Friday, March 6

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

Wunderling [Nindie Choice!] - Who ever said that puzzle games had to be for casual gamers? Oh sure, Wunderling could likely be enjoyed by just about anyone with its relatively simple one-button mechanic where you’re only able to control your character jumping… but to simply complete each level would be setting aside my favorite aspect of the game. The secrets, oh the secrets that this game has. Whether we’re talking about chests which will give you all sorts of silly gear to customize your character’s look, cassettes that will let you play music from the game’s soundtrack, or even an occasional hidden warp pipe that will take you to truly diabolical levels it’s the “hidden” challenges that accompany the standard game that have me hooked. Oh, and did I mention that the game’s premise and winks in the direction of Nintendo’s premiere franchise made me giggle and reconsider (only for a moment, mind you) my cruelty to the lowly Goombas out there? I love a game that works for everyone but then has an aspect daring the hard core folks out there to step up to the plate!

UnderHero - From the story, to the general action, to the fact that its combat is turn-based with timing-based bonuses akin to the likes of Super Mario RPG and others, UnderHero is plain different. As a goon working for the big bad of this game world who accidentally kills the hero (and a few of his fellow underlings), you make for an unlikely protagonist but that’s part of what makes the experience unexpected and fun. The pacing struggles at times and in general there’s a certain lack of polish compared to the game’s inspirations, but on the while this is an enjoyable experience with some refreshing silliness and fun. Just be sure to keep your overall expectations in check.

Kemono Heroes - Playing this was a bit odd for me, as in many ways it feels like a game I somehow played before in the SNES era but I can’t quite put a finger on its name. While this can be a fast food sort of retro action platforming experience to be enjoyed solo or with friends I wouldn’t really call it filling or memorable. Perhaps I’m a bit jaded and the game was made for less experienced gamers or to be enjoyed with the whole family but there’s a vanilla ease to so much of the action that it’s a bit of a bummer. The characters and art look great, and I really do think the game has managed to capture the essence of the SNES era, but I just wouldn’t consider the experience to be memorable and that’s a bit of a shame.

AvoCuddle - Who knew that avocados could be so cute and somehow anthropomorphizeable? Playing the part of one half of a pair of avocados in love, you’re risking being reduced to guacamole in the name of being reunited with you beau who has been kidnapped by aliens. Unfortunately, while the premise and setup could seem novel and fun the actual gameplay itself is far more generic. You’ll work through action platforming elements that do have some diversity across the levels but are lacking in a creative spark as well as refined control for the most part. Since it is mostly budget friendly it may not be a bad filler for a little while, just don’t expect for a lot you haven’t seen before.

Syder Reloaded - As a huge fan of classic arcade shooters, retro-styled shmups, and pretty well anything shooter in general the Switch has really come through with a ton of variety and options. Syder Reloaded, I’ll admit, doesn’t play quite like anything else on the system from on a game flow level, with levels that will challenge you with enemies coming from both sides, adding an element of unpredictability to the conflict. That said, there’s just something about the way things are set up that doesn’t quite work for me. It doesn’t do a very good job of explaining basic play, power-ups, or how its style of play is unique. I can jump into any classic arcade shooter and know what I’m doing without a word, but with a new formula it’s weird and detracts from the fun. If you’re looking for a fresh take it may be worth checking out, just be warned that different isn’t always a net positive.