Games, Nintendo, Switch

Year-End Reviews – Nintendo Switch Edition

As you may know, this website is not my day job.  It’s just a hobby, and sadly, no matter how much I love writing for it, it tends to be the first casualty when time grows scarce.  I’m hoping to remedy that as we get further into 2018, and you’ll no doubt notice some visual changes going forward.

I’ll admit, the last couple months got a bit overwhelming.  Many, many games came in, and sadly, I could not give them all the attention they deserved, but you still deserve to hear about them.

As 2018 begs for a clean slate, here’s the quick reviews for all the games I just didn’t have time to give the full treatment to.  And some of these are really great, so as you ponder how to spend that Christmas cash, give these a glance:

 

One More Dungeon

A 1st person RPG from Ratalaika Games, yours for $7.99.

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I should probably give this game a lower score, but I’m feeling generous.  I’m sure there are people that will flock to a game like this as it hearkens back to a time on PC when I was much younger and floppy discs were cool.  The problem is, I didn’t like this style of game then and I certainly haven’t gained any love for it now.  To be fair, I could only stomach playing this for a few minutes before dying a little inside.  The art style makes it hard to navigate and judge depth perception, and the game in general just doesn’t work for me.  Hard pass.

 

Teslagrad

A puzzle platformer from Rain Games, $14.99 in the eShop.

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A beautiful and challenging platforming puzzle game.  I really dig the old-fashioned style animation.  The game’s definitely worth picking up if you’re into something a little off the mainstream.

 

Plantera Deluxe

A farming sim from Ratalaika Games, get your copy for $4.99.

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I’m sure there are people that go ga-ga over this game, but that’s not me.  It’s a decent enough port to the Switch, though the controls are a bit clunky in parts.  It’s a simulation-type game where you have to grow and tend a garden.  The problem is, it’s pretty boring.  Maybe I’m not the intended demographic?

 

Serial Cleaner

A mature action game from Curve Digital and iFun4all, $14.99.

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This game was really disappointing for me.  I read the premise that you’re a cleaner hired by the mob to clean up crime scenes and I thought…how brilliant.  It’s an amazing premise for a game.  However, this is not the game I had envisioned.  Serial Cleaner is more of a puzzle game where you wander around a map, carting bodies to your station wagon, vacuuming up blood, and dodging the police.  Okay, first of all, if there are already cops at your crime scene, then you’ve already lost.  It’s too late for a cleaner.  There could have been other challenges and a better way to do this.  The game isn’t completely void of fun and is likely good for small bursts, but overall a missed opportunity.

 

 

Red Game Without a Great Name

An arcade puzzler from iFun4all, stuff this in your stocking for $2.99.

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This game is about as underwhelming as the developer’s Green Game, except that, rather than controlling time, you have to teleport around objects.  It’s not a bad game per se, but it isn’t very interesting, either.  There’s little here to keep me invested.  The art is cool, I’ll give it that, but the substance doesn’t deliver the way I would have hoped.

 

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today

A mature adventure from Badland Games, yours for $14.99.

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If you’re into games where story takes precedent over gameplay, this is one for you.  Truth be told, I didn’t get very far into it because I was bored with the point and click mechanic and there wasn’t enough in the story to hook me, but the game suggests a depth of story for those willing to mine for it.  The game is visually interesting with a unique style that allows it to stand apart from other games of its kind, but that’s about it.

 

Violett

An adventure puzzler from Forever Entertainment, take it home for $9.99.

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Another point and click game that doesn’t explain things well (or I was just too bored with it to pay enough attention).  Violett gets sent into a twisted world inside of the walls of her house, given some kind of fairy-like telekinesis, and then wastes its potential.  In theory, this game could have been a Gaiman-esque adventure of colorful characters and wacky scenarios, but the gameplay limits the potential here.  Sad.

 

 

Syberia

An adventure puzzler from Microids, yours for $29.99.

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I know this game has a huge cult following.  I wanted to like it more than I did, but at the end of the day, it just moved a bit too slow for my liking.  The story was unique and interesting enough with an Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider kind of feel ,and there’s just the right amount of tension to keep you guessing at what might happen next, I just kept falling asleep while playing.  It’s a great looking game and there’s definitely something there to spawn two sequels.

 

Crimsonland

An arcade shooter from 10 Tons Ltd, yours for $13.99.

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The game doesn’t have much in terms of story, but it doesn’t need it.  There’s one reason you play this game: survival.  The game is nuts!  It’s tough and unforgiving, but you keep going back for more as wave after wave of post-apocalyptic mutants and monsters come for a piece and end up in pieces…on the ground.  Covered in blood and viscera.  Carnage ensues, and there’s enough in terms of power-ups and various weapons to obtain and unlock that no 2 survival outings ever feel the same.

 

Letter Quest Remastered

A puzzle game from Digerati, yours for $14.99.

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If you saw my review of 10 Tons Spellspire, this game follows along a similar path.  An action game with RPG elements where players must spell words in order to attack the various monsters you encounter.  However, the art here is a bit more cutesy, and the gameplay is a little more relaxed.  I died a LOT in Spellspire because I couldn’t think or type fast enough.  This game gives ample time to think, as you trade attacks with the villains (which some may not like as much), and the different colored dots in the corner of each tile assign a point-value more like Scrabble, which is what I grew up on.  Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Spellspire, but if you’re only looking at purchasing one game of this ilk, I recommend and prefer this one!

 

Nine Parchments

An action RPG from Frozenbyte, $19.99.

This game is not only super beautiful, it’s got a bit of a Harry Potter vibe.  Students at a magic school are sent on a quest to recover the nine missing parchments, each containing a lost spell.  Along the way, you can equip new staffs and hats, recruit other playable characters, and build your arsenal of elemental weaponry.   The downside of this game is that it’s tough.  The controls are clunky at times, especially when playing multiplayer with a sideways joy-con, though it is a bit more fun and a tad easier with more players.  All that aside, my biggest complaint is the sheer difficulty of unlocking new characters, as some of them are quite cool looking.

 

Slain – Back from Hell

An arcade-style action platformer for mature audiences from Digerati. Rock out with this one for $19.99.

Speaking of hard…holy cow!  This game is balls-out crazy.  The blood is sublime, the monsters are terrifying, and the music is grinding metal.  Think Rob Zombie with a sword, clawing his way out of perdition.  The SNES graphics are a nice touch, because you know we didn’t have games like this back then, but at the end of the day, this is one of the more chaotic and challenging games I’ve played.

 

Party Planet

A mini-game filled multiplayer party from Mastiff, worth every penny at $39.99.

Never a fan of Mario Party, I was skeptical of this one at first.  However, once my son and I started to play, we fell in love with several of the games immediately.  We laughed and laughed for a good couple hours as we explored the 30 various games.  Definitely, there is something here for everyone, and each is super family friendly, easy to pick up and play (as most have a familiarity to them), controls are simple and easy to understand, and there will be laughter.  Maybe also some cursing, but that’s life.  I was all set to do a full review of this one, also, highlighting some of the best games in it, like the fish jump (seen above) and the Fennic fox ice climb, but time just grew short.  If I had one complaint, it’s that there appears to be too many games that can only be played 1 player, causing the others to sit out and grow bored.  I would have had players take turns on these games, but what do I know?

 

Frederic – Resurrection of Music

A rhythm/music game from Forever Entertainment, yours for $5.99.

The story on this game is absolutely bananas!  The long-dead composer Frederic Chopin is resurrected by mysterious forces and set to musically battle against modern-day musicians from all cultures in a very Rock Band/Guitar Hero rhythm game kind of fight.  Rather than an obnoxious instrument peripheral, players just use the Switch’s touchscreen, which works fine, and the cultural mash-ups of famed classical music are entertaining the first time you play through them, but the story goes a bit off the rails, the game isn’t overly long, and there’s almost zero replay value to this thing.  I was obsessed with the game for about 40 minutes, skipped all the cut scenes, got to the end, and suddenly didn’t care anymore.

 

L.A. Noire

An action/adventure tale from Rockstar Games, add this to your collection for $49.99.

 

I’m really bummed that this game review has gotten reduced to little more than a by-line (plus an item on my 15 Best Games of 2017 on Switch, but…still).  This game is the business, and if you like cop stuff, the golden age of Hollywood (and who doesn’t?), or mind a bit of language, then this game needs to be in your arsenal.  Rockstar famously delivers with its GTA games, and this game takes a more classic approach at the police side of the story.  My son constantly makes fun of my driving, so I have the option of letting my partner drive, which is perfect.

I had every intention of making this the first game we covered in video format, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the videos still aren’t up and running yet, though I hope to remedy that soon.  Don’t be surprised if this gets some late coverage in that realm once it is.

 

Tiny Metal

A tactical war simulation from Unties, enlist for $24.99.

 

Fans of Nintendo’s Advance Wars will find plenty to love about this game.  It’s not quite a straight-up tactical RPG like Fire Emblem, but it does bear similarities.  The Fog of War effect on the map offers unique challenges and surprises.  Taking over enemy camps and using their resources to build out your army is quite satisfying


All of these games are currently available on the Nintendo eShop on your Switch, so if you just got the system from Santa or are looking to bolster your arsenal of titles to play on the road, I hope this helped.

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Let us know what you think of any of these games in the comments section below!

 

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