To have Ninja Theory's Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on Switch in such fine form is a blessing that you shouldn’t miss out on. The game itself is a psychological sensory experience that we thoroughly recommend, but the fact that it’s been translated to Switch in such a complete fashion is the true surprise here. It doesn’t feel like a downgrade at all – it stands proudly alongside the other ‘miracle’ ports on the system, arguably surpassing them in some ways. It’s a remarkable effort and a challenge to other developers who insist Switch couldn’t handle their games. Anything’s possible, it seems, and we take our hats off to QLOC – bravo.
The Touryst is a joyous little adventure that sinks its blocky hooks into you and doesn't let go until it's done. It's got a perfect balance of atmospheric puzzling, leisurely exploring and minigame madness that'll keep you thoroughly entertained from start to finish, and its collection of tiny little voxel islands are a joy to discover, bursting with surprises to uncover and presented in a truly dazzling art-style that's achieved whilst performing flawlessly on Nintendo's console. The puzzles might not be the most taxing you'll ever come across and you'll blow through the whole thing pretty quickly, but overall this is a top-notch – and perfectly priced – little gem.
A Hat In Time is a hugely enjoyable take on the classic 3D platformer. The tight, familiar controls and varied, innovative levels result in one of the most fascinating and entertaining games out there. The issues with performance and the camera do little to wipe the smile from our faces while playing through this; if you adore the likes of Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, then you'll fall utterly in love with A Hat In Time.
Brace Yourself Games has crafted a unique Zelda game which fits in perfectly with the rest of the family. A transfusion from Crypt of the NecroDancer gives the old top-down template a fresh spin but it still manages to feel like Zelda. By allowing a talented indie developer to play in the universe, Nintendo has gained a fantastic entry in the franchise that feels like a celebration – specifically of its music, a part of the series destined to take a back seat as the majesty of Hyrule is increasingly conveyed through the scale of its world rather than melodies from the days when the 'kingdom' was really a walled garden. Cadence of Hyrule is not just a brilliant game, it's a brilliant Zelda game - one that you won't want to miss.
Baba Is You is like a compilation of gift shop brain teasers; they’re not for everyone, but some people can’t get enough of them. And while it may sound like just another sketchy smartphone game, it’s surprisingly one of the most unique puzzlers you can find on the Switch and the way in which it encourages you to break its rules and create your own ones is refreshing and unique. Its sudden difficulty spike and lack of a hint system could easily discourage some from continuing, but if you enjoy a good brain teasing, you could easily spend hours getting lost within Baba’s puzzles. Just make sure to take a break or two, or you may forget which Baba is you.
Untitled Goose Game boasts more inventiveness, creativity and charm than the vast majority of titles on the Switch eShop, and offers a believable game world that's a real pleasure to explore, investigate and – of course – cause merry havoc in. Superb physics, excellent controls, surprisingly robust AI and unique presentation all combine to make this a real highlight in the Switch's library – it's only the brevity of the experience that lets it down, but this really is a case of quality over quantity.
Katana Zero is unmistakably a game that you need to add to your Switch collection. The tough, hair-raising action sequences, gripping narrative, and impeccable sense of style elevate Katana Zero high above many of its peers, cementing it as a modern classic that sets new standards for what a side scrolling action game can be. This is the kind of game that you’ll blindly play through once and soon find yourself wishing you could have that first-time experience again; there’s nothing else quite like it on the eShop and we can’t recommend it enough.
Slay the Spire is an endlessly addictive roguelike card-battler that’s a perfect fit for the Switch; a beautifully balanced game that arrived on Nintendo's system with all the benefits of an extended period of Early Access on PC. Its combination of ferocious battles, entertaining chance encounters and selection of three impressively different player characters make every run to the top a nerve-wracking and totally absorbing affair. Massively inventive sets of cards combine majestically into hugely destructive combos and attack and defence options fuse perfectly together, enabling players to use the information provided by the brilliantly transparent Intent system to strategise endlessly against the hordes of foul monstrosities that stand between themselves and victory. Sure, you’ll eventually see every enemy and chance encounter and yes, there are a few framerate niggles here and there, but overall this is one dungeon crawler that will live long in our system memories.
What you've got here are two of the finest examples of the genre, accompanied by a third likeable entry which is also well worth a look. When you consider how many titles Konami is packing into its Anniversary Collection packages – and that their retail price is almost half what Square Enix is demanding for the three games included here – it's impossible to not question the value of Collection of Mana. However, there's no denying the fact that Secret of Mana is one of the finest console RPGs of all time, and even though it's readily available elsewhere, playing it on Switch is like wrapping yourself up in a warm and familiar blanket; it's just right somehow. We could argue that Secret of Mana is merely the appetiser for the real star of this collection: Trials of Mana. It's nothing short of a masterpiece and finally getting the chance to play it officially in English is a landmark moment for SNES and RPG fans alike.
Alien: Isolation is a survival horror masterpiece and straight-up one of the very best horror video games ever released. It's a nerve-wracking affair – a slow, methodical game of cat and mouse against a brilliantly clever recreation of one of cinema's most infamous killers – but if you're up to the task you'll find one of the most satisfying gameplay experiences in the genre; a brilliant and beautiful homage to one of the greatest Sci-Fi movies of all time. Feral Interactive has done a stellar job with this Switch port and the excellent motion controls and inclusion of all previously-released DLC only go to sweeten the deal. This is essential stuff for survival horror fans.