GREAT - The originator of the 2-player run-and-gun genre still holds up today. With more Contra than anyone asked for, there’s plenty of aliens to keep you busy for days on end. Be sure to hand a Joy-Con to a friend for maximum enjoyment!
GOOD - Team Sonic Racing is a fun alternative to other competitive racers on the Switch. It features bright and detailed graphics, easy to learn controls, and a cool team-based approach to racing not seen in other titles. It seems a little sparse on tracks and characters, but perhaps we’re just spoiled by MK8 Deluxe. It’s well worth the $40 asking price!
GREAT - Fans of the Castlevania series will surely fall in love with this collection. It chronicles the early days of the series (the first ten years) and features some amazing classics. Just the inclusion of Kid Dracula is worth checking this one out and Super Castlevania IV makes it a must-own.
GREAT - Picross S3 is the best so far on the Switch. It adds in color for some of the puzzles and the Clip Picross mode is a genius way to keep players engaged in unlocking new panels. Whether you’re new to the series or a veteran, this one’s a keeper!
GREAT - SteamWorld Quest is a wonderful card-battling RPG that features slick graphics, wonderful music, and easy to understand combat mechanics. Even if you typically avoid these types of games you should give this one a shot. Its charming characters and fun strategic gameplay are sure to keep you coming back for more.
WORTH CONSIDERING - I had high hopes for Trüberbrook. With its unique graphics, surreal setting, and sci-fi point-and-click adventure I figured it would be right up my alley. Unfortunately clunky and slow controls combined with so-so puzzles and uninteresting dialog made for a slightly above average affair.
GOOD - Yoshi’s Crafted World is creative in its set designs, but could have used some fresh ideas in the gameplay department. The game is still really fun to play, although it seems a little on the short side, unless you’re OK with playing the levels three times through to find all of the collectibles. A solid effort from Good-Feel and Nintendo, but I was hoping for more.
EXCELLENT - Inti Creates does it again with Blaster Master Zero 2! This sequel is filled with all sorts of new gameplay mechanics that are really fun to mess around with. There’s a lot of areas to explore and abilities to learn that will help mitigate the game’s somewhat high difficulty curve.
GREAT - Unravel Two is a charming game with compelling level design and fun gameplay mechanics. This isn’t your typical action-platform experience, as you’ll encounter plenty of small puzzles to solve to progress though the stages. Another great game for the Switch!
WORTH CONSIDERING - I give the developers credit for trying some new gameplay ideas, but they mostly failed at creating a funny narrative and worlds that are fun to explore. I was never wowed by anything in the game, and that’s a shame. Still, the co-op can be fun and the game did release at a reasonable $39.99, making it worth considering for younger gamers.
GREAT - Leave it to Nintendo to think of a new way to bring Battle Royale to the masses. Tetris 99 is a perfect mix of approachable gameplay and highly competitive stakes. The game is highly addicting, instantly fun, and a perfect fit for the Switch. The experience is limited with only one game mode, but even so expect to lose hours of your life to it.
WORTH CONSIDERING - The King’s Bird could have been something truly special, but middling controls, average level design, and infuriating difficulty will leave many giving up on it well before the ending. Some will no doubt cherish the challenge, but most would be better served looking elsewhere.
GOOD - Odallus does a good job replicating old-school 8-bit NES adventure games of yore. The lack of button mapping and the inability to remove the scanlines dampened my experience with the game, but it’s still a fun and challenging title that should appeal to veteran gamers.
MEDIOCRE - On the surface Dragon Marked For Death ticked all the right boxes: beautiful sprites, colorful graphics, co-op action/adventure, RPG elements, and compelling story. After playing it became obvious the game offers a very shallow gameplay experience with repetitive combat, difficulty spikes, and bosses that just won’t die. The bottom line is that this one just isn’t all that fun to play.
GOOD - Double Cross is a fun action game that allows your character to gain upgrades by finding secret crystals. Some of the stage designs are really great and traversal of the world is fun. Combat becomes rather boring very quickly and the story really isn’t all that compelling. Luckily you can button mash your way through the not so great parts and still have a good time with the rest of the game!
EXCELLENT - Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is one of the best Metroidvania games yet for the Nintendo Switch. The graphics are amazing, the music is memorable, the controls are impeccable, and the ability to change into different monsters makes for fresh and exciting gameplay. Difficulty spikes and timed puzzles can be frustrating at times, but they’re a slight blemish on an otherwise fantastic game!
GOOD - Donut County is a surreal experience featuring a town filled with talking animals. The gameplay hook is swallowing up objects to increase the size of your hole until you can devour everything in sight! If you liked Katamari Damacy, this one will probably be a must-have.
WORTH CONSIDERING - I had such high hopes for Battle Princess Madelyn. The core concept works and if you’re just looking for another Ghouls ‘N Ghosts action game, play the arcade mode. The adventure mode is a mess with poor stage design and little to no direction on where or what to do next. Without a walkthrough most will never see the end.
GREAT - Phantasy Star comes to the Switch and it’s loaded with all sorts of options that should please hardcore fans. If you’re new to the game it’s still approachable even today, although having an appreciation for ‘80s 8-bit games will definitely impact your feelings toward it. I’m happy to finally say I’ve played this classic and the Switch’s portable mode is a great way to experience it!
GREAT - Kingdom Two Crowns consumed my time and kept me away from playing the newly released Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – so that’s saying something! There’s a lot to like here, from the visuals to the music to the addicting gameplay. Strategy fans should take notice!