Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 2nd, 2022. So, today turned out a little quieter than the usual Friday. It was so quiet, in fact, that I decided to pen a few reviews. The Knight Witch, Railbound, and Donut Dodo get reviewed today, after which we head into the new release summaries for the latest games. We finish things up with the usual lists of new and outgoing sales, though they’re rather smaller than one might expect for a Friday. I guess we’re really on the other side of Black Friday now. Let’s get to it!
The Knight Witch ($19.99)
I’d forgive anyone for being a bit tired of Metroidvania-style games at this point. A genre whose entries were once as hard to come by as musgravite has become one of the more flooded in recent years, such that you could only spend your time with the best of the best and still have a pile dozens of games deep. The Knight Witch tries to shake things up by cross-pollinating its fundamental Metroidvania structure with a free-roaming bullet-hell shooter. It works surprisingly well.
After you play through the prologue, you’re introduced to the main character of the game, a Knight Witch in training named Rayne. After her home is unexpectedly attacked by golems, she sets out to save her husband and the rest of her people while possibly saving the world along the way. As a Knight Witch, Rayne can fly around freely, direct magical shots in any direction, and make use of special Spell Cards to cast powerful spells. You can choose which Spell Cards you want to equip from your current collection, and they’ll come up in turn as you use them.
Rayne’s maneuverability means you don’t have to worry too much about platforming in this game, but you’ll be more than kept busy dodging bullets, enemies, and other hazards as you make your way through the game’s world. You can use the second stick to direct your shots, but Rayne will also do a pretty good job of auto-targeting if you’re too busy to worry about that. It controls well, which is great because things can get very intense in a hurry. The boss battles are genuine bullet hell, and not in a bad way. The story is engaging, and the world is interesting to explore even if it is a bit too linear for my liking.
The Knight Witch is a very well-made game that takes two very different genres and binds them together with a fair bit of success. You really have to be into both Metroidvania-style games and bullet-hell shooters to get into this one, but if you can check off both of those boxes without much thought, then this is a slam-dunk pick-up. It’s not the lengthiest of games, but it’s certainly quite satisfying thanks to its solid gameplay and charming presentation.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Despite playing thousands of games in my life, it’s amazing how easily I can get sucked into a straightforward puzzle game if all the pieces are put together right. And yeah, that’s what Railbound does. A simple set-up: lay the tracks down and manipulate them such that the various cars of the train connect to the engine in the right order when you hit go. The game takes a few levels to walk you through its basic mechanics with a single car, then introduces a second car and starts to turn up the heat a little. By the end of the game’s one hundred and fifty plus stages, you’re dealing with multiple cars, various gimmicks, tight limits on track pieces, and more. Sometimes you have more track pieces than you need, and that throws another wrench into the works.
If you like logic puzzles, you’ll probably have a good time with Railbound. It’s a very focused game, but it has enough twists to keep things fresh through its rather generous amount of stages. The striking comic-style art and the little sounds of everything clacking together when you get it right only add to the game’s considerable amount of personality. All in all, a rather lovely little game that is nice to sit down with and puzzle out when you’ve got a spare hour or two.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Donut Dodo ($4.99)
While they certainly had their time in the sun in the 1980s, single-screen action games fell out of vogue somewhere along the line. The whole “bigger is better” philosophy that we see so often in games, I suppose. But I think if history in the hobby has proven anything, limitations can often bring magical results. That’s why I was happy to see that type of game make little comebacks here and there via the indie scene and mobile gaming. At the same time, those games sometimes felt a little too derivative or plain. Donut Dodo is one of the latest kicks at this can, and I find it does a nice job of carving its own path with considerable confidence.
It ends up feeling a bit like a link between the early Donkey Kong-sized efforts and more substantial Bubble Bobble-like affairs. Like the former, you’ve got a fairly small number of stages to deal with. Just five, in fact. But they are all quite distinct from each other. The production values and playability take after more advanced examples of the genre, with your main character being very nimble and responsive as he makes his way through the vibrantly-colored obstacle courses. There’s a bit of depth to the scoring that seems to be inspired by Bomb Jack wherein you have to grab the flashing donuts in order to maximize your score, which adds a welcome extra layer of challenge.
While the small number of stages means there isn’t a whole ton to see here, Donut Dodo offers up a few different game modes each with their own leaderboards to challenge. Unfortunately despite what the eShop description seems to indicate, these leaderboards are local-only. Still, trying to one-up your scores in each of the modes does add a bit of longevity to the proceedings. Most importantly, it’s just a very enjoyable game to play. You don’t really need a lot of extra trimmings if a game gets that much right, and Donut Dodo does. That said, there are some options here for tweaking things like how the game displays. It’s all quite welcome in terms of allowing to set just how old-school an experience you want.
Like a donut, Donut Dodo is a small, sweet confection that you’ll likely chew through in a few bites. But the delicious taste will having you reaching back into the box for another, and you’ll likely come back for more here and there as you go about your other business. Given the highly reasonable price point, this arcade game-that-wasn’t is a more than fair pick-up for those pining for the quarter-munching days of the 80s.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Siralim Ultimate ($19.99)
Earlier this year, the latest Siralim game hit mobile. And here it is on Nintendo Switch! If you’ve played any of the Siralim games before, you know what to expect here. If you haven’t, this is a wildly deep monster collection RPG. There are more than 1200 creatures you can collect, and there’s a fusion system somewhat similar to the Shin Megami Tensei games. I’ll be doing a full review of this one soon, but as long as you don’t mind the style of the visuals there is a lot to love here for fans of monster RPGs.
Super Kiwi 64 ($2.99)
Here’s the latest from Diplodocus Games, a developer that I feel is constantly under-valuing its work. I fear that is happening again with this cute little eight-level 3D platforming ode to the Nintendo 64 days. Use a variety of abilities to tackle the stages in any order you like, hunting down secrets and just having a good time making your way around the decent-sized environments. A fine way to spend a few bucks today.
Intrepid Izzy ($10.99)
An action-platformer with some beat-em-up style action for dispatching your foes, Intrepid Izzy sees you using a variety of costumes and their unique abilities to make your way through reasonably large levels in order to save the world from a bad genie or something. It also has a rather strong soundtrack. I’ll have a review of this one early next week, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played well enough so far.
Silver Nornir ($14.99)
Wow, this brings back memories. This was the last game KEMCO released on iOS before I was hired at TouchArcade. It comes from all the way back in 2013, and is a product of developer WorldWideSoftware. I wonder what happened to them? Anyway, it’s a pretty generic RPG but the story has a bit more work put into it than we tend to see with, say, EXE-Create’s stuff. It’s set in a world that has already been destroyed twice by a great calamity, and you’re trying to prevent it from being destroyed a third time. You can find it cheaper on mobile, as usual. It’s been a long while since I played this one, but I remember it being decent by KEMCO standards.
Sakura Succubus 6 ($9.99)
It’s the sixth in this series now and you’re probably more than familiar how the Sakura Succubus series of visual novels works by now. The premise this time is that you go to a fictional European country and the princess there falls for you. Make some choices and try to find a happy ending. You don’t need me to tell you if this is for you or not.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
I think this is the smallest list of Friday sales we’ve seen in a long time. I suppose that’s because the Cyber Deals sales are still kicking until Monday. Don’t forget about those, by the way. The next time we meet here, it will be too late. Not much too interesting in the new sales for today, and the outbox is… well, it’s two games. Look over those Cyber Deals again, I guess?
Select New Games on Sale
Secrets of Light & Shadow ($12.00 from $15.00 until 12/15)
AVICII Invector ($7.99 from $19.99 until 12/16)
SkateBIRD ($5.99 from $19.99 until 12/16)
Destruction ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/16)
The Fox Awaits Me ($8.99 from $44.99 until 12/16)
Forward to the Sky ($9.79 from $48.99 until 12/16)
Sea King Hunter ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/16)
Cyber Velocity Run ($3.99 from $7.99 until 12/16)
Gunborg: Dark Matters ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/16)
Zumatch ($2.39 from $5.99 until 12/19)
The House of the Dead Remake ($19.99 from $24.99 until 12/22)
Suicide Guy Collection ($2.96 from $10.99 until 12/22)
Railway Empire ($19.99 from $39.99 until 12/22)
Monkey Barrels ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/22)
Kuukiyomi Consider It ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/22)
Sales Ending This Weekend
even if Tempest ($42.49 from $49.99 until 12/3)
Kings of Paradise ($12.49 from $24.99 until 12/3)
That’s all for today and this week, friends. We’ll be back next week with more new releases, more sales, more reviews, more news, and perhaps some year-in-review type stuff. I hope you all have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!