Tuesday, August 6

Mini Reviews: August 6th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Rise: Race to the Future - Since there’s a general lack of racing games on Switch, in particular those that aren’t cart racers of some kind, it’s always good to see another option available. With its very attractive and polished looks Rise gets quite a bit right, pulling you in with its visuals while also including some solid track variety to keep things more interesting. Unfortunately, without any elements of combat on one side or a greater degree of nuance as a technical racer on the other, after a while the excitement starts to wane which leaves the game somewhat in the middle of the overall pack, certainly not without merit but feeling a bit too vanilla to make it a must buy.

The Church in the Darkness - One of the things that can make indie games interesting and exciting is their ability to do things that are unexpected. Certainly playing a game where your goal is to infiltrate the compound of a cult that feels highly reminiscent of Jamestown to try to locate and save your nephew holds quite a bit of potential in that area. You’ll need to choose between using lethal force, stealth, or some combination of both as you try to collect essential gear and info to help you in your mission. While the top-down gameplay isn’t terribly unique, the situations you’ll find yourself in and the decisions you’ll need to make quickly do provide for variety and even replayability if you’re intrigued by the game’s hook. It won’t be a game for everyone but I’ll give credit for it daring to be different.

Robbie Swifthand and the Orb of Mysteries - This puzzle platformer has a polished look and some surprises along the way but also has a tendency to get dragged down by a reliance on cheap deaths to prolong itself, which can be annoying. You’ll play the part of the nimble thief who has been charged with collecting a mystical relic but who is looking to grab some loot along the way as well. The platforming itself is pretty solid mechanically and you’ll quickly be able to master your crouch jump and some other techniques that will keep you working to execute as you try to avoid death. While I understand the game is billed as being difficult the reliance on traps obscured by the foreground or things you simply can’t know about until you die to them (often repeatedly) moves into being cheap a bit too often, making many areas more about trial and error than raw skill.

Bear With Me: The Lost Robots - Since there’s an abundance of classic point-and-click adventure available on the Switch, much of it also featuring humorous characters and situations, the overall bar you need to clear to make your mark is a high one. In principle, Bear With Me has the right idea, mixing its black and white visuals with a main character who sports the voice of a classic noir detective… and who happens to be a teddy bear. The puzzles are reasonably sensible, the environments look good, and the general script tries to blend the noir style and seriousness with some silliness… and that works. Unfortunately, for me the voice acting really is a let down, having the right sound but generally failing to deliver on the laughs it’s going for, leaving the final product good but not particularly great.

Super Wiloo Demake - When it comes to budget titles it can always be difficult to identify where to put the bar in terms of overall quality. Super Wiloo Demake has the essence of a good title, delivering some colorful visuals, nice if not terribly original power-ups, and occasional flashes of creativity in level design. However, for the most part it’s also pretty derivative and blandly generic stuff, failing to clearly exude any qualities that make it stand out beyond its low price. If you’re looking for something bite sized and cheap to just play for a while it should suffice but overall it’s quite forgettable.