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Nindie Spotlight

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506 games reviewed
72.6 average score
75 median score
64.6% of games recommended
Scores 8.2 higher than average
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8 / 10.0 - Stellar Interface
Jan 15, 2019

Providing a unique take on the combination of traditional arcade shooting and roguelike challenge Stellar Interface is a blast to play once you get over the initial hump. The elements of risk and reward are ever-present, every run tends to go very differently even when working with the same ship, and there are a multitude of builds that I was able to find success with. The boss challenges are pretty significant but rewarding, Endless Mode offers a more traditional arcade experience, and overall there’s a surprising amount of great content to be discovered and explored if you’re up to the challenge.

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Jan 14, 2019

On the whole while I had some concerns with a few picky issues Omensight still manages to be pretty brilliant and well worth checking out. If it were just full of slashing combat it would have been decent but the added layer of an interesting story full of fleshed out characters who aren’t just one-dimensional archetypes really seals the deal. Add in the fact that there aren’t too many titles that have explored this style of play on Switch and it’s worth having on your radar.

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Jan 14, 2019

All things considered, Momodora is a solid Metroidvania that certainly has visual flair and a solid core gameplay experience. The sensibilities with its challenge are both modern and super old school, putting the pressure on the player to “git gud” to accept and work through some ordeals to find success. While I like a good challenge I’d argue that Momodora’s weakness is a tendency towards cheapness a bit too often, which diminishes the fun a bit in the process. However, if you’re down for pushing yourself to get through this gauntlet of strange enemies and some frustration it’s worth checking out.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Samsara Deluxe
Jan 13, 2019

In the end I’d definitely say you should give the video a look to see if the style of play suits you. It’s methodical and can throw you a challenge but between the ordinary presentation and how fundamentally basic the gameplay mechanics are it’s hardly a must-play experience either. In an eShop full of intriguing puzzle games many flavors Samsara Deluxe may be unique but it still struggles with just being very average.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Double Cross
Jan 11, 2019

All in all there’s quite a bit to like about Double Cross, as it manages to provide some challenge without being over the top or cruel. Certainly grabbing all of the crystals on all stages would take some formidable effort, in particular the ones along the way in action-oriented stages require some serious timing, skill, and luck. What’s nice is that though the perks and skills you get as you grab these are helpful they’re also not all 100% necessary either, the most beneficial ones tend to be at the front of the list so only getting a portion of them all should give you most of what’s truly useful. While its characters and story require a little too much pointless walking around they do at least try to give the game a little more depth and interest. Where the game shines most though is with its smart use of the grapple and varied puzzles that keep you thinking and consistently challenged. It stumbles in places but overall it’s a very enjoyable title.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Hive Jump
Jan 11, 2019

I really appreciate the core bones of what Hive Jump offers, and for the first few hours while I was still getting into my groove it was quite a bit of fun. Familiarity, once it sets in, really wears on the experience though and while taking down the hive queen is a challenge there’s simply a lot of repetition to be had getting there which ends up feeling a bit pointless and for its own sake. With some support things get a bit chaotic and busy but the ability to have some more diverse builds that compliment each other does change things up a bit so that’s a plus. I’d love to see a more fleshed out sequel with more enemy variety and surprises, the core experience is there and it’s a good one, there’s just no missing the grind once it sets in.

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6 / 10.0 - Everything
Jan 11, 2019

If this sounds fascinating, that’s great, and there’s a certain degree of entertainment in controlling a tree, a segmented fence that behaves a bit like a snake, or even planets. I find philosophy to be interesting and this visual exploration of some concepts is novel at a minimum, but just understand that it’s more of an exercise than a game. It does track what you’ve managed to take control of, and perhaps you’ll want to be sure you be every form of plant in the game but aside from that or simply tracking down all of the different info tidbits or audio clips there’s not much more that it has to offer. If none of the above has scared you off I’d think you’ll find Everything to be enjoyable, it’s just such an unusual experience that I can’t ignore the fact that it won’t be for everyone.

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6.5 / 10.0 - HoPiKo
Jan 10, 2019

Overall, I can see where this title could appeal to the right segment of gamers, people who don’t mind some frustration and want something that looks and sounds great and has a focus on quick action. Just be ready for some difficulty spikes in odd places, stages you’ll absolutely need to die on a few times to get the hang of the goal, and an occasional feeling of betrayal at your thumb and the joystick for completely botching up a critical shot at the end of the fifth level, making you start over again. It’s not going to be a mainstream hit but it can deliver some thrills at a reasonable price if that’s what you’re looking for.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Rain World
Jan 8, 2019

Overall while there’s no doubt that Rain World is a unique title on Switch it’s also very likely going to be a love / hate affair for people at best. The controls that feel novel and unique to one person may just seem to be wonky and difficult to another, and I’d say both perspectives are right to a degree. It’s very much a trial and error kind of game, and the ever-present reality of the next monsoon coming to wipe you out when it’s most inconvenient adds to the tension and, often, frustration. That said, if you like a challenge, are interested in something that plays quite differently, and have some patience for getting to know how to make the best use of your always-limited time is can be rewarding.

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8 / 10.0 - Catastronauts
Jan 7, 2019

While there are similarities here to Overcooked, Catastronauts is very much its own distinct experience and will require your full attention to be successful. Rather than being so many distinct tasks you need to complete in sequence and looking to optimize performing those tasks Catastronauts focuses on setting mayhem into motion and forcing you to adapt. Smart positioning, keeping your critical tools close at hand, and transitioning quickly between working on offense and then keeping your ship in one piece are the keys to success. While the pressure of the experience may not be for everyone it makes for a thrilling and unique challenge.

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8 / 10.0 - Pang Adventures
Jan 4, 2019

Complementing already solid shooting gameplay with a terrific graphical overhaul, some smart new elements, and a provision for local co-op Pang Adventures is a joy for a vintage gamer like me to play. Familiar and yet modern, challenging and yet fair, it starts out a bit slowly but doesn’t take too long before it starts making you work to complete those levels. Remaking classics is undoubtedly a challenge, forcing you to balance a sense of nostalgia with a need to keep things fresh. For the most part the folks at DotEmu have knocked this one out of the park, and with it’s pocketbook-friendly price it’s easy to recommend to any retro gaming or shooting fan.

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5 / 10.0 - Xenon Valkyrie+
Jan 3, 2019

If you’re really interested in a more minimalist take on roguelikes you may find Xenon Valkyrie+ to your liking. Just understand that it’s very much a no-frills experience that has issues with balance and variety, never really feeling like it nails any particular aspect completely. In general, I’d say you’d be better served finding one of the many better alternatives in the genre on the system.

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In the end The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human is a decent but bare bones Metroidvania experience whose greatest asset is just being a little different. People who like to be challenged may find the tough bosses to be a fun test of skill but the dead periods in between as you figure out where to go would probably detract from the enjoyment for them. It’s not a bad title, it’s just hard to get excited about it when there are just better and more fleshed out titles available in the eShop.

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8 / 10.0 - Tiny Metal
Dec 31, 2018

It seems like with the release of the Multiplayer patch Tiny Metal is finally meeting its potential, though to be clear the support isn’t terribly robust by any means. The core gameplay is certainly there, and should please strategy fans, but the Campaign’s story isn’t terribly interesting and the computer AI won’t likely impress strategy veterans. Assuming you’re able to coordinate with someone online to set up a lobby and match up the multiplayer patch should make for a great additional feature, but if you’re just looking for a random match-up keep in mind your enjoyment will be subject to some luck both in terms of finding a match and it being satisfying.

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6 / 10.0 - Uncanny Valley
Dec 31, 2018

Overall, Uncanny Valley is a bit of a gamble, banking on drawing you in with the initial weirdness and sense of unease, and that being enough to then sustain your interest as you continue to attack the game from different angles in search of a better outcome. I have no doubt some people will enjoy the mystery and the investigation of it all, exploring choices in the hopes of better seeing the big picture. For everyone else, though, either interest will wane before the first runthrough is completed or when it becomes clear that a fair amount of repetition will be in order to understand what exactly is going on.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Omega Strike
Dec 29, 2018

If you’re looking for a decent run and gun experience with a hint of puzzling thrown in Omega Strike isn’t a bad option, just don’t expect many surprises along the way. It has no major flaws to speak of, is designed reasonably well, and puts up a bit of a challenge in spots, especially when save points get a bit spread out. There are definitely more ambitious titles already on the eShop but in a pinch this makes for some decent variety, especially if you are looking for something a bit old school.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Odium to the Core
Dec 29, 2018

This is absolutely a title for people who enjoy some pretty extreme challenges and can deal with the frustrations that come along for the ride. It’s not terribly expensive, has a fantastic look, and sports a pretty killer soundtrack. Just to go with its control simplicity is a fair amount of aggravation so it isn’t something I could recommend to just anyone without providing a fair amount of warning.

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6 / 10.0 - Viviette
Dec 24, 2018

If you’re down for a challenge and some frustrations, and enjoy the thought of turning out the lights and enjoying some creepiness, it’s not a bad experience. You may find the puzzles to be intriguing but also don’t be surprised if you find yourself needing to hit a walkthrough to figure something out, though that’s not unusual for adventure titles in general I suppose. I just wish its use of horror and suspense lived up to its initial promise, rather than just being something you need to deal with in roughly the same way throughout.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Razed
Dec 24, 2018

If you don’t mind the aggravation and can get into the zone there’s plenty to do, especially given how many upgrade elements as there are hidden even in the earliest levels. You won’t be able to get at them initially, you’ll lack the unlocked power-ups to do so, but if you want to always be putting your best foot forward you’ll need to seek these out a little off the beaten and obvious path or even in some cases hiding in plain sight. It’s absolutely a challenge and is full of colorful visual flair, but it’s also not as polished as the best runners on the system, making it recommended for the right audience but with some caution.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Mana Spark
Dec 22, 2018

Despite my complaints I was surprised at how much the loop of Mana Spark got me hooked. There's some smart tactical combat here that's challenging in a different sort of way, the need to make use of the environment and your secondary item to lure enemies around as a method to kill them is fun and a bit different. While it is lacking in polish and won't appeal to people looking for more twitchy shooter-style fun Mana Spark does manage to carve out a place for itself as a solid alternative for people looking for a roguelike with a slower pace and some smart gameplay.

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