The moons have aligned, creating a once-in-a-lifetime event – new side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog games launching side-by-side. If that wasn’t enough, there are new King Kong, Hot Wheels, and Hellboy games imminent too. Throw Agatha Christie into the mix, and we’re looking at the busiest week for the Switch so far this year. Don’t forget about Agatha.
Reviews of Super Mario Bros. Wonder are live, with the Metacritic sitting at 93% at the time of typing. Several critics opted for full marks, including Eurogamer and The Metro. The consensus is that it’s full of heart and soul, showcasing excellent level design, creative challenges, and lots of surprises.
“A fantastic 2D platformer that immediately takes its place amongst the pantheon of Nintendo’s very best titles, with such a constant stream of new and surreal ideas you want to stand up and applaud it by the end of it,” said The Metro.
Possibly to avoid a battle for coverage, Sonic Superstars reviews went live last Friday. The reception has been generally positive, with review scores being a mixture of 7s and 8s. Not as good as Sonic Mania, but far better than Sonic 4. The Switch version reportedly performs well too, making the decision to stick to side-scrolling a wise one.
It seems that Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 builds upon its predecessor too, offering a lot more modes and stuff to play around with. The first review of the Switch version comes from Nintendo Life.
“You can feel the Switch’s lack of muscle, with a markedly smudgier feel than the grip offered by more powerful consoles, but as a racing experience bursting with customisation, modes, and creativity to mine, it’s both an excellent successor to the 16-Bit Micro Machines legacy and sits firmly in pole position over its predecessor,” they said.
Vlad Circus: Descend into Madness is going down well likewise, being a pixel art point ‘n clicker with a horror theme and striking art. The first review score out the door is an 8/10 from Finger Guns.
Hellboy Web of Wyrd meanwhile appears to be the first Hellboy game to make good use of the license, mimicking the comic’s art style closely. It’s a Roguelike brawler that promises to provide a good challenge. Expect something similar to the recent, and overlooked, Clash: Artefacts of Chaos.
Another licensed game arriving this week is Skull Island: Rise of Kong, although if the footage is to go by, it ideally needed a few more months of development time. Poor old Kong has been the source of much ridicule, featuring cut-scenes with missing and broken animation. Move over, Gollum.
For retro fans there are a few to mull over. Gargoyles Remastered sees the late 16-bit Disney games gain a new lease of life with a full-on visual overhaul, while A Boy and His Blob: Retro Collection brings together the NES original and its Game Boy sequel, including both the Japanese and US versions.
WORLD OF HORROR on the other hand is a 1-bit horror adventure inspired by Asian and Western horror tropes. Our review went live yesterday – it’s genuinely creepy and well worth playing.
Then there’s The Jackbox Party Pack 10, Aksy’s Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue – based around a ruleless, twisted, TV reality show – the cosy 3D platforming adventure Mail Time, the ‘70s set investigative adventure Kona II: Brume, standalone Kingdoms spin-off Kingdom Eighties, and Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express – a modern take on the classic, set in 2023.
Whoops, almost forgot about Agatha.
New Switch eShop releases
First things first: make room on your virtual shelf, because you can access more than 130 vehicles and even more varieties! Yes, not only Hot Wheels™ Originals, but also Hot Wheels™ Monster Trucks and vehicles from the entertainment world. Now you can also ride motorbikes and ATVs, each with their own unique racing style to take on every track in the most strategic way!
A brand-new system will define the vehicles’ category, which can be upgraded with the dedicated skill tree that will directly affect their performance. Watch your car become unstoppable!
Adventure through the mystical Northstar Islands in this all-new take on classic 2D Sonic high-speed action platforming. Play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy and harness all-new Emerald powers to move and attack in dynamic new ways. Navigate gorgeous, never-before-seen environments solo or with up to 3 other players and stop Dr. Eggman, Fang, and a mysterious new adversary from converting the islands’ giant animals into Badniks before it’s too late!
Prince Florian has invited Mario and his friends to visit, but a familiar foe drops in uninvited! As his army crashes the party, Bowser steals a Wonder Flower and merges with Prince Florian’s castle, transforming him into a floating fortress!
As the power of the Wonder Flower quickly spreads across the kingdom, all kinds of weird and wonderful things start to happen. With the Castle Bowser now on the loose, it’s up to the Mushroom Kingdom crew to save the day!
Conquer waves of primal beasts and defeat the minions of your arch-nemesis on your way to becoming the rightful King of Skull Island. Traverse the mysterious island and uncover lore and all the secrets the island has to offer as you encounter swamps, waterfalls, jungle, and skullite-filled caves that give the island’s flora and fauna its power
Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue is a social thriller set in a tropical island resort: you’ve been kidnapped and forced to participate in a twisted reality TV show with 10 strangers. At the end of your stay, you’ll receive $500,000. There’s just one catch—on the island there are no rules, and no hope of rescue.
Go toe-to-toe (or hoof-to-hoof) with a menagerie of nightmarish creatures and homunculi as you explore the realms within the Wyrd. Combat has been engineered to create challenging encounters that encourage you to learn patterns, dodge, parry, and – of course – punch your enemies into oblivion.
Northern Québec, 1970. A bizarre mist – the Brume – is disconnecting a rural mining village from its quiet reality and disrupting the balance of nature. But where is it coming from?
Step back into the role of Detective Carl Faubert and dive deeper into the surreal mysteries of Kona.
Make your trek through the snowy landscapes of Northern Canada and discover that you are not entirely alone. Find other stranded people – both victims and survivors of a devastating avalanche – and uncover the hidden dark truth of the Brume.
In Vlad Circus: Descend into Madness, discover a story full of mystery and pain where every shadow hides a twisted secret or vicious threat, and no one is safe from tragedy.
Experience the chilling story of a 1920s freak circus that burned to the ground, and the grotesque quest to found the circus anew. Follow the tormented Oliver Mills as he struggles to survive and escape.
Fall into the evocative pixel art, envelop yourself in the all-encompassing sound, and be enthralled by rich dialogue.
Discover a modernized and revisited version of the Agatha Christie’s classic. Set in 2023, Murder on the Orient Express brings the classic tale to life in a way that will surprise even the most dedicated fans. With brand-new elements added to the original story, experience the mystery and suspense like never before and rediscover one of the most famous case of Hercule Poirot.
A crime is committed on board the Orient Express. Hercule Poirot, during this trip, is surrounded by a group of singular characters, all suspects, each with their own secrets and motivations, and will then try to elucidate the murder that has just taken place.
Solving the mystery won’t be easy. Through numerous twists and turns, you will have to use your little grey cells and your detective skills to unravel the truth and bring it to light.
Gargoyles Remastered is an artfully crafted revival of the ‘90s classic 16-bit side-scrolling platform adventure. Relive the epic journey of Goliath and the Gargoyles featuring enhanced visuals, animations, and SFX, all inspired by the acclaimed animated series. The world of Gargoyles comes to life with a level of detail that will thrill fans of the animated series and retro gaming enthusiasts alike. Experience classic gameplay that stays authentic to its predecessor while including new features such as achievements, gameplay rewind, and more!
The Old Gods are reawakening, clawing their way back into a world that’s spiraling into madness. In hospitals, abandoned classrooms, quiet apartments, and dark forests, strange appearances and unexplainable phenomena test the sanity of residents in Shiokawa, Japan. Is it chaotic retribution, or the machinations of beings beyond our comprehension?
Kingdom Eighties is a new and standalone title in the award-winning micro-strategy series, Kingdom. A love letter to the nostalgic days of bike riding, summer camps, and sitting around in your pajamas on a Saturday morning in front of the TV. You play as The Leader, a young camp counselor who’ll have to protect their family and the entire town from the relentless attack of the mysterious Greed. The young neighbourhood kids will be at your side, and you’ll also find some new friends along the way: The Champ, the Tinkerer, and the Wiz will lend you their skills and support in battle.
Play as the youngest member of the illustrious, magical von Teasel family, but you’re not exactly their pride and joy. In fact, your grandmother has given you one last chance to prove yourself — or no more witch training for you!
You arrive in the small village of Flora, along with your familiar, Ramsey. You have two weeks to help the locals prepare their harvest festival for success, and prove your worth to, well, everyone. But don’t worry! That’s plenty of time to plan a village festival and make some (questionable) life choices!
Start Your Party
Whether you’re in your dorm room with roommates, surrounded by family during the holidays, or joining a video call happy hour with coworkers, there’s something for everyone. Use your phone or tablet to join! Games support anywhere from 1-9 players and up to 10,000 audience members influencing the outcome of the game. Play with friends around the globe in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.
Revenge of Banana is a fast paced FPS game, one damage and you’re dead! You have to kill the enemy with your swift moves, dodge a Strawberry trying to hit you, a Watermelon throwing seeds at you and an Exploding Tomato! The most important thing is speed. Can you beat your own record?
Mail Time is a relaxing, cottagecore adventure set in a peaceful forest, far, far away. It’s your first day on the job as a newly minted Mail Scout. Equipped with a mushroom hat, a pack full of letters, and unbridled enthusiasm, it’s time to deliver letters and packages across the Grumblewood Grove.
Their recipients eagerly await the sight of your mushroom hat, so don’t tarry! Run, jump, glide, and make your way across the forest to deliver parcels and joy to the cute critters that inhabit these woods. That’s right. It’s Mail Time!
If you ever wanted to enter a fairy tale, this is your chance. Explore the cozy, peaceful world crafted by Kela van der Deijl, and make friends with all manner of forest critters!
Makoto Wakaido’s Case Files is a mystery adventure game with minimalistic pixel art. Your job is to become detective Wakaido and find the culprit behind all kinds of crimes. Question witnesses, collect info, make deductions, and find the truth behind each case.
You are an ordinary citizen who missed the evacuation due to illness, and now you need to understand the situation in order to leave the city. The game is imbued with the atmosphere of the late USSR, combined with mysterious and mystical elements characteristic of the horror genre.
Uncover all the mysteries of this place by exploring a unique open world filled with dangerous mutated dolls. You can destroy them or try to avoid meeting them, the choice is yours.
Hentai Tales is the first part of an exciting series of adventure puzzles. This fairy tale tells about a completely ordinary girl whose life turned upside down in an instant.
Join Hitomi on an exciting journey through a mysterious forest and complete puzzles from colorful anime images.
Prepare for an immersive experience filled with inspiration and amazing discoveries.
Another World Mahjong Girl is a 2D isekai mahjong game with dating sim features where you’ll face off against 20 sultry opponents while traveling across a world map and exploring a lighthearted narrative. Earn money through victory and buy items to use in disciplining your students and improve their abilities!
In the year 27 of the Longwu era, a strange warm snow refuses to melt and plunges the world into chaos, turning the people into uncontrollable monsters.
As you play “Bi An”, a mysterious warrior wandering in this oriental dark fantasy universe, your mission is to confront the 5 houses which used to protect the world by delivering them from the corruption and finally defeat the White Lotus.
Adapt your equipment to your way of fighting and engage in challenging battles against fierce enemies to solve the riddle behind the warm snow and deliver the world from this plague!
We had so much fun playing with all these toys, but we can’t just leave all of this mess behind! Don’t worry though, the excitement is not over yet, we’re about to learn how organising your mess can be a whole new way of having fun.
As a cunning fox, you must venture forth into a breathtakingly immersive landscape teetering on the brink of eternal winter. Roam through lush forests and explore beautiful nature.
Super Ultimate Fighters is a 2D fighting game.
The game brings together various fighters from karate, judo, sumo, aikido, taekwondo, drunken fist, mantis style, capoeira, boxing, and more.
When the technique gauge is accumulated, super special moves can be activated!
Let’s win by deciding on unique techniques.
Bish Bash Bots is a unique mix of casual tower defence strategy and all-out brawling action. Team up in couch co-op / online play or go it alone to save the world.
In a cartoony take on the distant future, robots have become an integral part of everyday life. But everything changes when the bots, seemingly for no reason, malfunction and start stealing all of the world’s technology.
Amongst the chaos, a rag-tag team of unlikely heroes step up to save humanity. Armed with their respective skills, our heroes have set out on a grand adventure to reset the robots and save the world. Build upgradable turrets, unlock new gadgets and bash bots with giant hammers.
Journey across the world through vibrant and colourful biomes. Use strategy to defend against swarms of robots and save humanity!
Stripping away modern complexities to return to a simpler, more challenging style of gaming, Ball laB II is a straightforward precision platformer presented in minimalistic pixel art graphics with a soothing colour palette. Each puzzling stage fills a single screen, with the objective being to get from one end of the level to another without falling victim to spikes, pitfalls or other hazards.
You play as the ball. You can roll along flat surfaces, bounce to ledges, hop onto platforms, double-jump or ride elevators to reach your goal. If you hit a hazard, you’ll instantly respawn at the beginning of the stage, adding to your death counter with each attempt. How many tries will it take for you to clear all 50 challenges?
Table football is a truly amazing game – one player can control up to eleven players at once! If you are a big football fan, then you should appreciate this game. Immerse yourself in the world of one of the most exciting board games and show your skills!
The game will require you to be responsive, accurate and able to quickly respond to changing conditions on the field. The outcome of the fight depends on these qualities. Use the handles on the playing field to control your team and score goals against your opponent!
Develop your own tactics and strategy of the game – make deceptive movements, distract the enemy with false movements, and when the opportunity arises – pass the exact pass to the opponent’s goal!
A short and pleasant experience in the form of a hidden object game – fill the city of London with colour as you spot all the stray cats that wander around!
Try the different game modes, find special cats, and unlock bonus levels!
Come, join Maya and Mia as they make a name for themselves in the town of Falling Leaves, and experience the first tale in an incredible epic unfolding before you.
It’s up to them to restore an old family home and Café, which they inherited from their recently deceased grandfather, in time to save it from being demolished…unfortunately, their timing couldn’t be worse, as they’ve moved in when the town has begun to be hit by chaotic weather patterns.
Combat the elements, keep up your stock, and grow their little run-down Latte Stand into a full-fledged Café as you hone your barista skills and get to know your customer’s tastes in this new re-imagining of Latte Stand Tycoon.
Travel back in time and rediscover the classic arcade shoot-’em-up with a great comic-style look!
Squid Commando is an arcade shoot-’em-up game in which you have to fight alone or in pairs in co-op mode, against the whole army of General Darken. You can choose from three characters with different weapons as you shoot down swarms of enemies through five different levels.
In Druidwalker, the winter is just around the corner. The forest goes to sleep. You are a druid, preparing the forest for hibernation. Where will the paths of fallen leaves lead you?
Druidwalker is an experimental game: click on the cards and see how far can you go. You won’t get hints at the start of the game. You have to interact with it and figure things out as you go.
Jujubos is a puzzle game that you need to use different tools to build a path until the end and rescue all the Jujubos.
Help these sweet creatures to escape from different biomes and climates and return home. But be careful. The resources are limited, so be smart and plan the perfect escape for each situation.
Following the passing of Bernard Mason, the patriarch of the family, all the remaining Masons return to their childhood home for one last time.
As Aspen, the cat of the household, players will take a journey across the hopes, disappointments and regrets of the enigmatic Mason family, traversing through a rich narrative that spans over decades.
The game embraces a simple yet intuitive point and click play style, celebrating a design approach based on the behaviours of common house cats living all around the world.
Is the cat just a pet, or does this creature play a more mysterious role in our lives?
If you crave a pulse-pounding and exhilarating experience, you’ve found your ultimate destination. In “GhostX”, you step into the shoes of an elite sniper, entrusted with the critical mission of eliminating targets.
The protagonist of this game is a strange man who needs to breach out of the darkened and dangerous odd place at whatever cost.
Are you ready to prove that your reaction is outstanding, shunting between sharp barriers, collecting bonuses, remembering that in the end of every dark path the light of victory awaits?
The Retro Collection is a two-episode saga, including the original A BOY AND HIS BLOB: TROUBLE ON BLOBOLONIA™ (Nintendo Entertainment System™) and THE RESCUE OF PRINCESS BLOBETTE (Nintendo Game Boy™), that will lead you on many exciting adventures with delicious surprises and comical characters.
Next week: METAL GEAR SOLID: MASTER COLLECTION Vol.1, Just Dance 2024 Edition, Pickleball Smash, Kraken Odyssey, Barbie DreamHouse Adventures, CRYMACHINA, DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue, Archetype Arcadia, Dreams of a Geisha, DAVE THE DIVER, Swapshot, Get Me Out, Please, even if TEMPEST: Dawning Connections, Composer World, DINOSAURS: Mission Dino Camp, Horror Tale 2: Samantha, Hana Awase New Moon -Himeutsugi Volume, Animal Kart Racer 2, A Perfect Day, Paper Dash – Ghost Hunt, Varenje – Don’t Touch The Berries, Spin Rhythm XD, Seaside Driving, Gordian Quest, Nyanzou & Kumakichi Let’s make a flower garden, Great Ambition of the SLIMES, Hero Survival, Save The World, Murder Is Game Over, and DESOLATIUM.