Gaming can be expensive but thankfully, there are loads of affordable indies on the Switch's eShop so let's check out 7 recent titles.
AngerForce: Reloaded Review Switch ★★★★☆
As a huge fan of shmups, I'm glad to say that AngerForce: Reloaded is a great example of the genre and it's surprisingly cheap, too.
AngerForce: Reloaded has you control 1 of 4 characters within vertically scrolling stages. After taking the tutorial, I was impressed by its core gameplay systems as they come together to create a constantly engaging and action-packed formula. Aside from flying around and shooting, you can also hold a button to charge your energy which powers a couple of different attacks, deploy bombs, and hold shoulder buttons to speed up or slow down. One thing that I found slightly annoying is that charging your energy is done by holding a button down. Instead, I wish that you automatically charged your energy whenever you stop shooting, especially because I accidentally deployed my precious bombs a few too many times as I alternated between the shoot and charge buttons. Anyway, the graphics and music are fantastic and the bosses are challenging and memorable so I highly recommend checking out this retro-style shoot 'em up.
If you're a shoot 'em up fan then you'll find a lot to love about AngerForce: Reloaded's tight retro gameplay that actually feels fresh.AngerForce: Reloaded gameplay video →
SpellKeeper Review Switch ★★★☆☆
If you enjoy a good old stage-based puzzler then SpellKeeper will certainly provide some noodle-scratching good times.
SpellKeeper is a unique game. Your goal is to guide light to specific tiles in order to make butterflies appear. You do so by placing various pieces wherever the light is shining to extend the light's reach. These pieces may reflect the light in a linear path or multiple directions so figuring out where to place each piece is the key to success. Some stages feature collectible keys that unlock further stages and trying to get them all can be a substantial challenge, especially later in the campaign. My main complaint is that the menus and interface are very cumbersome. I wish you could tap a button to restart but instead, you have to flip through some weird side menu then push face buttons until something happens. Other than that, it's a great looking and sounding game and even features a delightful narrator.
Overall, gamers looking for a simple yet challenging stage-based puzzler will surely experience a lot of enjoyment in SpellKeeper.SpellKeeper gameplay video →
Golf Peaks Review Switch ★★★☆☆
It might look and sound like a golf game but Golf Peaks is yet another fun puzzle game for Switch.
Here we have another stage-based puzzler. In Golf Peaks, you're assigned a hand of cards at the start of each stage and it's your job to guide the ball to the hole. The numbers on each card pertain to how far the ball will travel in the air as well as on the ground and cards will have either one or both numbers. Therefore, the key is to plan where to use each card so that your ball travels across the grid-based stage and ends up in the goal. Although it looks fantastic and features easy to understand gameplay, I found that many of the stage solutions were based almost primarily on trial and error which started to become rather tedious about halfway through the campaign. That being said, solving the stages feels great and the visual style and gratifying sound effects make playing it a joy.
If it weren't for its reliance on trial and error, Golf Peaks would be a top-notch puzzle game but it's still definitely worth checking out.Golf Peaks gameplay video → Let's Play Golf Peaks video →
Dungeons & Aliens Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Some games aren't quite what you'd expect so let's see what the genre-defying Dungeons & Aliens is all about.
Dungeons & Aliens looks as if it might play like PopCap's classic Plants vs. Zombies with its lane-based encroaching enemies and visual style. However, it's much more action oriented. You play as a wizard and it's your job to cast magic to kill the invading aliens and save your Viking-looking soldier friends. You do this simply by aiming a cursor around then tapping a button to cast the odd devastating spell that you can use in-game currency to purchase. For starters, having to buy spell ammo is a huge pain, especially when you fail a level thus wasting a huge chunk of your cash. Honestly, I rarely had the opportunity to save up enough money to buy any permanent unlockables because the spells cost way too much. Dungeons & Aliens can be enjoyable at times but the stages become insanely chaotic and my wizard just couldn't keep up no matter how hard I tried. As a result, it feels like a pay-to-win game yet it lacks microtransactions.
The chaotic real-time action of Dungeons & Aliens is fun for a short while but it slowly devolves into a frustrating mess.Dungeons & Aliens gameplay video →
Neon Caves Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
There's nothing wrong with a good old high score chaser so let's get our quarters together and try out the arcade-style Neon Caves.
Neon Caves is a rather simple game where you aim and shoot in order to clear waves of enemies. It's also one of those games where shooting propels your character in the opposite direction which is something that I can never wrap my head around. Thankfully, you can anchor yourself in place by holding a button down but this anchor breaks after a few seconds so you really have to stay on your toes. Anyway, Neon Caves suffers from one major issue which is the fact that it's far too difficult right off the bat. Most high score chasers are addictive because they start slowly then gradually ramp up the challenge but here, you can easily perish mere seconds in. One of the most irritating events is when you have to shoot a collection of gold shards and if you don't do it in time, it's game over. This happens at the end of each wave and the shards are placed randomly so being able to shoot all of them is more a game of chance than skill.
Those looking for a unique skill-testing arcade-style game could have half an hour or so of fun with Neon Caves but that's about it.Neon Caves gameplay video →
12 is Better Than 6 Review Switch ★☆☆☆☆
Some indie games are clear rip-offs of other games so does the Hotline Miami inspired 12 is Better Than 6 have any unique qualities?
12 is Better Than 6 is played very similarly to Hotline Miami. In fact, it's basically a shameless rip-off of it except with a different setting and graphical style. It's set in the Old West and you play as a Mexican dude who works through screen after screen while killing every adversary in sight. For starters, the dialogue is absolutely terrible and crass which put me off right away. Also, the visuals may be somewhat stylish but they're absolutely awful and ambiguous which makes the gameplay suffer as a result. Speaking of gameplay, it's extremely frustrating and glitchy. I've even had enemies shoot me through closed doors. Plus, shooting an enemy requires you to aim, cock your pistol, then fire which is cumbersome. When it all adds up, success often feels like it's due to luck rather than skill.
Considering Hotline Miami is a widely available and far superior game, why anyone would want to play 12 is Better Than 6 is beyond me.12 is Better Than 6 gameplay video → Let's Play 12 is Better Than 6 video →
Safety First! Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Indie games that purposely feature frustrating controls have become a genre of its own so let's check out the quirky Safety First!
Safety First! has you play as a stick figure whose goal is to repair high voltage cable breaks with his Magical Yellow Repair Liquid that shoots out of a dispenser conveniently located between his legs. I can't believe that I'm reviewing this never mind the fact that Nintendo approved it for their eShop. Anyway, you control the stick figure by using the analog sticks to move his left and right feet then tap a button to dispense some liquid. However, this dude is super-fragile and his limbs will easily snap off if you're not careful. Luckily, you can hover around because I guess there are very loose laws of gravity wherever you are but you'll die if you fall off the bottom of the screen. In the end, mastering each stage is an exercise in patience due to the annoying gameplay but it can still be fun for a short while.
After having a few laughs at the utter ridiculousness of it all, it's difficult to thoroughly enjoy the irritating gameplay of Safety First!Safety First! gameplay video →