SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Sparklite’, ‘Cube Creator X’, ‘Labyrinth of the Witch’, and Today’s Other New Releases, Sales on ‘The Deer God’ and More

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 14th, 2019. As promised, today’s article is all about those new releases. Pokemon isn’t out until tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a huge list of games to check out. A couple of them are even good! We’ve got summaries of the entire bunch, along with a complete list of new sales for you to comb through. Let’s go for it!

New Releases

Sparklite ($24.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

I’ve put a good bit of time into Sparklite already in anticipation of a review, and I’ve got to say: I really like it. It’s a roguelite that is clearly inspired by The Legend of Zelda, and the result is something quite nice indeed. The controls are spot on, and the difficulty curve is as smooth as butter. While you’ll likely die often, you get to keep a resource called sparklite whenever you do. That sparklite can be used to upgrade your character or improve the facilities at your home base. It feels like you’re always making some kind of progress. Just a lovely, well-done game. I’ll have a full review a little down the road if you need more details.

Cube Creator X ($19.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

This has been out for a while in Japan, and I can’t understand for the life of me why it took so long to get an English version. Cube Creator made a lot of hay on the Nintendo 3DS back in the day by being just close enough to Minecraft in its broad strokes at a time when there was no Minecraft on 3DS. On a platform where not only Minecraft is well established but also quality variants like Dragon Quest Builders exist, what is Cube Creator‘s place? I can’t answer that but as these sorts of things go, this is a really well-made one. If you want something a little different from Minecraft, but not too different, you may want to give this one a chance.

Push the Crate ($7.99)

When I saw the title, I immediately thought of Sokoban, the classic box-pushing puzzle game. Well, I applaud you, Polygon Art. You actually surprised me. This is, in fact, a Sokoban-inspired game, no doubt about it. But it does the whole thing up in a somewhat realistic art style and actually puts you down on the ground level. Other than that, it plays it very straight. 300 crate-pushing puzzles, and all you can do is push those crates around. Get them to their designated spots without boxing yourself in, and you’re good to go. I suppose if you’re in the mood for a Sokoban-style game but want something just a wee bit different, here you go.

Galactic Defence Squadron ($4.99)

This seems like a rather straightforward endless twin-stick shooter. Collect gold and use it to refill your health or to fire your super weapon. The main gimmick is that you have your ship and a station-like thing called Ursa Major that you need to protect. That station is where your super weapon fires from, so you’ll want to keep enemies off of it whenever possible. That seems to be about as complex as it gets. Every game is ostensibly a little different because the enemies spawn in somewhat randomly, but I’d imagine the lack of bells and whistles may lead to this getting old faster than some other twin-stick action games.

Some Distant Memory ($12.99)

Wow, that’s some nice art. This is an adventure game that is pretty light on puzzles and more about exploration and getting engrossed in the story. It’s set 300 years after an apocalypse, and you play as an archaeologist who has a special AI that can re-create memories by scanning relics and artifacts. So you poke around, dig into memories, and slowly piece together what happened all those years ago. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but I think some people are going to like it a lot. It doesn’t quite stick its ending, but so few games do that it’s hard to hold it against it too much.

Sudoku Relax 3 Autumn Leaves ($5.00)

Ahh, I see what they’re doing now. It’s a seasonal thing. Well, whatever. This latest Sudoku Relax gives you pretty much exactly what the other two did, but with some new backdrops and theming. That means you get 300 puzzles spread across three difficulty levels. There are unlockable backgrounds and music, and the game supports touch controls when played undocked. There isn’t a whole lot more I can say about it, so I won’t.

Balthazar’s Dream ($8.00)

In this game, you play as a dog who is wandering through dreams to try to save his master, who is in a coma after being hit by a truck. Well, that’s a premise. Since it’s a dream world, lots of weird stuff happens. There are ten levels, three bosses, five different dog breeds to play as, and what is almost certain to be a cute, emotional story. The reviews of this one are only so-so on other platforms, so I wouldn’t expect a masterpiece here or anything. On the negative end, controls seem a bit off and the game is probably a little too hard for its own good. On the positive side, the dog gives you a thumbs-up when you hit a checkpoint. Decide carefully.

Labyrinth of the Witch ($14.99)

Well, one possible response to the question of how you can sell people on yet another simple roguelite dungeon exploring game is to have attractive graphics, I suppose. Look how cute and colorful that screenshot is! Of course, this game came out on mobile several months ago as a free-to-play title with various IAPs and ad support, so it may not be new to our readers. This Switch version includes pretty much all of the stuff those IAPs could buy you right from the hop, and at a cheaper price than what it would cost to buy all of them in the mobile original. It’s a fun game, but I’d advise you to give it a spin on your mobile device to see how you like it before you spend fifteen bucks on it here.

Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child ($14.99)

Artifex Mundi’s latest Switch release is another hidden-object adventure game. This one seems to be fairly well-regarded among fans of the publisher’s work, at least. It sees you searching for your missing father while exploring a mansion. Your main character is able to see her father in the past, which gives you clues as to how to proceed. If you’ve enjoyed previous Artifex Mundi releases and haven’t tried this one yet, I can’t see how you can go wrong here. If you haven’t played any before and are wondering if this sort of thing is your bag, I’d recommend trying out one of the cheaper ones on your mobile device to see how you take to it.

Perils of Baking ($4.99)

This is a side-scrolling retro-style platformer about a pair of brothers who jump around, collect coins, swim, and can power-up to gain the ability to shoot projectiles. Hm. Sadly it just barely misses out on being our 200th Super Mario Bros. clone for the year 2019, so no prize. I’ve seen worse tries at the concept, but this isn’t good enough to care much about, even at the reasonable price of five dollars. It’s really just here for the people who can’t get enough of 2D platformers and need to have something new to chew through once or twice a week, I think.

Overlanders ($24.99)

Now this is pod racing! Oh wait, no. It’s not pod racing. Kind of looks a bit like it, though. You ride a high-speed hoverbike through various landscapes, racing against other riders and chasing down a monster. For whatever reason, there’s no multiplayer in this version of the game in spite of its presence in the PC original. That leaves a rather paltry amount of single-player content, which feels a bit skint given this version is priced the same as its PC cousin. There are other high-speed racing options on the Switch, and most of them will give you a better bang for your buck than this.

Squidgies Takeover ($15.00)

This charming puzzle game has the faint whiff of Lemmings about it, and that’s something I can always get behind. You have to guide these little creatures called Squidgies to the portal in each level by using various powers to guide them. There are several powers, and some of them can even be combined. The level count is just over 80, and I’d imagine they get quite devilish as you go along. Extra goals give you something more to shoot for than completion alone, which should hopefully lend the game a little replay value. I doubt we’ll ever see Lemmings proper on the Switch, but if you want something that scratches the itch in a similar way, this might be your ticket.

League of the Shield ($7.00)

Well, this is pretty much a knock-off of Atari’s Warlords. Can’t speak to how playable it is, but it does let you play four players locally and it can’t be any worse than trying to play Warlords in the Atari Flashback Collection. The concept is a good one, but I’ve always felt that it doesn’t work well unless you have a paddle controller of some kind, and in spite of my frequent whining, nobody seems willing to risk their company on making a paddle-equipped Joy-Con. At any rate, if you’re looking for something like Warlords on your Switch, you could give this a shot. If you do, please report in the comments about how it controls.

Rocket Wars ($9.99)

Yes, I’m getting tired of the comparisons with old games too, but sometimes it’s useful shorthand. Rocket Wars is a speedy arcade take on the extremely classic 1962 PDP-1 game Spacewar!, going so far as to even imitate its circular playfield and black hole. But this one is for four players instead of two, has a bunch of extra modes, and is quite a bit faster and more hectic an affair. It seems like the sort of thing that is screaming for online play, but you’ll have to get your multiplayer kicks in locally in this game. Derivative though it may be, it seems to at least be trying to add some value in with its extra ships and modes. Not something I’d pay a tenner for, but maybe you would?

Arcade Archives Yie Ar Kung Fu ($7.99)

Konami’s 1985 title Yie Ar Kung Fu was one of the important early examples of a one-on-one fighting game. And compared to a lot of the games in the genre from the pre-Street Fighter 2 era, this one is actually still pretty fun, albeit in a very simple way. You play as an obvious Bruce Lee expy named Oolang and need to battle your way through eleven different opponents. Your move list is surprisingly robust, and your opponents are rather varied. The only bummer is that, like in most of its contemporaries, you can’t battle against another human. There is a two player mode, but you just take turns going after the CPU. I like it, but it’s certainly an artifact.

Sales

Yes, it’s certainly a Thursday. My gut tells me a Team 17 sale is queuing up soon, but at the time of writing, this is all I’ve got for you. There’s nothing in here I’d strongly recommend, but I leave it up to you to decide what you want. The outgoing sales list is similarly small, so there isn’t much to talk about there, either. That’s just how things go sometimes.

New Games on Sale

Beholder 2 ($9.74 from $14.99 until 11/29)
Distrust ($5.87 from $11.99 until 11/29)
Storm Boy ($1.19 from $5.99 until 12/5)
The Deer God ($1.59 from $7.99 until 12/5)
Tiny Gladiators ($11.99 from $14.99 until 11/22)
Castle of No Escape 2 ($4.99 from $7.99 until 12/5)
Zombie Scrapper ($2.09 from $2.99 until 11/28)
Midnight Evil ($8.99 from $9.99 until 11/19)
Green Game: TimeSwapper ($0.29 from $2.99 until 11/18)
Red Game Without a Great Name ($0.29 from $2.99 until 11/18)
Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder Devastated ($0.99 from $9.99 until 11/18)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, November 15th

Incredible Mandy ($13.49 from $14.99 until 11/15)
Pizza Bar Tycoon ($3.74 from $4.99 until 11/15)
Spirit Roots ($3.49 from $6.99 until 11/15)
Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo ($1.79 from $7.99 until 11/15)
Super Treasure Arena ($2.99 from $9.99 until 11/15)
The Inner World ($5.99 from $11.99 until 11/15)
Toby: The Secret Mine ($0.99 from $11.99 until 11/15)
UNI ($0.49 from $4.99 until 11/15)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow is of course Pokemon day, but there are a bunch of other games hitting that are willing to try their luck against the juggernaut. We’ll have summaries of all of those brave soldiers, along with what I’m sure will be an impressive list of sales. Beyond that, we’ll have to see what time allows for. I hope you all have a great Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!



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