ISLANDERS: Console Edition is a unique strategy game that has you building up your own island city. Grizzly Games have done a good job of keeping things simplistic and approachable for newcomers whilst also keeping it challenging for fans of the genre. Its relaxing and minimalist approach will have you spending countless hours with your randomly generated islands; being the mastermind behind your own creations and thinking strategically will be the difference between success and failure.
A Plague Tale: Innocence sees you playing as Amicia running through the plagued streets of France with your brother Hugo. Set in the 1300’s, you’re running from soldiers of the inquisition and the terrifying hordes of rats that are ravaging the streets. There are a few different themes that run throughout: at the forefront of the story you’re surrounded by death and decay which is something you will quickly get used to seeing.
Crime Opera: The Butterfly Effect is a visual novel centred around a crime family and the Gallo children. I didn’t know too much about the game before jumping in and I think this is the best way to approach it; much like reading a book, you’ll be faced with twists and turns in the story which are split up into chapters. There are some very dark themes explored so if you’re looking for a light story to switch off with this one probably isn’t for you.
Chess has long been a game played by millions across the world, dating back as far as the 1500’s; although the exact origins seem to be unknown. Knight’s Retreat is a puzzle game that brings together the elements of chess to create a unique experience on the Nintendo Switch.
Maneater was released just over a year ago on all other major platforms and now Nintendo Switch owners are getting a slice of the action; courtesy of indie developers Tripwire Interactive. It’s a game I’d not read too much about nor had I watched gameplay of so I had a completely spoiler free play through. There’s certainly not many other shark RPG’s (“shARkPG”) out there that do it quite like Maneater does and this is one of the major selling points for the game!
Otti: The House Keeper has a simple concept with a take on the tower defence genre mixed with a few puzzle elements; you’re tasked with keeping thieves away from your treasure by placing various traps and fixtures to stop them reaching Otti at the very top of the map. There does seem to be a bit of confusion surrounding the title of the game. The console reads as “Otti House Keeper” whereas the Switch eShop page titles it “Otti: The House Keeper”. For the purpose of this review I’ll be using the latter.
Hands up if you’ve heard of a Phog? Anyone? Nope. Me neither. Allow me to introduce you to Red and Blue, the two (or should I say one…) stars of this puzzle adventure title from Bit Loom Games. You’ll be making your way through three distinctive worlds; each one VERY different than the last and trying to navigate your way through this charming and downright silly platformer. The main hook is that the aptly named “Phogs” are a pair of dogs with a twist; they share the same body!
The Great Perhaps throws up some interesting scenarios and as it released during the summer period, during peak “lockdown”, it did feel somewhat strange to think of the parallels between the world you’re playing through and the one we live in. Playing as an astronaut you come across a strange artefact; a lantern. The lantern enables you to see glimpses of the past but also lets you switch back to the present time, you’re tasked with finding out what has happened to the post apocalyptic world you’re living through in the hope you can save the planet. In terms of the story it’s fairly slim on the explanation front and it’s clear the developers wanted to focus more on the gameplay element. You have an internal guide who will help you out on your journey as you travel through the different areas and as you get used to the lantern and it’s function you’ll become more accustomed to solving the games puzzles.
This has been one of the most refreshing and genuinely enjoyable gaming experiences of my year and a massive highlight. My hope for the future is we a get a sequel to this glorious gem, and that it will be twice as long, that was the only downside for me. It was over too soon! If you’re looking for a platformer to keep you entertained for 6-7 hours, then you really can’t go wrong with New Super Lucky’s Tale. A must-have for your Switch library!
Leisure Suit Larry has a long-running history with video games. Initially starting in the late 80’s; Larry Laffer has been squirming his way through many different console iterations trying to charm the pants (quite literally) off any hot-blooded female he can get a hold of. This has been my first encounter with Larry, and it has undoubtedly made a lasting impression. I’m a big fan of the point and click genre, so I jumped at the opportunity to play this classic series.