Staxel is a delightfully chilled crafting adventure. If you are looking for a relaxing game to sink hours into then Staxel is worth adding to your gaming library. A good entry point for gamers new to this genre but I’m not sure it’s enough to pull gamers away whose hearts are fully invested in other competitors. What Staxel does, it does with sunshine and smiles which is something many of us sure need these days.
Instant Sports Paradise attempts to be a fun family-friendly adventure suitable for gamers of all skill levels. For the most part, the game achieves these goals. With simple controls, these games are pick up and play that even someone that rarely plays video games can join in the fun. But as is often the case with these collections most games are fun, some passable but some pretty forgettable. A decent holiday to share with loved ones that need to get away from it all for a few hours.
Luna’s Fishing Garden doesn’t reinvent things when it comes to game design. But the game’s strength lies in its heart. The entire time I played this game I smiled at Cassie’s adorable face when she caught a fish. I also felt so relaxed playing this experience. This game might just be the current equivalent of video game meditation. No challenge, just a good feeling guaranteed through its simple, short but lovely experience.
Golf Club Wasteland feels like a casual golf game meets a walking simulator. Story mode is a relatively Zen-like trip round if you prefer or you can choose to up the challenge if you fancy. Then there’s that memorable radio commentary that will certainly keep players engaged to the end. Overall, the approach is simply not offering much variety to the golf formula. But one thing I took from the experience is even in the most desolate of wastelands, there are still moments for you to take stock and reflect on life. What you do next I guess is up to you.
Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask feels like it could have comfortably been a fun arcade-style water slide ride of a game. But it’s held back by fiddly controls, frustrating co-op design and an incredibly repetitive level design. Less would have been more at this park. I appreciate this is more marketed towards the younger audience but I’m not sure this will hold their attention for very long. The developers were so close to making something pretty darn brilliant and maybe with some patching, it may not be too late for Mickey. There is some fun to be had for sure but this is a water slide adventure best approached with caution at this stage.
I initially didn’t warm to Spelunky 2. When I first tried this on PC I found the entry difficulty level to be a bit too harsh even for someone who sunk so much time into the first game. But this time on Switch things really started to click and I was once again into the endless replayable gaming void of the Spleunky verse. Splelunky 2 is a brick wall of difficulty. Some days I rarely got past the first cave system but darn, was I having fun. But when I least suspected it I discovered a new mystery or level I had never seen before. Spelunky 2 is a fantastic addition to Nintendo Switch and just like the first game, it will be hard not to sneak in a quick game every time I see its icon on my Switch dashboard.
Overall, Where’s Samatha? is an enjoyable puzzle platformer for all audiences. It does feel a little slow at times and keeps things very casual. This feels like an ideal game to sit down and play with a child or young person with its storybook approach and cute appearance. But whatever age you are, this is a game that is designed to make you smile and possibly give warm fuzzy feelings. So buy this and enjoy it with a loved one. But if you don’t, go hug someone anyway because we could all use a warm fuzzy feeling.
Heart Chain Kitty is a very weird game. Much like unusual art pieces some will play this and have absolutely no problem with its unusual design. But it’s a design that just didn’t click with me. Confusing objectives and tedious exploration made this a game hard to engage with. This also just doesn’t seem to have ported very well to Nintendo Switch. Not unplayable by any stretch you just might need to have quite the open gamer mind and heart to get the most out of this surreal cat experience.
Arietta of Spirits is a simple adventure game with a good heart. If you’re looking for a game to complete for that weekend away this might just be the one to keep you busy. It’s doesn’t that pushes the boundaries of the genre but what is on offer here is fun. Plus this has an Otter spirit in it, what’s not to love? Need to meditate on this game? There is also a free demo available on the eShop.
Even all these years later Spelunky has still stood the test of time as one of the most original concepts in the roguelike genre. Brutally hard, but just the right amount of challenge that just pokes you to keep trying. Often I sit down to only play five minutes, which can lead to hours. Even though I probably sunk hundreds of hours into this game over the years it still somehow feels fresh to this day. An absolute masterpiece of gaming that one can finally enjoy on the Nintendo Switch.