Top 3 Switch Releases 1/22/21 & 1/29/21

Hello everyone! I’ve gone and sorted through all of the game that have released the past two weeks and all I can say is “Wow!” Not only were a ton of games released, but a lot of really good ones and it was actually a little hard to choose a top 3, so expect a lot of honorable mentions!

Before I start on the list though, I want to pull one game out of the running entirely to talk about here in the intro as it stands out as a very different kind of title in the Eshop library. I’m talking about Hitman 3: Cloud Version which is listed as free on the Eshop. Here’s the reason why: Cloud versions of games is a relatively new concept mostly used for devices such as Google Stadia and is recently being implemented onto the Switch. The idea of it is to avoid long download times and needing massive storage space for games by giving you a chance to play a game from an online server rather than from a local copy. Under this system, you are first forced to play a trial run of the game for a short period of time, after which the game will alert you that you must purchase a pass to play the game any longer. In Hitman 3’s case, you must play a minimum of 3 minutes, to a maximum of 10 minutes in order to purchase the pass which costs the full $60 USD. The reasoning for this is to give you a feel for what playing a streamed game may look like with your own setup. In the case of Google Stadia, many have stated that the games run very well given a decent internet speed, but with the Nintendo Switch the story may be a bit different. As many have reported, the Nintendo Switch has an outdated type of wifi card that is commonly faulty, and because of this, you may see several reports of people online about trailers on the Eshop stuttering and buffering constantly. For others it may work just fine, so before playing any Cloud version games on Switch, I’d recommend running a connection test on the Switch and see if the download speed is anywhere near what your ISP is providing. The trial run also helps to figure out how well it will work. In my personal experience, I do have those wifi issues with my own Switch system, so playing Hitman 3 did result in a few moments of frame skips and input lag in which case it can’t be recommended. That’s why Hitman 3 will not be on this list, as the experience of playing it varies greatly from one system to the next. But anyway, onto the actual Top 3 list!

#3 TOHU

TOHU by Fireart Games just recently launched on several systems including Nintendo Switch and the animators and artists did an amazing job with the artwork of the characters and the world. Everything in the game looks beautiful and stylized in an incredibly fun and enjoyable way. TOHU is a sidescrolling adventure game with platforming and puzzle mechanics. You’ll play as a seemingly nameless happy-go-lucky little girl and her mechanical alter-ego Cubis as you explore several worlds shaped like fish and other aquatic creatures. The environments all look very much alive and full of whimsy and creativity.

#2 Heaven’s Vault

Indie developers Inkle have managed to take archaeology and anthropology and turn it into an incredibly immersive puzzle game in which you must search through several dig sites for an ancient civilization, inspect artifacts and hieroglyphics, and put together the story and history of this ancient civilization. Most of the game is spent working out linguistic puzzles in which you must decipher hieroglyphics using limited knowledge of what some characters/words may translate to.

Some minor complaints around the game seem to revolve around the transitioning in the game such as moving from one site to another requires you to play through a ship sailing mini game which can get repetitive, as well as several lines of dialogue that are unskippable which may take up some time in the game’s New Game + feature. Other complaints involve a generally slow movement speed of the player character and a lack of speaking character names over dialogue boxes in some portions that can make it difficult to discern which character is talking. Other than that, this game is definitely one of a kind and worth checking out!

#1 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

After the many issues surrounding the recent release of CD Projekt Red’s newest game Cyberpunk 2077, we’re now getting the chance to go back to one of their biggest successes as a developer in The Witcher 3. For those that don’t know much about the Witcher series, it follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a bounty hunter of sorts who specializes in monster hunting. The title of Witcher revolves around a person who has undergone severe mental, physical, and magical training to be able to take on the toughest of wild creatures in the world.

Geralt of course is a man with his own personal issues and past that make him into a gruff loner with a rough medieval cowboy-esque personality. Throughout the game you’ll get the chance to not only build his skill set as you want, but also make serious choices often referred to being on par with the choices of Mass Effect. Throughout his story, you may get wrapped up in underground organizations, political dealings, romantic whirlwinds, and a lot of potentially grueling difficult combat.

Although the Witcher series already began with a decent amount of popularity from the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski that the story is taken from, and then even more popularity with each new video game installment, the series has only gained more of a gathering since then with the recent success of the Netflix series installment starring Henry Cavill. Because of this, if you can’t seem to get into the game series or if you have played the games and thoroughly enjoyed them, I can also highly recommend the book and Netflix series for even further detail into the original story.

Honorable Mentions

  • Dadish 2: Available for free on mobile, Dadish 2 is a sidescrolling platformer with an amazing sense of humor as you play as a radish dad looking for his radish son. You can check it out on mobile and if you enjoy the game, buy it on Switch to support the dev! (Catcup Games)
  • Timothy and the Mysterious Forest: Visually designed to look like a retro Gameboy game similar to Legend of Zelda, Timothy and the Mysterious Forest is a punishing game that revolves around solving puzzles and generally avoiding combat. Your only method of attack is throwing pots or boulders onto enemies, or avoid them altogether as you explore a dense world of haunting encounters. The OST especially is incredible, however keep in mind that you will die in just one hit so be prepared for some death. And be sure to talk to NPCs several times! (Kibou Entertainment)
  • Dungeon Nightmares 1+2 Collection: A classic first person randomly generated horror series that became a youtube sensation, both games are now available on Switch at an inexpensive price of $12 USD, but is currently on sale for just $2 USD. (K Monkey)
  • The Game is On: A very minimalistic puzzle game centered around making puns of English idioms. Similar to an old set of puzzles some might remember in school where words and/or symbols were put into a small square to represent an idiom or saying. (For example the word “mind” placed over the word “matter” to represent “mind over matter”). (Bigosaur)
  • Bouncing Hero: A randomly generated auto-shoot platformer in which you must navigate a constantly bouncing protagonist through an evil witch’s castle avoiding traps, enemies, and hazards along the way. (ZPink)
  • Tadpole Treble Encore: Looks like a rhythm based game, but is actually something like the opposite in which your goal is to avoid enemies and hazards that appear in time with the beautiful music score. You can also make your own composition/levels, however they can only be shared via QR code which is very limiting on what could be an expansive library of stages. (BitFinity)
  • Unspottable: A mixture of Among Us and the classic metagame SpyParty, Unspottable is a game where you must discern who among several identically looking characters is a player, and which ones are just programmed NPCs. The main downside is there is no online lobbies at the moment, it’s only playable with friends. (GrosChevaux)
  • Adverse: A first person platformer in which you navigate a wide open world with smooth speedy movement all while shooting down targets with your bow. The game is both relaxing and difficult, but will make you feel awesome when you pull off a level perfectly. (Loneminded)
  • Lost Lands: Dark Overlord: A hidden object point-and-click adventure that was originally released on mobile is now free to play on the Nintendo Switch. The fact that it’s free to play likely means that the dev is more in it for showing off what they can do than to make money off of it right away, and I just can’t say no to supporting that. (Five-BN)
  • Gods Will Fall: An action-RPG boss gauntlet in which you control a horde of characters to explore the exterior of the island, but go alone as you enter through one of its many doors to face one of the many gods within in a difficult boss fight. After each death, pick up where you left off with another character with new skills and weapons. (Clever Beans)
  • Colossus Down: A beat-em-up game with wacky off the wall humor and some sudden whiplashes in gameplay style very similar to Castle Crashers. In this game you’ll play as a little girl named Nika who has build a combat mech suit to destroy all things she views as “uncool.” She’s joined by classmate Agatha who can summon her god of carnivorism “The Bleeding Pig” in her goal to destroy all things vegan and vegetarian. Check it out if your in for some wild humor. (Mango Protocol)
  • Sword of the Necromancer: An action RPG dungeon crawler where you can resurrect your enemies after defeat to make them fight for you on your ultimate quest to find a way to bring back your loved one from death. (Grimorio of Games)
  • Citizens Unite!: Earth x Space: Travel between the present and the future mixing two games into one as two political ambassadors as you fight against beings of time, monsters, robots, and protestors. In the present you’ll fight enemies in a Mother series style where the enemy sprite is ahead of you and you select from a series of potential actions. In the future you’ll fight in a more Paper Mario style with timing hits and fancy moves. That’s not all though, you can recruit a grand total of 88 citizens to join your party, each one having unique moves and abilities. Originally Citizens Earth and Citizens Space were two separate games, but now in this crossover version you’ll play through both games with each one impacting the other. (Eden Industries)

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