, I can see myself jamming on a run or two over a lunch break for the foreseeable future without feeling burned out, which says a lot for this genre.