The Surge 2 is a fantastic addition to the PS4 library and will please fans of challenging action-adventure games. It offers satisfying and rewarding gameplay in spades and will melt through your time like a hot knife through butter if you let it. I have no reservations in giving this golden child the Thumb Culture Gold Award. Well done!
Super Mario Maker 2 is similar to other Nintendo titles in that it offers a level of creativity not seen elsewhere in the gaming industry but also misses the mark in a few areas which other developers more than often get right. In particular, the online play is brilliant in concept but lacking in execution, which is more of an issue now Nintendo is charging Switch owners to play over their network. That being said, Super Mario Maker 2 succeeds where the likes of Little Big Planet or Dreams have failed in offering creators a rigid framework on which to build their creations, something even a child can have fun with. The options are less varied, but nothing can be truly be broken and very few levels are painful to play. Super Mario Maker 2 is absolutely essential for Nintendo Switch owners and another jewel in the crown of what is shaping up to be Nintendo’s best console. I give it the Thumb Culture gold award, since I didn’t have any stars or coins lying around.
SuperEpic won’t be for everyone, but it’s perfect for gamers who enjoy action platformers with a Metroidvania structure. The gameplay can become repetitive but I never found that it stopped being fun. The challenge is pitched just about right to encourage you to save up for those upgrades which give you a couple more health points or a more powerful weapon. I give it the Thumb Culture gold award.
Secret Files 2 is far from perfect, but if you’re after another game to scratch the itch only a Broken Sword can typically scratch you could do a lot worse. I am gracing it with the prestigious Thumb Culture Silver Award – oh look, there’s a pictorial depiction of one passing by!
Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition is an impressive achievement, but glaring omissions prevent it from being anything close to a definitive version, and it’s disappointing that games from previous generations are still being ported to the Switch in an incomplete condition. That being said, if you want a unique, single-player FPS which runs really well in handheld mode and you’re not interested in challenge maps or multiplayer you will most likely have a great time. I’m giving Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition is an excellent port of the original game and feels right at home on the Switch. Unfortunately, repetitive gameplay prevents it from achieving greatness. Nevertheless, I would like to pin the Thumb Culture Silver Award over its heart.
Simulacra is an enjoyable experience, even if it is not the best example of the genre. You’ll find an interesting but ultimately rather shallow story. The concept could have been taken further, with more exploration surrounding what it means to broadcast your identity through a device which fits in the palm of your hand. A device which can be lost or compromised and used against you. In spite of this, I had a good time with Simulacra, and I give it the Thumb Culture silver award.
It’s no pleasure to be so critical of a title which innovates on the third person adventure genre while offering an engaging plot. The Sinking City was clearly created with a strong vision in mind, and its failings are largely technical. There is much to love, and I will be going back to experience more of the story, but given the current state of the Switch port, I cannot recommend it. Wait to see if Frogwares release a patch before sinking any time into this one. I’m giving it the Thumb Culture Bronze award.
I’m Hungry VR will likely please those who want to see what it might be like to work in a burger stand without having to endure abuse from lairy blokes and unpleasant managers, and there is fun to be had if you don’t mind a lot of repetition. However, if you’re a stalwart of the frantic food prep genre (if there is such a thing) and are no longer as entranced by the charms of VR as you once were you might find this one a bit under-cooked. I’m giving I’m Hungry VR the Thumb Culture Bronze Award, which is the fast-food equivalent of a McDonald’s hamburger. Nice!
Bee Simulator is a massive disappointment. I was charmed and intrigued by the trailer but the gameplay is extremely repetitive. As nice as the world is the developers haven’t managed to make traversing it feel fun. A child might find some wonder and limited educational value but otherwise I would strongly recommend you steer clear. I give Bee Simulator the Thumb Culture Bronze award.
This was a difficult review to write. I enjoyed creeping through the Felton mansion and the stalker mechanic is seldom seen and quite refreshing. The mansion itself is atmospheric and interesting, even if it cribs heavily from the first Resident Evil. The game feels like the work of an auteur with a singular vision, to its benefit and detriment. Unfortunately during my playthrough, I experienced multiple bugs which broke THREE of the handful of scripted stalker encounters and led to my losing an auto-save point. Re-Mothered: Tormented Fathers lacks polish and should have been play-tested more extensively. Frankly, I am frustrated with games being brought over to the Switch in this state. It’s not fair on unknowing consumers who might not know that the game they are buying is not release-ready, and Nintendo currently does not give refunds to unsatisfied customers. The game has achieved a decent Metacritic on other platforms so one can only assume that the Switch version was not given the care and attention it needed. Maybe at some point in the future, it will be more playable but as it stands I have no choice but to award Re-Mothered: Tormented Fathers our not-at-all coveted broken medal.