Thursday, November 11

Mini Reviews: November 11th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Super Mombo Quest [Orube Game Studio] (Nindie Choice!) -
There’s nothing quite as satisfying in the indie games space than to stumble onto something that immediately feels pretty special that you’d previously never seen or heard of. For me that’s precisely what happened with Super Mombo Quest, and within just a few minutes I was really able to start grooving with its fast-moving platforming action and precision that is demanding but never unfair. Progression in the form of unlocking new skills and perks, as well as entirely new forms and abilities, keeps things interesting and never dull and I don’t know if I’ve ever been held in suspense keeping an eye on my combo meter as much as I have with this game, desperate to earn my Mombo Combo on every stage. If you’re a fan of platforming with personality and depth this is an absolute must-own title!

Retro Highway [Gearhead Games] (Nindie Choice!) - I’ll admit the first thing that completely drew me in with this game was the look of the road racing itself, completely putting me in the classic OutRun space. What was terrific though was how it delivers a pretty unique but compelling (and often challenging) arcade-like experience, having to weave through traffic, hit jumps, grab power-ups, and simply do whatever you can to avoid crashing and burning. In a very mobile-esque sort of twist a variety of objectives will encourage you to challenge yourself with avoiding coins, some near-misses, and more which helps to keep each run from being overly predictable. Throw in different bikes and locales that play quite differently and this has plenty of fuel in the tank for satisfying play to go with its budget-friendly price tag.

Treasures of the Aegean [Numskull Games] - Treasures is a pleasant surprise of a game, to some degree delivering an experience that’s familiar with its platforming style, but then throwing in a serious twist with its unusual story and time reset mechanic. The goal every time you start out is really to cover ground, find relics, solve some puzzles, and continue to unlock more and more mysteries in the hopes of averting catastrophe. There’s no doubt that the platforming action is the star, for me to a degree evoking a feel of a faster and far more modern Pitfall, but the story also helps set it apart. What may be the critical difference for people is how you feel about a lot of covering the same ground, trying to grab or decipher what you may have seen but missed on previous runs. It’s absolutely unique and noteworthy, but I’d guess reactions will be mixed on the total picture of play.

Airborne Kingdom [The Wandering Band LLC] - The number of city-building sims on the Switch is admittedly quite thin, so when a new one comes along, particularly one with a unique hook, it’s sure to raise eyebrows. Airborne Kingdom, as its name implies, changes up the normal formula by moving everything upward, which introduces mobility to the table where resource gathering in particular is concerned, and then unique problems like being sure that you don’t develop things in a way that could make your city float in a lopsided fashion, spelling disaster or at the very least a perturbed citizenry. What complicates things is that the UI and controls aren’t ideal, feeling far more geared towards play on a PC and even when you settle in with them continuing to feel cumbersome for common functions. If you’re patient and in need of something new in the space at least the pretty extensive lore and storytelling help to keep you incentivized to continue to progress, even if perhaps the overall play tends to be a bit limited in scope compared to typical empire-building sims.

A Pretty Odd Bunny [AJ Ordaz Games] - As a fan of games with a weird look or premise, certainly A Pretty Odd Bunny scratches that itch a bit with its red-eyed, carnivorous consumer of cute piggies. That said, I’m not sure what I expected in terms of gameplay, but with it roughly working out to be a puzzle game with a bit of stealth involved I’m sure that wasn’t on my prospective list. In the end, then, what started out as quirky and kind of cute in a twisted way lost its charm pretty quickly by simply failing to really go anywhere with its core concept. It’s by no means a bad game, it just feels like a cool and funky skin on an otherwise pretty ordinary budget action puzzler with some stealth thrown in.

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