Tuesday, November 19

Mini Reviews: November 19th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

REKT! High Octane Stunts - When you’re dealing with budget titles the bar for evaluation is a tricky thing to evaluate. For me the focus ultimately revolves around identifying whether the game’s goal had some ambition and then how well the overall vision seems to have been executed. In the case of REKT its goal is pretty plainly in its name, to deliver a somewhat crazy stunt driving experience. While there’s not much more to it than that I’ll give it credit for putting together elements that work pretty well. The controls aren’t over-complicated, there are multiple arenas to explore and have fun with, there are plenty of cars to unlock, and for the price if you’re seeking something to kick around for some short play sessions to stunt and have some fun it delivers. It won’t take the eShop by storm but its asking price is reasonable for what it delivers.

Draw Chilly - OK, so I dig weird games, I’ve even made a list of my favorites on the system. I’m a fan. That said, from its title to its “plot” to its execution I think in the case of Draw Chilly I’ve met my match. If you go in with the goal of simply being entertained with bizarre arcade-like action and no other expectations this strange trip of a game may work. It’s sort of a mix of beat-em-up and strategy at its core, as you’ll need to collect baby chicks to build your meter, get odd power-ups from crates, and battle weird bosses… all set to a backdrop of Purgatory while working at the bidding of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Confused? Playing the game in search of making sense of it won’t likely help, but the experience of it has its moments as you chuckle at just how bonkers it all can be.

Robert Kirkman’s Thief of Thieves: Season One - When it comes to visual flair this title has things on lockdown. Unfortunately, when it comes to compelling gameplay and a bug-free experience it’s hardly the master thief and more often feels like a bumbling trainwreck of a sidekick. Based on the comic series, as it opens you can feel the swagger of the game’s potential, walking through the highly stylized credits. Hitting the tutorial you’ll begin to wonder if the gameplay is really as limited as it seems. Then as you get into the meat of the game unfortunately the various bugs and shortcomings tend to come into view. Wonky AI, your ability to outright get stuck in the environment at times, and a general lack of gameplay polish mean that no matter how great this title looks it may struggle to keep your interest over its modest play time.

Ships - There’s something to be said for truth in advertising and if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to control large commercial shipping vessels this may be the simulator for you. Simulations are always a slow burn experience and have a tendency to favor mundane reality over excitement but in the case of Ships right out of the gate it almost actively seems to be making you wonder if you’re going to stick with it. Loading multiple cargo containers onto a ship may have a certain claw game element of fun to it for a moment but the fact that you can’t settle for stopping with 1 bodes poorly for the pacing of the experience. If you’re willing to give the game time and have an honest interest in the sea and different challenges you may face there from construction to rescue to even dealing with pirates you may be in luck, but overall unfortunately for almost all scenarios it plays out like the most dull version of those events mechanically, making it hard to show any enthusiasm over.

The Mims Beginning - In terms of vintage PC genres that have been out of fashion and not made a real appearance on the Switch yet the strategic “god game” genre is one I appreciate and am glad to see finally making an appearance. That said, while the fundamentals of the genre are represented by The Mims Beginning I wouldn’t say there’s much inspiring meat on its bones that helps to capture the best elements of what it has to offer. You’ll need to help your odd alien minions by dictating placement of buildings and crops, fend off threats both natural and creature-based, and tend to the well-being of your people. The game’s clunky looks and pretty bare bones implementation will make it hard to really give it your all though as there’s no key hook that connects you to those you care for or to give them enough personality to be interesting.