SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Neo Cab’ Review, ‘Candleman’ Mini-View, ‘Return of the Obra Dinn’ Release Date, Today’s New Releases, the Latest Sales, and More

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 3rd, 2019. In today’s big article, we’ve got summaries of all of today’s new releases, a new review and mini-view, some cool news, and a handful of new sales. Both Neo Cab and Candleman get scored here, and we take a quick look at the rest of the games that hit the eShop today. With lots to go through, we’d best get on it. Let’s go!

News

‘Return of the Obra Dinn’ Launches on Switch October 18th

While we’ve known for a while that Return of the Obra Dinn would be coming to Switch, we never had an exact release date until now. The game will launch on October 18th, which those who have calendars will know is just over two weeks from now. If you’re not familiar with the game, it’s a first-person adventure where you have to solve the mystery of what happened on board the merchant ship Obra Dinn. This is arguably one of the better games where you play as an insurance investigator, so keep an eye out for it when it hits a couple of weeks from today.

‘Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled’ Has a Halloween Event Incoming

With the Spyro event in the books, it’s time for the next big shindig in the world of Crash Team Racing. With it being October, it’s naturally going to be a Halloween event. The Spooky Grand Prix has tons of prizes and new items on offer, including new characters Nina Cortex, Dr. N. Brio, and Komodo Moe. There’s a new Ghost Hunt feature, a new track called Nina’s Nightmare, and some new rides including the Skull Rider and the Phantom. The event kicks off tomorrow, so get out there and earn those Grand Prix points to get your goodies.

Reviews

Neo Cab ($19.99)

Neo Cab is along the lines of games like VA-11 HALL-A, where stories and characters are introduced under the premise of them being customers while you’re doing some sort of mundane job. You play as a driver named Lina who is searching for a lost friend while trying to keep her head above water by doing her job. You pick up customers and take them where they’re going, and if they’re happy they’ll give you a good rating. But you don’t make them happy through your driving skills. In fact, you don’t do any driving at all. You’re judged by how you talk to them. You get plenty of chances to give your input in conversations, with your precise options depending on your mood.

Your mood, in turn, is largely affected by how your work is going. You have a little gizmo on your wrist that tells you how your mood is at a glance, and various other characters may wear other sorts of items that give you some hints as to how they’re feeling. The character dialogue is fairly well-written, and since you’ll be seeing most of them multiple times during the game, you get a chance to really get to know them and what’s going on in their lives at the moment. Learning about these characters and digging deeper with each ride is really when the game is at its best.

The game is at its worst, unfortunately, when it dips back into its main plot. While the world-building here is strong and does an awesome job of holding up a mirror to our modern reality under the auspices of being science-fiction, the main story of finding your friend and getting to the bottom of what happened to her just isn’t very satisfying. It’s also just out-there enough that it gets away from the essential humanity that makes Neo Cab tick the rest of the time.

Neo Cab‘s setting is interesting and the characters and their dialogue are well-written. It’s fun to get to know everyone and learn about their various situations, and there are so many that you’ll likely have to play a few times to see it all. Better still, it’s good enough that you’ll probably want to. The presentation is stylish and cool, and facial expressions tell as much of the story of a person’s mood as any external indicators do. The over-arching story doesn’t come off quite as well, particularly in how it all wraps up. Nevertheless, I think fans of choice-based adventures will probably like what is on offer here.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Mini-Views

Candleman ($14.99)

In this platformer, you play as a candle who can only burn his flame for ten seconds before his wax runs out. The stages you go through are extremely dark, so you’ll have to use that flame sparingly to light the way and accomplish various other goals like lighting other candles. As you’re a candle, the environments are made up of lots of giant-sized objects, which is fun. There are some really nice-looking sections as you make your way through the stages, and the difficulty curve is quite gentle. It controls well enough, but the darkness endemic to the design can make for some irritating moments. It’s a playable enough game, but apart from its presentation it rarely goes beyond decent.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

New Releases

Neo Cab ($19.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Okay, this is definitely a game that leans more on its story than its gameplay, and even then it’s not so good with its main plot. You play as a driver in a near-future world and need to pick people up and take them where they need to go. Well, you won’t actually do any driving yourself. Instead, you have to decide who to pick up and then how to talk to them on the way to their destination. You can make various choices depending on how your mood is, which is partly determined by the evaluations that your customers give you. You’re trying to solve the mystery behind your friend’s disappearance, but that plot really takes a backseat (HAR HAR) to the interesting characters you meet and their individual stories.

CASE: Animatronics ($19.99)

You are a detective trapped in a police station with a bunch of murderous haywire animatronics. You can use a tablet to check the security cameras to try to keep an eye on the robots, and if this is sounding awfully familiar, well… yes, this probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Five Nights at Freddy’s. This is a bit different in that it’s a first-person game where you can actually move around, and there are some simple puzzles to solve. It’s not very good, but I suppose it might be interesting for very patient fans of games about former pizza restaurant robots who develop a taste for killing people.

Galaxy Champions TV ($6.99)

Galaxy Champions TV raises an interesting question: how much of Smash TV‘s appeal came from its premise and presentation? From a purely mechanical point of view, this game apes a lot of that game’s style. It’s an arena-based twin-stick shooter and a lot of the enemies are clearly designed after equivalents in Smash TV. You don’t get to choose a path, and you can get permanent upgrades that make the game a little easier the longer you play. A little. This game is still very, very hard, and not always in good ways. Importantly, it ditches the whole gameshow style of Smash TV, so there’s no announcer talking about BIG MONEY, BIG PRIZES. There aren’t any big prizes or big money to scoop up, either. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Smash TV and this just left me cold. You may feel differently.

Cubixx ($7.49)

Sort of a 3D take on the classic arcade game Qix, this puzzler offers a 50-level arcade mode, a special challenge mode that features 50 special tasks to complete, three different attack modes complete with high score tables, and full local multiplayer support for up to four players. There are co-op modes, there are competitive modes, it’s a regular mode-fest over here. If you’re not familiar with Qix the idea is that you have to draw lines to carve out pieces of a picture while making sure you don’t run into any enemies. Gutsier plays earn more points. There aren’t any pictures in Cubixx, and it takes place on a cube rather than a 2D plane, but it’s safe to say that if you like Qix, you’ll like this.

Tic-Tac-Letters by POWGI ($7.99)

Lightwood Games is at it again, playing around with concepts from different types of puzzles to try to create something new. This one is a bit like a cross between Sudoku and Tic-Tac-Toe. You have to fill a grid using two letters such that you never have the same letter more than two times in a row horizontally or vertically, making sure there are equal numbers of each letter in each row and column without having any identical arrangements. That sounds complicated, but if you give it a try, you’ll get it soon enough. And yes, you get a bad joke from the Bad Joke Dog every time you finish a level.

Fault – Milestone One ($14.99)

A visual novel from Alice in Dissonance and Sekai Project, Fault tells the story of a princess and her guardian who have escaped an attack on her kingdom only to find themselves in a strange new world. It’s been out on PC for a while and it seems to be generally well-liked, so if you’re down with the genre and think the premise on it looks interesting, you probably won’t be disappointed. This Switch version includes an updated soundtrack, so it’s not just a straight port. And before you ask, yes, there is a Fault – Milestone Two and I imagine we’ll be seeing that sooner or later on Switch.

Hexagroove: Tactical DJ ($29.99)

This game is described as a tactical rhythm action game, and you know what? That got my attention. If I’m understanding the game properly, you basically have to combine pieces of music on the fly to try to get the crowd excited. Like a real DJ, I guess? I don’t know, I’m a middle-aged Canadian guy who lives in rural Japan. I see more tanukis than I do DJs. Anyway, you’ve got 420 loops drawn from 10 different genres of dance music, so there’s quite a bit of flexibility in terms of what you can make here. It also offers local multiplayer for up to four players, which could be fun. I’m not really the person to say whether this is a good game of this sort or not, but I think it definitely is worth investigating if you’re into rhythm games or the idea of being a DJ.

Candleman ($14.99)

This is kind of a top-down platformer with very light puzzle elements. The idea is that you’re a candle who can only burn for 10 seconds, and you need to share your light in each level by finding other candles and lighting your flame next to them. Well okay, you actually just need to reach the goal. Lighting other candles is an extra objective. The catch is that the stages are super-dark, and as mentioned you can only light up for a total of 10 seconds before burning out. So you tap your flame on only when you really need to see, or to light a candle. It’s very pretty in places, and I suppose it’s playable enough. But you’ve already seen the Mini-View, so you probably already know what I think about it.

Sales

I know I say this every week, but being that it’s Thursday it bears mentioning that while there aren’t many sales at the time of writing, we’ll surely be seeing a bunch arrive in the next several hours. For now, I guess I’d point you at Kid Tripp, which is a great homage to the original Wonder Boy that has been discounted to a meager eighty cents. As for the outbox, this is your last chance to grab Untitled Goose Game at its introductory price. Honk.

New Games on Sale

Kid Tripp ($0.79 from $3.99 until 10/24)
Monster Energy Supercross ($17.99 from $59.99 until 10/18)
Quarantine Circular ($4.79 from $5.99 until 10/24)
Desktop Table Tennis ($5.92 from $7.41 until 10/24)
Desktop Bowling ($5.17 from $7.39 until 10/24)
Family Tree ($6.39 from $7.99 until 10/24)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, October 4th

Animal Rivals: Nintendo Switch ($0.59 from $3.99 until 10/4)
Assault On Metaltron ($1.04 from $6.99 until 10/4)
Island Maze ($1.49 from $2.99 until 10/4)
JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/4)
Minesweeper Genius ($1.19 from $5.99 until 10/4)
Omega Labyrinth Life ($47.99 from $59.99 until 10/4)
Storm Boy ($1.19 from $5.99 until 10/4)
Table Top Racing: World Tour ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/4)
The Deer God ($1.59 from $7.99 until 10/4)
The Tiny Bang Story ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/4)
Thumper ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/4)
Untitled Goose Game ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/4)
Yet Another Zombie Defense HD ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/4)

That’s it for today, friends. Tomorrow will see several more new releases, with the highlight probably being Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered. We’ll also likely have an absolute ton of new sales to check out, and whatever news comes along. I hope to see you then, and as always, thanks for reading!



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