Friday, April 9

Mini Reviews: April 9th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Say No! More [Fizbin] (Nindie Choice!) -
The thing about “weird games” is that they can be very hard to define or describe by typical genre rules or through comparison. Say No! More may be best understood simply by checking out some gameplay or being told by someone like me that it’s strange, made me laugh, and at times even felt cathartic to play. It’s clear that the people behind the game aren’t big fans of traditional “corporate culture”, so in particular if you’ve been in an office and totally get and love the jokes in the movie Office Space, you may really dig this. After being encouraged to discover and unleash your inner contrarian stage by stage you’ll develop a nuanced set of ways to respond in the negative, armed as well with some great trolly expressions like a slow clap to further drive your enemies mad. Rather than being focused on specific strategies or tactics the game is more about you choosing how to express your own style and simply enjoying yourself, perhaps finally letting go a lifetime of pent up frustrations with people you’ve reported to who’ve been insufferable asshats. Unleash your inner “No!” and, even if only for a moment, live a life without fear of repercussions with a smile on your face.


What the Dub? [Wide Right Games] (Nindie Choice!) - There are absolutely some amazing party games out there on the Switch to enjoy with friends, but if you’re on a tight budget perhaps the general need to buy them in bigger, and thus more expensive, packs makes them feel like a risk. Going ala carte is more convenient but unfortunately there aren’t that many inexpensive and funny options out there. Thankfully you can now get What the Dub and have a blast, all for less than $10. Granted, there’s only style of play but fortunately it’s a good one sure to spark creativity and laughs. Everyone will be shown the same incomplete brief clip with the dialogue for typically just one actor omitted. Your goal is to come up with something funny for them to say that will win you votes and the admiration of your peers. Depending on how quick thinking you and your friends are the results most certainly could vary, but the sound of the automated speech person reciting your line in its typically stilted fashion can sometimes add yet another element to enjoy. 


Breathedge [HypeTrain Digital] - Breathedge is one of those titles where I’m not quite sure how to feel about it. One the one hand I absolutely appreciate its weird (though sometimes juvenile) sense of humor, and that’s really the element of the game that makes it something more special. On the other, playing as someone a bit stranded in space with limited resources after an accident, if you’re looking for action and excitement this likely won’t have much appeal. Little by little by venturing out into space with your limited oxygen supply you’ll collect bits and pieces here and there that will allow you to craft equipment which will then let you go out longer and collect different items… and if you’re familiar with the survival genre this will all seem quite familiar. If you don’t enjoy the quirk I could actually see it being an active liability, but if you like survival titles with perhaps only moderate pressure and difficulty, and like to laugh along the way, you may find it to be a relaxing and sometimes entertaining endeavor.


Star Wars Republic Commando [Aspyr] - The Switch, now that it has been thoroughly established, has really become a sort of window into the state of games from previous generations, having the advantage of being able to play them on the go. I actually missed Republic Commando the first time through, so perhaps my view is a bit more critical without any twinge of nostalgia for it, but while it’s absolutely a unique shooter it suffers from its age for sure. Aside from it being visually long in the tooth (though in handheld it does look pretty good) the most unusual thing I found with the game is a sense of sympathy for the hard-working Stormtroopers out there who get a bad rap for being horrible shots. That’s definitely a piece of the experience that comes through, even trying my best to aim the rate of fire and lack of precision in the average blast rifle make it a crapshoot for sure. Thankfully you’ll be leading a crack squad of commandos who’ll follow your orders so you aren’t trying to lone wolf things, and the mild strategy element does at least help it come through as a unique Star Wars experience.


The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [Ocean Media Games] - As a fan of literary classics I must say that seeing the names Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde gave me an initial thrill. A mystery adventure where you were trying to discover the truth behind some gruesome murders could have been fun. Well, except it’s just a shell for a hidden object puzzle game, which isn’t quite as exciting. The thing is, to its credit they really try to find a balance and make use of the story with plenty of dialogue and a story to follow with a brief but detailed bit of prose to read at pretty well every step. Sure, the look is a bit dated, the objects aren’t always well integrated with the scenery, and most of the puzzles are on the simplistic side, but if you enjoy the genre and want a little mystery to go with it it’s not a bad combo.

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