The return of the brawler genre to me doesn’t feel like anything new since the resurgence with titles like Castle Crashers back in 2008. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredders Revenge manages to make itself stand out from the crowd, not just on nostalgia but by taking a look back at previous entities in the series and improving on the formula in practically every way. Sure, being a fan of the series will likely play a part in your incentive to purchase. Even as a brawler game the developer has really gone above and beyond with this title. If brawlers are not your thing or you have a deep-seated phobia of turtles this game probably won’t be for you. But if you need something to raise the spirits alone, with friends locally or online, you really can’t go wrong with Shredders Revenge. If you are anything like me you’ll be humming that famous theme song for weeks after playing this.
Firlgirl Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX is a short but snappy rogue-lite experience that will really appeal to busy gamers that are not fond of the excessive grind seen in many modern rogue-lites. The downside to this is it does make the game a tad short. Although, there is no denying the uniqueness of the design that is sure to appeal to those looking for something different in the genre. Despite the game’s notable faults of which there are a fair few I found myself won over by this game and its general charm. All in all, when the fires are extinguished Firegirl maintains a spark in my heart that I will remember for years to come. And maybe it will for you too.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, is more of the same in terms of the gameplay but provides an excellent story that is sure to please fans of Star Wars or just fans of sci-fi RPGs in general. If you loved the first game this is an easy recommendation. If you’re new, play the first game and if it clicks jump on this one. At this stage, the game does have bugs that Aspyr is busy working away fixing. Maybe consider waiting for the free DLC which is on the way and will add extra content. But if you need that RPG fix this is still playable. KOTOR 2 is a gem of a game that has found a welcome home on Nintendo Switch. The force is certainly strong with this one.
Moo Lander checks all the points for a good adventure game. One can argue that some of the shooting is not as tight as other space shooters. And the challenge from the cow bosses may be a little steep for some gamers. For me, the controls and pacing have just the right amount of challenge. I decided to rate Moo Lander higher because it just goes that one step beyond with its memorable premise and excellent art and story presentation. Moo Lander is a game that’s easily going to stick with me for some time. When I do come across someone that asks the important question ‘what’s the best video game with cows,’ I’ll know where to direct their attention.
Souldiers has a lot of soul to it but it’s not an experience that will click with everyone with its unpredictable spikes in difficulty and slow start to the game. It feels like it could do with some balancing with the difficulty that the developers are working on, so maybe consider keeping this on your wishlist. After spending time with it, I did find an awful lot to like about this game. I’ll absolutely be checking in on the Switch version for performance updates and to play through as a new character class. At this stage, it feels like a hidden gem with some rough edges. If you’re able to look past them you will find a burning soul of joy in Souldiers.
Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy is a game that you will get more out of, the more you put into it. This is a slow burn rogue-lite that’s not your typical pickup and play experience the genre is known for. Combat is a bit weak and the random encounters between areas can feel a bit unnecessary. But if you stick with the game and it gets its claws into you, this is an experience that becomes incredibly immersive and unique. If you have a lot of time on your hands and want an epic adventure that you make your own then I highly recommend Unexplored 2.
TOKOYO is a competent arcade high score chasing experience that will provide some decent small bursts of gameplay. The changing of the tower every 24 hours gives an incentive to dip in on a playthrough every now and then. But I’m not sure that’s enough to keep people coming back over and over. Upgrades lack a certain punch to them unlike the heavy-hitting roguelikes making runs generally feel pretty familiar even with the random level generation. If you love your arcade games and want to score-chase them I recommend picking this up. If you’re short on gaming time and very busy this is a pretty good gaming fix if you only have a few minutes spare before the train arrives at the station. Not the best roguelike experience on Switch but it has some quirky anime charm, check it out.
KnightOut has a really great concept for an enjoyable party game but I can’t recommend it in its current state. With all three modes combined together, this could make for an enjoyable package, that’s best played in co-op or competitive multiplayer. Messy controls, terrible performance and glitches galore just make this an uncomfortable experience to play. I noticed the game is on PC so maybe that version does function better. I hope the day will come when KnightOut will be polished up with extensive patches. Because I see a fun game under all these issues. It’s just not there yet.
Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2 is a great collection of two classic RPGs which will keep you busy for a horrific amount of hours. The main niggle here is these games feel like straight ports with no real quality of life improvements added to the Switch version, which is a missed opportunity. If you have enjoyed these games before, there may be no need to double-dip unless you want to enjoy them again on a modern system and in portable mode. Both may be isometric, but each feels distinctly unique and different. You’ll also likely laugh at each game’s silly humour, which is always appreciated. If you’re looking for a long gaming project with a retro feel, then be sure to pick this up.
Wonder Boy Collection was an excellent trip down memory lane for me. I have continued to play these games on and off over the years. Now, having four of them in a nifty collection on Switch to take on the go when I have the Wonder Boy itch is great. This is a series of games that holds up very well especially if you love your retro adventures. The collection feels disappointingly incomplete offering only single versions of each game and lacking two very important entries. Still, whether you are new or old the wonder that is this series is still a worthwhile pick-up.
Kao the Kangaroo gave me the nostalgic feels of 3D platformers back in the day and it feels very refreshing today. It felt like seeing that old friend you haven’t seen since school and you’re a little nervous when you see them again. But after you get chatting you soon realize why you became friends in the first place. Kao is a solid collectable 3D platformer but doesn’t do much to evolve the genre. For most, that’s going to work just fine. Even if you have no experience with the series this game is a good jumping on point. Awful dialogue and some performance issues on Switch hold the title back though. But if you love your 3D platformers this is well worth bouncing on.
Touken Ranbu Warriors is a good hack and slash game, but it’s not the best we’ve seen from the developers on Nintendo Switch. Mixing in the mini-games and some varied objectives is a nice touch to the familiar formula. But characters feel too similar, levels feel a bit too short, and the lack of co-op play is a shame. I was there almost day one for Dynasty Warriors 2 on PS2 and remembered being blown away by the spectacle on screen with all the soldiers, both enemies and allies. I had this feeling for most of the games to follow. With this one, however, I didn’t since it’s just usually you and your partner and occasionally a handful of soldiers. If you’re a fan of the game’s source material or are totally new to this style of game, then I think there is something here for you. For me, this was brainless hack and slash fun but not the best I’ve seen on Nintendo Switch.
Cotton Fantasy feels like the definitive Cotton experience. Taking aspects from all the games that came before it and creating an experience that is just a joy to play through with Cotton or with the varied characters available. If you love your arcade games, this will likely put a big smile on your face with all the colours and numbers glaring back at you on screen and, of course, a pumping arcade-style soundtrack. The games main niggle is the price of entry is a bit steep, and the game is very light on content. Whether you are old or new to the Cotton series, this is an excellent side-scrolling shooter that is a must-play for high score chasers and fans of retro shooters.
Gibbons is a game that really clicked with me from the moment I picked it up. I’ve reviewed many games for this wonderful website and lovely surprises like this keep me coming back to writing time and time again. I will add some caution that this game will not click with everyone. Some will likely see this as simply a Monkey swinging simulator, and the gameplay may not click. It’s rare to play a game where the developer’s message resonates so clearly and leaves me thinking for days, contemplating and inspired. I’m a huge supporter of animal charities myself, and this felt like such a good way to bring awareness to an overlooked issue. I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to cover this game. I sure hope you give it a chance too. If not, then please consider supporting a charity that speaks to you.
Dungeons of Dreadrock is a solid dungeon crawling adventure that will appeal to gamers looking to enjoy a good puzzler in bite-sized chunks. A few small niggles propped up like gotcha mechanics and the controls being a bit finicky. However, none of these severely deterred the experience. When I entered the mountain, I was pretty hooked on the experience to its conclusion, thanks to the game’s uniquely crafted puzzles. This feels like a fun game to also share with a loved one if you want to try to tackle the puzzles together. Whether you’re a fan of older dungeon crawlers or new, this adventure is well worth your time.
I recommend Dandy & Randy DX if you’re playing alone looking for that simple retro fix that might just tickle the nostalgia memories. I highly recommend it if you want something to play with together. Sure the premise is simple but I can’t think of any other title that has this theme that lets you play locally. Playing games together can solidify some memories that will last forever. Know a friend who’s feeling a little blue? Buy this game then take the Switch over to them. It might be the pick up they need. Dandy & Randy DX doesn’t push any gaming boundaries. But this is an absolutely solid and uplifting game that is well worth the price of entry.
While I did manage to find a few things to nitpick there is no denying I kept coming back to this game run after run. The random generation of the character types and level design is so enormous that every attempt at taking down the castle felt different. On top of that, the controls are tight and easy to use and the game is overall enormous fun to play. Rogue Legacy 2 is everything I loved about the original title with so much more added to it. Unless you absolutely hate the rogue-lite genre there is plenty of incentive to jump into the sequel thanks to its accessibility features and general refinements to the gameplay. Even years from now Rogue Legacy 2 is sure to solidify itself as one of the best in the rogue-lite genre. Well at least until the next game that is.
What started as a game that didn’t click turned into something quite special. Discovery is this game’s greatest strength, heading into the unknown to researching everything you find and coping with the tough challenges that come. It feels very much like a first entry in a promising gaming series. The crafting and exploration are fun but the combat feels awkward and unforgiving. The Serpent Rogue is a unique crafting adventure which will most likely appeal to players that have the time and the patience to overcome the high barrier to entry. If this all sounds good to you, The Serpent Rogue may be the gaming tonic you’re looking for.
Dysmantle may not seem like much from its appearance but there is a highly addictive survival experience here. Survival games are often hit and miss, sometimes the survival elements are a bit too much and more often than not the experience eventually dissolves into tedium. But I didn’t get that here, I found myself pretty keen to boot this game up over and over and set off into the unknown to see what I discovered. While overall game progression is slow, you always seem to unlock something through every play session. I never felt in a hurry to get off the island. I was pretty content to take in everything on offer. If you’re looking for zombie-infested island adventure alone or with a friend, you can’t go wrong with Dysmantle. I highly recommend it!
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a good relaxing puzzler that will appeal to those looking for a new head scratcher to enjoy on the sofa with a warm drink, in bed or in the bath. Just be careful you don’t drop your Switch in there. The slow pace won’t appeal to everyone and hunting for collectables proved more frustrating than fun for me. I enjoyed Lumote the most when I was taking my time solving the puzzles and taking in the calm vibes this game gave off with its cute noises and botanical appearance. If that sounds good to you then go pick it up.