This week was already looking reasonably busy for the Switch with Peaky Blinders, Samurai Jack, Collar X Malice and PGA Tour 2K21 due. Nintendo then went and sprung an Indie Direct on the world, and now we have more new games to discuss. The more the merrier, eh?
In a typical ‘surprise’ fashion, a handful are available now. The cross-genre Spiritfarer – which has everything from action platforming to town management – was reviewed by the press on its surprise launch day, currently boasting an impressive 83% Metacritic.
“Spiritfarer is a cozy game about helping spirits move on. Its wide scope of systems and resources can sometimes get in its own way, but when working in harmony it unveils a touching narrative, all the while adorned by gorgeous art. Best enjoyed in small pieces, Spiritfarer is a warm and inviting world to get lost in, with the occasional emotional gut punch for good measure,” said US Gamer.
A Short Hike lives us to its name, entailing an eventful journey to a mountain’s summit. You can choose to stay on the beaten path or venture off course, stopping to fish and take in the sights along the way. We should probably note that you play as a small bluebird. An impulse price point seals the deal – £5.66 until the end of the month.
Raji: An Ancient Epic, meanwhile, is set in ancient India and involves a battle between Gods and demons. You play as Raji, who has been chosen to protect the human race. The 3D environments are crafted with hand-drawn textures, while combat has a tactical edge.
Then there’s Takeshi and Hiroshi, a comical cartoon RPG with puppet animation. Here, budding game designer Takeshi, who’s just 14-year-old, sets about creating an RPG his younger brother can play. As the game is unfinished, Takeshi has to improvise to make sure Hiroshi has a good time.
Going back to our scheduled planning, TV show tie-in Peaky Blinders: Mastermind entails planning heists in advance via Tommy’s planning skills, while Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time lets players revisit key points in the cartoon’s history before tying into the finale of the current series.
PGA Tour 2K21 – nee The Golf Club – goes big on customisation this year, letting you play your own way.
Helheim Hassle – a cartoon adventure in which the hero can tear off their limbs to solve puzzles – is another noteworthy release. IGN gave it a thumbs up: “Helheim Hassle is a limb-lobbing, rib-tickling puzzle-platformer that suffers slightly from overly finicky controls.”
Two visual novels are upon us too – 2017’s Collar × Malice makes the jump from PS Vita, joined by Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue, set in a world where flying through the air is as simple as riding a bicycle.
The full list of eShop releases is below. Others of note include Norman’s Great Illusion, starring a humble engineer tasked with difficult choices, early 2000s style 3D hack and slasher Kwaidan ～Azuma manor story～, and the low budget horror Paratopic which likewise has 32-bit era visuals.
New Switch eShop releases
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time – £35.99
Voiced by the original voice-actors, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is an action platform game that spans across time and space, where your actions will determine a new legend!
An Untold Adventure That Ties Into the Epic Series Finale
Team up with trusted allies from the show to face off against familiar enemies.
Explore Worlds from the Award Winning Series
Peaky Blinders : Mastermind – £19.99
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a puzzle-adventure game, based on the multi-award-winning BBC and Netflix TV show.
Welcome to Birmingham, during the aftermath of the Great War. Set right before the events of Season One, Peaky Blinders: Mastermind lets you join the Shelby family’s criminal gang. Follow the rise of Tommy as he successfully uncovers a sinister plot to put the family out of business, proving himself worthy of being the true mastermind of the Peaky Blinders.
Mastermind refers to Tommy’s ability to plan complex scenarios in his head. As the player, you get to exercise this power by taking control of key members of the Shelby family including Tommy, Arthur, Polly and more. Become the Mastermind as you freely reset and rewind each character’s path in order to tune all of their actions for perfect coordination.
Achieve the highest mission rating by strategically utilising characters and stealth to solve increasingly complex puzzles with optimum timing.
Norman’s Great Illusion – £4.49
Make difficult decisions, but keep in mind: you will have to pay for each choice.
Have you ever wondered why, individually good and peace-loving citizens, merging into society, allow the coming to power of forces that have diametrically opposed their principles and goals? “Norman’s Great Illusion” is our attempt to talk about this phenomenon.
Gleamlight – £14.99
Immerse yourself amid the beautiful stained glass artistry as you navigate without the reliance of any standard game UI, while tracing the world’s mysterious unspoken story.
What will you, as Gleam, sense and feel through your travels across this beautiful, yet fearsome world of glass?
Chinese Parents – £9.99
This is probably the most heart-warming simulation game you have ever played.
As a child born in an ordinary family, there is a journey ahead of you, a journey of growth from birth to adult——
Faced with the choices in life, how would you respond?
Faced with the talented kids, can you stand out?
Faced with your true love, how would you deal with your heart…
The most important thing is that in this era of rapid development, how many generations will you need?
KIDS: FARM COLOURING – £4.49
Kids: Farm Colouring lets you paint all the most popular farming animals! From a duck to pig, from a sheep to cow!
Have you seen a funny colourful chicken? A smiling donkey in a rainbow?
Everything is possible! The sky is the limit.
Ellipsis – £4.49
Be smart and be fast to overcome the challenges of your journey.
You will face countless enemies crossing your paths and a stunning universe unfolding before you.
Fly through levels, dodging and evading enemies before they have a chance to react. Or explore leisurely, mastering each world and uncovering all its secrets. Either way, Ellipsis will keep you on your toes with surprises from start to finish.
Retro Tanks – £5.99
Retro Tanks is an intense, fast-paced tank shooter game. It is fun, easy to learn and addicting. Play alone, together with friends or against your friends and show your navigation and reaction skills in 6 different game modes and countless levels.
Kwaidan ～Azuma manor story～ – £19.99
Kwaidan mixes classic 3D horror action with point-click adventure to provide a nostalgic-yet-new experience. With no guns, strategy is needed to take on the Yoki close up with traditional weapons such as naginata, magatama and mirror that releases a deadly aura.
As you explore the grounds of the mansion you can call up a cursor to examine points of interest and discover items that can aid you in your quest. Kwaidan is a unique blend of action-adventure with classic high-wire suspense from beginning to end that will keep you on your toes.
Retro style polygon graphics evoke classic games of the early 2000s, with movie-reel-style presentation. Select between Origin Mode for authentic “tank-style” controls, or Modern Mode for standard analog movement and a new subtle cel-shaded look.
Runestone Keeper – £8.99
Now on Nintendo Switch, Runestone Keeper will keep you coming back for one more floor, one more run, as you try to push through the dangers of the dungeon!
Heroes, monsters, equipment, events, magic and skills, traps and devices, shrines and altars, Goddesses and merchants. Choose your weapon and begin an epic adventure!
Collar X Malice -Unlimited- – £44.99
The danger has only begun!
Return to the thrilling, deadly world of Collar X Malice with exclusive Interlude, After Story, and Adonis play modes. Revisit the characters and events of the original game, as you build new relationships while picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the first X-Day Incident.
Then buckle up for an entirely new investigatory experience as you search for traitors hidden deep within the shadowy Adonis organization. Embark on a desperate race against time before the next cataclysmic X-Day arrives!
The Eternal Castle [REMASTERED] – £14.99
The Eternal Castle [REMASTERED] is an ambitious attempt to modernize an old classic in order to keep its memory alive. Through detailed research and hard work, the production team tried to expand the experience while keeping the same ‘feel’ and emotional flow of the original masterpiece from 1987.
Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue – £24.99
Welcome to a world where people fly freely through the power of anti-gravity shoes. Become a coach for players who race in the sky and make the acquaintance of four charismatic girls. Follow their adventures as you all grow closer in this emotional story of hope, love and sportsmanship.
4×4 Dirt Track – £10.79
The amazing 4×4 Dirt Track offers challenges and adventure! It’s time to get muddy in the realistic Off Road Environment and face driving challenges that only the most skilled drivers can complete.
All of the in-game tasks and missions are inspired by real Off Road Driving Competitions. They will test your driving skills and precision, letting you prove yourself as an extreme driver.
One Line Coloring – £4.99
One Line Coloring is a vibrant puzzle game about creating lively shapes that compose and fold into beautiful, themed dioramas. One Line Coloring offers a relaxing, creative experience built around lines that uncover charming objects. Inspired by classic, pen-and-paper game of connecting dots, One Line Coloring gives players an impression of actually drawing the full object, line by line. Some objects are easily recognizable as our everyday items, others need to be completed to reveal their true form.
PGA TOUR 2K21 – £49.99
Real-world scanning brings the fairway, green, bunkers, trees, lakes and ponds to life! True-to-form PGA TOUR broadcast presentation features slick graphics, dynamic cut-scenes and a seamless replay system, all anchored by the play-by-play commentary of Luke Elvy and Rich Beem.
Even the Ocean – £14.99
A lowly power plant technician for Whiteforge City, Aliph, finds her world turned upside-down after a routine maintenance trip goes awry. Now, working directly with Mayor Biggs to face an unknown menace, Aliph must navigate her newfound power and influence to save the city.
Aliph’s identities, environmental issues and the world’s fate all hang in the balance of Light and Dark energies.
Paratopic – £4.99
You got caught smuggling VHS tapes across the border, and now there’s hell to pay. You want to find an elusive rare bird in the forest and snap its picture. You have to kill a man in the back room of a shady diner.
This is Paratopic, an experimental first-person horror game named by Rock, Paper, Shotgun as one of the best games of 2018, and by FACT mag as having one of the top 10 soundtracks of the year.
Parking Madness – £4.49
Parking Madness is a challenging and addictive puzzle game. Help get your car out of many difficult parking situations. Try to finish the game in as little moves as possible. You need to get your car out the Exit gate.
To accomplish this just move the blocking vehicles out of the way. The game comes with 4 difficulties ranging from Beginner to Expert.
Manifold Garden – £16.19
Manifold Garden is a game that reimagines the laws of physics.
Rediscover gravity and explore a beautiful Escher-esque world of impossible architecture. Geometry repeats infinitely in every direction, and falling down leads you back to where you started. Manipulate gravity to change your perspective and see the world in new ways. Master the rules of the universe and restore a barren world with vegetation and life.
Evergate – £16.99
Wield your Soulflame, unleash extraordinary powers, and dive into the touching story of two kindred spirits. Guide the child-like soul Ki on a journey through the beautiful and haunting Afterlife in this unique 2D puzzle platformer.
Takeshi and Hiroshi – £7.00
“Takeshi and Hiroshi” combines the two worlds of puppet animation and Role Playing Game. It tells the story of two brothers and their daily life. The 14-year-old Takeshi, a game designer to-be, is creating a game for his weak little brother Hiroshi who always wants to play the next chapter of the game as soon as possible.
Raji: An Ancient Epic – £22.49
The story of Raji: An Ancient Epic begins with the start of a new war between the demons and the gods. Seeking to avenge their defeat in the last great war from a thousand years ago, the demons have challenged the gods who humiliated them and have invaded the human realm, threatening them with extinction.
Spiritfarer – £23.79
You play Stella, ferrymaster to the deceased, a Spiritfarer. Build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas. Join the adventure as Daffodil the cat, in two-player cooperative play. Spend relaxing quality time with your spirit passengers, create lasting memories, and, ultimately, learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.
A Short Hike – £5.66
Follow the marked trails or explore the backcountry as you make your way to the summit. Along the way, meet other hikers, discover hidden treasures, and take in the world around you.
Helheim Hassle – £15.09
Helheim Hassle is a narrative adventure game that is as much about friendship as it is about body parts.
From the same universe (and set on the same Tuesday in fact) as previous hit Manual Samuel, comes this macabre adventure where you play as Bjørn, a pacifist Viking who hates the idea of dying and going to Valhalla… who then ends up dying and getting taken to Valhalla. When Bjørn is resurrected to assist with a task for the mysterious Pesto, he sees a way to negotiate his way out. Using Bjørn’s undying corpse with its ability to detach and combine limbs at will, players must solve challenging puzzles and navigate tricky levels in order to retrieve a certain magical item… In return, Pesto will try to grant Bjørn a permanent residence in Helheim – what a hassle!
Poker Hands – £0.89
When two cards touch, they merge into one!
50 Levels that will challenge you to form different poker hands;
Designed for experienced poker players and newcomers alike (you do not need to know how to play poker to enjoy this game);
Original Soundtrack, composed especially for this game;
Cecconoid – £9.99
The starship Equinox is under attack from Stormlord and his robotic minions, the Exolons! You’re the crew’s only hope. Take your Samurai-1 fighter, find Captain Solomon’s Key, clear the decks of evil robots, and save the Equinox from certain destruction!
Cecconoid is an 8-bit inspired, flick-screen, twin-stick-shooter, set in an alternate dimension where the pixels are still chunky, and the bad guys are black and white.
Except for their dangly red bits…
Next week: Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, Street Power Football, No Straight Roads, Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse: Part 1, Over the Alps, Jets’n’Guns 2, Hero Hours Contract, Hypnospace Outlaw, Windbound, Nexomon: Extinction, Struggling, Commander Keen in Keen Dreams: Definitive Edition, Serious Scramblers, Newton’s Cradle Puzzle Game, #NoLimitFantasy Super Puzzles Dream, Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars, Giraffe and Annika, Road To Guangdong, and Collapsed.