A breezier, simpler game than its clear inspirations, what Curse of the Dead Gods lacks in narrative it makes up for in focused, crunchy gameplay. Combat is interesting, exploration is rewarding and the systems in play are sufficiently diverse to make this a winner. It won't consume you forever, but you'll feel far from short-changed by this game of meaningful, divergent dungeons.
A very pleasant and enjoyable surprise, Blue Fire is an auspicious debut from ROBI Studios. Only the performance issues, mildly sloppy combat and high difficulty are points of contention, and the latter will certainly depend on your point of view. Developed with passion and skill, this is a world you can lose yourself in that'll reward you the more you play and the better you get. It's uncompromising in its difficulty but doesn't resort to cheap tricks and "gotchas". The graphics are appealing and, crucially, clear as day. This is a fantastic experience overall, even if it isn't made up of the most original pieces. It's gameplay first and once you're traversing the infinite space of the Void stages, everything else basically just falls away.
Neoverse Trinity Edition succeeds at being an enjoyable deck builder, but it does so in a way that's seemingly desperate to highlight its limitations. It runs embarrassingly poorly at times, and does almost nothing to ingratiate the player to its many systems, all of which must be puzzled out more or less from scratch. While this is far from ideal, it's not enough to totally kill the game's appeal. Robust strategy is both possible and necessary in order to progress much beyond even the second boss. If you vibe with Neoverse Trinity Edition, it'll last you a while. It's just very, very difficult to get to grips with this bizarre, confusing game.
With nothing to offer besides some pleasant storytelling, we cannot recommend Sword of the Necromancer on any meaningful level. It's not horrible, but it's bereft of both meaningful content and any manner of unique execution. A sequel or heavily-modified relaunch could salvage the game into something much stronger, as the core idea of resurrecting fallen monsters is a decent one, but its treatment here renders it irrelevant. What a shame. This could have been something special. It's not a complete and total disaster – occasionally, when the screen is a little busier, you might feel a flicker of engagement as you dash between combatants – but overall, we'll be leaving this one for dead.
An odd duck and no mistake, Shadow Gangs is nonetheless an enjoyable Shinobi clone with plenty of level design polish. It's let down by an obnoxiously high difficulty level and some fairly stingy game-saves, but overall has a good amount to recommend it if you're done with the Sega Mega Drive Classics and Sega Ages Shinobi. It's an extremely valiant effort at a truly old-school feel and retro gamers definitely won't regret checking it out – just be prepared to swallow your pride and head for the options menu.
It's disappointing that Golden Force falls down in the areas that it does, because without these fixable issues it would be an easy recommendation – level design is mostly strong, the boss battles marry spectacle with varied and fun-to-learn attack strings nicely, and it feels good to get stronger and play better. Unfortunately, some rookie errors come close to spoiling the fun altogether, but if you're bloody-minded enough to muscle through these frustrations there is undoubtedly a lot to appreciate about Golden Force. Which is a shame, in a sense, because "Golden Farce" would have been a perfect tagline for this review. The one we've had to opt for is rubbish, by comparison. (It's not as easy as you might think, this game-reviewing lark.)
Wingspan is a strong card game for those with the patience to learn how it works. It's fun, compulsive and can sometimes truly surprise you with stacked effects and their outcomes. Its translation to the Switch is a little... difficult, but certainly not for want of trying. In handheld it's far from ideal, but on the dock, as a couch multiplayer experience, there's plenty of fun to be had. It's also enjoyable alone as you'll seek out ways to create the highest-scoring possible deck. Despite a few porting issues, Wingspan is definitely a good time, and it'll be difficult to stop after just one game. It's a lot cheaper than the physical game, too, making it a thoroughly viable alternative.
Taken at its intended pace, Wildfire is a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting game with a multitude of interlocking systems that caters to players who don't mind thinking on their feet if their best-laid plans go scorchingly awry. The slow pace and frustration of failure won't appeal to all (though checkpoints are generously placed) but for gamers who don't mind a bit of a slow burn (tee hee), Wildfire is an expansive and inexpensive title that's a healthy mix of tropes and ideas familiar enough to feel cosy, and unpredictable elemental action that rewards creative thinking. And the further through the game you play, the more interesting it becomes. An impressive debut.
Serious Sam Collection is two-thirds amazing, but the final third is a real technical mess; Serious Sam 3: BFE is one of the least impressive Switch ports we've ever seen. It's playable, but surely the machine that can push out an acceptable version of Doom can manage this? There's the potential for early patches to improve matters, but the way it is now, we can only recommend The Serious Sam Collection as a great way to play the First and Second Encounters. That's not what's advertised, though, and as a result, we can only give this package a cautious recommendation. A three-game collection should be a three-game collection; not two games and the faintest suggestion of one.
A stand-out party game, Cake Bash deserves a place on your Switch menu. As with all games of its type, it benefits from having your friends alongside you, but online play with matchmaking (here called "matchbaking") works well, and you can play with bots if you really feel like you need to. It's only the eventual repetition that brings down Cake Bash, and that's really in the pie of the beholder. Far more than a mere trifle, Cake Bash belongs in the upper crust. We suspect the publisher's profit(erole) turnover to rake in the bread. Donut miss this one! (Reviewer is roughly bundled into an unmarked van and shot.)