For reason we canâ€™t fantom, a glut of time-consuming Japanese RPGs and visual novels arrive on Switch this week. They are, at least, suitably different from one another.
The France-developed Edge of Eternity launched on PS4/PS5 and Xbox Series a couple of weeks ago to positive reviews, with more than a few critics calling it a love letter to the JRPGs of the late nineties.
NIS Americaâ€™s Monark, meanwhile, boasts a creepy tone and tactical combat, with scores being a mixture of 7s and 8s so far. Nintendo World Report, however, wasnâ€™t too impressed with the lack of environment variety, finding it to be far more middling.
Variable Barricade mixes things up, being a full price visual novel involving a high-school student living with four suitors. Silconera described it as a romantic comedy before dishing out an 8/10.
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream comes from Koei-Tecmo, and is yet to be reviewed, but looks set to offer more traditional anime-style JRPG fare.
This leaves us with Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi, a dungeon crawler that hit the US late last year. It gained an 85% Metacritic at launch, and still no scores are currently lower than 80%.
â€œAn incisive deconstruction of capitalism thatâ€™s thoughtful, pointed, yet deliberately blunt in its commentary, unfolding through one of the most unique and intriguing settings youâ€™ll find in a videogame, makes Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi one of Experienceâ€™s bestâ€”and one that deserves attention far beyond the usual DRPG niche,â€ said Shindig.
PlatinumGames are back this week with Sol Cresta, an almost full-price (Â£35.99) sequel to the arcade classics Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta. Word has it technical issues let the package down â€“ Unity wasnâ€™t perhaps the best choice for a fast-paced shooter.
â€œSol Cresta has excellent core gameplay with a lot of depth, but it is held back by technical issues in its current state on Nintendo Switch. If PlatinumGames can improve on this base release through updates, Sol Cresta has the potential to be something special,â€ said The Mako Reactor.
Moto Roader MC is one we reviewed ourselves. Itâ€™s a conversion of a 1992 PC Engine CD-ROM2 top-down racer, boasting not just futuristic vehicles â€“ armed with missiles â€“ but also a silly streak, with some peculiar trackside detailing.
This Switch version supports an additional player â€“ 5 can play, instead of just 4 on Xbox One et al. We awarded it a 6/10 on the grounds that MP is fun but SP was lacking. At Â£5.99 though, itâ€™s sensibly priced. Â
Then thereâ€™s Puzzle & Dragons, the mammoth match-three puzzler â€“ the original was the first mobile game in history to gross $1Â billion revenue, with downloads exceeding 50 million. This Switch release will set you back a mere Â£3.21, but as Digitally Downloaded warns, itâ€™s simply the mobile version repacked slightly.
Never Alone: Arctic Collection is another older game gaining a belated Switch release. This snow-covered adventure dates back to 2015 â€“ it was even available on Wii U. Itâ€™s a short puzzle platformer developed in collaboration with Alaska Native people. The consensus is that itâ€™s enjoyable but a little light by todayâ€™s standards.
Other new releases include the wacky contraption creator Amazing Machines, low-budget first-person horror Antarctica 88, the crime-busting Autobahn Police Simulator 2, faux N64 adventure Aeternum Quest, and An American Werewolf in L.A. â€“ a pixel art arcade brawler rife with â€˜80s references. Howls about that?
New Switch eShop releases
Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi – Â£39.99
Escape from â€œYomiâ€ â€“ a dungeon filled with riches â€“ and danger.
You have been recruited into the Undernauts â€“ a team of brave subterranean adventurers who comb the depths of a massive, monster-infested labyrinth in search of priceless resources.
Make use of your powerful skills and magic items to create exits and reach the surface alive.
Amazing Machines – Â£17.99
In this physics-based puzzle game, you construct whimsical contraptions with fun elements. Position explosive barrels, laser guns, rockets, conveyor belts and much more in the right places to set off comical chain reactions.
Discover your inner inventor, and experiment across over 200 tricksy levels. The level editor offers unlimited tinkering enjoyment: Design your own levels using a colourful collection of objects – from clothes pegs to wind machines!
Edge Of Eternity – Â£24.99
Wage epic turn-based battles as you follow Daryon and Selene on their quest to find a cure to the all-consuming Corrosion in this grand tale of hope and sacrifice.
For The Warp – Â£14.89
For the Warp is a roguelike deck-building game in space!
Discover and add new cards to your arsenal and increase your chances of surviving. Explore procedurally generated systems and fight your way to the warp gate.
Encounter allies and foes, ancient civilization ruins, unlock powerful technologies and ships.
Explore procedurally generated systems and fight your way to the warp gate
Encounter allies and foes, ancient civilization ruins, unlock powerful technologies and ships
Discover and add new cards to your arsenal and increase your chances of surviving.
Explosive Candy World – Â£4.49
Forget running or jumping. In Explosive Candy World, youâ€™ll have to destroy obstacles, blow yourself over pitfalls and ricochet off walls in order to reach the goal! Itâ€™s physics-based mayhem with a precision platforming twist. Presented in cute and colorful pixel art and set to an original retro soundtrack, Explosive Candy World mixes classic style with modernized mechanics for a unique and unconventional platforming experience.
Adjust the strength and direction of your detonations, then release to toss a mighty explosive candy. Propel yourself through the air, flip switches, break barriers, activate buttons and obliterate platforms right from under your feet! Levels are all short and sweet, and even when they prove to be a little tricky, quick respawns and infinite retries keep the experience fun and accessible.
Well-Beings: Wellness for Kids – Â£0.99
Well-Beings: Wellness for Kids features creative, active and thought-provoking experiences designed with experts in childrenâ€™s psychology to teach healthy habits that will help you feel good about yourself and the world around you.
Weâ€™ve partnered with Starlight, a childrenâ€™s charity which uses the power of play to make the experience of illness better for seriously ill children in hospital. 100% of the publisher’s proceeds from Well-Beings: Wellness for Kids on Nintendo Switchâ„¢ will go to the charity. You can show your support of the power of play through #WellBeingsDonation.
With a range of different activities Well-Beings: Wellness for Kids strives to offer a unique experience tailored to your childâ€™s feelings and emotions.
SOL CRESTA – Â£35.99
Dock, split, and form up! Pilot 3 fighters and take back the sun from the clutches of evil in this free-form shooting game with the spirit of 80s shooting classics Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta.
PlatinumGamesâ€™ NEO-CLASSIC ARCADE series carries on the spirit and fun of classic gaming using modern technology, and the first project in this endeavor is SOL CRESTA. SOL CRESTA takes the docking and formation strategies of classic shooting games Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta and elevates them with the â€œfree-form dockingâ€ system. The flagship Yamato, composed of the fighters Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, and Susano can utilize various attacks depending on how the three ships are aligned. Docking, splitting, and reforming the ships as needed is the key to defeating the invading armies of Mega Zofer.
Darkness and Flame: Missing Memories – Â£6.29
There is always a clue hidden somewhere deep in your memories. Will a young girl Alice find a way not only to help her uncle recall his past, but to discover what has happened to her and how to harness the power of the burning Flame?
“Darkness and Flame: Missing Memories” – enjoy this adventure game with lots of quests and hidden objects, puzzles and mini-games! Its innovative storyline will grab you right from the beginning and you’ll be immersed in a world in which fantasy stands alongside the post apocalyptic reality and every living thing encounters the spreading Darkness.
Blandville – Â£4.49
It once was a place of your childhood happiness. None of that exists anymore. The question remains – why? What happened here? Where did all that beauty go, and what has taken it away?
Interact with the environment, Penumbra / Amnesia style – drag, drop, throw items around.
Collect as much loot as possible. Explore the forest and the remains of once inhabited buildings.
Keep your heat up – it’s freezing out there. Stay inside, or sit by the campfire to avoid hypothermia.
Cryptids – they roam the forest for the lookout of any survivors. Be careful out there.
PUZZLE & DRAGONS Nintendo Switch Edition – Â£3.21
Play on your TV or handheld and with touch controls!
The definitive Puzzle RPG!
Embark on an epic quest, harnessing the power of appealing monsters and clever puzzle play! Featuring three modes jam-packed with Orb-matching fun: Quest, PvP, and Custom!
BlackJack Math – Â£3.59
Welcome to BlackJack Math!
Tease your brain in this number logic game where all answers are 21 (because we’re talking about blackjack, right?)
Swap the cards, make the math, repeat. That’s all you’ll need in order to complete this game!
Autobahn Police Simulator 2 Switch Edition – Â£35.99
Your adventure begins right in the police station where colleagues are present, too. Over the course of the game you can further develop the station and gain access to new opportunities and missions this way.
Step by step, you can unlock new upgrades for the station, vehicles, equipment, and your skills via the tech tree. As a highlight waiting at the end of the tree there is a police helicopter which from there on supports you during missions (passively) and while chasing offenders.
With its numerous Open World features, Autobahn Police Simulator 2 offers a long-term varied gameplay that goes beyond a mere simulation.
Variable Barricade – Â£44.99
Hibari is the sole heir to her familyâ€™s fortune.
Her grandfather is determined to find her a husband.
He houses her in a luxurious home with handsome bachelors. As the men try to win her hand, Hibari endures endless trials and temptations.
Has Grandpa chosen poorly, or is there more to these men than meets the eye? Hibari decides NOT to fall in love.
Kraken Academy!! – Â£15.99
Kraken Academy is no ordinary high school. Ghosts fill the art department, cultists meet below the monkey bars and now crocodiles are eating children.
Join forces with a magical Kraken to uncover the Traitor, a malevolent mastermind, who could be anyone at the school. With each time loop youâ€™ll get closer to saving Kraken Academy.
Antarctica 88 – Â£5.99
In this horrible action you will find yourself in the ice of Antarctica, where you immerse into a terrible sci-fi story full of monsters, weapons and adventures. Our survival action will scare you so prepare to scream and solve puzzles!
Are you ready to face and escape from horrible monsters that Antarctica is hiding?
15in1 Solitaire – Â£2.49
Freecell and Klondike are just the beginning! Dive deep into the world of Solitaire in the largest Solitaire combo released yet. Offering days of fun, pleasant looks and simple controls. Can your personal best measure up to the best?
The common goal of all the solitaire variants is to eliminate all the cards, which are on the table. Move them to the corresponding pile based on the rules of particular mode. The cards are sorted based on their suits or values. Every variant have different rules and allows different card movements.
Clouzy! – Â£11.29
Welcome to Clouzy!, the worldâ€™s first daycare dedicated to clouds! Now, we know you may be used to clouds majestically sailing through the sky without a care in the world, but in this magical world, things are a little different, and these little clouds need a lot of love, care, and attention!
Who Is Zombie – Â£7.19
ã€ŽWho Is Zombieã€ is a zombie apocalypse simulation game where the player must prevent zombies from entering the civilian shelter.
In the year 2033, the nation saw a large-scale zombie outbreak.
As the government’s mass care shelters reached full capacity, people begin to seek help at nearby civilian shelters instead.
However, riots by the rejected and the infected lead to heavy casualties, causing the government to dispatch special inspectors to civilian shelters.
Interview the refugees, screen out the infected, and protect your shelter as a supervisor!
Never Alone: Arctic Collection – Â£13.49
Experience the epic journey of Nuna and Fox as they search for the source of an eternal blizzard that threatens the survival of everything they have ever known.
Never Alone is an atmospheric puzzle platformer developed in collaboration with the IÃ±upiat, an Alaska Native people, drawn from a traditional story that has been shared across the generations.
Guide both characters in single-player mode or play cooperatively with a friend as you trek through frozen tundra, leap across treacherous ice floes, swim through underwater caverns and face enemies both strange and familiar.
On over 75 “Best of 2014” lists and winner of “Best Debut Game” at the 2015 BAFTA Games Awards as well as “Game of the Year” and “Most Significant Impact” at the 2015 Games for Change Awards, nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers and community members contributed to the making of the game.
You’ll explore awe-inspiring environments, perform heroic deeds, and meet legendary characters from IÃ±upiaq stories â€” all narrated by a master storyteller in the spoken IÃ±upiaq language.
An NPCâ€™s Odyssey – Â£3.99
This is another story of the hero gathering his friends to defeat the Devil and save the world, but our protagonist is not the hero himself, but an ordinary unlucky NPC. The reason for his journey is simpleâ€”because the hero took the money from his house! To find the hero and get money back, our journey has begun.
An American Werewolf in L.A. – Â£4.49
You are D. Landis, a tormented young man who wants to run away from Hellâ€™s Creek to become a pro surfer. When youâ€™re about to leave the village in your convertible, Sheriff Naschy steps in your way to capture you.
Because you are a werewolf, and monsters never leave Hellâ€™s Creek.
You will need to run through some of the most iconic American cities in a frenetic chase, defeating the men recruited by the Sheriff.
Will you survive the hordes of enemies to reach L.A.?
To the Top, Mammoth! – Â£8.99
Compete with other players in a tower climbing challenge! Your cute climber pets are ready to conquer the spiral stairs of the trap ridden castle tower! Race against others in multiplayer, or beat your own time, collect coins, unlock perks & cosmetics! Learn to avoid the mistakes of your past by seeing your own ghost on the stairs!
The most esteemed (and also most adorable) tower climbers gathered to challenge each other! Join them and earn your place on the versus multiplayer scoreboard!
Choose your favourite animal to overcome deadly obstacles. Sharp spikes, rolling barrels, heavy rocks, falling platforms, fire traps and jumping bombs will be in your way, and it is up to your skills, strategy (and of course luck!) to overcome all of them. Collect useful tools and abilities on your way up to survive and prosper!
SpelunKing: The Mine Match – Â£8.99
Dig into this deep match-3 expedition!
Take a dive underground, search for your grandpa’s lost items, and collect precious stones to help the villagers around town rebuild Farnsbury.
Explore 25 enormous areas of the old mine, solve over 90 cave challenge rooms, uncover secret areas, and unlock dozens of new upgrades and power-ups.
Reach the bottom of the mine and become the Spelunk King (or Queen)!
MONARK – Â£53.99
Could you face yourself and the threats around you to save the ones you love? Shin Mikado Academy is engulfed in a madness-inducing Mist, and only you can save everyone inside. Develop your Ego to break the pacts set by the Pactbearers and dispel the corrupting Mist.
Plunderer’s Adventures – Â£4.49
The aspiring lady pirate Riley has finally acquired a ship to call her own, along with the beginnings of a lovely crew! Take the role of captain as you embark on an adventure to claim the turbulent seas and loot your rivalâ€™s ships, recruit new allies, learn powerful combat skills and protect your booty from waves of enemy raiders!
Plundererâ€™s Adventures is a pixel art tower defense action game where you use your trusty flintlock pistol and every trick up your sleeve to take down your opponents. Blast enemies as they cross the screen towards your crew. Take them down quickly and efficiently, and your crew will support you with extra lives, loot multipliers and more, but fail to protect them from the onslaught, and theyâ€™ll be carried off by malicious marauders! By clearing enemy waves, youâ€™ll unlock new stages, skills, crew members, gallery images and more.
One Gun Guy – Â£4.49
One Gun Guy is a straight forward no nonsense action platformer, one giant level littered with player upgrades, hazards to tackle, enemies to destroy and a boss to kill. After conquering the base difficulty take on this precision platformer’s Hard Mode in your underwear!
Ammo Pigs: Cocked and Loaded – Â£4.49
The age is 2049 AD. All life forms have gone extinct â€” except for the pigs who oppose the hostile AI-controlled machines. The robots should be destroyed, but more importantly, there have been found the last surviving chickens. They must be saved at any cost!
Ammo Pigs: Cocked and Loaded is an action-packed run-n-gun game with a heavy emphasis on jumping and shooting elements. It brings the feeling of 80â€™s and 90â€™s 2D action games with a lot of fun, explosions and bacon â€” in case youâ€™re not good enough to save those poor chickens from deadly chicken-hating machines. Give it a spin if youâ€™re up for some touch challenge!
Gav-Gav Odyssey – Â£4.49
Gav-Gav Odyssey is another way to get the blast from the gaming past! This game merges the best elements from golden age gaming: platforming, scroll shooting and puzzles. Cute doggies as key heroes are combined with challenging puzzle tricks and can capture your interest for a solid amount of time. This setting looks so authentic that someone can even think that this game was released on 8- or 16-bit platforms 20 or 30 years ago! Nice pixel art graphics, friendly gameplay and funny cutscenes are able to charm kids and grown-ups alike, especially those who can still remember the best platforming games of the 80’s and 90â€™s!
Moto Roader MC – Â£5.99
The iconic Moto Roader MC was first released on 1992.
Full speed ahead thirty years, and this beloved title is now poised at the starting line on consoles.
Play head to head against the computer or locally with a friend in multiple modes of futuristic race challenge. Choose from an array of cool cars and drivers, as well as a variety of gameplay modes.
When it comes to iconic video game fun, Moto Roader MC is a time-honored first place finish.
Flip The Buddy – Â£2.99
Help your new buddies to go through increasingly difficult jumping levels.
Rather than kick the buddy, here you flip the buddy!
You may flip it one or two times in a row, but you have to make sure it will always land on some piece of furniture. If your buddy fall on floor, game over!
Simple but very addictive, this game will let you choose your buddy character and will bring your hours of casual fun!
Aeternum Quest – Â£7.69
Mankind, thirsty for power, harnessed the four elemental gems and fused them into the almighty “Aeternum Gem”, a gem so powerful that any entity wielding the gem, with its strength and knowledge, could use it to not only rule over their own world, but the entire universe!
Thousands of years have now passed and mankind now craves the power of the gem back. An Academy has been established to train Wizards who could harness the power of Aeternum and the worlds gems.
A long and perilous journey awaits you, Gem Wielder…
Wall of insanity – Â£6.25
Wall of Insanity is a new project from the creators of the Slaughter game series.
It features a dark storyline, intense action, and a mystical journey into a dead, smoldering world.
You will face the unknown. A descent into a kingdom of anxiety and madness. The path through the abyss will be difficult, the trek extremely dangerous, and you will be left almost hopeless.
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream – Â£49.99
This is a story about one of the adventures Sophie the Alchemist had after she left her hometown of Kirchen Bell. It is centered around Sophie’s quest of searching for Plachta after they are separated in a dream world of Erde Wiege, and the new friends they meet there.
Next week: TRIANGLE STRATEGY, LIT: Bend the Light, Conan Chop Chop, Little Orpheus, FAR: Changing Tides, Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes, Phlegethon, Primordia, A Musical Story, CATch the Stars, Dexter Stardust : Adventures in Outer Space, Quest for Infamy, Gunborg: Dark Matters, Ryan’s Rescue Squad, Operation Zeta, The Cruel King and the Great Hero, What Lies in the Multiverse, and Street Cats Race