Monday, December 2

Mini Reviews: December 2nd Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

True Fear: Forsaken Souls Part 2 - As a big fan of the hidden item and puzzle subgenre for killing some time while relaxing the wrinkle of horror is something I really appreciated in the original title in this series. With the sequel it’s really more of the same on a general level, serving up creepy environs and some suspense with a variety of puzzles of various kinds. If you’re feeling lost or stuck, depending on the skill level you’ve chosen, you’re able to get help not just in the form of puzzle hints but even for where you’re supposed to be going next which can be a big help to get you back on track. While its production values are somewhere between dated and middling they get the job done, making this a good pick-up if you want some mild horror suspense with your brain teasers.

Marblelous Animals - Games making their way over from the mobile space can be a mixed bag on Switch both in terms of appropriateness and quality. What works well on a phone or tablet sometimes simply feels out of place on a dedicated console. In the case of Marbelous Animals what you get though is a reasonably challenging game along the lines of the old school Labyrinth where you’ll be using the gyro controls to roll a variety of animal-themes marbles through hazards and traps to collect coins and get to the hole at the end of the level. It isn’t a revolution by any means but whether using the system in handheld or perhaps a Pro Controller while docked it’s a nice change of pace and may seem to be a purely casual affair but can also be quite challenging at times. Throw a budget price into that mix and it’s not a bad deal.

Munchkin: Quacked Quest - When it comes to local multiplayer games on the Switch there tend to be pretty set patterns in what is available. Unfortunately, this can make it not only difficult to differentiate many titles, it also sort of makes you settle into a feeling that there aren’t many new ideas out there. Aside from its inherent silly nature that’s where Quacked Quest at least puts up a good fight and tries to shake things up with some variability and simply unusual challenges to engage in. Granted, if you’re trying to play this without some friends it’s not very fun, but if you’ve got some fellow gamers around and you’re looking for some hack and slash silliness and action it can be an odd and fun time, and at least feels like something different. Slash, grab, shove, make a madcap run for the chicken… the experience is at least pretty fresh as a whole even if not necessarily always great.

Super Street: Racer - The racing genre is among the most under-represented on the Switch, especially when getting outside of the comfort zone of more casual kart-style racing. Without any serious first or even second-party franchises representing realistic racing and even lacking an entry from a series like Need for Speed Nintendo fans haven’t had many options. Super Street: Racer tries to pretty directly address this gap with a feel somewhere between a simulation and arcade-style racing, and doesn’t necessarily do a bad job, but it also lacks variety and a feel of polish. You’ll race against opponents or the clock on urban-ish routes while collecting money to slowly upgrade your ride. If that much would make you happy you’re in luck, just know that put up against the likes of the titles that would be considered its competition it’s most definitely lacking in depth and excitement.

Nonograms Prophecy - When it comes to making a new title that takes on most of the characteristics of an established and popular franchise there are ways it can work out well, but timing and whether you’re able to expand on what inspired you are often critical factors in success. In the case of Nonograms Prophecy I’d say they’re coming to the Picross-alike party pretty late, and unfortunately aside from its visuals it isn’t really able to differentiate itself much. Granted, in terms of presentation it looks pretty slick with sepia-toned theming, and its low-budget price is a plus, but if you’re already a fan of this style of play there’s really nothing that helps it stand on its own. If you’re a puzzle gaming fan who has somehow missed the Picross (and its ilk) boat this is an affordable way to get a taste for things, just for everyone else it will be very familiar.