Friday, August 16

Mini Reviews: August 16th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Exception [Nindie Choice!] - As a massive fan who has always loved the movie TRON you know that a game set inside a computer where you play a warrior of sorts who must overcome enemies and obstacles to succeed will get my attention. While the action platforming of Exception may not quite get to the heights of coolness of that classic movie franchise it still manages to throw a unique look and feel, as well as some smart stage designs into the mix. Stages play pretty quickly (assuming you survive) and with each pivot and transformation they throw things at you a little differently. Granted, your movement at times can feel a little sluggish and perhaps there’s simply not an amazing degree of variety in enemies and situations but regardless this title has a fresh feel, looks spectacular, and generally keeps you coming back for more action.

PC Building Simulator - This may be about as niche a title as I’ve played on the Switch, and yet as someone who has assembled my own PC from scratch more than a few times, I’m happy to say that PC Building Simulator absolutely delivers the authentic goods. If you’re a build enthusiast or would like to get a taste of what being one entails, this game will not only walk you through the minutia and meticulous process of placing each component, it will also have you working with real top-notch hardware. In the Campaign you’ll take over a small PC repair business and spend your time turning things around by doing everything from simple virus removal and diagnostics to incrementally more ambitious assembly tasks. On the other hand if you have the hang of the controls, which admittedly could use better instructions as you get started or when you’re having trouble, you can go into Free Build mode and simply go nuts trying to construct the mega-rig that you could only dream of being able to afford. Control quirks and initial struggles to get used to how things operate aside, as instructive gaming goes this may be the most successful title of its broad kind I’d played on Switch.

Gravity Duck - Sporting a relatively simple premise with a weird twist on gravity shifting, in that there are spots where you will shift 90 degrees to walk on the walls as well, Gravity Duck is a decent but not amazing budget puzzler. While the controls when you shift to the sides do make sense to a degree, you’ll always move in the direction you press regardless of orientation, their digital movement and lack of nuance can be aggravating when there are times where nuanced analog controls would have been a great help. Overall I’d say it’s a take it or leave it proposition, but if you enjoy this type of challenge it’s not bad for the price of admission.

Sagebrush - With an isolated setting in what appears to be an abandoned compound of a religious group Sagebrush is all about a slowly unraveling mystery to discover what happened. Exploration and some problem solving will help you make your way through new areas where you’ll find audio recordings (that often feel like they’re relayed in a linear fashion, though somehow spread out in many locations) and assorted notes that will help you piece together a picture of things. This is one of those games where the idea is that the payoff at the end of the journey will justify the pretty dull and uninspired path to get there, you’ll need to decide whether that’s enough to justify your interest.