Lots of lovely Switch indies have gained impressively high review scores from the gaming press this week. A couple we could see coming from a mile off, having already proven their worth on other formats.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is one such game – a superbly designed downhill racer with plenty of picturesque views. In fact, stopping for a break to absorb the surroundings is part of the experience.
We awarded the Xbox One version an 8/10 late last year. â€œBy keeping things bloat-free, Megagon Industries has been able to refine the core basics to perfection,â€ we said.
The Switch version gained a 9/10 from Nintendo World Report: â€œWhether you enjoy the tranquility of a nice ride through a beautiful forest, or the adrenaline rush of flying down a hill at breakneck speeds, Lonely Mountains: Downhill is the type of game that can make time float away like a leaf in the breeze of a sweet Spring morning.â€
Roguelike FPS Void Bastards â€“ inspired by Bioshock and System Shock â€“ received an almost equally impressive 8.5 from Nintendo World Report, as well as an 8/10 from Noisy Pixel. â€œWhere it lacks in FPS mechanics, it makes up for with its addictive gameplay loop. The Switch port might not be the prettiest version available, but the short levels make it perfect for quick sessions. Those looking for a darkly funny roguelike will find almost everything they want in Void Bastards,â€ they said.
The Switch also gets belated conversions of the third-person adventure STONE â€“ starring a koala detective â€“ and Spirit of the North, a visually appealing tale of an Icelandic fox. Atari’s PONG Quest is out too â€“ a fusion of PONG and a typical RPG, using good bat â€˜n ball matches as a combat system.
Then there’s Fury Unleashed, a comic-book style run and gunner with randomised elements. â€œApart from some at times tiny writing on the Switch handheld, it looks sublime, has riffage for days, and represents an excellent run and gun wormhole to disappear down in these bonkers times,â€ said God is a Geek before dishing out an 8/10.
Other new releases to mull over include management sim Tennis Club Story, faux 8-bit beat’em up Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl, retro racer ’80s Overdrive, and SuperMash â€“ a curious ditty based around fusing two genres together to make your own mini-games. Maybe that’s how Atari came up with PONG Quest.
New Switch eShop releases
Void Bastards – Â£24.99
Forget everything you know about first-person shooters: Void Bastards asks you to take charge, not just point your gun and fire. Your task is to lead the rag-tag Void Bastards out of the Sargasso Nebula. You make the decisions: where to go, what to do and who to fight. And then you must carry out that strategy in the face of strange and terrible enemies.
On board derelict spaceships you’ll plan your mission, taking note of the ship layout, what hazards and enemies you might encounter and what terminals and other ship systems you can use to your advantage…
80’s OVERDRIVE – Â£8.99
80’S OVERDRIVE is a 2D pixel art racing game, designed to take you back in time to when 8 and 16 bit consoles and arcade games ruled the world. Compete against opponents in career mode to unlock new races, buy new cars, and upgrade them with state-of-the-art technologies! Try your skill in time attack mode and see how far you can get in this race against the clock! Create your own tracks with built-in track generator and easily share them with your friends!
Fledgling Heroes – Â£7.99
Leap from the nest into a fun-filled adventure! Meet cute feathered friends, each with their own wondrous story to tell, as they dodge dastardly pirate lizARRrds, dash through frozen forests, dive under sunken temples, and flap their way from fledglings to a fully-fledged heroes!
Relic Hunters Zero: Remix – Â£10.79
Follow the crew of the Spaceheart as they run, gun, and dodge their way through unrelenting force as they race for the ancient relics against the evil Ducans. Assume control as one of the Relic Hunters and venture through several different game modes in this frantic, 2D, twin-stick, shooting roguelike. Power-ups, a bounty of weapons, charmingly unique characters, and the support of a dedicated community perfectly blend together to create an experience that has been years in the making.
Monochrome World – Â£8.99
Monochrome World features the journey of a raindrop to recolor the gray world.
Bring back the colors to the world in a total of 60 stages!
Ghost Files: Memory of a Crime – Â£13.49
They say a good story begins with an earthquake and works its way up to a climax.
The story of Arthur Christie begins with a painful wake up in a dark basement with an unknown murder victim and memory gaps larger than bullet holes. A moment later the building is surrounded by howling police sirens. And all this before the sun even reached noon.
The day began lousy and chances for improvement are slim – so now he has to start his own investigation and prove his innocence. For this detective Christie will need to recreate his lost memories and immerse himself in the dark reality of a serial killer called The Executioner.
Infinite – Beyond the Mind – Â£7.99
Infinite Beyond The Mind is a slick 2D action-platformer where you take on evil Queen Evangelyn Bramann, ruler of The Beljantaur Kingdom as she works towards her dream of world domination. Play as either Tanya or Olga, two girls who have the power to stop the Beljantaur Kingdom’s growing army and take down the evil Queen.
Take on a range of different bosses in either single-player or co-op across a variety of stunning chibi pixel art style backdrops as you explore the Beljantaur Kingdom.
Cloudbase Prime – Â£7.19
You are lost in the depths of a gas giant mining station where things have gone very, very wrong. Move terrain to clear paths, launch enemies, and fling yourself skyward. Get ready to shoot a lot of robots and jump into the colorful clouds of Cloudbase Prime!
The abandoned world in those clouds is full of weird and wonderful dangers. Discover friendly robots, discover murdery robots, grappling-hook onto enemy airships, fight giant bosses, and swim inside huge floating jellyfish.
Tennis Club Story – Â£11.69
Aim for the ace position of tennis club prestige in this simulation! Your leadership decides if players make it to the big time or bust! Customize your training menu to focus on power or technique, molding players as you please for competitions, fame, and snazzy sponsors!
Sponsors will fund hard-working athletes with big bucks, in addition to providing top-notch gear, items, and more. Some corporations might even build you a hot springs spa or restaurant! Sign with a variety of sponsors and live the good life!
Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl – Â£12.29
Play as Jay and Silent Bob in a retro 8-bit sidescrolling brawler. Go solo or team up with a friend. Pummel enemies with hard-hitting combos, dash attacks, and elbow drops as well as a random assortment of weapons as you battle your way out of the mall and back to the Quickstop.
Slayin 2 – Â£10.79
Engage endless hordes of monsters up close as a valiant knight, or shower them with arrows, bombs, and spells using 8 unlockable heroes with completely different skillsets and playstyles.
Face the forces of darkness alone or team up with a friend in local co-op with a drop-in multiplayer feature.
Watch each other’s backs, hoard treasures, revive your fallen teammate and keep up your combos in your endless pursuit of fame and fortune.
Unravel ancient mysteries, defeat legendary bosses and discover hidden areas while you explore the world of Slayin 2.
Spirit of the North – Â£19.99
Spirit of the North is a single-player 3rd-person adventure game inspired by the breathtaking and mysterious landscapes of Iceland.
The story takes root from various pieces of Nordic folklore. The game is unique in that it purposefully has no dialog or narrative. Players must breathe in their surroundings to solve various puzzles and speculate the meaning of a lost ancient civilization.
Play as an ordinary red fox who’s story becomes entwined with the guardian of the Northern Lights, a female spirit fox. As you journey over the mountains and under red-stained skies, you’ll discover more about your companion and land left in ruin.
The Bullet: Time of Revenge – Â£4.09
Become a Bullet – eliminate bad people using many kinds of weapons, exploring features like driving cars or tanks, flying helicopters or a jet plane. There are many achievements and unlockables that will help spread chaos in the city.
Gerritory – Â£6.79
Gerritory is a 4-player action party game with unique game rules and minimalistic visuals.
You and your friends control cube characters to move in various levels and color tiles to score points. The one who is behind the scoreboard can kill another player with a higher point by stepping on them. If you reach the goal point or have the highest point when the time is up, you win!
Lonely Mountains: Downhill – Â£17.99
Just you and your bike – take it on a thrilling ride down an unspoiled mountain landscape. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash – all the way from the peak to the valley!
Bomb – Â£8.09
Bomb is a fun and easy to play arcade game where the goal is to defeat your opponent.
Each player places bombs on the ground which explode within a few seconds and if you blow up one of the hidden bonus objects you could win a Power-up which will make you explosions bigger or an extra bombs which will let you to place multiple bombs at a time.
With several different kinds of randomly created playing levels to play, no game will be the same.
PONG Quest – Â£13.49
PONG Questâ„¢ is a new take on the seminal arcade smash. Take control of a brave young paddle and traverse treacherous lands – each loosely based on various classic AtariÂ® hits – in this uniquely PONGÂ®-themed dungeon-crawling RPG. Dress up your paddle and equip special balls with unique abilities to battle aggressive foes in Quest or online opponents in a new take on the classic PONG gameplay.
Dark Burial – Â£3.59
A dark army approaches your lands. It is your duty as first witness and sentinel to report to your people as soon as possible. Or is it too late? Not if your aim is fast and smart!
Armed with your sturdy crossbow, slay skeletons, witches and other abominations who will regret leaving the underworld. The way ahead is unfortunately also full of pitfalls and hazards…but, again, nothing that a well-placed arrow can’t answer!
Take your courage (aka crossbow) in both hands and go light the signal fires! It is your sentinel’s job, don’t let your people down.
Feathery Ears – Â£8.99
A retro styled 3D platformer that lets players come at challenges from whatever angle you want. Ashley Dengra is a 9th grade artist with a sketchbook to doodle her “Original Characters” like Misa Ikko, the green-haired, feathery-eared fire sword girl with a great fluffy green tail.
STONE – Â£13.49
G’day, I’m Stone. Here’s our Nintendo Switch page. Play this feature length interactive story (don’t expect shooting or winning or losing) and see what happened. Yeah it was rough, but a good life lesson. Enjoy, and remember don’t do this at home ya bunch of crazy animals.
By the way this story really isn’t going to be for everyone. So enter at your own risk, mate.
Plus this was created by a global team including the narrative designer of QUANTUM BREAK, CONTROL and VFX artist from GRAVITY, PROMETHEUS & more.
You’re in good hands, mate.
Fury Unleashed – Â£17.99
It’s a game you can even beat in one ultimate combo. Are you up to the task?
â€¢ Ever-changing comic book â€“ Explore the pages of a living comic book where ink is your most valuable resource and each room is a comic panel. Find out why John Kowalsky, creator of acclaimed Fury Unleashed series, is having a creativity crisis and see if you can help him deal with it.
â€¢ Gameplay-impacting combo system â€“ Kill enemies quickly enough to unleash your fury and rip through everything in your way without getting injured. Learn to play flawlessly and beat the entire game in one epic combo!
â€¢ Game customization options â€“ Choose either the challenging Hard mode (which will put your skills to the test) or Easy mode (where you can adjust the difficulty parameters any way you want). Beat Hard mode to unlock access to even harder Incredible and Legendary modes. Disable blood and gore if you don’t like it, or if there are young children around. Go solo or bring in a friend for a local co-op session.
SuperMash – Â£16.99
Jume’s game shop is in trouble, and she needs her brother Tomo’s help to save it! Mash together iconic genres to create never-before-seen gaming experiences. Jump through classic Platformer levels with a tactical Stealth character, fight as spaceships in engaging JRPG battles, and more! Anything is possible with SuperMash’s emergent game system, which creates a unique game every time you play. You can even customize your Mashes with the help of Dev Cards! Think the Mash you made is impossible? Share its MASH Code with a friend or streamer and see if they can beat it!
Megabyte Punch – Â£17.99
Megabyte Punch takes place in a computer universe where you have to protect the Heartcore of your village. You defend your people from the Valk Empire and the dreaded Khoteps in 6 different levels with each 3 stages and a boss fight!
As you travel through the worlds, you battle other creatures to get their parts. Parts have their own powers and bonuses, like gun arms for a shoot ability or powerful hips for a devastating pelvic thrust attack. The whole adventure is playable with up to 4 players at once. Using the abilities of your customized fighter, you can also battle your friends in a destructible arena or you can compete in the tournament to test your own skills.
Reed 2 – Â£4.99
Reed awakensâ€¦ to the memories of the old supercomputerâ€¦ Reed failed. The reboot failed and now the digital world is once again breaking down. Before the old supercomputer malfunctioned, it gave Reed backup files that must be delivered to the Developer.
Collect information cubes once again in a desolate version of the last remnants of the digital world. Dodge floor spikes, razor blades, enemies, and wall arrows to reach the next stage! Find hidden survivors trying to escape from the new horrors of the corruption.
Highrise Heroes: Word Challenge – Â£5.99
Following a sudden earthquake, Seb must escape a crumbling skyscraper. Along the way he will make some intriguing new friends, and together they might just unravel the sinister origins of the ‘quake, assuming they can evade the mysterious stalker in close pursuit…
Starting at the top and working down, the game’s 90+ levels take place inside the skyscraper. The player creates words on a grid of letters and obstacles, clearing a path for Seb and friends to descend.
Tonight We Riot – Â£13.50
In a dystopia where wealthy capitalists control elections, media, and the lives of working people, we’re faced with two choices — accept it or fight for something better.
Tonight We Riot doesn’t have just one hero. Instead, you play as a movement of people whose well-being determines the success of your revolution.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game – Â£14.49
Play Harry Dresden and his friends as they take on the cases from the bestselling Dresden Files novels in the ultimate what-if scenarioâ€”what if Harry was on the scene with allies who weren’t there in the original story?
The core game includes Harry, Murphy, Susan, Michael, and the Alphas and plays through the first five novels as well as Side Jobs, a random scenario generator based on the short story collection of the same name.
Next week: TT Isle of Man Ride on the Edge 2, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, Dungeon of the Endless, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix, Jet Lancer, Huntdown, Super Mega Baseball 3, Island Saver, Carnage: Battle Arena, Shmup Collection, and Kakuro Magic.