Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Tomb Raider I-III Remastered, Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II, Arzette, Ys, and Lords of Exile hit the Switch

We’ll be honest – we’re not sure if it’s intentional that a bunch of new releases launched on Valentine’s Day. It seems presumptuous to suggest that the typical gamer is without a partner and looking to comfort themselves, and very few releases this week are due at retail, so they can’t be given as gifts either. But let’s not tar all publishers with the same brush, as there are a few couch-based co-op games out too, perfectly suited for “friendly” competition.  

Nintendo are readying their greatly enhanced remake of the GBA’s puzzle platformer Mario vs. Donkey Kong for Friday, due both digitally and at retail for £39.99. The Metacritic score sits at 77% currently, with review scores being a mixture of 8s, 7s, and 6s. It seems fair to suggest this was to be expected, not exactly pushing the Switch in any way.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

“Mario vs. Donkey Kong feels very retro in certain respects. It’s designed to be played in short bursts, which can feel anachronistic on a modern handheld hybrid that’s perfectly suited for long play sessions. But it’s also a throwback in the best ways, recapturing the clever aha moments of puzzle-platforming that made its predecessors so memorable, all while packing distinct visual improvements and quality-of-life tweaks that bring out its charm like never before,” was GameSpot’s verdict.

Another revival on the cards is Tomb Raider I-III Remastered, which brings together the first three games along with their expansion packs for a reasonable £26.99. The visuals have been improved, and it offers a modern control scheme too. Reviews have mostly been positive, although many critics have pointed out that all three are showing their age and have their quirks.

“Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered Starring Lara Croft is a lovingly crafted compilation which may set a new standard for PS1 re-releases moving forward. Based on the original source code, this trilogy flawlessly reframes three iconic PS1 puzzle platformers as you remember them – warts and all. While you will need patience to navigate this trilogy of globe-trotting escapades, the upgraded art style sticks closely to Core Design’s intended vision and it’s a genuine pleasure to experience these 90s classics on all-new hardware,” said Push Square.

Then there’s Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II, a horror visual novel adventure hybrid from Aksys. This too is going down well with critics, even garnering a handful of 9/10s. “It features outstanding artwork, quality sound design, and even some reason to return in the form of multiple endings, gallery unlockables, and an optional extra chapter. Fans of horror need look no further – your new obsession is here,” beamed Hey Poor Player.

We can also expect the hyperactive rhythm game GUNVOLT RECORDS: Cychronicle – based on the popular Azure Striker Gunvolt series – Limited Run’s colourful Zelda/Link CDi scrolling platformer homage Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore, and a belated release of Yogcast’s million selling restaurant management party game PlateUp!

Then there’s the 8-bit style action platformer Lords of Exile – with eight stages to beat, and new abilities to gain after every boss fight – Kemco’s latest pixel art RPG Genso Chronicles, an untranslated(!) re-release of Nihon Falcom 1987’s Japanese RPG Ys, and the intriguing Cyber Taxi Simulator – which may please fans of The Fifth Element. Or any other media with flying taxis, for that matter. The ‘90s cartoon Galaxy High is the second thing that springs to mind.

New Switch eShop releases

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered – £26.99

Play the Original Three Tomb Raider Adventures: For the first time ever, play the complete experience with all expansions and secret levels on modern platforms in this definitive collection.

Included Game Titles

  • Tomb Raider I + The Unfinished Business Expansion
  • Tomb Raider II + The Gold Mask Expansion
  • Tomb Raider III + The Lost Artifact Expansion

Solve Ancient Mysteries: Uncover treasures of the ancient world by solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries lost to the ravages of time.

Globe-trotting Adventure: Follow Lara Croft around the world and face off against deadly foes and dangerous myths.

Faithfully Restored: Experience the classics boasting upgraded graphics, with the option to switch to the original polygon look at any time.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong – £39.99

The toys are back in town in Mario vs. Donkey Kong on Nintendo Switch! Solve puzzles and test your platforming smarts as you try to recover the stolen Mini-Marios. This remake of the Game Boy Advance game features all-new graphics, levels, and other new ways to play.

Lake – £17.99

It’s September 1, 1986. You take on the role of forty-something Meredith Weiss, who returns from the big city to her quiet hometown. She exchanges her busy career at a software company to fill in for her dad, the local mail carrier.

During her two-week stay in beautiful Providence Oaks, Oregon, she runs into a few familiar faces as well as plenty of new folk. As Meredith, you get to decide who to talk to, who to befriend and perhaps even start a romantic relationship with.

Whatever happens, at the end of her stint she’ll have to make up her mind: return to her demanding job in the big city, or stay in the town she grew up in?

Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore – £17.99

After ten years of peace…the evil Daimur has returned! Princess Arzette is the Kingdom of Faramore’s only hope to restore harmony to the land!

In this brand new interactive action adventure game, you control the resourceful princess Arzette. Travel through multiple breathtaking locations filled with scum, villainy and secrets, speak with the locals to uncover mysteries and objectives, and take on the evil Daimur as Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore brings you the best interactive gaming experience since the invention of the CD-ROM!

Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II – £44.99

Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II is a suspense-horror game set at a prestigious academy.

When rumors circulate about supernatural occurrences at the famed Konoehara Academy in Tokyo’s H City, it’s up to the head of the Kujou family, also known as the “Spirit Doctor,” to take on the case.

Notices that announce people’s deaths, and students who aren’t what they seem. Through your investigation, it appears that a spirit called “The Departed” is the mastermind behind it all, and it looks like it wants something from you…

This entry introduces a new side-scrolling function when traveling across different locations. Combined with the first-person perspective during investigations, the Spirit Hunter experience is more immersive and terrifying than ever.

The partnering system has also been enhanced. The success rate of your actions during “Suspensive Acts” change depending on your partner of choice, further elevating the elements of suspense in this installment.

GUNVOLT RECORDS: Cychronicle – £12.19

A new rhythm music game starring the songstresses of the Azure Striker Gunvolt series, Lumen, Lola, and Luxia singing 15 different songs.

Follow the notes to the pounding beat and aim for a top score in this electrifying rhythm game!

The dual analog controls sync with the characters dancing in the 3D backgrounds for a fully immersive experience.

Maid of the Dead – £17.59

A shooting game aimed at restoring peace to Akiba by controlling gun-slinging maids and defeating zombies.

Cyber Taxi Simulator – £12.99

Embark on a futuristic journey in Cyber Taxi Simulator! As a skilled taxi driver, race against time to fulfill orders, earning coins to unlock a world of customization. Upgrade your standard taxi or indulge in a sleek new ride, each with unique enhancements. Earn coins to buy additional cars or customize your current one, creating the ultimate cyberpunk taxi fleet.

Witch’s Rhythm Puzzle – £4.49

Battle as cute sexy witches as you drop blocks to the beat to clear rows your side of the puzzle stage.

Send blocks to your opponent’s side to throw them off rhythm and tear their clothes asunder!

Each stage contains a new kind of catchy rhythm and a new puzzle element for ever increasing challenge!

PlateUp! – £16.75

Up to four players build and run a restaurant from scratch, choosing dishes, buying and placing appliances – some of which can be daisy-chained together to create ambitious automatic kitchens – cooking food and serving customers.

Players have free rein to design their restaurant which will expand and develop between shifts – with additional content and challenges unlocked through progression.

Can you cook, serve and manage your way through 15 hectic days in your restaurant and unlock a brand-new franchise?

Caveman Ransom – £4.99

Ooga is a friendly bearded caveman living his peaceful life during the stone age. Until one day, his beloved grandfather, Booga, is abducted for ransom by a gang of bandits.

Our hero must defeat the evil bandit cavemen and free his beloved grandfather. Jump, dodge traps, and climb ladders. Crush dinosaurs with jumps and obtain primitive projectile weapons. Battle challenging bandit bosses. Collect coins to spend in the shop and level up.

The charming nostalgia of Caveman Ransom is enough to fondly take you back in time to long-lost era of gaming.

EGGCONSOLE Ys PC-8801mkIISR – £5.39

This is an action RPG released by Nihon Falcom in 1987.

Players take on the role of Adol Christin, a red-haired adventurer, as he embarks on a journey to seek the six Books of Ys.

At the time of its release, the PC gaming industry was saturated with challenging RPGs. However, Nihon Falcom took a different approach with this game, releasing it with the concept of “”Now, it’s the era to bring kindness in RPGs,”” aiming to create an RPG that everyone could enjoy.

The game features clever level-up settings that eliminate the hassle of grinding for experience points, the removal of unreasonable traps, and agile characters that move smoothly. With numerous thoughtful design choices, the game can be enjoyed comfortably, and it is not an exaggeration to say that it is filled with “”kindness,”” as the tagline suggests.

Genso Chronicles – £13.49

Immerse yourself in a captivating world where bonds shape destiny, and strategic enhancements forge a path to victory. Will you answer the call of the guardian beasts and restore Light’s fate? Join the adventure now!

Birth – £8.29

Birth is a point & click game about living alone in a large city. In order to quell your loneliness, you decide to construct a friend from spare bones and organs that you find while exploring the city.


BANCHOU TACTICS is a strategy turn based role-playing

For several years of conflicts, there were bloody struggles between three high schools around this area (somewhere in Japan). This madness played by the three schools: Sakae High School, Nakamura Technical High School and Minato High School. They engaged in many fierce battles with the aim to show who’s boss in this town.

When Kitagawa Seiichi, the demon king of Minato High School just graduated last year, all the balance of three power came to doubt once again.

The game is set in Minato High School The story focuses on TAIGA ARASHI.

Hex Cats – £2.69

There’s a lot of cats. Like, a LOT of cats here.

They’re in every room in the house, and a lot of places outside…. And they took a lot of yarn balls with them to their escapades!

Guess who’s going to have to clean it all up?

(And guess how long the tidiness is going to last.?)

Oh well… Can’t stay mad at kittens for being kittens, especially when untangling yarn is such a relaxing activity to do.

Twilight Survivors – £2.69

A time-limited survival game infused with rogue-lite elements and an adorable art style! The world has plunged into darkness, and you are its sole beacon of hope. Will you endure until dawn, or succumb to repeated deaths in your quest? Fear not, for you can collect coins and more during your journey to arm yourself!

Tiny Treasure Hunt – £2.24

This is a brain-training picture-search game to find the item of the subject hidden in the illustration.

Fit My Cat – £8.99

Imagine a cardboard box. Is it shaped to fit one to two fluffy felines? What about five? What about twenty?

Fit My Cat presents you with many cute kitties that all wish to sit where they deem fit. That being said, we’re running out of space and we are seriously looking for a cat organizer. If you could spare a moment or two to make that happen we would be grateful.

Your Majesty – £4.49

Dive into the intricate world of medieval politics – as the king, your decisions shape the kingdom’s fate, balancing money, health, justice, agriculture, and army. Face dilemmas ranging from court intrigue, wars, and peasant uprisings to religious conflicts and diplomatic negotiations. Each choice impacts the kingdom’s wellbeing, leading to prosperity or downfall. Navigate this ever-evolving narrative, where your rule’s longevity depends on your wisdom and strategy. Will you be a revered monarch or meet a traitor’s end?

Edge of Reality – £4.49

It seems that there can be no more boring profession in the world than an appraiser in a pawnshop. But meeting with a mysterious young lady brings one such appraiser through a series of strange events, changing Dan’s initial perspective about his craft. In this game, immerse yourself in an intricate story, where dreams and reality are intertwined into a single whole. Where, at some point, reality itself may lose its stability.

Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire PLUS – £5.49

Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire PLUS offers the same card-based solitaire rules you know and love, but this time, you’ll meet a huge variety of 11 female challengers and enjoy even more gameplay options to customize the experience. Choose from multiple difficulties, play through a tutorial to learn or refresh your knowledge of the game, use hints and assists, change the number of deck draws and more!

Art of Glide – £3.29

Embark on a serene and enchanting adventure with “Art of Glide”, a relaxing but captivating game that invites you to soar through an infinite number of idyllic forest environments as a paper plane.

SCREAM AND STEEL – Horror Story Shooter – £12.99

Prepare for a pulse-pounding odyssey into fear with “Scream and Steel – Horror Story Shooter.” Your journey begins as you wake up in the inky blackness of a foreboding basement, surrounded by locked doors shrouded in mystery. As your senses adjust to the oppressive lack of light, you’ll discover that every door is sealed with ominous locks. To break free, you must rely on your instincts and wits to uncover intuitive passwords scattered throughout the eerie environment. The tension heightens with every step, creating an atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Throne of Egypt – £4.49

Step into the golden sandals of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, guiding your empire through the sands of time. Address the diverse concerns of your subjects, from state affairs and spiritual dilemmas to courtly intrigues and romances. Your decisions will either amass wealth, enhance the economy, and glorify the empire with grand temples and pyramids, or lead to its downfall. Engage with gods balancing their favour and wrath. Each choice weaves into the rich tapestry of your reign, with past decisions shaping future challenges. Rule wisely to avoid rebellion and maintain divine favour, ensuring your legacy endures through the ages.

Lords of Exile – £17.99

In ancient times of war in the Far East, the lands of Exilia were overrun by creatures of the night and samurais. Amidst this cruel conflict, only a bloodthirsty cursed knight can bring hope and vanquish the darkness.

Explore 8 levels of classic linear design, each featuring challenging obstacles and enemies to overcome. At the end of each level, you’ll face off against a powerful boss that will put your skills to the test. And as Gabriel, you’ll receive an extra skill after defeating each boss, allowing you to progress even further and take on greater challenges.

Lords of Exile on Switch

Next week: Inkulinati, qomp 2, Balatro, Promenade, Froggie – A Retro Platformer, Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story, Aery – Stone Age, Geometric Sniper Z, Dino Race – Dinosaur Ride Ranch, Wira & Taksa: Against the Master of Gravity, Tenderfoot Tactics, A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies, Quadroids, Metro Simulator 2, Apex Heroines, Yohane the Parhelion – NUMAZU in the MIRAGE, 502’s Arcade, Toy Rider, LUNARiA – Virtualized Moonchild, and Squirrel Stapler.