SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Irony Curtain’, ‘Dandy Dungeon’, ‘SEGA AGES Virtua Racing’, ‘Graveyard Keeper’, and Tons of Other New Releases

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 27th, 2019. Friends, there were so many new releases today that I really couldn’t do anything else today aside from the new game summaries and the daily sales information. But hey, if you’re here to read, I can promise that you’re not going away unsatisfied. With a pile plenty big to dig into, we’d best get on our way. Let’s go!

New Releases

Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love ($19.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

This is a really great point-and-click-style adventure game from Artifex Mundi. It’s quite different from the company’s usual output, playing a lot more like a Lucasarts-style adventure game than the hidden object games we typically see from it. You play as a low-on-the-rung journalist in the fictional totalitarian country of Matryoshka who unwittingly gets caught up in a pitched battle between two vying powers. Yeah, it’s one of those fish-out-of-water things where the ordinary person gets pulled into extraordinary circumstances, but it’s handled really well here. And wow, it’s actually funny now and then! Definitely worth picking up if you like the genre.

Dandy Dungeon – Legend of Brave Yamada ($24.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

There isn’t much I can say here that I didn’t say in yesterday’s review. I suppose the difference between yesterday and today is that if you waited this long, you have to pay full price. Still worth it, though. A really unique and enjoyable game with a wacky cast of characters you won’t soon forget, Dandy Dungeon has so much going on you’ll be busy with it for a long time. Onion Games makes high-quality stuff, and Switch has been very lucky to get two of its releases so far. Two very different releases, mind you. But both quite awesome.

Bitlogic – A Cyberpunk Arcade Adventure ($6.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

This one’s likely only going to play well to a particular niche, but you know what? Not bad. Not bad at all. An enhanced version of a relatively modern MSX release, Bitlogic sees you guiding the avatar Bit through a world full of dangers and mysteries. It reminds me of those classic side-scrolling computer games of the late 1980s that were a bit big for their own good but still pretty fun to pick at. This game is shorter and easier than most of those were, but that’s not really a bad thing. There are also multiple endings to uncover based on the collectibles you find and the things you say to Bit when they talk to you. You’ll have to play the game more than a few times to see everything, but it’s brief enough that it’s not a chore. You can choose between the remake or kick it over to the ever so slightly different MSX original if you want to live on the faux-retro side. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Q-YO Blaster ($8.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

This is a horizontal shoot-em-up that pays homage to the likes of Parodius, of all things. And you know what? Thank you. Konami left Parodius out of its recent collection, Hamster hasn’t brought out any Parodius games yet on Switch, and I feel like not enough developers are really bothering with the whole cute-em-up scene on the system. Q-YO Blaster isn’t perfect. The amazingly detailed visuals also sometimes make the screen too busy to properly read. I don’t feel like the bosses are quite as interesting as they could be. This genre is pretty packed on the Switch and Q-YO really isn’t on the same level as stuff like Rolling Gunner, Devil Engine, or Black Bird. But whatever its flaws may be, this is still a really fun shoot-em-up with so much to see that you’ll probably find some strange new detail every time you boot it up. For the price, it’s a great pick-up for fans of the genre.

SEGA AGES Virtua Racing ($7.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Believe it or not, this is the first time Virtua Racing has been brought home in arcade-perfect form. There were plenty of ports but they always changed or added things, and none of them quite matched up with the Model 1-powered graphics that give the game its distinctive look. The game looks great running on the Switch and offers both online play for two players and a whopping eight-player splitscreen option for local play. It’s a bit light on extras compared to some other SEGA AGES releases, but you do get a helper mode that disables crashes and the option to use motion controls. Compared to a lot of today’s racers, this is certainly a bit thin on content, but what’s here is of the quality that SEGA was famous for in the early 1990s, and that’s going to be good enough for many people.

SEGA AGES Wonder Boy: Monster Land ($7.99)

Wonder Boy has been enjoying a huge resurgence lately, and I think that’s pretty neat. Dragon’s Trap was an amazing game for its time and has aged remarkably well. Monster Boy is a wonderful tribute and a fantastic new chapter in its own right. Even the original Wonder Boy has gotten some love through the remake and homages like Kid Tripp. And now, SEGA finally gets in on the joy with its own Wonder Boy release. Unfortunately, this is one of the weaker games in the series. It’s caught between the needs of an arcade game and the desire of its developer to infuse RPG elements into the works. That makes it a very important title historically speaking, but a bit of a confused one in terms of the experience. Still, this is an excellent rendition of the arcade original, adding features like a Challenge Mode, leaderboards, and a New Game+ of sorts. And hey, if your only experience with Wonder Boy is through the newer releases, you can finally see how Bocke got to the castle in the beginning of Dragon’s Trap.

Graveyard Keeper ($19.99)

This is a grimmer take on the fluff-fest that is Stardew Valley. You play as a graveyard keeper (title checks out, nice) and need to manage and improve your graveyard while fulfilling requests from the strange characters that inhabit the world. Although the topic matter is bleak, the game has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek most of the time. This type of black humor may not play well with everyone, but those who get into it will find an interesting, if somewhat sluggish, variation on the trusty old management sim concept. Better than Stardew Valley? Not even close, but it’s good enough that if you’re looking for something similar but different, it’ll do. Just be warned that this is a lot grindier than most management sims.

Furwind ($9.99)

This is a fairly well-made platformer with big levels that have lots of nooks and crannies to poke around in. You play as a cute little fox who has to save the forest he lives in from an ancient threat. The art and music are decent, and the platforming is quite solid on the whole. It’s not a terribly long game, unfortunately, but neither were most games like this back in the day. Not something I’m going to walk down the street yelling about, but if you dig platformers and want to digest a new one, Furwind is a good enough choice. As an added bonus, it barely takes up any memory at all. I feel like a lot of platformers these days inexplicably end up over a gigabyte, but this little fellow doesn’t take much more than 100 megabytes.

Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling ($14.99)

Hey, you! Are you looking for a wrestling game for your Switch that isn’t a mind-bogglingly embarrassing port from a major publisher who can and ought to have done better? Well, don’t sit around waiting for 2K Games to pull its thumb out of its tights. Why not check out what Chiki-Chiki has to offer? Such as: Multiplayer for up to six players with support for local and online play! A pretty good create-a-wrestler mode! Wrestlers whose heads are cubes! A relatively simple control system that nevertheless provides satisfying depth! Okay, look. Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling is pretty good fun, but it’s not a great game by any means. It’s just that there aren’t that many games in this genre on the Switch, and the other one is a giant steaming pile. If you want to do some virtual grappling, the choice seems pretty simple to me.

Human Rocket Person ($4.99)

One of the newer trends in gaming is the intentionally bad game. I feel like this hit the big-time with Goat Simulator, but there have been many other successes since then. Exactly how the games are bad tend to differ from title to title, but things like awkward controls, weird collision detection, and odd animations are typical qualities. Note that just because something is “bad", it doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Getting Over It, for example, is a hilariously good time if you’re in the right mood. Human Rocket Person is another intentionally bad game, with you playing as a guy on a pogo stick who can pass gas to, I guess, help him hover or go higher? This isn’t a Scrooge McDuck style pogo stick, either. Try to bounce up uneven surfaces and you’re going to fall all over the place. The developers want to frustrate you here, and I think they succeed pretty well with it. It’s a bit cheaper on PC, but five bucks for a few laughs and tears isn’t the worst value around.

War Tech Fighters ($19.99)

Competing fiercely for the title of “Least Legible Text in Handheld Mode" is War Tech Fighters, a Gundam-inspired action romp that sees you piloting your giant robot on space missions. As you progress, you’re able to customize your robot to a great extent, and that’s something I’m always going to be up for in a video game. The action itself definitely leans more towards arcade-style than simulation, and it’s frankly about as deep as a puddle. Sometimes, I dare say that it’s even a bit dull. But most of the time, it’s good, mindless fun. I’ll have a full review of this one in a few days. For now, I’ll simply say that it’s okay but nothing too great. And please fix your bloody tiny text, kind developers. I’m seriously knocking points off for this nonsense these days.

Epic Astro Story ($12.00)

Well, it’s another Kairosoft port from its mobile catalog. This one is Epic Astro Story, and it’s a pretty neat game that is highly derivative of Dungeon Village. Like, it’s basically a re-skin. But if you liked that game and are up for one more just like it, that’s what this is. I’ll insert the usual spiel about how you could just buy this on your mobile device for half the price and play it with the controls it was designed for, but you surely know that by now. On the grand spectrum of Kairosoft sims, this one is slightly on the upper end of the quality meter. But goodness gracious, is it utterly bereft of new ideas.

Baobabs Mausoleum Ep.2 ($6.99)

The second episode of Baobabs Mausoleum arrives, continuing the story from Ovnifagos Don’t Eat Flamingos. In the second episode, titled 1313 Barnabas Dead End Drive, you can now explore Flamingos Creek at your leisure. There’s a new day/night cycle as well. This is very much like the first game in that it’s an absolutely absurd adventure game that is just as likely to annoy you as entertain you, depending on your sense of humor. But I can say this much: if you enjoyed the first episode, this one is bigger and better in almost every meaningful way. If you didn’t like it, nothing here will change your mind. And if you haven’t played it, why are you looking at the second episode first? Silly goose.

Nekopara Vol. 3 ($14.99)

The saga of the patisserie owner who keeps a harem of catgirls as pets, lovers, and/or employees continues in the third volume of Nekopara. Like the first two volumes, this game has had its more adult content from the PC version stripped out, leaving something that is actually kind of fluffy and humorous if you don’t think too hard about it. And yes, like before, this is as visual novel as it gets. There are no choices or any important bits of interactivity. It’s just a cute story with some well-done anime art, as achingly sweet and insubstantial as a dollop of whipped cream. By now you probably know if this is your thing or not, and if you don’t, head on back to the first volume to investigate.

MotoGP 19 ($49.99)

Respect where it’s due: this is a nice improvement over last year’s version. I mean, it’s once again a step down from the versions on beefier platforms, but by now we all ought to be used to that. Compared to last year’s version, however, this is a good bit better. Anyway, you probably know the routine by now. Step into the MotoGP race with your favorite licensed rider and race on 19 different tracks. There are five different classes, with one being completely new. If you’re looking for a decent motorbike racer for your Switch, this is probably your best choice even if it’s almost certainly better on other systems. Not worth bothering with if you don’t fit that specific profile, though.

Goonya Fighter ($24.99)

Developer Mutan has had its hand in a lot of great games, but typically on the programming or art end of things rather than design. Goonya Fighter is an original creation, a weird sort of party fighting game where all of the fighters flop and bounce around like they’re made of balloons or something. The game supports up to four players locally or online, and there are a bunch of different modes to try out. It even has a story mode that you can play by yourself or with a friend. Honestly, I’m not too sure how this one is going to work out in the long term, but I’ll at least give it credit for trying something different.

Rain City ($7.58)

A city where it always rains, hunh? Depending on where you live, that either sounds incredibly normal or totally welcome right about now. Anyway, this is an adventure game where you play as a little cat kid looking for his sister. You’ll have to solve puzzles and complete mini-games in order to do that, because this is of course an adventure game. But why is the rain ceaseless in this city? You’ll know by the end of the game. The game has nice art but I can’t really say much else about it at this stage. The price is low enough that if you think it looks good, you won’t be out much if it turns out to be a turkey. Go with your gut.

Sales

While there’s nothing jump-out-of-your-seat exciting in today’s sales at the time of writing, there are a couple of games worth noting. Brothers is on sale for the first time since its launch, and if you’ve never played it, I can assure you that you’ll get your twelve dollars’ worth out of it. Double Cross has its problems, but that deep discount makes it a tempting proposition given the pedigree of its developers. The outbox is even less interesting, but I suppose every game is someone’s favorite, so don’t let me tell you what you can or can’t do.

New Games on Sale

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ($11.99 from $14.99 until 7/12)
Double Cross ($11.99 from $19.99 until 7/12)
ABZU ($14.99 from $19.99 until 7/12)
Desktop Soccer ($5.68 from $7.11 until 7/8)
Voxel Shot ($6.40 from $8.00 until 7/8)
Superola and the Lost Burgers ($1.99 from $5.99 until 7/15)
Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns ($6.29 from $6.99 until 7/10)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, June 28th

Car Trader ($1.19 from $3.99 until 6/28)
Defend Your Castle ($2.49 from $4.99 until 6/28)
Hyper Sentinel ($0.90 from $12.99 until 6/28)
Spell Casting: Purrfectly Portable ($8.99 from $9.99 unil 6/28)
The Low Road ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/28)
Warp Shift ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/28)

That’s the deal for today, friends. Will you be picking up any of today’s new games? Which ones? Feel free to comment below and let me know, because the camera I had installed in the room you’re sitting in at the moment is on the fritz. Ha ha, just kidding! Right? Anyway, I’ll see you all tomorrow for the next avalanche of games. As always, thanks for reading!



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