Repetitive, uninteresting, and lacking in substance, Jumanji: The Curse Returns contributes nothing new or dynamic to the game board genre apart from a dose of movie nostalgia. This game didn’t feel suited to the Switch console, and likely best played on a mobile device because it is short and sweet, but not much else.
Super Perils of Baking is a 16 bit, 2D side scrolling platformer and an ode to the retro game genre in terms of variety, difficulty and platformer peril. It’s jam packed with things to do and collect but you’ll need a sprinkling of rage induced dopamine to get you through the enemies, highs and lows. There’s hours of fun that’s certainly worth your time, especially for the price point.
Arise – A Simple Story contains a beautifully told story within a charming puzzle adventure. With poignant moments and joyful visuals, this game has the ability to capture a breadth of emotion with ease. It’s a short but worthy edition to narrative driven puzzle games.
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is adorable with clever logical puzzles that may appeal to the masses who love a good puzzler. Despite being filled with Bioluminescent beauty though, the lack of direction and repetitive environment holds it back from being anything more than ordinary.
Cat Café Manager is a cozy, stress-free casual management game for anyone who wants to adopt cute kitties whilst serving coffee. Whilst not changing the genre of management style games in any particular way, this is ideal for those wanting a homely game to play at ease.
Epic Chef leaves much to be desired when encountering a game breaking bug that stops progression completely so early on. It has potential with unique cooking experiences, but don’t expect to be the next Gordon Ramsay anytime soon if you hit a game ending glitch.
A relaxing collect-a-thon adventure game, Submerged: Hidden Depths is visually stunning with graphics that are comparable to those of big budget titles. Although the story lacks depth and the main mission can feel a bit repetitive, if you want a game that is very chill and completely devoid of stress, this is worth picking up.
Grapple Dog is an exhilarating, fast paced 2D platformer that feels like a familiar warm hug and a nod to platforming greats such as Sonic and Super Mario. While it doesn’t do anything especially new, the game never stops surprising with its mechanics and it’s a valiant addition to the genre.
The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna is a short walking simulator that may take the words ‘Walking Simulator’ a bit too literally. With a hollow story that feels unfinished, long pauses between any narrative development and repetitive design, it’s difficult to recommend this game when there are many others in the genre that do much more with a similar runtime.
Unreal Life is a charming indie game filled with story, adventure, discovery and a talking traffic light. It’s unique as you’ll be comparing timelines to discover what happened to the protagonist Hal on one fateful night. It’s a game that invokes curiosity and keeps the player intrigued through storytelling and puzzle, presented in a gorgeous pixel art of blue hue. Although feeling like it ended abruptly, there is a lot within Unreal Life to invoke emotion.
Headland is an action adventure journey into the imagination. Although not breaking any new ground in the genre, the story, gameplay and combat is exciting and suitable from any age player. It’s full of vibrant colour, an endearing story and secrets to uncover that are worth spending your time on.
If you want to step in the world of fairy tale, gothic fable whilst throwing in crafting spells and a linear simplistic story set within an explorable world, Wytchwood is for you. Beautiful visuals and an alluring soundtrack. This game could be seen as mundane and repetitive, with little combat or puzzle, however Wytchwood casts a spell on the player that will have you immersed into the art of enchantment for hours.
An innovative, inventive and unique experience in gaming, One Hand Clapping is impressive in almost every way. Whether you are a trained singer or have never sung a note in your life, this game accommodates you to translate your voice into a part of the game play. It's only 5 hours long which includes some repetition, but this visually pleasing and enjoyable game is an experience that will be difficult to forget.
Beyond A Steel Sky is easy to recommend to anyone who would like a low stress mystery puzzle narrative adventure game. Although a sequel, the game does an excellent job of catching you up on previous events and you won’t feel out of the loop of the storylines. I hope this is a series that continues on. Although sometimes a bit slow in places with minor bugs, it’s an engaging world and story to be a part of, with creative puzzles and fun throughout.
Grow: Song of the Evertree is for anyone who loves a sandbox sim adventure game. There isn’t much from the genre that Grow doesn’t include. It’s visually pretty, technically sound, and engaging throughout. With many environments to manage, craft and build as well as places to explore and make your own. You will be happily lost within the many worlds grow invites you into.
Pumpkin Jack might not add anything ground-breaking to the genre, but it’s an adventure platformer that tastes like home. Reminiscent of old school games such as Medieval, Spyro the Dragon, and Bugs Bunny: Lost In Time, it’s a joyful experience with a wide variety of game play. Albeit a bit clunky with controls and combat, the humour, dialogue and character capturing that Halloween spirit exceeds those trivial irks.
Jackbox’s formula always remains consistent with hits, favourites and some skippable entries. Jackbox Party Pack 8 is no different. Although it’s not the strongest pack of 5 in the collection, this game still brings a wide variety of party games that can cater to almost any gathering.
In My Shadow has all the fundamentals of a puzzle game, but feels lack-luster when up against its rival puzzle platformers that have been released this year. Despite housing an engaging story, with a unique premise and lots of levels, it just feels mundane, tedious and repetitive to play, especially with its punishing difficulty curve.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl doesn’t bring anything new to the table, instead offering a certainly competent if not hugely exciting brawler with a confusing roster of characters cynically chopped up seemingly for future monetisation and very little to actually fight for in terms of unlockables for the fans. The fundamentals are here, and the Sports modes are terrific fun, but there isn’t much else to get too excited about when the content included is this lacking.
A Juggler’s Tale is a short but very sweet atmospheric 3D puzzle side scroller. With a unique dynamic of controlling a marionette, puzzles become more thoughtful. The game is visually stunning and has a wonderful gaming experience. Intense at times with a wicked twist, the only downside is it’s short run time. Easily recommended to fans of Little Nightmares, or Puzzle side scrollers in general.