A couple of small visual and audio issues aside, Immortal Redneck is an absolute blast. By combining well-crafted room design with randomly generated maps and then giving the player the ability to smoothly run, leap and blast through them with all the grace of a shotgun-wielding swan while constantly upgrading their abilities, it offers a massively satisfying, foul-mouthed experience that’s likely to remain permanently installed on your Switch long after you’ve deleted other games to make space.
Streets of Rogue benefited from years of developmental evolution in Early Access, and while we do feel the asking price is a tad high for the final result on Switch, the amount of content you get far surpasses what you’re probably expecting. RPGs are often at their best when they give you a world where you can be anyone and do anything - Skyrim has built its legacy on that concept - so if you want the freedom to be a werewolf, or a scientist, or a bartender, then this is the game for you.
Steredenn: Binary Stars is a fantastic release that does a great job of providing an experience that feels simultaneously classic and modern. Its high difficulty, rewarding gameplay, endless variety, and beautiful presentation make this an essential buy for any fans of the shooter genre, and a high recommendation for those who aren’t. If you’re looking for a tightly made arcade game that can be played both in short bursts and for hours on end, here's yet another one for your list.
Rogue Aces is a stellar, fresh experience - even more so if you never played spiritual forerunner Wings of Fury - that landed on Switch eShop seemingly out of nowhere. It not only delivers an audio-visual treat, but also an overwhelmingly entertaining stimulation of the senses thanks to the frenetic aerial ballets you take part in. Easy to pickup but devilishly hard to walk away from, Rogue Aces demands just the right amount of arcade shmup skills and strategic planing with the odd lucky break when something just works out. All of this is complimented by some excellent humour in the form of audio quips from your Captain, the enemy Baron aces and the one-liners from ally pilots. Kick the tires and light the fires, fellow Switch pilots; this war won’t be winning itself with you sitting pretty on that carrier deck.
If you want to play a top-down Legend of Zelda game as a rogue-lite while also taking shifts as a shopkeeper then, hey, Moonlighter is about to scratch a distinctive itch for you. It hits a sweet spot somewhere between satisfying swordplay and nitty-gritty economic sim, although some players may feel it gets ‘grindy’ after a while in its mechanics. Nonetheless, Digital Sun Games has produced a lush work it can be proud of; one that even touches on our humanity in an optimistic way.
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Fury Unleashed takes the central gameplay loops of the likes of Dead Cells and Enter the Gungeon and infuses them with pulpy '90s action platforming resulting in one of the best roguelites available on Nintendo Switch. Awesome Games' effort has benefited massively from five years in development and an extended period of early access on PC that's seen its gameplay polished to near perfection with slick and responsive controls, a huge and satisfyingly meaty armoury of weapons, zippy traversal mechanics and procedurally generated levels crammed full of secrets, challenges and hard-hitting enemies waiting to stop you in your tracks time and time again. Some niggling framerate issues were reportedly addressed in a patch soon after launch, but this is a superbly addictive and hugely satisfying addition to the roguelike genre regardless of the odd dip.
GALAK-Z isn’t a game for everyone: its rogue-lite nature, its high difficulty level and its punishing policy on death (even in its easier Arcade mode) will infuriate some players who are just expecting a quick blast of non-stop action. Treat it like the slower-paced exploration and survival game it’s supposed to be, and your patience will be rewarded with some genuinely satisfying space combat and a wide variety of customisable parts (not to mention its brilliant mech upgrade), all wrapped up in a fantastic ‘80s style aesthetic.
Described by its developer as a 'rolly roguelike', Tumbleseed is a game that divides opinion. The absurdly high difficulty demands that you put up or shut up; if you don't take the time to be patient and focus on improving your skills in controlling the seed, you will not find much enjoyment here. However, if you're willing to stick it out and put in the time required to 'git gud', you'll find a deeply rewarding game with nearly unlimited replayability between the daily challenges and the constant tease of getting a better score. If you consider yourself a skilled and patient gamer and missed this game around the time of the Switch's launch, give Tumbleseed a shot.
Colt Canyon is an excellent roguelike with razor-sharp gameplay that’s incredibly addictive. The rhythmic action is comparable to titles like Hotline Miami, and there’s a constant temptation to have ‘just one more go’. Some may not be too keen on the heavily-pixelated graphics, but it’s the gameplay that truly shines through here, and once you’ve conquered the steep difficulty curve you’ll find this to be a fine addition to the Switch’s growing selection of roguelikes.
Void Bastards is a delightful roguelike romp through a wonderfully unique cel-shaded comic book world full of loud-mouthed enemies and smart-arsed robots. The core combat is straightforward stuff, but it's given plenty of extra bite through the fantastically evocative graphics and kept interesting with hackable turrets and a handful of other BioShock-esque elements that give your engagements with the many Screws, Juves, Tourists and Spooks you'll come across as you traverse the Sargasso Nebula a slightly strategic lift. Graphically it's a beautiful thing, has top-notch sound design and its combination of coarse British humour and oddball space horror give the whole endeavour a highly original flavour that's well worth checking out, even if the moment-to-moment action doesn't quite match the rest of the package.
Invisible, Inc. is a brilliant little tactics game, right up there with Into the Breach and XCOM – if not even better. The bite-sized structure belies a deceptively complex and meaningful game, where all your decisions ultimately mean something significant for that final desperate attack. If you enjoy stealth or tactics games – or you're simply looking for a way into either genre – then Invisible, Inc. deserves your attention.
ScourgeBringer is a wonderfully slick and addictive roguelite adventure that flings its players headlong into non-stop frenetic combat and never lets up. This is an unapologetically tough game and if you struggle with the constant repetition and death inherent in the genre you may find it all a little hard to put up with. However, if you're not put off by a challenge, or if you're a Celeste or Dead Cells fan who is craving more, what Flying Oak Games has conjured up with this one is sure to absolutely delight.