Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 5th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got an assortment of reviews, new releases, and sales for you to check out. Our pal Mikhail has his detailed thoughts on Ooblets, while I’ve got reviews of Tribes of Midgard, Aquadine, and Hell Pie. There are several new releases, though nothing particularly exciting. Finally, a rather healthy list of new sales along with the expiring discounts of the day. Let’s get to work!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Glumberland’s Ooblets has been interesting to follow over the years. The two-person studio released Ooblets in early access blending in creature collecting, farming, and life simulation, and more with a very charming aesthetic. I never played the early access version, but kept hearing from friends how I would love it considering I play a lot of games in the life simulation genre like Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, and also every Story of Seasons game. Having finally played it on Nintendo Switch and dabbled into the Xbox version to compare, Ooblets exceeded my expectations in most ways, but needs a bit of work in one area right now.
When I first started playing Ooblets, I wasn’t sure what to think of the structure, but I quickly got into a nice routine with interactions, gathering, farming, mini-games, and more. There’s quite a bit of stuff to do as well to keep yourself busy, but it does take a while to get going. This is a reductive way to describe Ooblets given how much of its own charm and ideas it brings in, but if a cute blend of Pokemon and Story of Seasons sounds good to you, Ooblets is an easy recommendation. Instead of turn-based combat, dance battles with great music and light deckbuilding feel tailored to my taste as well.
Visually, Ooblets‘ colorful aesthetic and character designs look great in both handheld and docked modes on Switch. There is even an enlarged UI option that I enabled. While it looks nice on Switch, it sadly has performance issues. These range from a slightly long load initially when compared with the Xbox version to frame pacing or stuttering. This reminds me of how Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town runs on Switch. Ooblets isn’t as bad, but it isn’t a smooth experience in its current state.
Barring the performance issues, I’m not a fan of how some small tasks or interactions result in a short cut-scene that takes longer to move the camera than to show you the interaction. Even basic things like refilling your watering can for farming have this happen. I hope a future update can allow skipping or speeding up some of these moments.
In its current state, Ooblets is an easy recommendation at its discounted launch price if you enjoy life and farming simulation games despite the performance issues. While it isn’t perfect even when played on Xbox Series X going by the bit I played there to compare, Ooblets does a great job of blending creature collecting and life simulation elements together with a ton of its own charm. I hope potential future updates can address the performance issues on Switch because Ooblets feels like a fantastic fit for the Switch’s library, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves over time. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Tribes of Midgard ($19.99)
Tribes of Midgard is an interesting blend of mechanics, but whether or not you can fully enjoy what it has to offer is going to depend on whether or not you have people to play it with. Solo play is a little too hectic to be properly enjoyable, but combine it with a group of online friends and you have something worth checking out. It’s a bit of an action RPG, a bit of a survival game, and a bit of base defense. The main mode of the game sees you playing what seems for all the world to be a standard Diablo-style action RPG. You’ve got areas and small dungeons to explore, quests to complete, and upgrades to seek out.
Then night falls and all hell breaks loose. The town will be assaulted by enemies, and you’ll have to warp back and fend them off. You can (and should) shore up the defenses of the town using the materials you find, but you’ll also have to be an active participant in fending off the hordes. At the end of each mission, you’ll have to take on a giant enemy in epic battles that are easily the most enjoyable part of the game. It’s a lot for one player to stay on top of, even with the CPU helping out. Share the load with some friends, and you’ll find things work a lot better. There are various job classes and other goodies to unlock as you play, and you can shell out real money for some cosmetics if that is your jazz.
The game runs nicely enough on the Switch, but handheld players will naturally have to plant themselves near an online connection point to play with others. And you will want to play with others, because it turns what is in single-player a very rough time management game into a properly enjoyable roguelite action-RPG experience. This “best with friends” quality means that Tribes of Midgard isn’t going to be for everyone, but those with the right conditions to enjoy the game will find plenty to like.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
This is a good example of what strong world-building can do for a visual novel. Aquadine is set in a fictional city of the same name with elements of Venice, Denmark, and pure fantasy fused together in a surprisingly believable way. Aquadine is a city that has built its culture on myths, the kind of place where a handsome young gondolier with a beautiful singing voice can be the biggest celebrity around. But myths are just that, aren’t they? Well, said gondolier will soon find out that there’s more truth to them than most people thought.
Aquadine has an engaging story and the writing is good enough to not let all the work that goes into its setting down. There are multiple branches to the story that will see the main character end up with one of a few different potential romantic partners, and they’re all worth playing to see how they go. You get a few really fun plot elements here that will keep you playing to see how they turn out. What’s the deal with the mysterious mermaid Ciel/Robin spots one night? Can Robin keep his secret identity as the popular gondolier Ciel under his hat? What is the exact nature of his mother’s illness?
I really enjoyed the story of Aquadine and its various routes. It’s well-written, the setting is unique, and the character interactions are interesting. Its mysteries are intriguing and the plot delivers well on them for the most part. The only thing that really bothered me is the way the characters would vibrate to express certain emotions. I’d rather have had them static than looking like they just stuck a fork in a toaster. Other than that, if you enjoy a good visual novel, you’ll probably like Aquadine.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Hell Pie ($24.99)
Hell Pie is a 3D platformer that revels in its juvenile sense of humor and gross-out gags, similar to things like Conker’s Bad Fur Day. That’s going to appeal to some and push away others. You’re the only one that can say which way that will swing for you. While I’m broadly over most of that kind of humor, I can still laugh at a well-timed fart joke, so that is where I’m at. Moving beyond that, Hell Pie has a lot of pluses and minuses. The overall game is pretty neat from a design standpoint. I like the grappling ability that you can use anywhere, and the level design overall is solid.
It’s the technical areas where this game falters. The framerate is all over the place, sometimes dropping to a staggeringly poor state when you’re swinging around. As in many other 3D platformers, the camera in this game really misbehaves around tight spaces, and you’ll be in more than a few while making your way through it. The controls can also be a bit hard to wrangle, though I can’t be sure how much of that is as a result of the first two issues I’ve talked about. It’s really easy to overshoot platform edges and the main character has a somewhat heavy feel to him.
I found enough things to like in Hell Pie that I could probably see my way to recommending it on other platforms. On Switch, there are just too many technical issues dragging down the experience for my liking. If you’re very tolerant of that kind of thing, you might still enjoy the game. It has some fun ideas, a crass but amusing sense of humor, and some interesting levels. But it’s hard to enjoy any of that when you miss a jump because the framerate took a dive and the camera went wacky at a critical moment.
SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5
Into The Dark ($24.99)
The Switch can always use more Dungeon Master-style dungeon crawlers, and that’s what Into the Dark offers. It has a hand-designed 16-floor campaign, a random dungeon generator, a dungeon level editor, and just a general boat-load of content with regards to monsters, playable heroes, and so on. The reception for this game’s computer version has been fairly positive, which is an encouraging sign. Provided it made the port to Switch well, this might slake the thirst of those looking for dark dungeons to plumb the depths of.
This is an exploratory platformer where you play as a clown trying to escape a haunted castle and rescue their friends along the way. Not very fancy dining, but given the publisher this is probably going to be on sale regularly for very, very low prices. Perhaps it will sufficiently entertain you if you get it for a buck or two.
Please, Touch The Artwork ($7.99)
A chill little puzzler with three different kinds of games to play. In the first, you use colors and lines to try to re-create works of abstract art. In the second, you’re exploring an abstract maze version of New York City, collecting words from a poem. Finally, the third game sees you trying to reunite two squares by considering how the various obstacles will influence their movement. Reviews are strong on other platforms, so I imagine puzzle fans will have a nice time with it here.
The Vampires ($4.99)
I have no idea what to make of this game, but it looks like it was cobbled together in a week. Something about logic puzzles and vampire heads. I tried to research the game but that title is so generic that I might as well be looking for a needle in a haystack. The importance of writing a decent description for your game, I suppose.
City Traffic Driver 2 ($12.99)
Recently BoomHits has been doing a lot of wackier concepts, but it still has room on its plate for its usual driving game fare. Which is precisely what this is, offering ten different cars to drive, a decent-sized area to drive them in, and some missions to complete whilst doing said driving. As always, it will be on sale for a deep discount before too long if you are patient.
Viki Spotter: The Farm ($4.99)
Diner placemat fans rejoice, another Viki Spotter game is here! Spot the differences between the two pictures. That’s all. It’s farm themed. There will be another one in a few days.
Matisse’s 3D World ($4.00)
This is a very, very basic 3D platformer of sorts. It looks like someone’s little passion project and it has a reasonable price tag affixed to it, so I’m just going to leave it at that.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Some cool games in today’s list of new sales. Death’s Gambit, Doki Doki Literature Club, Human: Fall Flat, The Flame in the Flood, and Rigid Force Redux would be my picks, but make sure you have a look through yourself. Not too much in the outbox, so you can probably focus your attention on the new sales.
Select New Games on Sale
B.ARK ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
Adventures of Pip ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
Easy Red 2 ($5.99 from $7.99 until 9/9)
Death’s Gambit: Afterlife ($13.99 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Doki Doki Literature Club+ ($11.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine ($3.99 from $19.99 until 9/10)
A Case of Distrust ($2.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Lifeless Planet PE ($3.99 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Cyanide & Happiness Freakpocalypse ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Neversong ($4.49 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Quell Reflect ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/10)
Farmer’s Co-Op: Out of this World ($6.49 from $12.99 until 9/12)
Human: Fall Flat ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/17)
The Flame in the Flood: CE ($2.99 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Beholder CE ($2.99 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Manual Samuel ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/17)
Autonauts ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/17)
Demon’s Rise: War for the Deep ($1.99 from $6.99 until 9/17)
OctaFight ($1.99 from $5.99 until 9/17)
Shieldwall Chronicles SotN ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/17)
A Day Without Me ($1.99 from $5.99 until 9/17)
The Swindle ($2.99 from $14.99 until 9/17)
For The King ($7.49 from $24.99 until 9/17)
Velocity 2X ($3.99 from $19.99 until 9/17)
Pumped BMX Pro ($2.99 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Embr ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/17)
A Knight’s Quest ($4.99 from $24.99 until 9/17)
Just Die Already ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels ($4.49 from $29.99 until 9/17)
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind ($3.74 from $24.99 until 9/17)
Hotshot Racing ($3.99 from $19.99 until 9/17)
American Fugitive ($1.99 from $19.99 until 9/17)
Hue ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/17)
Space Crew: Legendary ($7.49 from $24.99 until 9/17)
Teslagrad ($5.24 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Hero-U Rogue to Redemption ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/18)
Brotherhood United ($1.99 from $8.99 until 9/18)
Zombo Buster Advance ($1.99 from $3.99 until 9/18)
Jade Order ($1.99 from $6.99 until 9/18)
Barn Finders ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/20)
Super Mombo Quest ($6.36 from $15.90 until 9/20)
Raft Life ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/22)
Bike Jump ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/22)
Super Hero Flying School ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/22)
Crazy Plane Landing ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/22)
Shiro ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/23)
Ritual: Crown of Horns ($2.99 from $19.99 until 9/23)
DARQ CE ($8.99 from $19.99 until 9/23)
Car Parking Simulator ($5.19 from $12.99 until 9/23)
Inertia Redux (43.51 from $4.39 until 9/23)
Calm Colors ($2.39 from $3.99 until 9/23)
Dark Minute: Kira’s Adventure ($5.99 from $9.99 until 9/23)
Troupe ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/24)
Fledgling Heroes ($1.99 from $19.99 until 9/24)
Here Be Dragons ($5.39 from $17.99 until 9/24)
Rigid Force Redux ($6.79 from $19.99 until 9/25)
Cardaclysm: SotF ($5.09 from $14.99 until 9/25)
Slime-san ($4.07 from $11.99 until 9/25)
Pumpkin Jack ($13.49 from $29.99 until 9/25)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 6th
Adventures of Pip ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
Ashland Dossier ($6.99 from $10.99 until 9/6)
B.ARK ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
Bit Orchard: Animal Valley ($1.99 from $6.99 until 9/6)
Boreal Tenebrae ($1.99 from $6.99 until 9/6)
Crash: Autodrive ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
Cubicity ($2.04 from $6.00 until 9/6)
Elemetals Death Metal Death Match ($1.99 from $12.99 until 9/6)
House Builder ($12.99 from $14.99 until 9/6)
Mojito the Cat ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
One Gun Guy ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/6)
Pendula Swing: Complete Journey ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
Potata: Fairy Flower ($2.40 from $12.00 until 9/6)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews, more new releases, more sales, and maybe some news. I’m feeling really sluggish today. I suppose I could use a day off, but who can afford such things in this day and age? I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!