Indie World – Nintendo Switch

Hey folks, Nintendo debuted a new Indie World showcase video (see below) highlighting a wide variety of indie games coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2020! This includes original platformers like Blue Fire, action-RPGs like Baldo, the next game from No Man’s Sky creators Hello Games, The Last Campfire, and sequels like PixelJunk Eden 2 and Exit the Gungeon, the latter of which launches for Nintendo Switch today.


source: Nintendo AU

The following titles were shown in the video:

  • Exit the Gungeon from Dodge Roll & Singlecore Games: Exit the Gungeon is a bullet-hell dungeon climber immediately following the events of Enter the Gungeon. Armed with an ever-changing weapon, an insatiable need to loot and the trusty dodge roll, each of our heroes must ascend and escape via their own unique route of increasingly perilous elevators. Exit the Gungeon launches on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive today!
  • The Last Campfire from Hello Games: Discover a beautiful wilderness filled with lost folk, strange creatures and mysterious ruins as you journey to light the last campfire. Experience a truly moving tale of magic and mystery when The Last Campfire launches for Nintendo Switch this winter.
  • Blue Fire from Robi Studios: Embark on an extraordinary journey through the desolated kingdom of Penumbra and discover the hidden secrets of this long-forgotten land. Explore mystical temples, encounter survivors and take on strange quests to collect valuable items. A dark world awaits when Blue Fire launches first on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive this winter.
  • Baldo from Naps Team: Meet many weird and funny characters and become immersed in the amazing world of Baldo, an action-adventure RPG full of puzzles, intriguing gameplay mechanics and intricate dungeons to solve spread through a wide, interactive open world. Baldo launches first on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive this winter.
  • I Am Dead from Hollow Ponds: I Am Dead is a charming puzzle adventure game from the creators of Hohokum and Wilmot’s Warehouse about exploring the afterlife. I Am Dead launches first on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive later this year.
  • B.ARK from Tic Toc Games: It’s time for pugs, cats, bears and bunnies to save the solar system! Call your friends over to pilot powerful yet adorable ships, as you team up against waves of enemies in a side scrolling shooter. B.ARK blasts off first on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive in late 2020.
  • Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse: Part 1 from Explosm Games: You play as Coop “Go Away, Weirdo” McCarthy, and all you want to do is make the world a better place. The trouble is: Nobody likes you, school sucks, you can’t find a prom date, everybody bullies you (including your teachers) and your attempts to help only make things worse. Get ready for a world full of weirdness when Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse: Part 1 launches first on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive this winter.
  • Summer in Mara from Chibig: Take care of your own island and explore the ocean in this farming adventure. Discover the story of Koa in a game that combines farming, crafting and exploring in a tropical archipelago with a colourful style and strong narrative. Summer in Mara launches first on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive this autumn.
  • Quantum League from Nimble Giant Entertainment: Quantum League is a revolutionary time-paradox shooter: a competitive online* FPS in which you battle within a time loop, tactically teaming up with your past and future selves in mind-blowing 1v1 and 2v2 matches. Quantum League time warps onto Nintendo Switch in late 2020.
  • The Good Life from White Owls Inc.: Become a journalist from New York and head out to research Rainy Woods, the world’s happiest town in the English countryside. But Rainy Woods also hides a great secret. On full moon nights, the inhabitants turn into dogs and cats. Enjoy the bizarre charm of Rainy Woods when The Good Life launches on Nintendo Switch later this year.
  • PixelJunk Eden 2 from Q-Games: Jump, spin, swing and take out invading creatures to collect pollen and grow gardens back to full bloom. Along the way you’ll encounter a host of creatures and beautifully realized alien worlds to explore and liberate. Wallow in a feeling of synesthesia as the art and exquisite music from Baiyon envelops your mind and soul, as you, your Grimp and the delightful aesthetics of PixelJunk Eden 2 become one.  Enjoy this wonderland alone or with a friend via local multiplayer when PixelJunk Eden 2 launches on Nintendo Switch this winter.
  • Faeria from Abrakam: With its unique living board, Faeria will challenge you with truly strategic card battles. Craft your deck, shape the battlefield and fight for victory! The Nintendo Switch version of Faeria comes in autumn 2020!
  • Eldest Souls from Fallen Flag Studio: Set in a grim, dark fantasy world, Eldest Souls innovates boss-rush gameplay with a high level of combat customization. Be among the first to take up the challenge when Eldest Souls launches on Nintendo Switch as a timed console exclusive this winter.
  • Moving Out from SMG Studio/DevM Games: For fans of cooperative gaming, Moving Out is an action-, puzzle-, physics-based moving simulator that brings a whole new meaning to “couch co-op.” Play alone or locally with friends in more than 50 levels across arcade, story and versus modes. Moving Out launches on Nintendo Switch on 28th April, with pre-purchase for the game available today. Anyone that wants to try Moving Out now can head to Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch to check out a free demo.
  • Sky Racket from Double Dash Studios: Flying over whimsical worlds filled with vivid colours, it’s just you, a stylish scarf, a laser tennis racket and a horde of fluffy enemies trying to blow you back to the ground. Mixing the classic genres of shoot-’em-ups and block breakers, Sky Racket is the world’s first “Shmup Breaker!”. Sky Racket launches on Nintendo Switch today!

Additional indie games highlighted in the video that are coming to Nintendo Switch this year include Blair Witch from Bloober Team, Bounty Battle from Dark Screen Games, Dicey Dungeons from Distractionware Limited, Ghost of a Tale from SeithCG, Sky: Children of the Light from thatgamecompany, Superliminal from Pillow Castle and Wingspan from Monster Couch.

AO Tennis 2 – Nintendo Switch Review

Tennis has always translated quite well to the video game realm, from Tennis on the Atari 2600 to the now life-like AO Tennis 2!

The bar set by Virtua Tennis 2 on the Sega Dreamcast all those years ago is what we judge every new tennis video game by. Some might think this to be a somewhat crude way of judging a game, but we say, go and play Virtua Tennis 2 now, you will note that it still plays darn awesome. So how does Australia’s Big Ant StudiosAO Tennis 2 compare to Sega’s flagship tennis game? Wellllll, if we told you right away, you wouldn’t bother reading the rest of this review. Stick around, as we send a few volleys and aces over your way from the Australian Open!

First off, this second game in the series takes tennis realism up a few notches. Australian development studio, Big Ant Studios, has done a admirable job in nailing the authenticity and atmosphere of Australia’s Grand Slam, from the Melbourne Park courts to the featured players, like Rafael Nadal and our very own, Ash Barty.

The roster of players is good, but not great. Missing are some top ranked players, namely Federer, Djokovic, Medvedev and Andy Murray. The sole Aussie flag bearer is Thanasi Kokkinakis. At least we get to play as Ash Barty on the women’s side. Oh yeah, you also have the choice of creating and customising your very own tennis star! The game features an impressive customisation engine, which we really don’t care for (we rather just play tennis!), but it’s impressive nonetheless. On the whole, the graphics are ok and look pretty good from a distance, but things start to look a bit rough when zooming in on the close-ups. It doesn’t detract too much from the game, but it is one of its weaker points. The crowd is also nothing to write home about, so lucky you don’t notice it while smashing the ball back and forth over the net.

Where this game shines is in its all new (and lengthy, in a good way) narrative driven career mode. The career mode clearly takes inspiration from games like NBA 2K games. There are heaps of story-based cutscenes that cycle and change depending on how well or how badly you’re playing. To add more (good) tension, the frequent press conferences have an impact on how the press and fans feel about you. So if you intend on having a McEnroe or Nick Kyrgios type meltdown on court, then be prepared to cop flack in the newspapers – a great touch, which adds to the realism.

So how does it play? Well, it’s not as fluid as any of the Virtua Tennis games we’ve played, but that is a high bar to get over. As it is, AO Tennis 2 plays well enough, with a slight floaty feel to the game, where timing your shot is crucial. Luckily, it didn’t take us too long to get into the swing of things (pun fully intended), so we were serving and returning the ball with ease and in the spots where we wanted the ball to go. With all the shots mapped well on the Switch’s controller (Joy or Pro), there is no shortage of shot choice.

What are our overall impressions of this game? Playing AO Tennis 2 in career mode on the Nintendo Switch will have you swinging the virtual racquet for ages. If you prefer your tennis a bit wacky, then stick with Mario Tennis Aces, but if you yearn for a more realistic tennis game on the Switch, then this is your only choice.

image source: HomeRun PR

 

Disclosure: AO Tennis 2 [Nintendo Switch eShop code] was kindly provided by HomeRun PR for this review.

 

John Wick Hex – Review

Prepare to suit up and take down your enemies in John Wick Hex from the team at Bithell Games, out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

John Wick Hex is a fast paced turn-based strategy game centring on everyone’s favourite killer of boogeymen. While some people may feel that a property like John Wick would make a good first-person shooter, the team at Bithell Games have managed to perfectly turn the fluidity and speed that Wick is known for into a turn-based strategy game that feels action packed. Players move through levels on a hexagon based grid with their actions being noted as “time taken” on a bar at the top of the screen. Enemies also have a time bar just below the player’s which allows you to plan your approach depending on their actions. An enemy may be planning to draw his weapon and shoot Wick allowing the player not enough time to fire first but perhaps enough time to roll away or even disarm their opponent. All actions take differing amounts of time from firing weapons, reloading, healing yourself and even just standing or crouching. Once a level is completed it can be replayed back at full speed in a fluid action scene demonstrating John Wick’s skills.

Levels are diverse and stylish, leaving each one’s approach in the hands of the player and their own particular style. Slow and methodical is often a winning strategy, with players made to think always a few steps ahead just like our protagonist. Carrying out certain moves will require the use of “focus” meaning that Wick will often need to take a short break and recompose himself before he can continue. This can be done at any time but allowing your focus to drain in the middle of a fight can prove to be fatal. Patience is certainly a requirement to playing John Wick Hex as levels can often be difficult and go from bad to worse in an instant requiring multiple playthroughs to get right.

Those familiar with the John Wick lore will love all the subtle nods to the movies and expansion of the universe in general, while newcomers are in for some exciting discoveries about these popular characters. The game has a wonderful comic book styling to it, featuring bright neon lights and dark dingy alleyways, that feels perfect for this kind of action. John Wick Hex offers a lot in the way of replayability and will push a lot of players to their limits while trying to get that perfect playthrough.

Not for the faint of heart or low on patience, John Wick Hex is a fantastic game with a lot of style and charm that might just push back a little too hard for some players to fully enjoy.

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Mat Panek, Chief Reporter
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.

Follow Mat on Twitter and Twitch

 

 

Disclosure: John Wick Hex [EPIC Games Store] was kindly provided by Power Up PR  for this review.

 

 

Woven – Nintendo Switch Review

Prepare to unravel the tangled tale of Woven, out now on the Nintendo Switch from the team at Alterego Games.

Woven is a rather laid back Adventure game with puzzle elements set in an adorable wooly and stitch filled world. Players take control of an unlikely hero named Stuffy, a well meaning but incredibly clumsy creature that stumbles across a strange mechanical firefly called Glitch. Together they will attempt to discover why all these metal machines have suddenly appeared, what has happened to all of Stuffy’s friends and Glitch’s missing memories. The game is accompanied by a charming storybook style rhyme, that tells the story of our heroes as players progress through the land. By collecting blueprints and using the knitting machines spread throughout each world, players will reshape Stuffy into various different animal designs to solve puzzles and traverse obstacles. Becoming strong animals will allow players to move heavy objects and becoming nimble characters will increase players movement options.

Stuffy starts off as an elephant but quickly players will begin to find blueprints for various other animals from aardvarks to giraffes and deer. Although there are dozens of different animals there is only a handful of required skills, this means lots of animal skills overlap leaving it up to the player to find and use the animals that they love. It is possible to mix and match body parts and fabric types however players see fit, making each version of stuffy as unique as you. A keen eye and exploration is certainly rewarded as hidden throughout the world are a myriad of different blueprints and fabrics for players to use.

Controls are fairly simple and most puzzles can be worked out with ease meaning that players both young and old can enjoy Woven. We did find a handful of rather ambiguous puzzles that took us a little bit longer to figure out than they should have but this certainly didn’t ruin our experience. The world surrounding our heroes is adorable and relaxing for the most part and we found it an enjoyable place to explore and observe with lots of nice little touches spread around.

Woven is a delightful and charming adventure game with a few simple flaws that prevents it from being perfect. Players that crave the simplicity and fun from classic puzzle platformers will thoroughly enjoy every seam and stitch in Woven’s unique world. 

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Mat Panek, Chief Reporter
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.

Follow Mat on Twitter and Twitch

 

 

Disclosure: Woven [Nintendo Switch eShop code] was kindly provided by PR Hound for this review.

 

 

WRC 8 – Nintendo Switch Review

Scandinavian flick your way into WRC 8 on the Nintendo Switch, out now from the team at Kylotonn.

Being the official game of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship means that WRC 8 has a lot to live up to and it is ready to prove itself. WRC 8 features a heavily redesigned career mode that includes an in-depth research and development skill tree as well as team and Calendar management. This gives players some fantastic options on how to run a team however they choose to suit their play style. Players can dictate which practice sessions are participated in to hone their skills and which aspects of the car and team they wish to invest in. The main campaign has 2 different modes including Front-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive depending on how much of a challenge players are after. Apart from the campaign there is also the standard versus, practice or time trial modes to play. Additionally, Kylotonn has brought back the WRC eSport events to participate in weekly for those that like an extra challenge. 

Featuring 14 Rallies and over 100 stages, there is plenty for players to sink their teeth into. The new dynamic weather system means that race preparation is crucial to gaining the upper hand. Rain and snow will visibly start to gather on the track and cause variation in the vehicle’s handling and traction, leading to some pretty hairy situations if you are not prepared. Rally is a tough sport and those not used to the driving style and skill required will definitely feel the pressure even at easier difficulties.

Graphics take a real hit in handheld mode but this is to be expected on the switch, while docked the graphics are notably improved and look great. Vehicle selection in the base game does feel a bit limited with only a handful of extra vehicles available outside of the major teams. Other vehicles are available to purchase depending on player preference but it would have been nice to have a few more of them included.

Fans of the WRC games and rally overall will love what WRC 8 has to offer the series but more casual racers may feel a little daunted. The Nintendo Switch has been craving some serious racing simulations since it’s release and WRC 8 is ready to deliver. 

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Mat Panek, Chief Reporter
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.

Follow Mat on Twitter and Twitch

 

 

Disclosure: WRC 8 [Nintendo Switch eShop code] was kindly provided by HomeRun PR for this review.

 

 

The Fisherman: Fishing Planet – PS4 Review

Grab your tackle box and find yourself a nice spot at the lake in The Fisherman – Fishing Planet, the latest from the team at Fishing Planet LLC.

The Fisherman is an immensely deep and detailed online multiplayer fishing simulator game where players will seek out various species of fish across multiple countries and locations. Boasting life-like fish AI, realistic aero/hydrodynamics and over 110 different fish species in game, The Fisherman is certainly a leap forward for fishing sims. Players will have the chance to customise every part of their fishing kit, including but not limited to: rods, reels, leading lines, floats, hooks and even equipment bags. With so much variety and choice it can be a bit daunting at first for new players but the tutorial system is very detailed and spread out very effectively. Fishing is affected by multiple different conditions, just like real life, including time of day, weather and bait used so players will need to plan out each expedition depending on what they wish to try and catch.

On a standard PS4, The Fisherman visually looks good but has the usual sim game rigidity in certain secondary aspects like level elements away from the waterline but the details in the fishing itself are fantastic. Fish and fishing equipment are highly detailed and branded with different stats or visual flair so you can customise your character and load-out however you prefer. Equipment is also modelled to be as close to their real world counterparts as possible, meaning that rods, reels and fishing lines can break if used incorrectly or if too much tension is applied.

Being an always online game means that players can obviously play with friends but it also means that the game is constantly being populated with other players from around the world. This can help hint towards better fishing spots and adds to the sense of community around this title, which appears to be nice and strong. Fishing challenges and competitions are available to compete in online and bring with them some nice friendly rivalry and competition for players from all over the world.

Regardless of whether you are a casual fishing enthusiast or a die hard fan of the sport, The Fisherman – Fishing Planet has a lot to offer with the added benefit of not needing to wake up early in the morning.

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Mat Panek, Chief Reporter
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.

Follow Mat on Twitter and Twitch

 

 

Disclosure: The Fisherman – Fishing Planet [PS4 PS Store code] was kindly provided by Homerun PR for this review.

 

 

Riverbond – Nintendo Switch Review

Gather some friends and prepare to hack, slash and blast your way through Riverbond, the latest title from the team at Cococucumber.

Riverbond is a funny, energetic, adorable and frantic voxel based, dungeon crawler. Up to 4 players can join together for some couch co-op fun and journey through 9 different dungeons on an epic adventure to restore peace and order to the land. Each dungeon is themed differently and enemies can range from different animals like pigs or crabs to cannon wielding parrots and bomb throwing books. Each dungeon is made up of a handful of areas with simple tasks or objectives before players must battle it out in a boss arena battle. Defeating enemies, talking to NPCs and opening presents are rewarded with points that go towards each players score. At the end of each dungeon, players are ranked on how well they do, this feature adds some nice competition between players but can be ignored for friendlier play sessions. 

Players will collect a number of different weapons to defend themselves, these are often placed along the major pathways in each dungeon. Exploration is rewarded though, as hidden within each level is even better weapons to use and new player skins to unlock. Weapons include swords and guns of various varieties but certainly lean towards more humorous options like slapping fish, ice creams, umbrella spears and foam dart guns with over 50 in total to find. Before each level begins, even mid dungeon, players can choose a skin that suits them ranging from fruit, sushi, animals, special guest characters and content creators. With over 100 different character skins to choose from, players will most certainly spend a fair bit of time switching and choosing skins depending on their personal preference.

Each dungeon is beautifully themed and well laid out with lots of nice little touches and secrets for those with a keen eye. Levels are also highly destructible which we found to be joyously cathartic. Early levels can be a little slow at times but this helps to get new players familiar with the controls and the general game mechanics. Difficulty seems to be at a set level though which means that having more players will work in your advantage but having less or playing solo will prove to be more of a challenge.

Full of mischief and mirth, Riverbond is a fantastic couch co-operative hack and blast with a nice competitive streak that is best enjoyed with friends. Players of any age will surely love all that Riverbond has to offer. 

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Mat Panek, Chief Reporter
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.

Follow Mat on Twitter and Twitch

 

 

Disclosure: Riverbond [Nintendo Switch eShop code] was kindly provided by Stride PR for this review.