Unto the End does a great job at capturing the struggle of survival and returning home, but is the struggle worth it? There isn’t a huge epic within Unto the End. There is no dialogue and the story is simple. The actual game in length is fairly short, but the repeated deaths due to brutal combat significantly lengthens the experience, if you even finish it. The story’s depth comes from the player’s emotions as they struggle to master the gameplay mirroring the hero’s struggle to make it home. But not everyone plays a video game to feel that kind of frustration. I sure don’t and though there were aspects to like about Unto the End, the combat was overall what ruined the experience for me.
What sounded like the combination of a management game, Animal Crossing, and The Sims turned out to be barely influenced by all three. If you’re looking for a relaxing Switch game where you can collect clothing, decorate your home, and hang out with animals, there is already the perfect game for you: Animal Crossing New Horizons. If you’ve already played it to the point of needing new joysticks, then there are plenty of other indie alternatives to pick up before giving Calico consideration.
So how does Thomas Was Alone hold up today? Well, it’s excellent, thank you for asking. I recommend it to anyone interested in trying out a bit of indie gaming history, any fan of the science fiction genre, anyone who enjoys platformers, for those who enjoy short, sweet stories, and to everyone looking to see how anyone could make a bunch of rectangles a memorable part of my adolescence.
Monster Hunter Rise is a perfect example of what can be done with Switch. It runs incredibly smoothly and only slows down a little when there’s a lot happening all at once, even during a Rampage with a full lobby. It has been some time since I have played World, but Rise looks almost as good. While some textures here and there are a bit rough, I highly doubt you’re going to be inspecting the wall textures with an angry Rathalos chasing you down. Monster Hunter Rise brings a lot of great new features for fans of the franchise while making it more accessible than ever. With the amount of future updates planned I can’t wait to see what Rise can become.
There’s one other feature that is fun and worth mentioning, which is that it’s also possible to play the black and white versions of these games thanks to the color filter options. If you’ve yet to read our history of NeoGeo Pocket Color feature, SNK originally launched a colorless version of NeoGeo Pocket—only to be aghast to learn that Game Boy Color would debut soon after. Not wanting to be instantly outstripped by Nintendo’s latest handheld, SNK swiftly updated to NGPC soon thereafter, and the rest was history. SNK has been doing wonders keeping its back catalogue of games alive through retro hardware and compilations like NGPC Selection Vol. 1, and we sincerely hope that fans take the time to pick this one up for themselves.
For those who still keep to the old ways, though, this is the real deal. There are plenty of retro games, including some widely lauded ones, that I feel missed the mark with ill-considered gimmickry, boring level design, and smug pandering. Cyber Shadow’s not that. It’s not a winking nod or cynical nostalgia bait. It’s a worthy successor.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury isn’t perfect, but it gets close. The gameplay is superb, the visuals are improved on Switch, and there is so much to do and see that players will be busy for hours. Switch has been a godsend for software that didn’t get the shot it deserved on Wii U, and 3D World is definitely a game that more people should play. Online multiplayer is a tad lacking, but if you’re out for an expertly crafted, stunning platformer, this is the premier Mario game on the console.
Still, after having aired my own personal opinions on the core gameplay of Dead Cells, there is nonetheless a lot of cool new stuff to see in Fatal Falls. If you love Dead Cells and want to expand your runs into three new zones, fight a new boss, and obtain new weapons, then you can’t go wrong with Fatal Falls.
Though the game has nice visuals and is the continuation of a creative series, Two Realms failed to maintain the magic Drawn to Life had on DS. Unfortunately, my disinterest in the story kept me unmotivated to wait through cut scenes to get to the next levels. Levels could be fun, but they could also be terribly too easy or frustratingly hard. The best moments in the game are dispersed too far apart and they don’t feel worth the hassle to get to.
Ultimately, Kolumno is an interesting concept and will likely be appealing to some players. There is gratification to be had when completing the levels and watching them play out perfectly feels like viewing a satisfaction compilation video on YouTube. However, the frustration in repeated failure on the same level or the controls that are awkward enough to break the relaxing feeling of the game overshadowed the positive moments.
Though it isn’t the perfect space game, it’s a pretty darn good one. It gives you so much to think about, but it never feels overwhelming thanks to the three difficulty settings. A casual player will have a great time with the Explorer setting, whereas fans of resource management games who love to strategize will enjoy the Veteran setting. The game is also educational and a great way to get newcomers interested in space.
Fans of strategy and deck building games are likely to enjoy DungeonTop. Its appealing visuals and huge customization potential gives it a lot of replay value. However, replay may happen sooner than you think due to the game’s base difficulty or bugs that force you to restart.
Digging through the overwhelming amount of information of guns and items and skills can be daunting, but once you get through that Synthetik: Ultimate can be quite an enjoyable game to have. Particularly as a twin stick top down roguelike experience on the go thanks to the portability of Switch.
I play a good amount of indie games yet this game, I believe, is the first game I have played by a Peruvian game developer. My first playthrough left me scratching my head at the cryptic story. It was only after reading an article on Peruvian funeral traditions did I begin to see the story and its metaphors with more clarity. It is experiences like this that make me happy as both a gamer and an anthropologist. As barriers for video game development become less and less of an obstacle, gamers are more and more likely to come across games made from cultures they have never been in contact with.