Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 8th, 2023. In today’s article, we start things off with a trio of reviews for some recently-released indie games. shoot-em-up Terra Flamepuzzle gemomband run-and-gun Wild Dogs are all in the chair of judgment today, and only those who continue reading will know how that turns out. There are a few new releases to check out, and that is just what we will do. Throw in the usual lists of new and expiring sales and that’s about it. Let’s get to it!
Reviews & Mini Views
Terra Flame ($19.99)
Developer Terarin is a shooting game fan who makes shooting games, and his output is both unsurprising and surprising with that in mind. On the one hand, his games have a lot of interesting mechanics to explore and are typically geared towards score attacks. Those who enjoy the genre and are well-versed in its history will find a lot to like in any of Terarin’s games, and Terra Flame is no exception. It’s a rare foray into horizontal shooting from the developer, and he takes the opportunity to riff on games like Thunderforce, Darius, and more. If you like aiming for high scores, you’re well taken care of here with a good scoring system, a Caravan mode, and online leaderboards.
What is less expected is that Terarin’s shooters are also rather beginner-friendly. The core gimmicks are usually easy enough to pick up and enjoy, and the difficulty on the lower settings isn’t overly demanding. Terra Flame isn’t as flashy as some of its peers in terms of visuals, but it looks good and the soundtrack is excellent. You get a nice variety of locations to travel through, the enemy patterns are fun to learn, and the boss battles are cool. The weapon switching mechanic at the heart of the game is as easy to use as remember which button is which, and it’s fun to figure out which one you should be using where. You can also power up your shot by laying off the fire button, adding another interesting twist to build into your strategy.
Whether you’re a hardened veteran of the shoot-em-up genre or a newcomer looking for a good entry point, Terra Flame is a solid choice. It looks and sounds great, the gameplay is nice and snappy, and the mechanics are interesting to play with. Just making your way through the eight-stage campaign is a pleasure, but with additional difficulty settings, thoughtful scoring mechanics, an intense Caravan mode, and online leaderboards, there’s plenty here to keep you coming back for more.
Switch Arcade Score: 4/5
I like a lot of things about gemomb. Its mash-up of brick-breaking and falling-block puzzler reminds me of Taito’s Puchi Carat, and that’s not a bad company to be in. The presentation is charming and fits the era of gaming it draws inspiration from to a tee. You get a few different modes to enjoy, and there’s a fair bit here in terms of single-player content to go alongside the local multiplayer mode.
The idea of the gameplay is that you have a field of gems of different colors. You launch a ball at them to break them, and if you break a bunch in a row you’ll send some garbage blocks to your opponent. You have to catch the ball when it comes back, and if you miss you’ll end up with some extra gems of your own. The match is over either when one player clears their board or gets crushed by the falling gems. It works well enough, but as you play you might notice that the action never really heats up. Matches drag on for way too long, and the ball never speeds up. This is probably to make it so that it’s easier to catch, but I ended up finding it a little boring as a result.
If you don’t mind a slower-paced puzzler, gemomb might be of interest to you. Its fundamental rules and gameplay mechanics work well, the art style is vibrant and appealing, and it offers a lot of ways to play. Those looking for a speedier affair might find this one a little plodding for their liking, and its lack of any sort of online multiplayer or leaderboards also hurts it a little. Not bad for a first attempt, but I could imagine a sequel that builds on things and really takes it to another level.
Switch Arcade Score: 3.5/5
Wild Dogs ($9.99)
It takes all of fifteen seconds to sort out what game this one pays homage to. This game is heavily inspired by Contrawith many mechanics from Against III in particular popping up. It’s presented with a Game Boy-style look, and you can swap between a large number of palettes. Even the weapons are extremely familiar, and the spread shot remains king. There are a couple of times it breaks away from the run-and-gun formula to spice things up, but they’re not exactly the shining moments of the game. Still, the game plays well enough that run-and-fun fans won’t be disappointed.
Wild Dogs isn’t without its issues. The bosses drag on a bit too long thanks to their high HP, some of the gimmick sections aren’t terribly fun, and the game just can’t get out of the shadow of the game it’s paying homage to and lacks much identity of its own as a result. It’s also single-player only, which is unfortunate given how much of an appeal point that was for Konami’s shooter. But it gets enough of that Contra energy right that fans of the series will likely have a good time stomping through it, and maybe that’s enough.
Switch Arcade Score: 3.5/5
Poosh XL ($4.99)
Adamvision Studios has a solid knack for making enjoyable, simple, arcade-style games and Poosh XL is another fine example. It’s a one-button game where you all need to do is “poosh” with good timing. It’s an endless game where you’re trying to get an ever-higher score, so if you enjoy that kind of thing then you’ll want to give this a look. Atari Recharged games, there are also a bunch of extra challenges you can complete if you’re looking for a little more spice. Good fun, good price.
Scrap Bolts ($9.99)
A simple platformer where you play as a little robot on a wheel who is trying to collect all the bolts on each stage. I don’t think I’d pick it up at ten bucks, but it seems prime to be a regular member of the deep discount club.
Van Van Up – Car Driving Games Ultimate Experience Simulator ($9.99)
Midnight Works has another simple driving game to add to the massive pile in the eShop. This one’s gimmick is that the roads are weird. Well, do what you will.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Not a very big list of new sales today, but Thalamus is having a sale on its full line and it’s all pretty much worth grabbing. I particularly enjoyed Millie and Molly and Death Ray Manta SE, if you want somewhere to start. Over in the outbox, a whole lot of RPGs are wrapping up their latest sales. The whole Workshop line and most of Square Enix’s catalog will be heading back to normal prices again very soon, so grab while the grabbing’s good.
Select New Games on Sale
Formula Bit Racing DX ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/19)
Demon Skin ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/20)
Overcooked! All You Can Eat ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/21)
Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Shape Neon Chaos ($1.99 from $30.00 until 5/26)
Lila’s Tale & the Hidden Forest ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/26)
Gruta ($3.99 from $4.99 until 5/26)
Scrap Bolts ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/27)
Railbound ($9.74 from $12.99 until 5/29)
Cardful Planning ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/29)
Millie and Molly ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/29)
Lumo ($1.99 from $19.95 until 5/29)
LOVE: A Puzzle Box ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/29)
Destructivator SE ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/29)
Rainbow Laser Disco Dungeon ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/29)
Bezier Second Edition ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/29)
Rogue Aces ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/29)
Word Forward ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/29)
Death Ray Manta SE ($1.99 from $10.00 until 5/29)
Buddy Simulator 1984 ($6.66 from $9.99 until 5/29)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9th
ActRaiser Renaissance ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Ayesha Workshop ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Escha & Logy workshop ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Firis ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Lulua Workshop ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Lydie & Suelle ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Meruru Workshop ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Rorona Workshop ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Shallie ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Sophie’s workshop ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Sophia 2 workshop ($38.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Totori Workshop ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Balan Wonderworld ($11.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Bridge-Strike ($1.99 forms $6.99 until 5/9)
Buried Stars ($13.49 from $44.99 until 5/9)
Children of Morta ($5.49 from $21.99 until 5/9)
Collection of Mana ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Collection of SaGa FFL ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
Dragon Quest Treasures ($35.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Dungeon Encounters ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends DE ($27.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse ($37.49 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy IX ($10.49 from $20.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy VII ($7.99 from $15.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy XII TZA ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Harvestella ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Cloud Vers. ($44.99 from $89.99 until 5/9)
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Legend of Mana ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX ($20.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Moonlighter ($3.74 from $24.99 until 5/9)
Mosaic Chronicles Deluxe ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/9)
Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists ($19.79 from $59.99 until 5/9)
NEO The World Ends with You ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Paranormasight: Seven Mysteries ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
Rain on Your Parade ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/9)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV ($41.99 from $69.99 until 5/9)
Romancing SaGa 2 ($7.49 from $24.99 until 5/9)
Romancing SaGa 3 ($8.69 from $28.99 until 5/9)
Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song ($21.24 from $24.99 until 5/9)
SaGa Frontier Remastered ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/9)
SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions ($8.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Samurai Warriors 5 ($35.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Spelunker Party ($8.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Tactics Ogre Reborn ($32.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
The Diofield Chronicle ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
The Wreck ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
Trials of Mana ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Various Daylife ($19.13 from $28.99 until 5/9)
Voice of Cards: Beasts of Burden ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Voice of Cards: Isle Dragon Roars ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Voodoo Detective ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/9)
Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate ($35.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
wild romance ($6.99 from $9.99 until 5/9)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, and perhaps some reviews and news. I spent way too much time playing PowerWash Simulator this past weekend. I really shouldn’t be allowed to load that game up ever. Oh well. I hope you all have a magnificent Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!