We realise it's not a popular outlook. Games should generally be appreciated for what they are rather than blasted for what they're not, but that's very difficult to do in this case. New 'n' Tasty is an acceptable imitation of Abe's Oddysee, but nothing more. It has its moments of inspiration – the Stockyards stage is so beautifully realised that it can momentarily trigger that "this is what I remember the original looking like!" false memory – but it's not enough to make up for the frustrations that come from the many, many unnecessary changes. Even the sound of Abe's chant, which once sounded mystical and otherworldly, now just sounds like babbling. We're very torn. As this is the only way to play Abe's Oddysee on Switch, we begrudgingly recommend it. But we do so with our arms folded, and pouting. Harrumph.
Well-produced and undeniably fun, Angry Video Game Nerd 1 & 2 Deluxe will definitely lose something for non-fans, but it's a world above the turgid likes of PoopDie. This re-release elevates the workmanlike original to the point that it almost outshines its formerly-leagues-better sequel, but both games are good stuff. It's comfortably the best "YouTuber game", and this edition polishes it up in all the right places. If you're a fan of the AVGN, it's a must-buy. If you're not, you'll probably still enjoy yourself – Freakzone has crafted a meaty, responsive and rewarding pair of platformers that genre enthusiasts will get a kick out of. If you've already played both games, the extra chapter isn't lengthy enough to demand a double-dip, but it is a nice inclusion regardless, and this version is undeniably the better option. (Whoops, we almost forgot the best news of all – the Nostalgia Critic has been entirely removed from ASSimilation. Let joy be unconfined!)
Transformers: Battlegrounds is far from the disaster you may expect; it delivers a fun, accessible turn-based tactical experience which is sadly a little too easy. It might make a good game for someone new to the genre, or kids looking to get involved, but we'd wager that even children might find this one a little too simple. It's a good effort and it does right by Cybertron's finest, but there's just not enough of it to justify the price. When it goes on sale, though, it'll be time to (ahem) roll out.
If we've made this game sound thoroughly generic, that's because it is. But it's not a disaster - Operation Blackout has plenty to do, with unlockable skins and modifiers to mess around with if you get into it, and there's love for the G.I Joe property here, so fans of the toys may get a kick out of it. For everyone else, though, it's a very difficult game to recommend. If you want a third-person shooter on Switch, Rebellion's Rogue Trooper or Zombie Army Trilogy are both better buys. And now you know. And knowing is half the- actually, no, forget it. We're not even going to finish the thought. We're better than that.
A pacey, exciting game, MindSeize excels when it pits you one-on-one against one of its varied, aggressive bosses, but there are no elements of this little gem that aren't up to scratch. You're constantly moving forward and getting better at it, and the level design is good stuff. We don't feel like the Metroidvania backtracking really adds much to the experience, but it didn't spoil our fun. What we have here, ultimately, is a fantastic action game that's been forced into the shape of a markedly less brilliant Metroidvania, a format that doesn't play to the game's strengths. So, very good indeed, but could definitely have been a classic with a little more structure.
Horace is something very special — the only vaguely negative thing we can say about it is the fact that there are so many spectacularly brilliant indie games on Switch already vying for your attention that we fear Horace may fall somewhat by the wayside. If you have any interest in superb level design, excellent storytelling, terrific art, evocative music, great characters, hilarious situations and emotional gut-punches, Horace is a no-brainer. It's moving without being manipulative, clever without being smug, and nostalgic without being a lazy rehash.
Some will get a lot out of The Survivalists, and we'd find it difficult to argue that it isn't fun – but your mileage will seriously vary on how quickly you burn out on its lackadaisical approach to the danger that really defines the survival genre. As an entry-level take on the principles it's pretty good, but even the least experienced survivor will reach endgame gear quickly and find there's just not a whole lot left to do. Updates could (and hopefully will) mitigate this issue, but The Survivalists – as it is now – feels a little... well... deserted.
A very interesting game indeed, I Am Dead isn't top-tier indie magic but it's a hide-and-seek sandbox that will reward you the deeper you go. It's refreshingly content-rich, what with the Grenkins to find and riddles to solve for committed players. An appealing sense of place and strong visuals are only spoiled by some misplaced attempts at quirkiness and some minor control issues. Overall, though, I Am Dead makes us long for the sweet embrace of the reaper. Wait, no. It's just a rather enjoyable game. That's it. Not that other thing. Good god.
Let's be clear – this is no disaster like Gleamlight. This is a well-crafted, carefully designed and fantastic-looking game. It's just such a damn shame that the central shadow-casting mechanic is so fussy, so irritating and so downright broken that we can't recommend it without the strongest of caveats. It's very clear that the developers put their heart and soul into Projection: First Light, and that effort deserves to be recognised. Unfortunately, we suggest you recognise it from afar. We don't think that a patch alone could solve this game's problems, and if there's ever a Projection: Second Light, we'd be surprised.
It's a clichéd summary, but Avicii: Invector is better than it has any right to be, and a fitting tribute to an artist who died tragically young. It's a huge boost if you already enjoy his music, but even haters will have to respect the work that's gone into this fast-paced, well-designed rhythm action title. It's just a shame that Tim Bergling never had a chance to see it come together so nicely. Still, until we get Pet Shop Boys: Invector, it's the best single-artist music game we've had the pleasure of playing.