Nintendo Life's Reviews
This is the fifth time Switch owners have been asked to pay at least $40 for little more than updated kits and rosters, and the fifth time we urge you not to reward such disrespect with your hard-earned money. FIFA 23 still plays a good game of football but so did all the other identical ones, so if you absolutely must have a football game on Switch, track down a cheap copy of FIFA 19-22.
NieR:Automata is a modern classic. Most importantly for Switch owners, this is a top-notch port that has clearly been produced with respect and focus, often surpassing our expectations in both visuals and performance. Finding a comfortable seat and a pair of headphones makes the Switch version a wonderful way to experience the game, and it is an unforgettable journey. Nothing is as it seems, either in the story or gameplay, and it's one of the finest gaming achievements of the last decade. If you haven't played NieR:Automata yet, now is a great time.
If you’re looking for a few hundred more puzzles to add to the collection of what must be over a thousand by now, then Picross S8 is the game for you. If a good entry point is what you're after, Picross S8 is a decent spot, but we’d recommend you at least watch the first two seasons of the anime to get a somewhat decent grasp of the premise. Anyway, this game radiates so much power that it made the preceding seven games (or ten, if you count the spin-offs) better through updates that added universal touch support and four-player multiplayer. So go buy it. Now.
Potion Permit makes an effort to implement engaging minigame mechanics through potion brewing and patient diagnosis, but outside of that, a lack of challenge and a feeling of repetition means it struggles to stand out in the vast field of life sims. Still, it presents a fun and enchanting experience which gets a massive shot in the arm from excellent presentation in both the audio and visual departments. Potion Permit fits the bill for something to pick up now and then and pass a few hours, and there are certainly enough quests for you to sink your teeth into and keep you entertained for a while, even if it's not as catching as the best in the genre.
Various Daylife is the epitome of an experimental RPG. This is the kind of game that you'll have a much better time with if you limit yourself to only fifteen minutes or maybe half an hour a day. Stay within that time frame, and the daily stat management, quick quest runs, and the simple class system will just about hit the spot. Play for much longer, and you'll soon realize how relatively shallow the gameplay loop really is. We'd give this one a very light recommendation for anyone who's obsessed with the work of Team Asano or for those who want a simple and light RPG for their Switch-if neither of those describes you, you're not missing much by choosing to pass.
Honestly, if you're a fan of Skyrim, we reckon this is an upgrade that's worth grabbing and it's also worth pointing out that, although the full version is expensive, you can frequently catch the standard version of Skyrim on a deep discount during eShop sales and then upgrade that way. If you've never played the game before — and we 100% refuse to believe there's anyone who hasn't — this really is the best, most feature-rich, content-packed version of an RPG that, no matter how much we make fun of it, always completely sucks us right back into its world every single time we boot it up.
As a group, Abba sits alongside only a handful of the world's biggest acts - The Beatles, Queen, and perhaps only a couple of others - with the cross-generational, mainstream appeal to support a multiplayer music game like this. We'd wager even non-aficionados will be drawn in by the sheer strength of this most familiar and indestructible of pop music songbooks, and the variety of modes here, machine-tooled over many years of iteration and repetition for the long-running Let's Sing series, offer enough variety to engage just about anyone who's ever tapped their foot to any of these tracks, Developer Voxler took absolutely no chances here; Let's Sing Abba is exactly what you think it is. And for that, we were thankful.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris takes forever to get moving. By the time the training wheels come off, players will likely have switched off in frustration. Pacing is a big issue for the first half of the game, with hours spent in unskippable cutscenes or repetitive tutorials before the best features become available. There is a decent game locked away behind the multiple missteps and technical issues, and if you've got the requisite patience and high regard for the source material, there are things to like - most notably the smooth, engaging combat. The problem is that getting to it feels like work rather than play.
There is a lot to love about Let's Build a Zoo. Players can get stuck into the minute details of managing their own zoo or they can take a more relaxed approach to building an animal empire, but the amount of freedom is really what makes this game stand out among other management sims on the market. The sheer variety of animals on offer and the charming visuals make up for the monotonous music and sparse tutorials. This is a solid choice for players who are looking for something fun to play at a bargain price.
Voodoo Detective is an attractive, old-school point-and-click adventure with a lighthearted, dime-store pulp story and a decent handful of laughs. Its vividly descriptive art style and writing are accessible and low-stress, if short on intrigue and surprise. Meanwhile, the music is fun and the voices are memorable. Although the puzzles can be ropey, the story moves along steadily enough, and at five hours or so, it doesn't ask too much. This is a steady debut from Short Sleeve Studio and, while it's not turning every head at the party, it's a good laugh if you try to get to know it.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is another solid entry in the franchise, but it's also a very safe one. The core gameplay is still a lot of fun and that might well be enough for some players. For others, the distinct lack of modes on offer may result in a rather short-lived experience, particularly if you're not looking to dive into the Taiko Music Pass subscription service. Still, with a chunky amount of songs available from the start, Rhythm Festival is a no-brainer for fans of the series; you know what you're getting into, and we think you're going to like it.
Despite its repetitiveness and short length, Penko Park is still a wonderfully charming successor to Pokémon Snap. From the delightfully creepy atmosphere to some fresh new upgrade ideas, Penko Park is successful in both honoring its roots and creating its own identity. Fans of Pokémon Snap would be remiss to overlook this game and will surely have a great time discovering everything that Penko Park has to offer.
You'd be wrong to assume the cute fox-like protagonist and colourful world implies Tunic is a relaxing little adventure for all ages – it's anything but. Tunic requires a lot of intuitive thinking and patience to navigate its beautiful world with its brilliant in-game instruction manual. Coupled with an unforgiving combat system that punishes impatience and rewards measured study of opponents, Tunic is a game designed for those versed in old-school adventuring and experienced in difficult, sometimes frustrating swordplay. Given all this and its evident Hylian inspirations, and even with some unfortunate performance hitches and obvious downgrades from the versions on other platforms, Tunic feels right at home on a Nintendo console and we recommend it as a creative and concise adventure that both draws and expands upon some prestigious inspirations.
Despite deriving a lot of its influences from games like Animal Crossing, especially with its island life and anthropomorphic animal inhabitants, Hokko Life severely lacks in personality and unique identity. For a game that promises a relaxing experience, you spend more time walking around trying to find something to do rather than sitting back and enjoying the game's gentle progression. There are a few redeemable factors through customisation and its sound design, but outside of that, Hokko Life doesn't offer anything we haven't seen before.
Airoheart is a passable game, but hardly one we would recommend you rush out to buy unless you simply cannot get enough of the 2D Zelda formula. It follows A Link to the Past's template so closely that it could never be classed as 'bad', but in a crowded market of homages, tributes, and variations on the theme, it does very little to stand out. We would suggest you pick this up only after you've played through A Link to the Past, the Link's Awakening remake, and both the Blossom Tales games, and you still don't feel you've gotten enough of that specific brand of top-down gameplay. Airoheart provides an adequate adventure, and for $40 at the time of writing, we simply expect more.
Return to Monkey Island reaches into your heart, rips out your desire to know THE SECRET, and clenches it in front of your face. As hard as it would be to concede that The Secret of Monkey Island™ might always have been a McGuffin, it's agonising to contemplate that your 30-year longing for the Monkey Island 3 might be just the same. Delighting as you tremor, Return presents to your transfixed gaze a phenomenal point-and-click adventure, bubbling with passion and fun. All the way through, you will hope, achingly, that the big reveal is coming – and then…
Shovel Knight Dig is another triumphant and enjoyable entry in the popular indie knight's growing legacy, offering up thrilling, challenging gameplay that will appeal to fans both old and new. Though it may be a little on the short side, every minute of Shovel Knight Dig positively oozes quality, whether that be the snappy action-platforming or the fresh 16-bit art style and animation. We'd give this one a high recommendation to anyone who enjoyed the original platformers or to anyone looking for a tough (but not offputtingly tough) new roguelite. Shovel Knight Dig has got it where it counts and can stand tall beside its noble predecessors.
Easy Come Easy Golf is, all taken into account, very easy to recommend for fans of golf games, and a great Nintendo debut for the Everybody's Golf series. It's enjoyable and polished golf with some fun twists while offering a huge amount of content to unlock and solid multiplayer options. Even with minor performance hitches and some iffy audio, we found ourselves having plenty of fun and kept coming back for a few extra holes. It's certainly under par, in a good way.
Despite its shortcomings, The DioField Chronicle is still a solid tactical RPG experience with enough JRPG tropes to interest fans of both genres. The unique gameplay provides plenty of challenge, though it can require a lot of grinding to keep pace with the difficulty curve. The art style is beautiful both in and out of combat but the characters and plot fail to live up to the same standard. In this case, its ambition outstretched its means and it fell just short of where it wanted to be.
Still, these aren't major issues. In fact, we can’t think of a legitimate reason not to recommend OneShot: World Machine Edition to anyone with a passing interest in point-and-click adventures. There are, after all, much worse ways to spend an afternoon or two than guiding Niko through one of the most endearing and creative indie titles available on the Switch.