Mini Reviews: January 6th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Melbits World - When you’re trying to make an impression in an eShop absolutely swimming with games of all types and degrees of quality, doing something new and/or different is always a plus. Mixing co-op play and super-cute characters with challenging, but in principle “simple”, puzzle and timing elements Melbits World definitely fits that bill. The lack of any option to play solo makes some degree of sense once you’re playing, as your goal is to work together to manipulate a variety of elements in the map to get your characters from the start to the finish, and maybe grab some bonus goodies on the way. Very quickly it becomes clear that doing so is much more challenging than you’d expect, with precision and careful coordination absolutely being essential to success. Its one flaw is the fact that though it has the appearance of being mainstream and family friendly the bar of difficulty may be a bit high for that distinction. If your group is down for a challenge, it should deliver, but if that’s not the case you may want to seek something easier for everyone to enjoy since one weak link could sink the whole thing.

Link-a-Pix Deluxe - This new entry in the budget-friendly puzzle series is the first to feature the seemingly simple but sometimes maddening line mechanic. As is usually the case the execution is solid and the puzzles offer a fair degree of challenge at a reasonable price point. However, while I appreciate a focus on fun over flash there’s no getting around it being a pretty bare bones presentation compared to its peers. Also, bearing in mind that there are a few rock-solid titles already out there in the same space for a comparable price and it’s hard to point to this as a clear must-have pick up, even for puzzle fans.

Funny Bunny Adventures - Mixing together gameplay from a few distinct action puzzle styles Funny Bunny Adventures manages to be unique on Switch but that that doesn’t make for a ringing endorsement either. The primary puzzle mode has you hopping around to do things like plant or grab carrots while avoiding enemies and perhaps getting engaged in a number of mini games while you’re at it. Mechanically while everything is playable at the same time none of it feels particularly polished, and while things do slowly get more challenging for the most part completing levels fails to feel terribly rewarding due to a general blandness of the experience.

Mushroom Quest - At this point in not only the Switch’s lifespan, let alone taking into consideration the whole of modern gaming, a game like Mushroom Quest begs the question “Do we really need another box pushing puzzle game?” There’s a nice retro pixel art vibe, mechanically what little there is to the game works well, and the puzzles offer up a reasonable enough challenge. That said, this is extremely well-trodden ground and I can’t say that there’s anything new it has to offer up that shows innovation or progression from similar games I’ve played on platforms from archaic game systems to mobile phones either. If this is your jam, dig in, just don’t expect to see much of anything new.

Down to Hell - Are elements like artistic flair, heavy metal bombast, and solid narration enough to buoy humdrum gameplay and somewhat clunky mechanics? That’s unfortunately a question to struggle with while playing Down to Hell. While you do have a number of moves to work with, and you’ll increase your power as your journey continues, the experience really falls flat and fails to be satisfying as you repetitively slash and dash your way around through far too many generic mobs.

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