Considering the Switch is tipped to sell out during the run-up to Christmas, it’s no surprise to find developers tumbling over one another to get their new releases on the eShop before the big day.
Fans of all things retro are particularly well catered for this week. The Switch gets the cult 2D Psikyo shooter GUNBIRD for Nintendo Switch (£6.99), the excellent Rayman/Metal Slug hybrid ACA NeoGeo Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy (£6.29), and the Joe & Mac inspired Caveman Warriors (£8.76 until 28th Dec, £11.69 thereafter).
We reviewed the Xbox One version of Jandusoft’s caveman caper back in September and found it to be pretty good. It’s a bit of a slog when on your lonesome, though, so it’s only recommended if you’re planning to play co-op.
The Wii U receives a couple of Virtual Console corkers too – Gradius’ sequel Salamander (£5.39) and falling block puzzler Bomberman Panic Bomber (£7.19).
Then we have Slain: Back From Hell (£17.99), a Castlevania style 2D hack ‘n slash platformer. Despite holding much promise, it’s hard to recommend – an unfair difficulty level sucks all the enjoyment out of it, leaving pretty pixel art and little more.
We can at least vouch for Tennis in the Face (£4.49), a fun little Angry Birds style physics puzzler. The Xbox One version garnered 7/10 from ourselves roughly a year ago.
As for the biggest Switch release of the week, it’s a toss-up between WWE 2K18 (£54.99) and The Sexy Brutale (£17.99). No reviews of WWE are pinned down at present, but it sounds like 2K Games has given it their all – all the major features are present, right down to a dreaded season pass.
The Sexy Brutale meanwhile became a sleeper hit over the summer. It’s a murder mystery set around a 12-hour loop, with the idea being to solve and prevent murders – including your own – as the story unfolds in real-time.
The PS4 version receive a whopping 10/10 from Jim Sterling. “I fear this one will get lost in the shuffle of big budget games, but make no mistake – The Sexy Brutale deserves as much attention as any Horizon, Zelda, Nioh or Persona,” he said.
Here’s a round-up of remaining Switch releases:
Nine Parchments – £17.99 (demo available)
Another prolific release, thanks to the developer’s record of accomplishment – this co-operative action-RPG comes from the minds of the almighty Trine.
Dimension Drive – £11.99
A 2D space shooter with an intriguing twist – two games are played at once, with the screen split down the middle. Guaranteed to test your multitasking skills.
Embers of Mirrim – £15.29 (Demo available)
An adventure-platformer in which two alien races join forces and are controlled independently. The PS4/XO versions were well-received.
Human: Fall Flat – £14.99
This pleasingly silly physics-based puzzler also went down well on the likes of PS4, gaining a mixture of 7s and 8s.
Riptide GP: Renegade – £9.99
Vector Unit’s racing games tend to be serviceable but unspectacular. This water-based racer doesn’t look set to buck that trend.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive – £7.00
This 2D brawler spin-off boasts local play for four players. Quite possibly worth £7.
Teslagrad – £12.14 until 28th Dec, £13.49 thereafter
Another oldie, having graced the Wii U many years ago. This puzzle/platformer is fairly well liked, thanks to some clever puzzles based around magnetism and electricity.
Vostok Inc – £12.99
An odd and compelling combination of twin-stick shooting and business management.
Yodanji – £4.49
Kemco is responsible for coffee-break roguelike, based upon Japanese folklore tales.
The 3DS sees two new releases as well – Japanese Rail Sim 3D Travel of Steam (£13.49) and Squareboy vs Bullies: Arena Edition (£4.99) while the New 3DS receives Christmas Night Archery (£1.79), which looks suspiciously similar to the recent Halloween Night Archery.
Next week: Yooka-Laylee, The End is Nigh, Mutant Mudds Collection, Unepic, and One More Dungeon.