According to Nintendo, almost 60 games launched on the eShop last week. A new record, we believe. This week is nowhere near as jam-packed, which may have something to do with a little-known thing by the name of Pokémon.

Back in 2005, fans hoped Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness on GameCube would deliver a more traditional JRPG experience. It didn’t quite manage to make good on its promises, and it wasn’t long until Pokémon went back to resting on its laurels. Cue Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a game that combines Pokémon with Zelda: Breath of the Wild, along with a sprinkling of Xenoblade Chronicles.

This is the open-world Pokemon fans have longed for, and word has it that Game Freak has delivered. The Metacritic currently sits at 86%, including top marks from The Telegraph and VGC, plus a 9.5 from God is a Geek. “There’s an overpowering sense of novelty to Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This is something new, and it’s also Pokémon, a decades-old series, in its purest essence,” said Eurogamer.

Eurogamer also took the 2D roguelike Vagante – which boasts a 10-year development cycle – for a spin, resulting in it being called a hidden gem. Nintendo Life didn’t feel the same way, dishing out a sub-par 4/10 review score. “The combination of a short adventure, the lack of any story, arbitrary difficulty, and minimal tutorials makes for a hard recommendation,” was their verdict.

The Switch also gets Reverie Knights Tactics, an isometric turn-based tactical RPG. Scores are mostly clocking in at 7/10. “Reverie Knights Tactics is a fun tactical RPG with an interesting storyline and many mechanics to play around with. While the controls might take some getting used to, the overall gameplay is solid,” said Pure Nintendo before handing out…a 7/10.

Then there’s Summertime Madness, a first-person puzzle-adventure set inside a magical painting. Fail to solve the game’s puzzles and escape within six hours (or three, if you’re feeling smart) or face becoming stuck inside the painting forever. We awarded it a 7/10 earlier this week, making comparisons to last year’s Myst remake.

A duo of 2D action games are upon us too – COGEN: Sword of Rewind and Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX 2, both of which appear visually similar. Hopefully, no outlets mix their screenshots up. They’re joined by the well-received Metroidvania Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- which is allegedly similar to Symphony of the Night.

The Artful Escape should be available from tomorrow. This far-out adventure is a memorable one, being a space opera with psychedelic imagery and plenty of life lessons. It isn’t the kind of thing you’ll forget soon.

Other new releases include the 2D psychological horror Re:Turn 2 – Runaway, short stealthy adventure Circus Pocus, ‘bullet hell boss rush’ affair Calturin, gruesome puzzler Don’t Be Afraid, ‘90s influenced musical shooter Popslinger, and the retro-infused Cake Invaders. We’d rather risk it for a biscuit.

New Switch retail releases

Pokémon Legends: Arceus – £49.99

Explore a vast untamed wilderness where new discoveries await in Pokémon Legends: Arceus for Nintendo Switch. Survey, catch and research wild Pokémon in this sprawling action RPG set in a long-gone era when it was rare for people and Pokémon to live in close harmony.

The Artful Escape – £TBA

On the eve of his first performance, Francis Vendetti struggles with the legacy of a dead folk legend and the cosmic wanderings of his own imagination.

In an attempt to escape the musical legacy of his uncle, a teenage guitar prodigy embarks on a psychedelic journey to inspire his new stage persona, searching for who he isn’t in an adventure spanning stolen opera houses, melodic alien landscapes, and the impossible depths of the Cosmic Extraordinary. 

Super Onion Boy 2 – £4.99

Super Onion Boy 2 is a classic 2D action and adventure game in retro style in pixel art.

Your mission is to save your friends who were captured by a terrible monster with psychic powers.

Defeat enemies on the way with the help of superpowers and epic transformations, collect coins and stars to earn extra lives. Find chests with magic potions and defeat all the terrible bosses until you reach the final boss.

Don’t Be Afraid – £8.99

Your name is David, you are 11 years old… and this is the end of your innocent childhood.

You have woken up in a dark, cold room. Despite the darkness, you are trying to recognize the surroundings, but in vain. You don’t know, where you are. Frightening sounds can be heard all around you, the feeling of helplessness fills in your soul. You are too afraid to walk alone in this terrifying space… but you have to.

Your memories are slowly coming back. You remember a strange man… in a mask. Did he kidnap you? Where is your torturer? The fear of unknown drives you to actions. You are desperately trying to find the way out of this nightmare.

The worst part of this story is the fact, that someone always keeps an eye on you. And this person finds watching you very entertaining.

Remember, the fate of a victim is sealed once it is in the hands of a sadistic psychopath.

If you want to survive, grow up. Quickly.

Peace, Death! 2 – £4.49

In a place beyond time and space, the Reapers formed an independent Union so they wouldn’t have to answer to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse anymore.

With no acceptable candidate for the position of Union leader, the atmosphere at the Union has descended into blissful anarchy, which is not great for productivity.

Fortunately, a new Reaper gets hired as a Sorter one day – you.

Send clients to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory based on the various signs they have. There are tricky clients who interact with each other, interfere with the Reaper’s work, or ignore the basic rules, which means you’ll have to be extra careful when you’re deciding where to send almost everyone.

Broken Blades – £3.59    

Broken Blades is a platform, 2D action game with beautiful, fairy-tale graphics, in which we struggle with hordes of monsters and powerful bosses. Our hero is armed with a sword that can be improved as the game progresses by gaining randomly generated magic shards. The appearance and power of the upgrade will depend on the types of shards you find on your way. All locations in the game are randomly generated, so each game has a completely different layout of corridors. Discover and explore all nooks and crannies to get upgrades that will help you fight bosses.

Magic Pen Color Book – £3.99

This colouring book game will let your kid(s) draw by finger touch anything from their imagination or colour, decorate the ready to use templates included, in order to create their own unique paintings.

Many painting tools are available to help them, including pencils, markers, colour bucket, stickers, magic pen, colour spray, patterns, with undo/redo capabilities.

Once kids are done with their creations, those are automatically saved into device memory with the possibility to be later erased to start over and over…

Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX 2 – £19.99

Luminous Avenger iX 2 takes the series’ original speedy and stylish 2D action gameplay to the next level as Copen rips through enemies with his new “Break-Shift” form. His new destructive capabilities makes the high-speed action more satisfying than ever!

INTI CREATES is proud to present new apeX of cutting-edge 2D action with Luminous Avenger iX 2!

Summertime Madness – £13.49

The player, in the role of a painter who has made a deal with the devil, has to find his way back to the real world after being cheated and trapped into one of his canvases. A dreamlike journey into a surreal world of the artist’s own creations where the atmospheric gameplay provides mysteries to discover, puzzles to solve and artistic landscapes to explore.

Pandemic Shooter – £4.49

Run, gun, and have lots of fun in this action-packed first-person zombie shooter. A global pandemic is turning people into ungodly walking sacks of rotting meat. The virus is spreading and you’re the only one who can do something about it. Arm yourself to the teeth and set out on a journey through the whole flat world* and find the people responsible. But are they people?

Froggy Crossing – £2.99

Help Froggy the frog fill his belly with yummy coins!

But be carrefull, you’ll have to cross roads full of danger…

Get new characters to play with using your collected coins.

Have fun!

Elasto Mania Remastered – £8.50

Elasto Mania (commonly known as Elma) is an indie motorbike simulation game, a colorful 2D racing experience first released in 2000 as a successor to Action SuperCross. The remastered version is bigger & better than the original – the definitive way to play. This gem is challenging to master, but you will quickly get the hang of it, once you start playing!

Cake Invaders – £5.49

The Japanese just love their famous German-inspired Baumkuchen cakes, and hungry invaders from across the universe have discovered these delicious treats too! Are you up to the challenge of protecting the precious desserts from waves of alien attacks? The hungry invaders are approaching one after another, wanting the all-important Baumkuchen Cake carried by your spaceship for themselves.

Defend and shoot the invaders with your minigun to protect the Baumkuchen! If you keep defeating the invaders with your minigun, a mysterious Baumkuchen will appear, glowing in rainbow colors! If you shoot and destroy it, you will gain exploding bullets, increase your crew, and more. The further you progress, the more numerous and powerful the invaders will become, and the more Baumkuchen will eventually be consumed. Will you lead your crew to sweet survival?

PopSlinger – £11.89

PopSlinger is a vibrant, narrative-focused musical shooter inspired by ‘80s and ‘90s New Retro culture.

Join Ria Carbon, a funky heroine on a stylish quest to save the world from sinister invaders from another dimension using soda-powered guns. Backing Ria up is former PopSlinger heroine, Gin!

Experience the whimsical story of Ria and Gin as they fight against the “Corazones”, people whose hearts have been corrupted by the dark forces from the other dimension, all while grooving to a fully dynamic soundtrack that reacts to your in-game performance in real-time.

– Immerse into an epic adventure with a dreamy aesthetics inspired by 90’s Japanese animation, brought to life with a marker art style and VHS-infused 2D sprites, with fully-voiced dialogue cutscenes employing vibrantly animated hand-drawn portraits

The Longest Road on Earth – £8.99

The Longest Road on Earth is a deeply personal and meditative narrative title. Play in the songs of four short stories featuring stripped down mechanics and no words. Each story is up for interpretation – what story lives inside you for each character and the world around them?

Be swept away by the haunting and sentimental lyrics of over twenty-four original, emotionally charged songs, sung by one of the developers.

Walking down The Longest Road on Earth will only take you two hours, and it’s worth every step.

Reverie Knights Tactics – £20.99

Reverie Knights Tactics is a turn-based tactical RPG with strategic battles in isometric grids where every decision you make can alter the story and the way you configure the characters.

Embark on an expedition to find Lennorien, the long lost elvian city to save your loved ones, while fighting the goblin menace that spread terror across the continent!

Lead your party of heroes, each one with distinct, special abilities and skills, allowing you to use multiple battle strategies to defeat your enemies.

Discover a fantasy world featuring deep map and scenario exploration in an epic adventure, visual novel style!

Craft new items and accessories from the treasures you collect and use them as tactical advantage every time you configure your characters.

Parking Simulator – £8.99

The parking situation in vehicle simulator will require you to show top driving skills in steering, acceleration and obstacle avoidance to get those vehicles parked in parking places. As the parking lot driver, you will drive the awesome automobile around corners, obstacles, and parking lot borders with speed and accuracy.

Learn how to navigate in realistic parking environment. Steer the vehicle meticulously and catch the bridge in time to lift your car onto the next storey. Use the varying gears and shifts to wiggle into the parking spot. Avoid crashing into barriers and other cars! This is quite the challenge. Follow the checkpoints to find your way ad become parking master!

Shadow Man Remastered – £15.89

He is coming, stalking criminals in the spirit world and the real world. A possessed man is coming, a voodoo mask in his chest and lines of power in his back. Shadow Man is coming, trailing evil from Liveside to Deadside. To stop an apocalypse. To save your soul.

Stalk criminals across two worlds: Explore crime scenes in the Louisiana, Swamplands, a New York tenement, a Texas prison, the asylum and many other locales.

Send Evil back to darkness: Go in armed with high-caliber guns or soul-destroying voodoo powers.

Unravel the Mysteries of Deadside: Gather sinister voodoo artifacts in order to solve puzzles.

Live the Nightmare: Over 40 immersive cut-scenes and hours of in-game speech.

Shadow Man: Remastered is a complete overhaul of the classic game with restored, previously cut content!

Unforeseen Incidents – £17.99

Unforeseen Incidents is a classical style interactive mystery set in a beautifully hand-painted world. When small-town handyman Harper Pendrell meets a dying woman in the street, he unwittingly stumbles into a diabolical conspiracy – a mystery only he can solve. An unknown disease is spreading across the country, and between them a scientist, a reporter and a reclusive artist hold the key to stopping it. A perilous journey awaits, and every step brings Harper closer to a cabal of dangerous fanatics. Before he knows it, he finds himself in a fight for the future of humankind armed only with his trusty multi-tool.

Can Harper find the courage to expose the truth and prevent an epidemic, even if it means succumbing to contagion himself? Join Harper and experience a challenging investigation, smart dialog and a rich cast of characters in this thrilling new adventure game from Backwoods Entertainment and Application Systems Heidelberg.

Hidden Paws – £3.49

Open cars and boxes, rummage through piles of wood, search the forests. Cats are well hidden but they meow when you get near so listen closely and you might just be able to find them all.

Features 12+ charming winter landscapes with over 120 little cats to fin

Vagante – £11.59

Vagante is an adventure set in a dark fantasy world filled with monsters, demons, and crooks. Despite these dangers, adventurers commonly travel these unforgiving lands questing for fame, riches, and power.

A recent rumor has it that a certain cave at the edge of the woods guards an unfathomable treasure. While a handful of intrepid adventurers have ventured into the cave already, none have returned. Undeterred by the potential danger, you set out by caravan to investigate…

COGEN: Sword of Rewind – £22.49

Any hit you take is a death sentence in this side-scrolling 2D action game. But fear not! You may lack the HP to weather a beating, but you’ve got the Ouroboros System on your side. This futuristic technology kicks in the instant death embraces you and allows you to rewind up to 3 seconds of time. Slip up and wish you could take it back? Want to play around and experiment? Easy, just rewind the clock! Hone your skills through trial and error, and triumph over diabolical traps and legions of fearsome foes!

Serin Fate – £15.09

Explore a retro-inspired world bustling with rich story, unique mechanics, and fearsome Monsters!

Encourages an adventurous spirit and offers greater difficulty to the brave who seek it.

Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- – £18.89

Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- is a 2D action-exploration “Metroidvania”-style game developed under the close supervision of original creator Ryo Mizuno, depicting the previously unknown story of Deedlit and the events leading up to Record of Lodoss War: Diadem of the Covenant.

Both fans of Record of Lodoss War and all-new players alike can fully enjoy this latest installment in the series.

Calturin – £5.39

Calturin is a Bullet Hell Boss Rush game where you are resurrected by a necromancer who now holds you in his power. Promised your freedom if you do his bidding, you must traverse the Gauntlet of Portals to unknown lands and face deadly beings.

Circus Pocus – £4.49

Two brothers are lost in the dark and grim woods, and they accidentally stumble across the abandoned circus. Suddenly they are both attacked by a group of crazed clowns, and one of the brothers got captured. There’s only way to get out of troubles for the second boy — to escape the damned woods and call the police, right? Nope, wrong — you see, our hero is not the sharpest tool in the shed. That’s why he decides to save his brother on his own, and travels deep into the woods where he would only find grave danger and inevitable coulrophobia.

Pyramids Slot Machines – £5.99

Feel the ambience of Authentic casinos with this top-of-art Slot Machines on the theme of Ancient Egypt.

Next week: MAGLAM LORD, Mania Fish, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, Millie and Molly, Frog Ball Rerolled, Math Gym, Treasure Hunter Man 2, McDROID, INVERT, Webbed, and The Dead Tree of Ranchiuna.