Tuesday, September 3

Mini Reviews: September 3rd Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

FUZE4 [Nindie Choice!] - Have you ever wondered how games are developed and what it takes behind the scenes mechanically to make it happen? Have an interest in learning how to code with the motivation being to make your first game? If so, this will be of interest to you. Sporting a library of assets, tutorials walking you from baby steps to more advanced concepts, a variety of examples that you can tinker with to see how things are done, and full keyboard support (thank god), FUZE4 is a lot to take in. There’s a great deal of opportunity at your fingertips if you’re willing to invest the time and effort, and unlike books or online courses that have you learn in a vacuum the advantage here is the ability to more immediately appreciate the fruits of your labor.

Hookbots - When it comes to multiplayer games that are fast and can make for intense competition the Switch has quite a line-up. Among its contemporaries while Hookbots may not be a guaranteed hit, it at least has some unique mechanics that help it stand apart. Each of available bot types have their own distinguishing special moves but control consistently. The stages don’t have incredible variety but verticality and some traps can make them can at least make them a bit challenging and unpredictable when the intensity heats up. A campaign and various challenges for you to attack on your own also help flesh things out for you to hone your skills when waiting for your next party match-up.

Legend of the Skyfish - Ports from the mobile space can very much be a mixed bag on the Switch but it’s always nice to run into ones that offer up some novel play and mechanically work well. Skyfish may not be terribly challenging or long, but its pretty unique style of action puzzling is at least generally quite satisfying. You’ll make smart use of your fishing ability to move yourself from island to island and pull objects around while trying to avoid traps and set yourself up for success. A nice change of pace for a budget price.

Vambrace: Cold Soul - Certainly one of the most visually-attractive games I ran into at PAX East, Vambrace: Cold Soul made strong impressions with its looks, style, and obvious difficulty. With some Darkest Dungeon-style challenging turn-based combat that will take a fair amount of trial and error to come to terms with, this won’t be an adventure for people lacking in grit and determination. Your reward for sticking with it is a reasonably interesting story with a few meaningful choices to be made and combat that can be engaging once you get past it being simply frustrating. I would recommend looking for a guide to help you make sense of what’s going on in combat though since the in-game help and instruction aren’t quite as useful as they probably should be for less hardy souls.

AER: Memories of Old - Mixing a unique art style, tranquil moments you’ll spend in flight, and some middling puzzle platforming, AER has some elements that work better than others. A general lack of clear direction may frustrate some, though there’s also an old school mentality to it asking you to experiment and discover that I appreciated. The fact that it’s over with a bit too soon diminishes its luster, but there’s no denying that when you take to the air and explore the world it feels pretty good, making it worth checking out if you’re in search of something relaxing and are content with it being somewhat bite-sized.