European Switch owners woke to find Pac-Man 99 – the latest online battle royale – had stealth launched overnight, revealed by Nintendo of America during the small hours.
‘Pac-Man Jammers’ can be sent to other players to disrupt their game, while munching ‘Ghost Trains’ can help stage a comeback. Themes based on Xevious, GALAGA, and Dig Dug also let you change the game’s look, albeit at a price – these are purchasable DLC.
Even without Pac-Man 99’s surprise appearance, it’s a busy week for the Switch. STAR WARS: Republic Commando has been faring better than Stubbs the Zombie – publisher Aspyr’s last HD re-release – with review scores being a mixture of 7s and 8s. Not much in the way of improvements but it holds up regardless is the consensus.
“I happily played Republic Commando on a Switch Lite and enjoyed every minute. It felt great to be back in Delta Squad, especially now that I’m able to take that experience with me,” said Polygon.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is another major release, clocking in at £53.99 on the eShop. The PS4 version was very well received by JRPG fans.
That’s joined by the wet and wild shooter ASTRO AQUA KITTY, a follow-up of sorts to the excellent Aqua Kitty UDX. Think Defender meets Metroid, with a smattering of RPG elements. Reviews are yet to surface but early impressions are positive.
We’re still waiting on reviews of the outer space survival adventure Breathedge. It reportedly plays a lot like Subnatuca, if that helps swing things for you. The PC version – from earlier this year – currently has a 70% Metacritic and a 7.1 user score.
Then there’s Say No! More – quite possibly the greatest PSone game that never was. This low poly adventure entails changing the world by shouting “no!”, leading to many comical situations. We’ll have a review soon. Say no more.
Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks), meanwhile, allegedly resembles a Dreamcast era game. It’s a 3D tower building party package that VideoChums rather enjoyed.
Animal Crossing style lifestyle-sim Cozy Grove – set on a haunted island – makes the jump from Apple Arcade, losing little in translation.
Nintendo World Report’s review is worth a read. “For those Animal Crossing fans out there looking for something close to what you’ve already experienced with New Horizons, this is the perfect drop-in-drop-out version of that experience and is definitely a must-try title, even with the hard feelings over how long it takes to really get to know that seagull-bear,” was their verdict.
Hip-hop infused spaghetti western Luckslinger is a belated conversion, likewise, making its mark on PC way back in 2015. Like the name suggests, luck plays a key part in forging your fortunes.
“The luck elements don’t always alter the course of level progression in a meaningful way, and the platforming and adventure elements can feel a bit disconnected from each other, but still the whole hip-hop presentation of Luckslinger manages to shine, thanks to the soundtrack,” claimed TheXboxHub.
Emotional story Lost Words: Beyond The Page, which deals with trauma and similar themes, has gained somewhat mixed reviews – everything from 5/10 to 9/10. “Lost Words is an emotional journey that is told beautifully, and only slightly let down by the lack of gameplay and puzzles in between the fantastic storytelling,” was Cultured Vultures’ verdict.
What the Dub?! flies the flag for quiz games, surprising us with its low £5.99 entry price. This party game entails dubbing over PSAs and ‘B movie’ clips via your smartphone. It should please fans of the Jackbox party packs.
Two full-price visual novels are upon us too. ISLAND will set you back an eyebrow-raising £53.99, while The House in Fata Morgana is a tad more modest £31.49. Fans of the genre don’t necessarily have to open their wallets this wide, however – Legends of Talia: Arcadia is also out this week, launching for a mere £2.99. If you’re curious about visual novels, this may be a good place to start.
New Switch eShop releases
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV – £53.99
The long awaited finale to the epic engulfing a continent comes to a head in the final chapter of the Trails of Cold Steel saga!
IT’S WAR! The continent of Zemuria is dragged into conflict as the Erebonian Empire mobilizes the full force of its military. The heroes of Class VII old and new must unite to end the conflict before it consumes the continent.
STAR WARS Republic Commando – £13.49
Boss, Fixer, Scorch, and Sev, better known as Delta Squad, are back on Nintendo Switch™! Relive the legendary campaign.
Welcome to the Clone Wars: Chaos has erupted throughout the galaxy. As leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos, your mission is to infiltrate, dominate, and ultimately annihilate the enemy.
Battle Relentless Enemies: Battle a variety of highly intelligent and deadly enemies—from brutal Trandoshan mercenaries to the flying insectoid warriors of Geonosis.
The Squad is Your Weapon: Your squad will follow your orders, performing complex commands and strategic maneuvers. You are their leader. They are your weapon.
PAC-MAN 99 – £0.00
Take on the world and aim to be the last PAC-MAN chomping in PAC-MAN 99 for Nintendo Switch, a new online battle royale game available free as a special offer to Nintendo Switch Online members.
Enter the world of PAC-MAN…with a twist! Roam the maze, eat Pac-Dots and avoid Ghosts, all while competing online against 98 other players as you try to stay alive. The longer you last, the faster things get – will you survive and become the PAC-ONE?
Potion Party -£8.99
Step into the colorful world of Potion Party, and run your own alchemy shop in this fast-paced party game!
Grow exotic fruits, and synthesize them together to produce fabulous potions! Earn gold, grow your humble shop, and unlock new and unique characters, each with their own special skills. Using your earnings, decorate and grow your shop with an array of different items. Beware however – enemies and intruders lurk in the shadows, who want to mess up your shop! Defend against them and maintain the best shop possible.
Brew potions together with up to 4 friends in co-op mode, or play against them in versus mode to crown the best alchemist in the group.
Are you ready to join this boiling hot party?
ISLAND – £53.99
With a story by G.O. and art by Kuuchuu yousai, the PC gaming brand Frontwing presents the popular sci-fi romance-adventure series ISLAND.
The secret of this world is uncovered through scattered keywords and masterful foreshadowing in this magnificent telling of an epic tale.
A full cast of talented voice actors delivers this fantastical tale of an island with a complicated past that’s on its way to desolation.
The visual novel “Tomorrow is the big day” included!
Livestream: Escape from Hotel Izanami – £15.09
In this side-scrolling action-adventure game, you’ll need to scour the inside of an abandoned hotel, looking for clues to solve the mystery of the hotel and ensure your escape from a mysterious, murderous mascot intent to kill.
The fate of the girls’ lives will change dramatically depending on your actions in the game.
ASTRO AQUA KITTY – £11.99
The Aqua Kitty cats have launched into space in an all new action RPG shoot-em-up adventure!
Pick your crew, then blast off to investigate mysterious water filled asteroids.
Battle bizarre enemies, mine magnificent gems, grab new weapons, install enhancing devices, and unlock your crews’ unique skills as you level up XP.
Just watch out for marauding pirate rabbits, always trying to be first to the loot!
Super Fowlst 2 – £3.19
Fowlst returns in a new adventure that’s all about squashing bad guys, dodging danger and striking it rich. There’s sprawling stages to conquer, huge bosses to defeat, and all manner of gadgets and gizmos to interact with. Trade your treasure for cool powers like egg bombs and rockets so you can really show those demons who’s boss!
Cozy Grove – £10.99
Pre-Order Exclusive: Get the Ghost Bear costume, Fox costume, and Cherry Blossom dress just in time for Spring. Delivered to your mailbox on day one, these items are only available if you pre-order before April 8th!
Welcome to Cozy Grove, a life-sim game about camping on a haunted, ever-changing island. As a Spirit Scout, you’ll wander the island’s forest each day, finding new hidden secrets and helping soothe the local ghosts. With a little time and a lot of crafting, you’ll bring color and joy back to Cozy Grove!
Graviter – £6.99
A real-world physics-based game about manipulating the gravitational forces. Shrink and enlarge celestial bodies, move them around to find your way through over 100 different levels!
Say No! More – £13.49
A brand new experience coming straight from the minds of Studio Fizbin. In a world where everyone sticks to the status quo of saying “YES”, create your own custom character and take on the role of an intern on a mission to change the world with the positive power of “NO!“. With this new power nothing will get in your way as you shout “NO!” at any absurd requests fired your way.
Using simple controls designed for anyone to pick up and play, start your working life through a predetermined path in a quirky office environment. As well as shouting NO! in your chosen language, use your NO! different emotional states to send them reeling. Confuse people with different actions to let their guard down, then charge up your NO! for an even greater effect on unsuspecting colleagues.
Touching on timeless and modern issues such as social etiquette, friendship and workplace standards, this hilarious adventure also has tender depth. It’s all wrapped up in a fun late 90s video game style, complete with chunky, colourful visuals, comical animations and jazzy music that you’ll struggle to say “NO!” to.
Luckslinger – £9.99
Partly inspired by the unrealistically fast gunslingers, the dark gritty humour, and the greed driven anti-heroes of the spaghetti western classics.
Wholly inspired by vinyl digging, graffiti spraying, rhyming, and the slow jazzy drum samples of hip hop culture and sound.
Are you feeling unlucky? In Luckslinger, ride the west of bandits, steal their luck, and use it for your own good. The more luck you have, the more chance you have for bullet evasion, better loot at your feet, and staying alive. However, when you’re “down on your luck” in your trusty bracelet, bridges collapse, rocks tumble, and outlaws might know where you’re sleeping that night.
In Luckslinger, we rely on the luck of the draw.
Clovercreek and the crazy outlaws – The town of Clovercreek has been robbed blind. Six infamous criminals stole the town’s precious luck charms and it’s up to you to bring them back. Get paid the golden price while doing so, because bounty hunters don’t do charity work.
Duck friend till the end – At all times you are accompanied by your companion Duckbridge. He returns your throwing knife, grabs extra health and distracts your enemies… but only when his tiny little duck brain tells him to do so.
The House in Fata Morgana – £31.49
A gothic suspense tale set in a cursed mansion. ‘The House in Fata Morgana’ is a full-length visual novel spanning nearly a millennium that deals in tragedy, human nature, and insanity.
Legends of Talia: Arcadia – £2.99
Arcadia is a legendary knight who’s fought in innumerable battles in the war-torn land of Talia. She has defeated hundreds of Talia’s enemies with her sword… But there’s one legend about Arcadia nobody speaks of.
More than ten years, a horned dragon attacked Freycross Village. The village burnt to the ground, and almost all the villagers perished.
Arcadia might be a hero, but those who survived the attack on Freycross Village resent her. They hate her.
What the Dub?! – £5.99
What The Dub takes “bad movie night” and expands it into an interactive, fast-paced, multiplayer game that friends and family, both local and afar, can enjoy!
Over 300 so-bad-they’re-good clips to dub!
You write the dub, we do the talking (dubs are played back via text-to-speech).
Play head to head with 3 to 12 players. Enter text using your phone, tablet, or computer.
Supports local multiplayer. Use streams/screen sharing to connect with remote players.
Candy Match Kiddies – £3.99
Line up candies in this entertaining and captivating matching game by 3.
Help Kiddies get ready for a fabulous fiesta by collecting an assortment of delicious treats!
Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire – £5.49
What could be more rewarding in a game of solitaire than having cute girls dress up for you with each victory? In this updated and slightly naughty version of the tile-matching classic, clearing the board will unlock new outfits for your female companions, all of which can be viewed in the alluring Dressing Room mode. Meet 7 Pretty Girl characters and 2 hidden guests as you progress!
Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire is simple yet challenging. Match pairs of tiles to make them disappear, but be careful and plan strategically so you don’t hit a dead end! Tiles are shuffled each time you play to keep each session fun and unpredictable. With over 100 layouts and randomized patterns, there’s always a reason to come back for more tile-matching and fan service!
Sakura In Gameland – £7.99
Sakura has been teleported to GameLand by it’s helpless residents to battle the threat of the invading Wizard of Woe and his collection of malevolent monsters.
In this 2D platformer help Sakura blast her way through multiple levels across eight areas of GameLand, overcoming the many obstacles put in her way.
Can you reach the castle of the vile Wizard and free GameLand from his evil clutches before it’s to late!
Yoko & Yuki: Dr. Rat’s Revenge – £4.49
Yoko & Yuki: Dr. Rat’s Revenge is a family game suitable for kids of all ages. Yoko and Yuki are two adorable cats in love with each other. But the devious doctor Rat stole Yuki from Yoko. Now it’s time to do some cat business — to save the girlfriend, using helpful gadgets and finding the solution for any puzzle.
That is no ordinary cat — our hero is equipped with scissors to cut ropes, gravitron to flip the world and spray can to find hidden objects. And the game gets harder and harder with new puzzles and challenges. Daring players would be handsomely rewarded for using their wits and helping two cats to achieve their happiness!
Skyland: Heart of the Mountain – £13.49
In the world built on the shoulders of sleeping giants, join your sister Adrianne to prevent a terrifying annihilation that may irreversibly change the world. Explore the history of a forgotten civilisation to save the citizens of Skyland and reveal the mystery of your father’s death.
In an outlandish world the surface of the planet withered and died below the toxic fumes. Survivors fled and settled atop the sleeping giants. Those relics of forgone age proved to be a source of endless energy that allowed entire civilization to flourish again.
However, something sinister looms over the Skyland. People are disappearing without trace and it seems it might be connected to your father’s tragic death. It’s up to you and your trusty crew of airship Nightingale to uncover the truth behind it.
Team up with your sister Adrianne and together you will solve a mystery behind your father’s passing and see a glimpse of ancient civilization that shaped this world.
In your journey you will confront mysterious Bal the Sole and possibly face questions about a nature of life itself.
Wherever your quest will lead you, Skyland will never be the same.
Pixel Game Maker Series Osyaberi! Horijyo! Holin Slash – £8.99
Anna Holinski embarks on a relic thievery investigation, unearthing all kinds of ores and valuables to upgrade her equipment.
Her attack power, jumps, energy, and other stats will get stronger with each upgrade.
The game’s difficulty is balanced so that anyone can clear it through replaying and upgrading equipment, so if you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, upgrades are the way to go!
Of course, an “Osyaberi!” game would be incomplete without tons of fully voiced content,
and this one is no exception! Even the new characters like the leader of a mysterious organization “Collector Jean”, the equipment upgrading shopkeeper “Inari”, and more will come to life with fully voiced interactions!
Toree 3D – £0.89
A bite-sized 3D Platformer with a few weird elements. Life as a chirp is hard: As Toree straddles about, a creepy mean guy comes rushing along and steals Toree’s ice cream. In an attempt to right this wrong, Toree starts a furious chase through nine carefully crafted levels with a strong emphasis on speed and flow.
Hike – £4.49
Explore the massive world of unknown and discover the secrets of the wilderness. During your hike a lot of different scenarios happen, for example thunderstorms and such.
Hike offers you a relaxing and exploration filled experience. Complete camping related quests in many parts of the magical forests.
Soundscape of Hike is designed to be calm and nice for the ears, including background music, natural noises of the forest and more.
The length of the game depends on the player. Hike lasts anywhere from half an hour to one and a half depending on the speed of progression.
Achievements of Hike are super easy to get by just playing the main storyline even though you still have to pay attention to few things.
Breathedge – £22.49
Breathedge is an ironic outer space survival adventure game. Take on the role of a simple guy called the Man who is just carrying his grandpa’s ashes to a galactic funeral and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a universal conspiracy.
Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) – £9.69
Play as the Master Stacker, Rockit, who must use her psychic helmet to stack the colorful bricks falling all over her madcap world.
BUILD stable towers by executing architectural feats of balancing.
INCORPORATE mixed-up materials into your towers: works of art, aquariums, magnets, and more.
DEFEND your towers against invading ghosts, a fireball-breathing dragon, and other outlandish hazards.
KNOCK your finished towers back down with a wrecking ball.
Next week: SaGa Frontier Remastered, Godstrike, Rain on Your Parade, Dragon Audit, Cannon Brawl, Isolomus, Team Troopers, Snowball Collections Bubble, ReactorX, Kingdom of Arcadia, Stitchy in Tooki Trouble, Deiland: Pocket Planet Edition, Knight Squad 2, and Pocoyo Party.