This Week in the Nintendo eShop (Dec 7)

by the NWR Staff - December 7, 2017, 2:58 pm PST
Total comments: 1

The NWR Staff give their initial impressions on the 17 new releases out this week.

Back when the Switch launched, we tried our best to get a review up of every game. It was easy back when the system was in its infancy, but now, we’re in over our head. With a dozen new games a week and only so much time in the day, reviewing everything, especially in a timely manner, is growing more difficult. So, here’s our stab at a middleground: our crack team of eShop junkies will offer their early impressions of the week’s new Switch releases. It’s our way of letting you know what the skinny is on different games in a more timely manner. Let us know what you think.

Nine Parchments (Released December 5; $19.99)

“A Diablo-esque multiplayer-focused experience seems like a natural fit for the Switch and the game Nine Parchments, from Trine and Has-Been Heroes developer FrozenByte, is likely the closest dungeon crawler in that style to hit the platform. It is, for better or worse, focused more on ranged magic than brute force melee, limiting the scope to an extent. Thankfully a variety of spell types and elements make combat a little more dynamic. It almost works like a twin-stick shooter, as the right analog stick can be used to aim your spells while you frantically dodge enemy fire and obstacles. Ultimately, a narrow loot pool and focus make this action RPG err a little more on the repetitive side than hoped. Nine Parchments is still a good time, but that repetition hurts the single-player experience, meaning that if you want to cast magic at the hordes, you better have friends on hand.” - Neal Ronaghan (Check out the full review)

Caveman Warriors (Released December 5; $12.99)

The one thing I can say about playing Caveman Warriors is that it evokes a lot of emotion, just not the emotion the developers were likely looking for. In fact, it’s probably been a good 15 to 20 years since I’ve gotten so angry at a game. The feeling I got was that I wasn’t so much playing the game as I was battling against it. I can actually see this being a positive for some, but for me it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Caveman picks up where 80s action platformer left off, but annoying knock backs and in game glitches make this one hard to recommend. - David Lloyd

Floor Kids (Released December 7; $19.90)

When Floor Kids was first shown off at a past Nindie Spotlight, I was taken by the gorgeous handcrafted art style but thought the rhythm gameplay might be too loose to be that engaging. About a half-dozen or more songs into this breakdancing rhythm game and that initial take was way off-base. Floor Kids, so far, is an amazing feat of blending the structure of song-based games to the joy of freestyling. It’s all about tapping to the beat of the dope soundtrack while switching between different combos and buttons to make original and neat routines. All the other past rhythm games dabbling in freestyling were just imitating. This game might just be the real deal. The full review should be up over the weekend. - Neal Ronaghan

The Sexy Brutale (Released December 7; $19.99)

“It didn’t matter if I had my Switch docked or in handheld mode, my experience was inconsistent and fairly choppy. Because of that, it really is hard to recommend this experience, which is disappointing. Everything felt catered to me, the atmosphere, the puzzles, the story and characters; it’s all stuff I really like. But the technicalities here show that this one could be better enjoyed on a console that has a better version of it.” - Xander Morningstar (Check out the full review)

Teslagrad (Released December 7; $19.99)

“One of the most elusive elements for developers to get right in gaming is pacing. There isn’t a formula that can be universally applied, nor is there a precedent that can be copied from a previous title, it all comes down to a simple feeling about the game in front of you. Thankfully Rain Games, whether by design or sheer luck, has found the perfect pace to its first release on Switch, Teslagrad. It’s a hard game to take a break from, every time the gameplay felt like it may slow down and get stale a new element was introduced, making this one of my favorite indies to date on the Switch.” - David Lloyd (Check out the full review)

Acorn Tactics (Released December 7; $11.99)

Maybe a few months too late, Acorn Tactics is an indie-developed turn-based strategy game akin to XCOM with an added RPG flavour. You’ll lead an army of mechs against an invasion of alien blobs in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth that has been flooded where the humans happen to live on platforms that also double as perfectly shaped battle arenas. It may be worth a look if that style of game appeals to you, but it was hard to fully appreciate after having just played Mario + Rabbids not that long ago. It would be like choosing to drive a Honda Civic instead of a BMW, if you want to save some money the Honda will get the job done, but if you’ve already driven the BMW you may not be able to go back. - David Lloyd

Dimension Drive (Released December 7; $12.99)

“Dimension Drive is a vertical shoot em’ up. During gameplay the screen is divided vertically into two halves giving an appearance one would normally associate with split-screen multiplayer. Each half of the screen features unique environmental and enemy hazards. Your ship, the Manticore, can shift at will between these two dimensions. While this is a very simply concept on paper, Dimension Drive manages to milk a large variety of gameplay concepts out of this one simple mechanic. You may choose to employ this ability to escape an heavy barrage of enemy fire. You may phase from one dimension to the other in order to access an sealed off area. Skilled players may even boldly employ it to face off against as many enemies as possible for a high score.” - John Rairdin (Check out the full review)

Embers of Mirrim (Released December 7; $19.99)

A platformer set in a beautiful fantasy land where you control the mystical creature “Mirrim.” The twist here is that this beast can split itself into two different “embers,” turning this standard platformer into more of a puzzler as you traverse the world using both analog sticks to control the two embers separately. The environment here really is gorgeous and the puzzles and platforming are nice, but sometimes the character can get lost in the background making it hard to see and control. Be sure to check out my full review. - Perry Burkum (Check out the full review)

Riptide GP: Renegade (Released December 7; $9.99)

“Fans of Wave Race should be excited for developer Vector Unit’s newest eShop release Riptide GP: Renegade. Featuring blazing fast (and illegal) jet ski races you'll be flying off ramps and completing crazy trick combos midair in this futuristic water racing game. Packed with content and a great upgrade system to juice up your jet ski, I had a blast playing through the Career mode and playing local multiplayer with friends. Unfortunately there is a bit of frame drops while playing undocked, but other than that the game runs beautifully.” - Perry Burkum (Check out the full review)

Plague Road (Released December 7; $10)

Plague Road is a roguelike tactical combat RPG of sorts, with you taking the role of a doctor in a post-apocalyptic sort of landscape trying your best to survive and help people. Through your journey you’ll encounter enemies but you’ll also save a variety of people who you’ll then be able to either add to your party or use to help build up your farm which will then provide you various benefits. The combat is turn-based and generally unforgiving and especially early on your runs will tend to be short until you can build a decent party. Challenging but a bit slow it has a unique art style and plays a bit differently than anything else on the system. - Justin Nation

Red Game without a Great Name (Released December 7; $2.99)

Unlike its Green sibling, thankfully Red Game has shipped in a playable form. Sporting a very distinctive style with detailed black characters and elements in the foreground over a vibrant red background, what the game lacks in complexity it makes up for in style. Gameplay is relatively simple, as you’ll be swiping to move your odd mechanical bird from point A to point B in order to avoid all sorts of nasty obstacles and traps while trying to collect optional cogs on the way. Its budget price helps to compensate for its relative simplicity and mobile roots so if you’re looking for a bit of flavor and can keep from getting too frustrated it isn’t too bad a buy. - Justin Nation

Tennis in the Face (Released December 8; $4.99)

This one is for the more casual fare audience who enjoy some quick pick-up-and-play physics puzzling fun in the vein of something like Angry Birds. Built on the same base physics engine that was used in 10 Tons other similar release, King Oddball, Tennis in the Face makes the aiming a much less random exercise and instead will let you focus on the precision of your angles as you try to knock out your foes directly or to sometimes trigger Rube Goldberg-like chain reactions. Light fun, nothing more, for a budget price. - Justin Nation

Yodanji (Released December 7; $4.99)

“To add to the growing list of roguelikes on Switch is Yodanji from KEMCO. Based on Japanese folklore, trap and summon yokai as you attempt to escape from a dungeon with an ever changing layout. This title is really created for a niche market that enjoys very basic roguelike action. The graphics are basic pixel art akin to the NES so expect barebones experience if you plan to pick it up.” - David Lloyd

Vostok Inc (Released December 7; $14.99)

At a glance, this just looks like another twin-stick shooter with a space theme, but under the surface of Vostok Inc is a weird blend of shoot-’em-up and clicker/idle game . That’s right: the mobile-heavy genre where you, more or less, just tap the screen and watch numbers go up is on Switch. I’ve gotten heavy into some clickers in my mobile game travails (Egg Inc is very, very good), so Vostok Inc seemed like something that could be up my alley. So far, it totally is. The twin-stick controls are a little stiff, but the game starts to excel when combat becomes less of a focus. Instead, the focus transitions into setting up buildings on planets as you fly around space. You’re the new CEO of Vostok and you’re working with your overly happy business manager to try to make a quick buck. Right now, I’m about an hour in and I have solid revenue-generating operations up on everything from Mercury to Uranus. My moment-to-moment joy is found in going between these planets, collecting my money, and then using it to upgrade the planets, my ship, and more. In due time, I’m apparently going to fight a boss and then take a wormhole to another galaxy. We’ll see if Vostok has legs, but right now, it’s a great game to have on hand to idly toy with while I watch TV or listen to a podcast. Our full review will be up in the next few days. - Neal Ronaghan

Slain: Back from Hell (Released December 7; $19.99)

If you’re down for some old-school hack and slash action, blood everywhere, and some head-banging tunes to rock to while you die Slain may just be your jam. Note that you’ll be dying about as much as you’re killing because the challenge can sometimes be quite steep and checkpoints can feel a bit far apart at times but that also makes survival quite rewarding. Master your block and counter as well as your sword slash to deflect projectiles and you may just make it through this one. - Justin Nation

Plantera Deluxe (Released December 7; $4.99)

Mixing elements of a farming game, a simple life simulator, and a bit of whack-a-mole (or bird, or bunny, or fox) Plantera isn’t very complex but has a laid back appeal. As you build from a humble single plot of carrots you’ll slowly accumulate helpers that will harvest crops automatically but you can help out if you’d like to speed things up. Eventually diversifying to grow fruit trees and allowing you to manage some animals as well you’ll have to keep an eye out for pesky animals who are out to get your stuff. Simple and almost meditative, it has its merits for the right audience. - Justin Nation

Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive (Released December 7; $9.99)

Phantom Breaker may not be terribly complex but if you enjoy classic arcade beat-em-ups and like to play as various anime chicks who kick some ass you’re in luck! With a mix of weapon and brawler fighting styles you and up to 3 friends should be able to find someone who suits their style or attitude. You’ll be able to rack up some ridiculous combos and scores once you get the hang of things but in general it also isn’t very complex overall. Great if you’ve got an itch to return to some classic arcade action. - Justin Nation

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ShyGuyDecember 07, 2017

That is a flood of games...

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