If you enjoyed the escapism of Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley or Spiritfarer but want something a little lighter; something short and sweet yet not too saccharine, you could certainly do worse than a short break to Haven Park. The game is a very reasonably priced for its size and scope, and while unlikely to make anyone’s Game-of-the-Year list, is nonetheless a nice palate cleanser between meatier titles.
It’s a shame that this game locks what good content it has behind a boredom-wall of turgid cutscenes and pointless, button mashing combat. It isn’t a long game, with around 20 hours of content, but it feels like it could have been a stronger contender if a lot had been cut and a more interesting, better paced story had been presented as the hook. Everything it does well can be found better elsewhere, and, while I haven’t played it myself, the reception to the series’ own first translated title The Gate of the Firmament is far, far more positive
Tails of Iron is a solid, confident entry to the genre. The tightly focused encounter design, meaty combat and enjoyable world-building and storytelling with adorable rodents who think they’re people, I didn’t find much not to like. The difficulty may be a turn-off for some, but the game keeps to the core soulslike tenet of playing fair and making sure that when you die (and you will die), you’ll know what you did wrong to bring it about. If you’re looking for a challenging, rich adventure then I’d highly recommend joining Redgi to reclaim his kingdom and his crown.
Golf Club: Wasteland is a strangely compelling experience. I found the gameplay frustrating, yet your protagonist isn’t playing golf through the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Earth to “win”, and to get the most from this game neither should you.
Overall Minute of Islands is a deep, thoughtful narrative experience with just enough weight to its simple gameplay to keep interest as you push through to its conclusion. It deals with some difficult subject matter in an engaging and challenging story, and while there are aspects I’d have liked to see it go a little deeper on, for the length and scope of the game I really can’t fault it.
More than anything else I think the real issue with this game I have is the asking price. At time of writing it is going for around £30. You can get all four games in the series on mobile for just over a third of that, almost half of which is for the fourth (and newest) game. WitchSpring 3 on Google’s Playstore is priced at £3.87, a far more compelling price point for the title. Given how well it played in handheld compared to docked mode, and the implementation of the touchscreen controls, if you are at all curious about this game I would certainly recommend the mobile version over the Switch for price alone.
Cris Tales is a game with a lot of charm and good ideas that doesn’t quite deliver on its ambition. Some mechanics seem a little undercooked and the nostalgia for older RPGs will likely be lost on the younger players who seem, from the story and presentation, to be the game’s target audience.