My Switch has been filling up with oodles of indies lately so here are my thoughts on 7 recent games that you may enjoy, too.
MindSeize Review Switch ★★★★☆
There are a lot of indie Metroidvania games out there yet few offer as immersive of an experience as the spectacular MindSeize.
When I started playing MindSeize, I didn't feel like it differentiated itself well from the overcrowded genre but after progressing and exploring, I began to understand just how special of a Metroidvania it is. Its most notable feature is its immersive sci-fi atmosphere that's complemented with absolutely incredible music which paints a picture of a mysterious and futuristic world. My hat is off to the composer Adam Al-Sawad. The pixel-perfect visuals and sound effects are excellent, too. Anyway, you play as a robot who begins with standard melee and ranged attacks yet you acquire many cool abilities as you progress. Using your stored energy to unleash a cool string of attacks only to decimate your foes simply feels awesome. Overall, MindSeize quickly turned into one of my favourite Metroidvanias of the year.
If you enjoy Metroidvanias set on strange planets that feature a variety of exciting scenarios then you'll love MindSeize.MindSeize gameplay video → More Metroidvania games
Juiced! Review Switch ★★★★☆
Here we have a 2D platformer that looks like it belongs on a PC in the early '90s but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Back in the early '90s, I played a lot of goofy PC games including Commander Keen and Monster Bash and Juiced! did a great job of bringing me back to those good old days. It may look simple yet playing it is a ton of fun. You control a little purple treasure hunter named Tiko who can hop on enemies' heads to defeat them as well as throw a variety of power-ups. You'll also run into loads of gimmicks like trampolines, keys and their respective treasures, and you can even turn invincible once you collect enough fruit. The resulting gameplay is tight and full of goofy fun; in fact, playing it made me wish more games were this silly. Plus, the campaign is huge and will take you to many distinct areas where you'll fight a ton of enemies and bosses as well as experiment with lots of nifty power-ups.
Juiced! is a wonderfully enjoyable 2D platformer that'll take you back to the '90s with its goofy world and tight gameplay.Juiced! gameplay video → Let's Play Juiced! video →
Flipon Review Switch ★★★★☆
There hasn't been an official Panel de Pon / Puzzle League game in a very long time so Flipon is here to fill the void.
There are no bones about it; Flipon is a straight-up Panel de Pon clone yet it definitely feels like a unique spin on the classic puzzle formula with its distinct visual style. Additionally, there's a whole cast full of oddballs that add a lot of personality to the puzzle fun. For the unfamiliar, all you do is move a cursor around which highlights 2 panels side-by-side then tap a button to swap them. The goal is to make them disappear by aligning at least 3 of the same colour and as you learn, you'll figure out how to pull off impressive chains and combos. Its gameplay feels a bit looser than Puzzle League's but it still offers similar fast-paced puzzle action. Also, playing against computer opponents can be a humbling experience as they're incredibly tough to beat; or, at least I thought so. Anyway, it's great that there's a variety of modes included such as a campaign, score attack, challenges, and a versus mode for up to 4 players.
Flipon carries on the awesome Panel de Pon's legacy in an impressively genuine way while offering its own unique style and feel.Flipon gameplay video → More Switch Puzzle Games
Powertris Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Here's yet another modern take on a retro puzzle formula so if you enjoy building paths and dropping blocks; check Powertris out.
Powertris is advertised as a combination of Tetris and Pipe Mania but I've been gaming for a long time so I can easily say that it's essentially a copycat of Taito's Tube-It which I must say, is a far superior game and one of my favourite arcade puzzlers of all time. With that being said, Powertris isn't a bad game. I absolutely enjoyed strategically dropping pipe pieces in the hopes of connecting the left and right sides. On the downside, there is only 1 mode where all you do is try to achieve a high score and the controls can be annoying, especially when you're trying to slide a piece underneath an obstacle which doesn't always work out how you'd expect. Nonetheless, the gameplay is otherwise enjoyable and the different stage layouts and random power-ups add a welcome layer of variety.
It may not be quite as fun as Taito's classic Tube-It but Powertris still offers some solid and challenging score-chasing puzzle gameplay.Powertris gameplay video →
Ellipsis Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Carefully weaving through hazards makes for a fun formula so if you're a pacifist then you might want to give Ellipsis a try.
Ellipsis has you carefully control a circle through single-screen stages where you try to capture 5 bubbles before reaching the exit. However, doing so is a lot more difficult than it sounds as simply touching any hazard which are scattered around each level will force you to retry from the beginning. If you manage to collect every dot that each bubble sends out as well as complete the stage in an absurdly brief time, you'll be awarded 5 stars which is quite a rewarding and steep challenge. Thankfully, you can either control the circle with the stick or touchscreen but each has their own problems. For example, the former feels a bit too loose while the latter makes seeing your surroundings quite tricky. Overall, it's a simple albeit frequently frustrating game that can be fun in short bursts.
Mastering Ellipsis' tricky stages can require a great deal of skill and patience so it makes for a rather rewarding formula.Ellipsis gameplay video → More dodge 'em ups
Battle of Kings Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Tower defense games may not be as popular as they once were but Battle of Kings is here to prove that it's a pretty cool genre.
Battle of Kings is quite a simple tower defense game where you set up a variety of towers and soldier units in order to prevent enemy hordes from reaching their goal. There's a decent variety of enemies and stage layouts which will have you divide defenses between different paths and such. The first aspect that struck me as unique is just how fast-paced everything is in Battle of Kings. Levels don't really take all that long even if you have to deal with 20 or so waves of dastardly foes. Plus, there's a pause feature which allows you to set up defenses with time standing still. This felt a little bit like cheating to me but it's often necessary, especially when the difficulty ramps up. You can also compete locally or online and overall, it's a solid albeit rather typical tower defense game.
It certainly doesn't break out of the tower defense mold but Battle of Kings is an enjoyable and fast-paced strategic experience.Battle of Kings gameplay video →
Alpaca Ball: Allstars Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Goofy sports games are a personal favourite kind of game that I thoroughly enjoy but does Alpaca Ball: Allstars bring the fun?
Alpaca Ball: Allstars is a ridiculous game where you play soccer as alpacas but instead of using your feet, you smack the ball around with your head. First of all, let me just say that you can play with up to 8 local players which is just awesome and I'm sure that'll make for quite a chaotic and frantic funfest. There's also 2 player co-op where you team up against AI opponents and that can be rather rewarding to do. Although the silly premise is great, especially considering you can change the alpacas' style with swanky accessories; its controls can be quite frustrating and the resulting gameplay will have you and your friends scoring on the wrong goal just as often as the correct one. Sure, it can be a blast but the controls could definitely be much more intuitive, deliberate, and streamlined.
Although Alpaca Ball: Allstars can be a lot of fun, its strange controls make the gameplay feel more random than skill-based.Alpaca Ball: Allstars gameplay video → More Weird Switch Games