Sweet and leisurely delivered, Lost Words: Beyond the Page sneaks up on the player to deliver a powerful emotional punch. It's strikingly stylish, it's heartfelt, and it has a lot to say about the grief that accompanies losing a loved one, reflecting its complexities with honesty and tenderness. While lacking in puzzle challenge, the game is a rarity that offers a memorable experience for players of all ages.
Balan Wonderworld is a game of missed opportunities. It's simplified control scheme robs it of any of the subtle complexity that the genre is best at, its various ideas are half-baked at best, and its core gameplay is a taxing uphill climb through even the most basic of platforming principles. Amusing visual design aside, the only thing that Balan Wonderworld is good at is being consistently boring.
Monster Hunter: Rise is fantastic from start to finish. It feels like a game that many will come to consider an essential on the Nintendo Switch thanks to its stunning graphics, addictive gameplay loop, consistently engaging combat, and bountiful bowls of unlockable content. Oh, and fighting alongside giant cats and dogs is simply too cool.
A half-hearted, boring attempt at a farming RPG, Harvest Moon: One World does nothing especially well. Even though it does show some initial promise, it quickly squanders that on poor farming mechanics, a bland open-world and lifeless characters.
Romantic relationships have their ups and downs, and players will likely go through the same experience with Maquette, which seesaws between satisfying and frustrating. Charming world design and bittersweet relationship observations are offset by a couple of opaque puzzles and patches of gameplay clunkiness (bad enough to force level restarts), which mar the overall sense of enjoyment.