Tuesday, July 28

Mini Reviews: July 28th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Quiplash [Nindie Choice!] - I’m so pleased that Jackbox Games has decided to release my absolute favorite game of theirs as a stand-alone title now on Switch. I’ve been a huge fan of this series (it has already gotten one sequel, and a third will be a part of their next Party Pack as well) since the get-go, mainly because it’s a game ripe with opportunity for hilarity. Players will be paired with one another randomly and given 2 prompts in each round, with the goal being to come up with the best answer that will make people laugh and vote for you. The more votes you get, the higher you’ll score, with a bonus if you’re able to snag all votes for yourself in a given round. On the adult end of the scale I’ve played this with groups back to back with Cards Against Humanity and even as notorious as that game is for laughs (only in card form, there’s currently no digital version on Switch) everyone agreed that Quiplash did a more consistent job of delivering the goods, and that’s likely because there are no limits on what your answer can be, aside from the level of taste the people you’re playing with may have. Current hot topics, known group history, even details from the current party or game may all come into play, it’s all a matter of how quickly you can pull together a clever answer that’s better than your opponent’s. With a very fair price, I’d consider the absolute best value of a party game on the eShop by far.

Fibbage XL - The third stand-alone title released by Jackbox Games outside of its Party Pack series (the first was Drawful, a while back, and the second was Quiplash), while Fibbage may not be my personal favorite party game series they’ve produced it’s still easy to see why its popular all-around. Mixing together funky trivia factoids with a test to see how convincingly you and your friends are able to deceive each other the goal is to come up with an answer to the question that’s plausible enough to draw suckers (I mean, votes) to your answer instead of the right one. If you’re able to then choose the correct answer without getting distracted by one of your opponents you can then rack up even more points. While lovers of obscure trivia may enjoy a bit of an unfair advantage this game can be a lot of fun, the only limitation it has is that eventually the facts will begin to repeat themselves more and more so long-term play with the same group will become less viable over time.

Aeolis Tournament - This is a title I originally got to try out at PAX and even after having the chance to play it more I’m still a bit torn on it. On the one hand I’d say that in general terms it fails to really pull away from a substantial pack of multiplayer games on Switch that support different competitive and co-op modes, this is ignoring the specifics of the pretty consistent and unique mechanics the game has though. That leads into what I’d consider a great strength it does have though, and that’s the ability to be enjoyed by gamers of just about any skill level and age. Granted, in very mixed company you’d want to stick to team games, but the collective effort to try to work together to knock a ball or puck into your opponents’ goal and score can really get people fired up. So depending on the audience I see this being a very different game. For anyone looking for action-packed intensity and skilled gaming it will be a bust, but for families looking for something anyone can feel like they’re contributing to for some fun it’s a great option that few titles on the Switch can match.

Epic Word Search Collection 2 - This is one of those titles that’s hard to judge well. It is precisely what it says it is, a collection of truly massive word searches that fall into a few different themes. The puzzles are so large you’ll be spending a fair amount of time just scrolling around, which will actually take you through multiple distinct puzzles. The one thing that’s absolutely smart about the game is that the word list dynamically updates as you move around, so as to keep you in tune with what you’re likely to see and keep you from trying to find a word and not realize you’ve scrolled it out of the screen. Probably the worst problem I had though was getting locked onto looking for one word and then getting distracted trying to find another and so on, then coming back to my senses I’d find a rash of words I’d been missing in the area. Still, if you want a time-wasting casual puzzler this has plenty of content.

Ubermosh: Black - Ooof, this one hits me right in the irritated for some reason. You’d think with it being a twin-stick arcade-style shooter with an additional ability to slash I’d be all about it but there’s no getting around how rough this overall experience is. The worst sin is that honestly the camera is too close to the action so you’re put at a significant disadvantage when trying to have any semblance of a plan as you roam around the arena trying to stay alive. Throw in there simply not being much to it and even the low-budget price fails to really save the experience… especially when the very similar and also budget-friendly Akane does everything so much better.