Dark Quest 2 – Nintendo Switch Review

Prepare to enter the castle and fight through rooms of Goblins, Orcs and monsters in Dark Quest 2 from Brain Seal Ltd.

Dark Quest 2 is a strategic turn-based RPG where you control up to 3 characters in your goal to take back the castle from the evil Sorcerer. Players can recruit and level up multiple adventurers to help them in their quest as well as craft various items to increase skills and stats. Each room is tile based and characters can only move a certain amount of tiles, which varies depending on class and equipped items, this makes Dark Quest 2 feel very much like a simplified tabletop adventure. Through your journey you will collect gold and gems and if one of your adventurers happens to die, they can be resurrected for a percentage of your total gold.

Similar to other turn-based RPGs every attack and defence action is left to the roll of an unseen dice which can lead to some amazing or rather unfortunately frustrating runs. Dark Quest 2 is rather forgiving though with the death mechanic and as long as you haven’t built up too much of a gold horde, it shouldn’t cost you too much to resurrect party members. Certain levels are replayable but their difficulty increases after each successful attempt giving some good grind and risk/reward mechanics. As well as the 4 classes available in the tavern, there is also a few classes spread out in the castle for you to find.

While Dark Quest 2 is a little simplified, making it easier for casual players in some respects, it is still enjoyable for those looking for a challenge on higher difficulties. The amount of time it takes to complete Dark Quest 2 also depends on what kind of player you are. While it might be easy enough to speed through the castle and min/max a few characters to defeat the Sorcerer, a lot of the fun comes from experimenting with the different classes, items and strategies. There are only a set number of unique equip-able items though and characters can only equip 2 items each, this limits your options in one way but it also allows for some nice play-style optimisation. Clearing out each area in the castle can also be a difficult but rewarding challenge for completionists.

A fun little dungeon crawler, Dark Quest 2 offers a lot in a neat little package. Regardless of player skill, fans of tile based or tabletop games will likely enjoy what it has to offer.

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Mat Panek
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: Dark Quest II [Nintendo Switch eShop code] was kindly provided by Brain Seal Entertainment for this review.

 

 

Sega and Taito Sounds Hit The KORG Gadget On The Nintendo Switch


As Queen’s Freddy Mercury once sang, ” Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?“. Could we be dreaming? The KORG music production studio will allow (from July 11) you to create 80s Sega arcade game sounds and Taito FM synth sounds on your Nintendo Switch.

Yep, dreams do come true! With the awesome collaboration between ‘SEGA’ and ‘TAITO’, version 3.0 of the KORG Gadget for Nintendo Switch is a reality that will include the 2 new gadgets – Sega’s Otorii and Taito’s Ebina!

Check out the video below and head to the KORG news site for more info on this music making awesomeness. July 11 can’t come fast enough!


source: KORG

[story & image source: Korg News]

 

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows – Nintendo Switch Review

Don your mask and delve into a world of intrigue, mystery and magic in Masquerada: Songs and Shadows from Witching Hour Studios.

Set in a country beset by civil war, where masquerade masks grant their wearers incredible powers, Masquerada is an interesting and deep isometric tactical RPG. You assume the role of Cicero, an Ispettore (inspector) brought back from exile to track down an important official, a researcher that has gone missing. Masquerada is set in a fantastical Venetian world where threats are presented from not only the rival faction, known as “The Mask Runners,” but also from the magical creatures known as Fey. 

The prologue acts as a tutorial, setting up the backstory of the world and also giving a nice quick rundown on the games battle mechanics. Pausing the action just as it starts or at any time in battles, gives some real interesting tactical options in Masquerada, this allows the player to set up flanking positions, change fighting stance and time attacks or buffs. There is also an emphasis on elemental tags that allow extra damage to be dealt to enemies by tagging an enemy or group with one attack and carrying out specific follow up moves. Character’s skills and powers can be assigned and upgraded for offence or defence depending on play style and different masks will give different Elemental powers, bonuses and skills.

The story is a wonderfully written and fully voiced experience, full of political intrigue, lore, mystery and in fighting between the various factions of the Citte Della Ombre, meaning that Masquerada’s world is as interesting as it is complex. There are numerous codex entries that give extra back story to the world and it’s characters for those ready to dive deep but enough is explained throughout the story that nothing seems confusing. For those looking to just take in the story, there is also an easier story mode that tones down difficulty but will still give you the thrill of the fights and tactics.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows has some great tactical gameplay in an incredibly rich and vibrant world that may put off some with it’s slow burning story but those that love well written mystery and political intrigue will really appreciate all it has to offer. 

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Mat Panek
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: Masquerada: Songs and Shadows [Nintendo Switch eShop code] was kindly provided by Stride PR for this review.

 

 

Lapis X Labyrinth – Nintendo Switch Review

Stack some heroes, head into the labyrinth and loot to your heart’s content in Lapis X Labyrinth, the latest from Nippon Ichi Software!

Cute chibi characters join forces to battle evil minions in a game that feels like an action RPG crossed with a pachinko machine. In Lapis X Labyrinth you can choose from 8 different character classes ranging from the nimble hunter to the beefy Destroyer and stack 4 of them to head into the depths of the treasure filled Labyrinth. Each character can be equipped with a weapon, armor and a special item or accessory. You collect a contract from the guild that will determine the level you are heading into, difficulty of the enemies and end of level sub-boss, contracts can be completed multiple times but the bonus from completing them is only earned once. Moving through each contract will unlock more and eventually you will be given the opportunity to face the main boss character, defeating whom will open up further areas of the labyrinth.

Lapis X Labyrinth is all about one thing though, Loot. Each level is filled with enemies that have a chance to drop treasure, defeating enemies without being hit will increase your treasure combo which acts as an item chance multiplier. Simply put, the higher your combo score, the more likely you are to find good loot and this mechanic makes Lapis X Labyrinth extremely addictive and fun. In addition to this there is a “Fever” gauge to fill that, once full, will activate “Fever mode” a flashy and thrilling timed event that multiplies and adds to every bit of treasure you gather. Treasure can be spent on upgrades and items back at town but the real thrill comes from finding rare items dropped by enemies and replaying each level to maximise profits and level rank.

Visually Lapis X Labyrinth is both gorgeous and super cute, characters and enemies are adorable while level and background art is vivid and full of detail. Fever mode cranks up the colour as fireworks fill the background, blocks flash and treasure pours from every corner of the screen. There is so much going on at the best of times that it’s easy to lose track in the excitement or get carried away trying to scoop up every bit of treasure but it can become a bit dull if loot grinding isn’t your style. The game audio is exclusively in Japanese which is great for some but could end up sounding a bit repetitive and saccharine for those not overly into this style. Loot will upgrade your stats but won’t affect your character’s look, so no matter how funny it is equipping a destroyer with a “Black Maid’s Outfit” there is no visual change which is a shame but understandable considering the number of items.

Overall though Lapis X Labyrinth is extremely colourful and charming, a wonderful way to waste away some time and have some fun. If you love grinding away for some loot then look no further!

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Mat Panek
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: Lapis X Labyrinth [Nintendo Switch eShop code] was kindly provided by NIS America Inc. for this review.

 

 

OTTTD – Nintendo Switch Review

Time to preemptively defend humanity in Over The Top Tower Defense, blasting its way onto the Nintendo Switch from the team over at SMG Studios

Over The Top Tower Defence (OTTTD) is a game where the title already tells you everything you need to know. Mega HEROCORP has found a way to open interdimensional portals to far off hellscapes for fun and profit. It’s up to you to assemble a squad and destroy the possible threat these creatures may cause, the best defence is a good offense right? Each level has you defending a mobile headquarters from waves of enemies by deploying your squad and building machine gun turrets, laser cannons, rocket launchers and more.

Fans of other SMG games will recognise the same humour and charm in OTTTD straight away.There is lots of funny flavour text in menus, mission descriptions and load screens. New squad members can be named manually but there is also a random name generator that can create fantastic names like Spanner Longtooth, Bubba Noblefist and Shiv Mcpunchy. Each character’s style, attitude and quips are very cheesy but suit the overall style of the game, where everything is cranked up to eleven.

OTTTD’s look is excessive perfection, soldiers look big and beefy, guns are massive and explosions are satisfyingly big. Enemies can range from zombies and squirming eyeballs to laser cod and giant flying sharks. The gameplay itself is a mix of your standard tower defense game with the addition of RPG elements, adding some nice depth. Each level will give you up to a 3 star rating and your team will earn currency and experience, this allows you to buy new upgrades and unlock skills to use.

Enemies will follow a path through the level towards your mobile base and you need to destroy everything that stumbles into your crosshairs. Starting each level with the basic turrets, you earn cash to upgrade and modify your defenses as you take out waves of enemies. Defeated foes will be blown into gibs that litter the battlefield, leaving a very visible trail of carnage which is very satisfying. Apart from the campaign, there is also an endless mode to unlock for a real challenge.

Whether you enjoy tower defense games or just the quirky humour, there is something here for everyone. Packed with of hours of fun and destruction, OTTTD is a fantastic game that finds a perfect place on the Nintendo Switch.

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Mat Panek
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: OTTTD [Nintendo Switch] was kindly provided by SMG Studio for this review.

 

 

Feather – Nintendo Switch Review

Soaring majestically through the trees and onto the Nintendo Switch is Feather, The latest game from Samurai Punk Game Studios.

After a real tough week, I grabbed the switch, put my feet up and started playing Feather. Best described as a relaxing bird simulator, Feather was possibly the best choice for a Friday afternoon wind down game. Starting a new game puts you in control of a bird and displays the game’s simple controls, from there it’s totally up to you. Whether you choose to soar through the clouds or dart between trees in the forest, there is an entire island for you to explore. There are no threats to stop you or put on the pressure, Feather is a “Make your own fun” kind of game and sometimes that’s what everyone needs.

Feather uses a simplified graphic style and does so extremely effectively. The game looks gorgeous, with interesting terrain and scenery spread across every corner of the island. There are subtle hints of previous civilisation, from overgrown ruins to half submerged pipes and these touches add some nice mystery to the general feel of the island. Accompanying the visuals is a beautiful sound track that is also very relaxing. Throughout the world of Feather there are rings with ripples inside them that will change the current track playing and if you prefer one to another, just head back and reactivate it. The songs are usually contextual to the environment that the ring is in and finding each of these is a nice little side goal.

Pushing the game beyond just flying through the air, I found some nice little details that are easy to miss at first glance. Swooping along the ground will kick up dust and the controller vibrates, giving you a real sense of speed and hitting water will actually cause you to dive underwater like real birds of prey do. Flying into leaves or clouds will leave a satisfying puff of debris in your wake and there is even a portal that takes you to the highest point so you can skydive towards the island. The passive online mode is also a nice touch, I found myself chasing other players through trees and criss-crossing paths before breaking off and continuing on my adventure. 

Feather may not seem very in depth, lacking missions, objectives or goals but that is the purpose here, it is a beautifully elegant and simple game. If you are looking for something relaxing to take your mind off things, Feather is a wonderful experience.

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Mat Panek
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: Feather [Nintendo Switch] was kindly provided by Samurai Punk for this review.

 

 

Back To Bed – Nintendo Switch Review

Nighty night, but don’t let the floor bite! Sleepwalk your way through Back to Bed, a dreamy puzzle game that has just arrived to the Nintendo Switch.

Back to Bed is a game that perfectly looks and feels like a bizarre dreamscape, from flying bowler hats to eyes of every shape and size watching you from walls, windows and inside oysters. You must guide Bob, through levels of increasing difficulty, back to bed using a small impish creature with Bob’s face. Using only objects found in the dreams, such as apples and fish, you nudge the sleepwalking Bob through his bedroom door and into the safety of his bed’s embrace.

Like all good puzzle games, controls are kept simple and precise. Often puzzles involve figuring out the safest route for Bob through the dream world, other times there is real timing required as you move objects in to and out of Bob’s way. Bob always walks straight forward and will turn clockwise when bumping into an object. New mechanics are introduced slowly as you progress and each is accompanied by a wonderfully vague reverse modulated voice instructing that “The clock turns Bob-wise” or “The Dog is not your friend”. Completing all the levels lets you unlock the “Nightmare” mode which requires you to not only solve the level but to also make Bob grab a key to unlock the bedroom door along the way. Falling off the world edge or being hit by an enemy will cause you to lose the key and reset which means there is some real challenge to this mode.

Back to Bed’s art style is fantastic, combining Escher aesthetics in the level designs with Dali-esque and other surrealist art styles to make a fantastical and sometimes unsettling dreamscape for Bob to wander. Between groups of levels there are images of Bob and his imp’s progress done in a similar dream style with words incorporated into the images in various ways. Back to Bed has a wonderfully distinct and almost storybook charm to it. 

So grab the Switch, tuck yourself in and prepare for some not so sweet dreams, Back to Bed is a puzzle game you certainly shouldn’t miss.

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Mat Panek
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: Back To Bed [Nintendo Switch] was kindly provided by 2Awesome Studio for this review.