WORTH CONSIDERING - A lack of innovation, boring exploration, and disappointing graphics make Rune Factory 5 a game you could probably skip over unless you’re a super fan of the series. Newcomers might find enough to like here, but might be better served waiting for a price drop just to make sure.
WORTH CONSIDERING - Fans of the original game on the Mega Drive/Genesis will no doubt appreciate all of the hard work that went into updating Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World for the modern era. Despite its wonderful animations and enchanting soundtrack, the gameplay and level design leave a bit to be desired. The game isn’t overly long and for $34.99 it’s hard to recommend this one to anyone that doesn’t already know what they’re getting into.
GREAT - Little Nightmares II absolutely nails the dreary and hopeless atmosphere thanks to its detailed graphics and ominous musical score. Even though there’s no narration or story told through text, the game somehow manages to make you care about the main characters and want to help them escape to a better life. Unenjoyable combat and sloppy controls hold the game back from becoming what it could have been, but there’s plenty here to like to give it a hearty recommendation.
GOOD - Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is a fun puzzle game that I can heartily recommend to newcomers as it features bright and colorful graphics, happy music, and a plethora of game modes to enjoy. However, it does very little to improve upon the original game, which can now be purchased for half the price of this one, which gives owners of Puyo Puyo Tetris very little incentive to plop down another $40 for such a similar experience.
GOOD - If you like puzzle games like Sudoku, you’ll probably find a lot to enjoy with Tens! It’s a bit simpler than some puzzlers, which should appeal to a wider audience. With appealing audio visuals and a somewhat lengthy adventure mode, this is a fun puzzle game to whittle away the time.
EXCELLENT - Hades revolutionizes storytelling by unraveling new dialog and exposition each time you die, making every single attempt at escaping the Underworld new and exciting. The replayability is extremely high here with randomized rooms and perks, and a gameplay loop that will have you saying, “Just one more time!” well past your bedtime. Don’t let the roguelike description scare you away from giving this one a try.
BAD - Gleamlight commits the cardinal sin of gaming by being boring. There’s nothing good to see here, and that’s a shame considering its premise seemed promising. The gameplay is boring, the visuals are generic, the AI is terrible, the core mission is on the short side, and that all adds up to a bad time. This is a very crowded market on the Switch and you can find so many other titles worthy of your time.
GOOD - Inmost is a dark and emotional 2D puzzle adventure featuring three playable characters via an intertwining story. Detailed pixel art and a moving soundtrack help sell the story and the puzzle solving is rewarding. Some of the action segments fall a bit short and the last half hour or so of the game seems rushed, but overall it’s an experience I won’t soon forget.
GREAT - Mr. Driller DrillLand took a long time to make it to our shores, but now that it’s here puzzle game fans have a reason to celebrate. With multiple modes of play you get to experience Mr. Driller like never before! The soundtrack is absolutely off the charts and fans of bubbly Japanese music will be in heaven. A lack of online multiplayer and leaderboards slightly hampers the replay value, but don’t let that deter you from nabbing this from the eShop.
GREAT - CrossCode is a great action/RPG that features beautiful graphics and an amazing soundtrack. The setting and story are unique but didn’t really wow me as much as I had hoped. The combat and puzzle solving are fun, but some might find aspects of the game too challenging. That being said, there’s a ton to like here and this is a great game for the Switch!
WORTH CONSIDERING - Namco Museum Archives Volume 2 contains a more eclectic batch of games that may have a harder time resonating with much of the gaming public. That being said, it’s worth checking out if you have a history with the titles included and several are still very playable today.
GREAT - Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 is the best Switch compilation from the company so far. With 10 classic NES games (most of which never appeared in this country before) and a demake of Pac-Man Championship Edition, there’s a lot to like here!
GREAT - Trails of Cold Steel III is a lengthy and fun JRPG that’s bound to get lost in the sea of competing titles. It doesn’t help that Switch owners have to jump in with the third in the series, especially since the story and characters are directly connected to the previous games. However, if you stick with it you’ll be rewarded with a fun combat system, endearing characters, and an entertaining adventure.
EXCELLENT - Gamers have overlooked the beat’em up genre for decades, but Streets of Rage 4 is here to knock some sense into them. It walks that fine line of providing just the right amount nostalgia while at the same time injecting new characters and gameplay to create a fantastic experience that should appeal to the teenagers of the ‘80s and today. Grab a friend and kick some butt. Don’t sleep on this one!
WORTH CONSIDERING - Panzer Dragoon: Remake will certainly appeal to fans of the original Saturn game and to those of you I say absolutely pick this one up. I had a fun time blasting my way through the game and really enjoyed the updated visuals. The new soundtrack lacks the punch of the original, but sounds more sophisticated. Luckily the original can be toggled from the options so you get the best of both worlds. A high price combined with a short campaign and a niche genre makes this one difficult to recommend to anyone except devoted fans.
EXCELLENT - I absolutely adore Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Fans of the series will appreciate numerous quality of life improvements, especially when it comes to interior decorating. The new crafting mechanic and Nook Miles Rewards system are welcome additions to an already addictive experience. With beautiful graphics, charming characters, memorable soundtrack, and an unbelievable lasting value, this one will be on my Switch HOME screen for years to come.
GOOD - La-Mulana 1 & 2: Hidden Treasures Edition should appeal to those gamers who enjoy difficult gameplay and cryptic hints set in a Metroidvania style universe. Those that grew up during the ‘80s and liked adventure games on the NES are the target market for this one. Just be prepared for obscure puzzles, tons of death traps, and challenging enemies!
WORTH CONSIDERING - Langrisser I & II is the definition of a game worthy of consideration. Fans of the tactical RPG genre that don’t mind playing map after map of battles with no tutorials and sparse story will be right at home. Newcomers to the genre would be better served elsewhere. These games come directly from the early ‘90s and despite a new coat of paint don’t have a modern feel to them. A free demo on the eShop is recommended before throwing down 50 bones.
EXCELLENT - I never expected a developer I had never heard of (DevHour Games) to outdo Jupiter (the developers of the original Picross), but Depixtion does just that. Each image features three layers (each a different primary color) of Picross puzzles to solve, making the final picture even more satisfying upon completion. Add in a superb soundtrack and you have yourself a winner. Puzzle fans should eat this one up.