Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 11th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a huge amount of new games to look at. I’m sorry to say that only a tiny handful of them are good, with the rest being varying degrees of dubious. Oh well! I’ve also got a full-length review of Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration for you. It rocks. Finally, the mercifully brief lists of new and outgoing sales. I don’t think I would have had time for the usual big-pants lists. Let’s get to the good stuff!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration ($39.99)
The retro compilation space has but a handful of regular developers doing their thing, and each of them has its own take on how best to present classic games. For the last several years, Digital Eclipse has been pushing for more context for the games in question. The Museum modes have been getting bigger, more fully-featured, and more impressive with each release. When I get a new Digital Eclipse collection, I generally fire up a few of the games I was most interested in for a short while and then head to the Museum to see what’s in it.
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration feels like the culmination of everything Digital Eclipse has been doing over the years. It includes games from several consoles, at least one of which hasn’t seen any emulated releases ever before. There are new reimagined games, conceptually similar to some of the games the developer did decades back. There are fun secrets to uncover. And the Museum, at first a background character and then a trusty sidekick, has now taken its position as the main star. When you fire the game up, it’s the first thing put in front of you. While you can hit a button to go right to the list of games, the intended experience for first-time players is to head to the Museum.
In this compilation, the Museum mode feels like an interactive history book. Or a little like walking through a real museum, albeit without a virtual space involved. Atari’s history, from its beginnings to the current day, is broken up into four different eras. Not much time is spent on the Hasbro or Infogrames years, but I’d imagine there isn’t a whole lot to talk about there anyway. The rise of Atari and its eventual fall are chronicled in captivating detail here, and at each step of the way you can hop in and play the games associated with those points in time.
Each game has its own material to peruse. 3D box renders, manual scans, sometimes marketing materials or interviews with the developers. Some games get more attention than others, but you never feel like you’re struggling to place it in history. The 104 games selected for this compilation do a great job of illustrating Atari as a game creator over the years. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, of course. Even setting aside licensing headaches, there’s really no way it could be given just how many games the company made. But most of the important angles are covered. There are only a couple of obvious holes, in my opinion. I wish there was some Atari ST representation, and it’s a shame Atari let go of Battlezone because it really ought to be here too.
My personal familiarity with each of the consoles varies, but the systems I know well certainly seem to be emulated correctly here (including the Atari 5200, which was a little off in the Atari Flashback Collection) and I can’t notice anything obviously off about the games on platforms I don’t know as well. Jaguar emulation has always been a bugbear of sorts, but the included games are running nicely. The controls have been mapped well, and the more button-heavy platforms use a radial wheel to access some features. It works. On top of that, select titles have even gotten a little extra attention, such as Star Raiders on the Atari 5200. It has M2 Shottriggers-style gadgets that make the game a lot easier to play, and the rumble effect when you enter hyperspace is magnificent.
There’s a lot to enjoy in the collection, and Star Raiders is one of my favorites. I also really enjoyed the arcade version of Food Fight, Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar, Dark Chambers on the Atari 7800, Ninja Golf on the Atari 7800, Super Asteroids & Missile Command on the Lynx, and Turbo Sub on the Lynx quite a bit. Not every game here is good, of course. But there’s something interesting about each of them. Even the familiar old arcade and 2600 games that have been endlessly re-released can be appreciated a little more with the extra info attached in this collection.
Finally, I want to talk about the new games, or as they are called here, “Reimagined”. We’ve been seeing some cool reimaginings of classic Atari games already via the Recharged line, but this is something a little different. Haunted Houses builds on what was one of the earlier examples of survival horror to okay effect. Neo Breakout is a fancy take on Breakout that would be more exciting if Shatter hadn’t just released on Switch. Quadratank is a cool update to Combat that is an absolute blast with four players. VCTR-SCTR is a very fun homage to Atari’s vector games, one I greatly enjoyed. Yars’ Revenge Enhanced puts a new coat of paint on top of the Atari 2600 classic, doing that nifty thing where you can shift between the original and remake at the press of a button.
The handheld toy Touch Me has been recreated here in virtual form, and that’s kind of neat. Then there’s Swordquest: Air World, which seeks to finally finish the Swordquest story as closely as possible to co-creator Tod Frye’s original vision. Sadly, there’s no cool comic book to accompany this one. I get it. Anyway, this does what it means to. If you enjoyed the previous Swordquest games, this very much follows in their line and brings things to a proper conclusion. It’s really great to see this loose thread finally taken care of. These new games certainly run the gamut in terms of how much I enjoyed them, but as part of the overall package I think they’re welcome. Oh, and you can even unlock a few more classic games by playing them.
I can’t find much to complain about in Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration. I wish there were online leaderboards here. Perhaps more than one save state per game would be good. And sure, I would like to see more games for the lesser-seen systems. But these are very, very minor nitpicks. They’re things I think of if I force myself to think of any negative points in this set. If that’s all I’ve got, I think that speaks loud volumes for how strong this is.
Can a retro game compilation get by solely as an educational look into gaming history? Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration offers the most compelling evidence yet that yes, they can. The nice thing about this set is that it doesn’t have to get by on that alone. There is a nice mix of games here that is worth diving into. That being said, the outstanding walk through history is the most impressive and fascinating part of this endeavor, bringing new life into the games it talks about. An essential work for all fans of gaming history.
SwitchArcade Score: 5/5
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration ($39.99)
There’s a whole review up there for you to read, but the short version is that this is an incredible celebration of Atari’s history and a masterful achievement by the folks at Digital Eclipse. With one hundred and four games covering everything from Arcade to Jaguar and even a handful of new games, there are tons of things to play here. The real star is the stunning amount of extra material that gives the context that is sorely needed to truly experience these games in the best possible conditions. I love it.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn ($49.99)
For years, people have been calling out for a release of Final Fantasy Tactics on Switch. Well, this isn’t Final Fantasy Tactics, but it’s just as good in my books. Based on the PlayStation Portable remake released some span of time ago I’m not comfortable thinking about, this is an excellent turn-based tactical RPG with a lot of refinements to make it play the best it can. I’ll have a review of this soon, but if you like the genre this is assuredly a must-have.
A brief puzzle experience where you guide a toy truck through ten hand-crafted environments. You’re meant to play it in one, maybe two sittings at most. The puzzles lean more into the sort of tactile toy end of things, and that’s just fine. We really loved this game when it came out on mobile, but how will Shaun find this Switch version? I’ll be doing a review soon so you can find out.
Lord of the Click III ($4.99)
The third Lord of the Click game, and one that closes out the trilogy’s story. It plays just like the previous games, albeit with a few new features to liven things up. By and large, you’ll still be clicking ’til you drop, and I think fans of this series wouldn’t have it any other way.
Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk and Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk ($7.99)
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pair of games with such high ratings on Steam before. After checking these out, I can understand why. These are two very short visual novels about a girl who goes out to buy milk. You are prompted to make choices from time to time, and I’m going to stop here because I think the less you know, the better. Do note that it deals with some heavy mental health themes, so if you don’t want to see that kind of content, this isn’t for you.
First Time in Rome – Collector’s Edition ($11.99)
In case Montgomery Fox isn’t to your liking, Ocean Media still has something for you hidden object adventure game fans this week. Head to Rome and complete your assignment for a tourism agency by finding hidden object and playing assorted mini-games.
Puzzle by Nikoli S Slitherlink ($4.99)
Okay, here’s what I like to see. Slitherlink was one of those great Nintendo DS games that went largely unnoticed due to its limited availability. It’s a really great type of logic puzzle, and it doesn’t get ripped off very often either. This is a proper version endorsed by Nikoli and everything, so that’s nice. Give it a go if you’re looking for a good puzzler.
It’s Kooky ($9.99)
One of those “find the thing” sorts of games, with thirteen different maps and a quirky theme. Honestly, it’s not any stranger than the games it’s aping. But maybe if they assert that it is kooky, people will be more likely to believe it.
Kamikaze Vegetables ($12.99)
This is a third-person stealth action game about veggie warriors who are battling against communist veggies to save the world. It’s extremely silly stuff, and that humorous angle is probably the game’s best quality. Oh, and you can play co-op with someone else in local multiplayer. The gameplay itself is passable but not spectacular. I don’t know how seriously a person should take the game given how ludicrous it is, but the stealth mechanics in particular aren’t very deep. Could be good for a laugh.
Save Room ($4.99)
Resident Evil fans will probably be raising their eyebrows at that screenshot. Many players have said they have as much fun organizing their inventory in those games as they have shooting zombies. So here is a game all about organizing your inventory. There are forty different puzzles to play, and you’ll likely have had your fill by the time you get through them all.
Becoming a She~ ($19.90)
A visual novel about a dude who becomes a girl and enters a girls-only academy to try to learn how to live their new life. Don’t worry, there’s still romance. The translation looks to be pretty poor, but such is the case with these CyberStep releases. It’s probably not great literature anyway, if that’s any consolation.
– Isekai Bride Hunting – Chartier Edition ($7.99)
Another visual novel in this series. This one focuses on the vampire Chartier. She’s the queen of the vampire tribe, apparently. Can your businessman successfully woo her? The odds are good.
Fluffy Horde ($9.99)
There must be something in the water today. Um, so in this one you have to defend the crops of the Three Kingdoms against a bunny tsunami summoned by a rabbit-mancer. You have to use your forces to push them back. Basically a super-weird take on the tower defense genre. Reviews of other versions of the game are decent, so it’s probably at least a bit fun.
Chalk Gardens ($5.99)
A very simple puzzle game aimed at younger players. You basically talk to the different characters and choose from three different reactions using a trio of animal hats. The lion is brave, the turtle is calm and patient, and the owl is wise. A kid’s first adventure game? Sure, that’s fine.
Run Sausage Run! ($4.99)
A dubious running game for up to eight players via local multiplayer. Also featuring ketchup blood splatters. The first of two sausage-themed games today from QubicGames, who have suddenly decided to have a lovely yammy all over the eShop for some reason.
Sausage Wars ($4.99)
A dubious battle game for up to four players via local multiplayer. You’ll also be playing with a bunch of bots. Also featuring ketchup blood splatters. The second of two sausage-themed games in one day from Qubic. Alright, whatever.
Pocket Mini Golf 2 ($4.99)
Gee, QubicGames has like five games out today. This is a follow-up to Pocket Mini Golf. Up to four players can enjoy some mini golf together via local multiplayer. There are four different worlds with one hundred levels in total to play. Five different modes of play, too. I found the first game forgettable, but maybe this is better.
Arcade Machine: Gopher’s Revenge ($2.49)
A cheap whack-a-mole game for one or two players via local multiplayer. It takes the idea and really goes over the top with it, with a giant gopher boss, gophers armed with rocket launchers, and more. I guess if you’re going to do something like this, do it with aplomb.
Hot Tentacles Shooter ($4.99)
That was the cleanest screenshot available. Sorry. Gamuzumi doing what Gamuzumi does. This is a vertically-scrolling shooter and the gimmick is… well, you can see the what the gimmick is. Rescue the twenty ladies from space tentacles. Unlock new outfits for your main character. Get really good at hiding your screen so no one sees what you’re playing.
Jigsaw Puzzle: Belgium Through the Lens ($14.99)
Another jigsaw puzzle game, this time focusing on images of Belgium. You get a number of pictures across a variety of categories, and as with most games of this sort you can choose between different numbers of pieces for each.
An endless action game. Enemies approach, you bonk them. They’ll come in greater numbers and faster until you cannot bonk them fast enough. Try to get a higher score next time. Weakfish continues to live up to its name, I suppose.
Brain Memory ($4.99)
Just a basic memory match game where you flip over cards looking for pairs. There are eight different card designs and multiple difficulty levels. Perhaps a young child might get something out of it?
WWII Tank Battle Arena ($3.99)
A junky single-player arena-based tank battler. It’s Pix Arts, so don’t expect much quality. At least it’s cheap?
Labyrinth: Classic Pinball Puzzle ($9.99)
Guide the ball to the goal. You can use the stick or motion controls to move the ball. Pretty similar to those old wooden labyrinth games but with a few extra gimmicks. I can’t see dropping a tenner on this, but maybe you’re more interested than I am.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
As I mentioned at the beginning, there isn’t a whole lot to look at today in terms of sales. Particularly when compared to a typical Friday. The biggest thing worth taking note of is the conclusion of Thunderful’s latest round of sales. Check both of those lists anyway.
Select New Games on Sale
Monobot ($6.49 from $12.99 until 11/18)
H1.Jack ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/18)
COGEN: Sword of Rewind ($14.99 from $24.99 until 11/21)
Spice and Wolf VR ($12.49 from $24.99 until 11/21)
Spice and Wolf VR2 ($12.49 from $24.99 until 11/21)
Laid-Back Camp Fumoto Campsite ($13.64 from $20.99 until 11/21)
Laid-Back Camp Lake Motosu ($13.64 from $20.99 until 11/21)
Tri6: Infinite ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/21)
Valfaris ($7.49 from $24.99 until 11/24)
Slain: Back From Hell ($2.99 from $19.99 until 11/24)
Odallus: The Dark Call ($1.99 from $11.99 until 11/24)
Oniken: Unstoppable ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/24)
HunterX ($10.49 from $14.99 until 11/24)
To the Moon ($9.59 from $11.99 until 11/24)
Juicy Realm ($11.99 from $14.99 until 11/24)
Moncage ($11.99 from $14.99 until 11/24)
Akinofa ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/25)
LIMBO ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/28)
INSIDE ($1.99 from $19.99 until 11/28)
Home Deco Puzzles ($2.99 from $5.99 until 12/1)
Help Will Come Tomorrow ($2.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
The Amazing American Circus ($6.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Best Month Ever! ($12.99 form $19.99 until 12/1)
Castle on the Coast ($4.49 from $14.99 until 12/1)
May’s Mysteries TSoD ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Orbit.industries ($11.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Dungeon Nightmares 1+2 ($1.99 from $12.00 until 12/1)
Space Warrior ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/1)
Kuukiyomi 3: Father to Son ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/1)
Sales Ending This Weekend
Anthill ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/12)
Brigandine TLoR ($29.99 from $49.99 until 11/12)
Curious Expedition ($4.49 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Cursed to Golf ($15.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Decay of Logos ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Dying Light Definitive ($24.99 from $49.99 until 11/12)
Firegirl: Hack n Splash DX ($8.99 from $17.99 until 11/12)
Giga Wrecker Alt ($7.49 from $24.99 until 11/12)
Lonely Mountains: Downhill ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Pirated Code: Admin Edition ($9.89 from $10.99 until 11/12)
RICO ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
Rush Rally Origins ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/12)
Say No! More ($6.74 from $14.99 until 11/12)
SteamWorld Dig ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/12)
SteamWorld Dig 2 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
SteamWorld Heist ($3.99 from $19.99 until 11/12)
SteamWorld Quest ($8.74 from $24.99 until 11/12)
Trailblazers ($2.99 from $29.99 until 11/12)
That’s all for today and this week, friends. We’ll be back next week with even more new releases, including some new Pokemon thing. There will also be some reviews, some sales, and perhaps some news. This has been one heck of a week, so I’m going to go take a good rest. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!