Friday, December 6

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

Immortal Planet - While the label “Souls-like” has gotten to be a bit overused and trite, there’s certainly a market out there for people looking for games with challenging and engaging combat. Taking that style to an isometric view and with a general core feel of a classic action RPG, Immortal Planet works that tough formula pretty well, setting the table with your fundamentals and then demanding that you leverage them effectively to survive. As you’d expect for this kind of experience the emphasis is on knowing your enemies’ attacks, moving into position to get them to strike, getting out of the way, and then countering. It’s the boss battles that will really make you grit your teeth though, making use of anything and everything you have to chip away at them while avoiding their attacks that are quickly fatal. If you’re down for some intense encounters, though perhaps not a ton of variety, this will deliver.

FoxyLand - Budget platformers have gotten to be pretty common on the Switch so making a splash can be a challenge. FoxyLand manages to at least warrant being on the radar by delivering reasonably challenging levels that are bite-sized in a way that makes pick-up-and-play enjoyment pretty easy. While perhaps the moves are a bit on the loose side, and the level designs sometimes require a bit more trial and error with cheap traps than I’d prefer, the experience is at least passable. If you’re looking for a cheap and quick platforming fix it might be a decent one to pick up maybe on a sale.

Space Pioneer - As a huge shooter fan it also tends to make me a tough critic. In the case of Space Pioneer there are elements of it that I actually like and appreciate at the core. The thought of taking on missions that can be completed within a few minutes, slowly getting more variety and options in terms of what gear to use or what to enhance, is pretty appealing. The shame is the execution of what happens outside of blasting away when you’re down on an alien planet. The mobile roots here are impossible to miss, with far too much noise in the interface, unlock tiers, and pretty clear remnants of “freemium” grind. If I’m paying for the game outright that’s incredibly unappealing and matched with the inconsistencies and what becomes general repetition as you’re required to grind the further you go drag the experience down.

Strike Force Kitty - Conceptually Space Force Kitty has merit and combines elements of different gameplay into something new with potential. With your squad of kitties you’ll go on missions where you have limited control to jump basically. On each level there are a variety of enemies, treasures, and plenty of fish to collect. Different obstacles you encounter will require you to specialize one of your squad with the proper ability to deal with them, and as you progress and grow the pool of what’s available to choose from you’ll have to choose how to invest your upgrades to suit your own style and the challenges ahead. Where it falls down pretty hard is that it does an awful job of helping you get started or oriented, and the cumbersome and somewhat confusing interface pours gasoline on that fire to boot. If you persist and simply accept the clunky interface there’s something different here that mixes strategy with some action and even an element of puzzles, but getting over that hump when there are so many great games out there is a tough one, hopefully a patch can help refine things further.

Jigsaw Solace - If you’re down to enjoy jigsaw puzzles digitally that has become a thing so you’re in luck. With Jigsaw Solace the format is a bit different, and you’ll need to decide whether that’s a good or bad thing. Rather than being given a series of progressively tougher puzzles to complete, with each success unlocking a new one, here you’re sort of put in the driver’s seat and will simply dictate what you want to tackle next. Given the options of images from a variety of themes you’ll pick your picture, the complexity you’re looking for, and even the color of the screen background and that will dictate your next puzzle. In mechanical terms while some other titles use a cursor that allows you to drag and drop pieces here you’ll use your D-Pad to choose a piece in the grid and then choose the piece you’d like to swap it with. It’s a little awkward at first but I could see where some may prefer this method as well. This won’t be a game that likely will last you too long without repeating but for a modest price it could be something nice to unwind with.