Friday, April 16

Mini Reviews: April 16th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark [Spooky Doorway] (Nindie Choice!) -
The classic point-and-click adventure Renaissance is really quite a thing to witness, and it is quirky and funny titles that The Darkside Detective that help not just to keep that spirit alive by existing, but by being a genuinely good time as well. While the overall length of time you’ll be playing may not be as extensive as in some titles, there’s something satisfying about the broken out 6 case structure… sort of breaking things down into 6 satisfying bites of maybe an hour and change or less (depending on your process and whether you savor every item’s descriptions) depending. If you miss the silly adventures of yesteryear or simply would like a good laugh (or 10) this is an easy title to recommend.

Knight Squad 2 [Chainsawesome Games] - The original Knight Squad was a pleasant surprise, delivering pretty easy-to-grasp local multiplayer game that worked well whether people worked in teams or went free-for-all across a variety of modes. Matching that with a pretty reasonable price and it was a refreshing mix of action and some strategy that stood apart from many of its contemporaries. Enter the sequel, which refines pretty well everything just a bit, adding some spit, polish, and new options… but for people who already have the original it’s not clear there’s quite enough here to warrant picking it up. So it’s an odd situation. There’s no doubt this is an improved version of the original, so it’s the version to pick up given the choice, but it may not have big enough changes to warrant a purchase from fans of the original.

Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition [Chibig] - There’s a challenge in the indie space, since top-quality and deep titles don’t typically carry a premium price, so even games that are more modestly priced don’t get much of a shield when it comes to quality and polish. While Deiland is certainly pleasant and cute enough, having you take care of and modestly develop your little planetoid by planting and cultivating crops, attending to quests, and dealing with occasional threats. The problem is simply that with so many incredible life sims already on the Switch there’s ultimately little here to make a case for it standing out as it lacks in the depth, variety, and even personality of many of its peers. If you’re looking for a relatively cheap fix it may do, just keep your expectations in check.

Stitchy in Tooki Trouble [Polygoat] - It’s always great to see colorful and pretty family-friendly fare appear on the Switch, and in those regards Stitchy in Tooki Trouble fits the bill pretty well. With large characters and a general look that scales nicely down into handheld mode even it works pretty well on a high level. Where it struggles a bit is with originality and variety, sticking mostly to the classic formula and not doing much to really flex in any way. That said, for younger or less seasoned gamers who aren’t quite so jaded it may not seem as generic and the somewhat slower general pace of play and movement might work out nicely, so if your target is accessibility it may be a great match.

Godstrike [Freedom Games] - Billed as a tough-as-nails boss rush shooter essentially, that description is absolutely accurate. The problem, to me, is that even in the "Tutorial" while you're trying to get an understanding of what's going on the game is determined to destroy you with enthusiasm. This approach of "all stick and no carrot" might have an appeal to a subset of the audience but mixed with the limited power-ups that also then chip away from your time (once you run out of time any hit means it’s game over), not even yet understanding the big picture, it’s a perplexing choice. Mix that with the shooting action and visuals actually being a bit on the dull side (just designed to be hard, but not exciting) aside from the need to conquer something hard for its own sake this is a tough sell as there are many more rewarding and still super-tough shooters out there on the system already.

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