Wednesday, April 21

Mini Reviews: April 21st Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension [Draw Me A Pixel] (Nindie Choice!) -
OK, so typically when you see games coming over in some form from the mobile space I tend to put on my skeptic hat and play “Did we really need this on a dedicated gaming console?” In the case of Wrong Dimension, though, I’ll skip right to the chase and bluntly tell you: YES! Dripping with creativity, humor, and often unexpected and unorthodox solutions to problems (OK, so you may need to make use of the in-game hint system or a FAQ in some cases when you get stuck), this is probably one of the most weirdly inventive titles I’ve played in a while. Across a few very different chapters you’ll often be at odds with the narrator, circumventing his attempts to hold you back and convince you that the title’s statement is true. There’s obvious love but valid mocking humor here for classic adventure games, a beloved Nintendo series featuring a certain warrior in time, and everyone’s not favorite, free-to-play games… and on the whole the jokes (including a few running gags) are amusing fun. While you’re able to play using the controller in docked mode it isn’t much surprise that the best way to enjoy it is in handheld mode with the touchscreen. If you’re in the mood to laugh and work through some very unique puzzles this is absolutely a title you should be checking out!

Palindrome Syndrome: Escape Room [mc2games] - With escape rooms having been a pretty popular group activity over the past decade or so (with the exception of the past year, obviously) it’s not a surprise to see a puzzle title adopt that format for play. Dealing in a wide variety of brain teasers that will challenge everything from your simple powers of observation to much more complicated multi-step deduction many aspects of Syndrome feel authentic to the experience as well, though perhaps lacking in the frustrations of interpersonal communication and teamwork unless you’re playing with someone looking over your shoulder. There are a few spots and puzzles that can be a bit rockier than others, and overall the length of the experience is perhaps on the brief-ish side, but if you’re looking to hone your puzzle room solving skills or want a taste of the general challenges they often offer this isn’t a bad choice.

World Splitter [NeoBird GmbH & Co. KG] - When you start talking about twin-stick controls the shooter maniac in me instantly thinks of shooting but in World Splitter my favorite control scheme is put through new paces with a puzzle platformer instead. While the notion of working through puzzles where you need to move between two different planes isn’t a new in this title the degree of challenge is amped up a bit as you’re able to freely manipulate both the placement and rotation of the line between them, and with that control comes power… but it also can make it tough to get the hang of initially. In the early going I found myself fixated on either moving the line around or rotating but not typically thinking about both at once and yet to make the most of things you really need to get your brain into that space. It makes for a very different sort of play, which is refreshing, but be sure you’re down for a challenge if you’re looking to check this out.

Emily Archer and the Curse of Tutankhamun [Ocean Media] - If you’re a fan of hidden object and puzzle games there has been a rash of releases of late so you’ll have plenty of options, for sure. While relative degrees of polish and refinement between titles can be minimal, another area to consider may be the theming. In this case you’ll be off to Egypt to look into the mysterious death of someone tied to the effort to uncover, of course with excuses to find a variety of objects in the background of numerous locales as well as tackle a different sort of puzzle altogether on occasion. It may not be a game that will change the world but for a relatively modest price it will suck you in if you’re a fan of the genre.

War of Stealth: Assassin [LLC KURENTER] - In my mind stealth-type games are tough to truly get right but when they come together the right way they offer up a very satisfying mix of strategy, tension, and even some action. War of Stealth may aspire to greatness but in all honesty it feels a bit unfinished in its current state. Certainly a variety of bad translations don’t help it get an air of polish, but that could perhaps be discounted if the action were compelling. The thing is, at best it feels like an effort from a few generations ago, even if that. Animations can be dodgy (though the elastic nature of people you’re trying to pull at times can lead to unintentional laughs), the action is a bit too stale and one note, and just mechanically there’s an unrefined quality to most everything. In a pinch perhaps you could give it a try but if you’re a fan of the genre aside from execution issues this simply brings nothing of note to the table.

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