BlazBlue Centralfiction Special Edition may a few years late to Nintendo Switch, but that time hasn't dulled the sharpness of its 2D fighting package. Not only does it give the Ragna saga a proper send-off with a story mode that's so rich in character development it could be a full anime season in its own right, but it offers a staggering number of modes to keep you playing long after the credits roll. It runs silky-smooth docked or in handheld modes and runs like a dream online. The lack of an English dub still rankles, and new adopters are going to have to do a lot of research to understand what's going on, but it's well worth the effort.
Away: Journey to the Unexpected is the sort of game that's disappointing because of how good it could have been if more thought had been invested into certain systems. There's a good game buried in here somewhere, but it's so mired in confusing or irritating game design elements that it becomes incredibly difficult to recommend. If you're really into roguelikes and want to try out an okay one in first-person, Away: Journey to the Unexpected is perhaps worth a punt, but even then, we'd highly suggest that you take a pass. There are far better roguelikes available on the eShop for a comparable price; you're sure to get much more out of those.
Q.U.B.E. 2 is an accomplished first-person physics puzzler that learns a number of wise lessons from Portal in terms of mechanics and world building. The puzzles are smartly executed with a well-judged learning curve, while the story adds a welcome dose of context and intrigue to proceedings. Well-travelled gamers will instantly recognise its influences, but there's nothing else quite like Q.U.B.E. 2 on Switch.
The complete oddball of the family, Tetris 99 offers a truly unique way to play the tried-and-tested classic, even if the overall package feels a little lightweight. Playing live against 98 others is chaotic, and the action feels fast, precise, and wonderfully addictive. It's seriously difficult, too – we'd fancy our chances in Fortnite over this any day – and we're impressed with the fact that it's forced us to play the game with a completely different approach to our usual slow-and-steady ways. Signing up for Nintendo Switch Online just to play this game might be a bit of a stretch, but if you're already a member, what are you waiting for? It's free, and it might just become your next favourite time sink.
It takes a while to get going and it has its fair share of annoying quirks, but as it progresses Aragami becomes a solid stealth game with a compelling story. The addition of extra DLC chapters gives the game a welcome boost in longevity, and though its temperamental mechanics prevent it becoming an unarguable gem, its stylish look and the range of abilities you acquire by the end mean fans of stealth games (and fans of stealth only) will still have a fun time with it. Eventually.
Tikipod has done it again with Iron Crypticle, successfully reviving an old-school arcade concept and infusing it with some modern ideas. Iron Crypticle may not do a ton of innovative or new things with that twin-stick concept, but it nonetheless hits all the right notes in recreating that gameplay that made Smash TV such a smash hit. If you've ever been into twin-stick shooters or want another game for local co-op, Iron Crypticle is a great choice; fun gameplay, high replayability, and decent presentation make this one easy to recommend.
OlliOlli is one of those games you really have to live with; perseverance pays dividends, but so does taking a break and coming back in the morning to find muscle memory kicking in. Before you know it you'll be grinding elegantly and racking up impressive points, but you need to stick with it. With the skateboarding genre largely on hiatus, this is an easy recommendation to newcomers with the patience to master it. This version doesn't bring anything new to the table if you've played it before, but it's a fine game in fine form on Switch.
The King's Bird is a tightly designed precision platformer whose gameplay loop consists of retrying the same frustrating areas until reaching the satisfaction of conquering them. Lather, rinse, repeat. The moments of flying through a dreamscape and sticking the landing are a true delight, at least. For fans of hard-mode platformers, this may arrive as a welcome treat and worth sinking a handful of hours into for that sweet payoff, but those with other tastes may want to keep looking elsewhere.
Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 2 is a vast improvement in many ways upon the first game. The inclusion of a track editor, the reinstatement of online multiplayer and the sheer level of authenticity on offer will impress both longtime supercross fans and casuals looking to spray mud on two wheels. Visually, it's a noticeable step up and while it does occasionally chug, the frame rate holds fast most of the time. It's just a shame those monstrously long loading times and a needlessly grindy unlock system takes away some of its shine.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a charming platform-puzzler with a captivating fairytale aesthetic that can't help but draw you in. Unfortunately, things take a dark turn thanks to clunky mechanics and uninspired level design. The lore is fantastic and the presentation remarkable, but ultimately, it's hard to come away from this game feeling anything but disappointed.
While some of its procedural generation can sometimes make for an unnecessarily challenging experience, City of Brass more than makes up for it with the sheer creativity you can have exploring its Arabian Nights-themed maps. With genii to imbue you with wacky powers and the ever-tantalising need to collect more gold (as well the option to compete with others via the leaderboards), Uppercut Games has produced one of the most entertaining roguelikes to swing onto Nintendo Switch. And you can throw ghost chickens. What more do you need?
Despite threatening to fizzle under the weight of its reverence for Blade Runner, Observer manages to craft an impressive and affecting horror experience on Switch that doesn't outstay its welcome. It's arguably at its best when you surrender to the barrage of imagery and sounds rather than scanning pools of blood with detective vision. This port walks a technical tightrope and falters a little in docked mode, but fares much better as a handheld experience – its ambition and rich world-building are admirable enough to make up for any technical shortcomings. If Bloober Team doubles-down on the horror genre and keeps producing work of this quality, we'll gladly play whatever's next in the pipeline.
Gelly Break isn't a perfect platformer/isometric shooter hybrid, but it showcases such creative aplomb it manages to make itself stand out among a vast number of couch-play titles already available on Nintendo Switch. While enjoyable in single-player, this really is a game best experienced locally with a friend – where something as simple as traversing a platform becomes an exercise in mutual harmony or a tragedy of teamwork.
Despite being a licensed tie-in, Dragons: Dawn of New Riders is anything but a broken, half-baked money-grab. It's not particularly remarkable in its features – and it really misses a trick by not adding more things to do while riding your dragon between dungeons – but for recovering Skylanders fans and those a little too young to go loot crazy in Diablo, this is still a family-friendly adventure that's well worth your time on Nintendo Switch.
Given that the Etrian Odyssey series depends so heavily on the dual-screen design of Nintendo's departing family of handhelds, it's not entirely clear what form (if any) the series will take going forward. Even so, if Etrian Odyssey Nexus is to be the final entry in this much-beloved series, we can't think of a better way for it to go out. Staggering amounts of character customization, a beautifully arranged soundtrack, dozens of hours of content, and excellent usage of stereoscopic 3D all combine to make this the definitive Etrian Odyssey experience. We'd recommend Etrian Odyssey Nexus to both longtime fans and newcomers looking to see what all the fuss is about; this is one of the deepest and most involved RPGs you're likely to find on the 3DS, and it stands as a compelling reason to dust off Nintendo's handheld once more.
Thea: The Awakening wants to be many things. It wants to be a proper 4X game; it wants to be a through-and-through survival experience; it wants to be an RPG, a CCG and many other genres all at once. It succeeds at some, but often at the expense of others. There are some really great ideas here – the almost Pratchett-esque silliness to some of its scenarios and the focus on Slavic myths serves as a striking source of inspiration – but the focus on micro-management busywork simply gets in the way of the empire-building fun Thea should really be embracing.
While its difficulty spikes can be a little tough at times (and the sheer amount of information presented quite overwhelming, especially to genre newcomers), it's impossible to not appreciate just how much has been crammed into Tangledeep's roguelike crevices. From taming monsters and turning them into pets to the ever-changing layout of its dungeons, this is a roguelike RPG for players who yearn for a return to SNES games of old. It's smart, deep and rewarding, but be warned: this is an adventure designed almost exclusively for seasoned players.
The ever-expanding Switch eShop has no shortage of excellent platformers under its belt, and while Unruly Heroes may not be the absolute best of the best, this is still one of the finest platformers we've played in a long time. Stunningly beautiful art direction coupled with diverse level design and well-paced gameplay makes this one an easy recommendation for both longtime platformer fans and for new players looking for an easier game to get into. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but Unruly Heroes hits all the notes that it needs to, and it's more than deserving of a spot in your games library.