With being the new ‘Cool Kid’ in the so-called console war (Is that still a thing?), I decided to provide my readers with a short series of Christmas articles detailing what do stuff and what to chuck when it comes to some of this year’s eShops stocking fillers.
I will be foregoing our usual scoring system for this series in favour of a short and sweet mini-review for the titles involved. And also I want people to read it all…
Readers here is part 1 of Reggie’s eShop Stocking Fillers and Stocking Killers:
Figment is a beautiful display of nightmare fuel, mixing a light yet quaint colour palette and presentation with queer and dark themes. Players must puzzle their way through various levels of Mental states whilst confronting the aforementioned anxieties and darkness they bring.
It’s great to see developer ‘Bedtime Digital Games’ taking risks and bringing Mental Illness to the forefront of the indie scene. It’s like playing through Peppa Pigs nightmares, which makes Figment all the more beautiful.
Developed by Bedtime Digital Games
Readers may be craving to find out some soul-destroying information about their spouse or even get together with some friends to throw preverbal turds at the fan. If so, Awkward is just the title for you!
The main issue with Awkward is suffering the lack of balance and finesse it demonstrates by trying to deliberately cause grief for all concerned. We all love a game of ‘Cards Against Humanity’, hell even truth or dare if you are comfortable like that.
Awkward is forced dark humour in its most adolescent and hollow form, just stick to Mario Party and swearing at your family members. It’s just as good and you’ll get away with it after a drink or twelve.
Developed by Snap Finger Click Ltd.
Mushroom Wars 2:
In a true display of easy to learn, hard to master mechanics, Mushroom Wars 2 is a gorgeous RTS title to hit the Nintendo Switch earlier this year. In a shock move for the genre, Mushroom Wars 2’s gameplay and structure lend itself to pick up and play mechanics which fits most players gaming habits and their ‘Stuff to do’ levels.
Mushroom Wars 2 manages to strike a perfect balance between casual and deep gameplay, with more of an investment needed in the later game. These Mushrooms are best served online, with solo gameplay getting repetitive 3 / 4 hours in. With that being said, the title manages to save itself somewhat with its various modes.
Developed by Zillion Whales
Inspired by cult classics such as ‘Limbo’, Dream Alone attempts to emulate the dark and minimalist presentation in a series of half-baked ideas that never really bear fruit. Whilst some areas of the platforming gameplay can kill some time and feel good to play, Dream Alone lacks that polish and fine-tuning that successful platformers need.
Whilst gameplay could be described as middle of the road, the soundtrack attempts to reach levels of grandeur whilst being drowned out my unusually high volume rain effects. Playing Dream Alone left this reviewer asking more questions rather than answers. For example: ‘Why Bother?’. Imagine if Garth Meranghi created a game, but it wasn’t a satire and just god awful.
Developed by Fat Dog Games
Muddledash is a title a lot of players would immediately glance over when browsing the Nintendo Switch eShop, or may be disappointed with for playing its single mode. These players are fools. Muddledash is the party game gamers didn’t realise they needed!
Featuring a simplified yet smooth running cell-shaded aesthetic, players must race against their octopus friends to the finish line by navigating the queerest of tracks. It won’t win a game of the year award and it will never be held in a high regard for its narrative, but it doesn’t matter. For the humble price tag, Switch owners would be silly to not try this title out for some post-Christmas dinner party fun.
Developed by Slampunks
Paranautical Activity assumes its FPS / Rogue-lite status in an attempt to bring the MS-DOS shooters of old into a dungeon crawler set. Readers, it didn’t really work out. With the title seeing various releases console and the now-defunct Wii U, I wondered how this managed to pass so many barriers to come to a multi-platform release.
Paranautical Activity features block-style textures to draw in the Minecraft crowd but features a terrible combat system that seldom performs and is riddled with performance issues. A players time would be better served to rub jiff lemon into their eyeballs, then play DooM instead.
Developed by Digerati Distribution
Miles and Kilo:
In a massive improvement from Four Horses previous outing ‘Kidd Trip’, Miles and Kilo builds on the same pixel aesthetic whilst providing some entertaining yet challenging platforming gameplay.
Whilst Miles and Kilo brings nothing new to the retro platforming boom we’ve seen in recent years, it’s a solid experience with many influences. In fact, too many for this roundup article. A charming platform with a cheese board full of humour.
Developed by Four Horses
Assault Gunners HD Edition:
In a full-on display of bland mobile development and over hype in it’s purest form, Assault Gunners HD provides little in the way of persuasion for first-time mech players. In fact, this title doesn’t really provide any motivation in the way of decent content.
Go through a level, shoot stuff, rinse and repeat. This mech outing should be melted down and sold for scrap.
Developed by Marvelous AQL
Wild Guns Reloaded
With the lack of a Virtual Console on Nintendo Switch, re-releases such as Wild Guns Reloaded prove that challenging gameplay and fun mechanics will win every time in a retro title.
Mostly kept intact with its original release, Wild Guns Reloaded is showcased in a polished resolution bringing back its sharp shooting finesse and its constant push of making players make tough decision to complete levels.
Whilst it doesn’t take long to complete, two-player support, new bosses and levels have been added to justify the hefty price tag. It’s still steep, but this title is a must for any retro fans digital library. Oh yeah, it has one of the best soundtracks in gaming, ever!
Developed by Natsume Atari Inc.