In absence of a new Nintendogs for Switch, long-running Japanese developer Imagineer has stepped in to offer an alternative.
Little Friends: Dogs & Cats allows animal lovers to pet and play with nine different breeds of cats and dogs, with three available at any given time. You can even dress them up in daft clothing, and splash out on scratching posts that they’ll no doubt only ever use once before sitting in the box it came in.
Sadly, review scores aren’t quite as high as Nintendo’s own pet simulators, mostly being a mixture of 5s and 6s. “[…] the frustrating give and take when using the Joy-Con and the disappointing limits of touchscreen controls really hamper the experience,” said TheSixthAxis. “Paired with a progression system that takes more away from the genre than it actually brings and the absence of any real element of replayability, there’s not much backing up the areas where Little Friends excels,” they continued.
Devolver Digital’s Gato Roboto is another new release with animal magnetism, and it couldn’t be any more different from the above. It’s a retro platform adventure with monochrome visuals, starring a feisty feline in a mech suit.
Nintendo Life was left smitten. “With tight controls, retro-styled minimal art style and a superb sense of progression, this is the perfect Metroidvania to play whilst you’re waiting for an actual Metroid or appropriate Castlevania game,” was their verdict.
Fans of Capcom’s Super Puzzle Fighter may want to investigate Crystal Crisis from Nicalis. It’s a colour-matching puzzle game featuring Quote and Curly Brace from Cave Story, Isaac from The Binding of Isaac, Astro Boy and Black Jack from Tezuka Productions, and, err, Johnny Turbo.
Destructoid felt it was worthy of an 8/10. “Outside of those pesky load times, it’s hard to find fault with Crystal Crisis. This is just a well-made game, a genuinely fun puzzler that challenges players to imagine new strategies with every character they try,” they said
2D hack ‘n slash RPG Lapis x Labyrinth is another loaded with magical crystals. A slightly tenuous link, we’ll admit. As you set about loot dungeons shiny gems flow thick and fast, even filling the entire screen at times. Also available on PS4 this week, scores are a mixture of 7 and 8s so far.
Switch Player’s review paints a positive picture: “Lapis X Labyrinth nails its combat loop and reward system to provide a dungeon-crawler that both veterans and newcomers will adore. Minor technical hiccups could do with being fixed, but otherwise this fully deserves a place on your Switch.”
An eShop round-up wouldn’t be complete without an incredibly belated re-release, so let’s welcome back Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – the touching story of two brothers trying to save their father. It was an essential release when it hit the Xbox 360 back in 2013, and it seems the years have been kind – it’s still an essential download, now featuring a new co-op mode. At £9.99 is a bit of a bargain, too.
Then we have Cricket 19, which IGN rather enjoyed despite their “Life’s a pitch” strapline. “Despite some rough edges, Cricket 19 is the closest to the real thing that a cricket game has ever been,” was their verdict. The Metacritic user score currently stands at 9.3…which seems oddly high. Perhaps some internet trolling is going on.
You’ll find the full list of new Switch releases below. Other highlights include horror adventure Among the Sleep: Enhanced Edition, the Minecraft-alike PixARK, construction sandbox adventure TerraTech, Game Boy-style puzzler Warlock’s Tower, and Arcade Archives ALPINE SKI – a Taito sports sim dating back to 1982.
New Switch eShop releases
Cricket 19 – £49.99
Earn World Glory At The Pinnacle Of Cricket! Play along through the mammoth summer of cricket with Cricket 19 – The Official Game of the 2019 Ashes. The complete cricket simulation from Big Ant Studios. Cricket 19 will allow you to lead the English to ODI and Ashes glory on home soil!
Little Friends: Dogs & Cats – £39.99
It’s time to meet your new Little Friends! These adorable puppies and kittens can’t wait to meet you in the first pet training game for Nintendo Switch! Play with up to 3 pets at once and own up to 12. Get to know their personalities and feed them their favourite food. Play with your pet using their favourite new toy or take them out for walks and compete in the flying disc tournament, using the Joy-Con motion controls or Nintendo Switch touch screen.
Among the Sleep: Enhanced Edition – £24.99
In the enhanced edition of this first person horror adventure, you step into the pyjamas of a two year old child creeping through a dark and distorted house. Find your missing mother as you wander through sinister and surreal surroundings ranging from a haunting playground to a lakeside cottage, with only a teddy bear by your side for comfort. Will you survive long enough to unravel the family secret and make it to the end of this pitch-black nightmare?
Animated Jigsaws Collection – £22.49
Complete moving jigsaw puzzles alone or team up with friends and finish them together! An easy-to-use interface such as separating edge and inner pieces makes solving puzzles fun and relaxing. Tackle the puzzles by yourself, or team up with friends and solve them together.
FUN! FUN! Animal Park – £29.99
If you go down to the zoo today, you’re sure of a big surprise! Join your lovable puppet guides on a tour of a park filled with animals, all itching to play some exciting mini-games with you!
Lapis x Labyrinth – £26.99
Help a struggling town recover from bankruptcy in an age of dwindling adventuring. Plunge into the mysterious Labyrinth while collecting more loot than you can ever imagine.
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa – £19.99
Everyone has a secret. Everybody has a dark side. Investigate the secrets of Fujisawa Academy across seven visual novel chapters – where each chapter hides the truth to one of the seven mysteries. Nothing is as it seems! Kotodama intentionally plays on classic tropes and clichés to continually twist the story and surprise the player.
PixARK – £44.99
Welcome to PixARK, a vast, wild world filled with vicious dinosaurs, magical creatures and endless adventure! To survive in this mysterious land, you must tame creatures both ferocious and cuddly, craft high tech and magical tools, and build your own base out of cubes.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – £9.99
Play with an all-new two-player mode for Nintendo Switch! Guide two brothers on an epic fairytale journey from visionary Swedish film director Josef Fares. Control both brothers at once as you experience co-op play in single-player – or team up with a friend through the heartfelt story.
Monkey Business – £7.19
Monkey business is a fun and exciting platform game that will keep you at the edge of your seat for days to come, with 4 Worlds, 36 levels to complete winning won’t come easy. Jump, climb and fight with strange creatures, complete levels and open up new levels and World’s. Travel through this adventure and reach the final level to fight against the Big Boss, we dare you!
Chime Sharp – £9.99
Place pieces, paint the board, make music. Chime Sharp is a sequel to 2009’s Chime, a music puzzle game with an addictive, ambient heartbeat. You join shapes to cover a grid, while a beatline reads those shapes as notes. As you cover the board, the music builds to a beautiful crescendo of your own design.
Crystal Crisis – £26.99
An all-star cast of heroes has gathered to test their mettle in Crystal Crisis, a cute and chaotic new color-matching combat game! Crystal Crisis is presented like a one-on-one fighting game, but instead of kicking and punching, players attack by arranging colorful falling crystals and clearing them from the screen.
GoFishing 3D – £10.79
GoFishing3D The Real Fishing is a realistic simulator game. We offer many big fishing areas, around which you can move freely, as well as sail across the water on your boat. We have a wide variety of hooks, baits and other fishing equipment. You can personalise your character: male & female characters available.
Octogeddon – £6.88
You are Octogeddon, a massive mutant octopus with one mission: DESTROY the world! Grow more tentacles and evolve each of them into deadlier and deadlier weapons! Become the ultimate eight-legged killing machine!
Happy Words – £8.99
Happy words is a word based real time online multiplayer board game for 2 to 4 players in which you have to create new words based on existing ones. The object of Happy-Words is to score more points than your opponents. A player collects points by placing words on the game board. Each letter has a different point value, so the strategy becomes to play words with high scoring letter combinations.
TerraTech – £19.99
Explore, build, craft and battle across alien worlds in this physics-based construction sandbox adventure. Design cars, tanks and planes from a huge library of blocks. Scavenge, craft and buy new parts in order to survive and become the ultimate planetary prospector.
Vectronom – £8.99
Feel like solving three-dimensional riddles to a frenetic electronic soundtrack? Let Vectronom inject its colorful madness into your life! It’s easy to get into the groove but can you stick to the beat?
30-in-1 Game Collection: Volume 2 – £6.74
Six exotic islands filled with games and trophies are waiting for adventurers of all skill levels! Explore the islands solo, invite a group of friends over for some local co-op and competitive gameplay, or round up the troops for some wholesome family gaming! Race across island maps in a quest to be crowned Island Ruler!
Ages of Mages: The Last Keeper – £9.89
Take the princess back! Ages of Mages: The Last Keeper is the perfect TPS beat ’em up game for a great weekend on your couch with family and friends. The kingdom is under attack and the princess has been taken! Can our four mages assume the responsibility of Guardian and reinvigorate the ages of the mages?
Arcade Archives ALPINE SKI – £6.29
ALPINE SKI is an arcade sports game released by Taito in 1982. Hit the silver slopes and glide across 3 different stages! Look out for obstacles, other skiers, and snowmobiles. Nail the correct timing on the ski jump to score bonus points!
Anarcute – £13.49
These are dark times. A group of evil corporations has taken over the major cities of the world. They took control of the media, brainwashed the police and now shamelessly dictate the citizens’ lives from the heights of their skyscrapers.
Gato Roboto – £6.11
Pounce inside of your cozy armored mech and set off on a dangerous trek through an alien underworld full of irritable creatures and treacherous obstacles in a valiant effort to save your stranded captain and his crashed spaceship. Tiptoe outside the friendly confines of your technological marvel and follow your feline instincts through tight tunnels and mysterious waterways to scavenge for new weapons and gear. Adventure awaits the most curious of cats in Gato Roboto!
Ragtag Adventurers – £8.99
Ragtag Adventurers is a boss rush game that pits 4 heroes against terrible monsters in Shared Screen Multiplayer. Play alone or with friends against challenging bosses that will put your skills to the test.
Season Match 2 – £8.99
Unravel the mystery of the ice conspiracy and bring seasons back! The fairytale kingdom relies on you! On your way to victory there are 35 battle levels, 35 unique hidden-object games and seven minigames. Face your enemies while solving arcade logical puzzles.
Crypt of the Serpent King – £2.69
Crypt of the Serpent King is a medieval first-person hack’n’slash dungeon crawler with roguelike elements. Explore large, randomly generated dungeons. Fight goblins, orcs, skeletons, giant spiders and all sorts of underworld creatures using melee and ranged weapons. Jump over lava pits and spike traps.
Golem Gates – £17.99
Golem Gates is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi blend of action-strategy and card battler, pitting your conjured armies against otherworldly forces. Choose from 100 cards (known as Glyphs) and unleash diverse units, buildings, buffs, and more in tactical combat across single player, online co-op, and online competitive multiplayer.
Robot Squad Simulator – £13.49
Become an elite pilot of special Robot Squad. Use specialized, remotely controlled robots, which you will control yourself. Deal with the hardest missions which can’t be performed directly by people due to the conditions. Human life and safety is in your hands!
Selma and the Wisp – £7.19
Selma and the Wisp is a platform game with a particularly eerie feel to it. Densely packed with logical puzzles and unexpected obstacles, innovative gameplay.
Watermelon Party – £3.99
Watermelon Party is an action puzzle game for 2-4 players where players compete against each other. Players are given tiles of different shapes and need to lay a path for their hero to walk across the map and collect all the watermelons.
Warlock’s Tower – £3.99
Warlock’s Tower is a retro puzzler with elegantly designed levels around one simple rule – one move equals one life lost. Playing as mailman Tim, you must brave the tower and its complex rooms of maddening puzzles, in a bid to reach the top and deliver a peace offering to the Warlock.
Super Arcade Soccer – £4.40
Super Arcade Soccer is a fun soccer game with arcade playability; direct, accessible control; and a wide range of actions, such as passing, centering, skill shots…
New Switch demos
Hob: The Definitive Edition Demo
Assault On Metaltron Demo
The World Next Door Demo
New on 3DS eShop
Timberman – £1.79
Enter the digital forest and find out! Discover the Nintendo 3DS version of this classic, casual game – slice and dice trees in an arcade-style, challenge your friends and be the fastest timberman alive! Timberman now features a single player challenge, to test your skills, unlock all characters, and have fun with your friends!
Next week: Red Siren: Space Defense, Tiny Derby, Perchang, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, Word Wheel by POWGI, Dyna Bomb, Refunct, and Warlocks 2: God Slayers.