Switch to: Deutsch
This time we’re going to do something a little different: we’re gonna talk about 3 Nintendo Switch indie titles that we could try, all of different genres: the adventure game forma.8, the puzzle game Sparkle 2 and the top-down shooter Neon Chrome. Since I’m talking about the Switch versions, I’ll also say my opinion about how “switchy” these games are, meaning if they manage to take advantage of the features of the Nintendo console.
Let’s start with forma.8, a game made by the italian team MixedBag: being an italian myself, I can only find pleasure in advertising a game from my country, especially if good. forma.8 will see us in control of a little probe, landed on a mysterious planet because of a malfunction. There really aren’t any plot or cutscenes that explain what’s going on: only quiet and silence, with only the relaxing soundtrack to accompany us in our journey. I believe that this game succeeds in being challenging but, at the same time, incredibly relaxing: the 2D graphics and level design is really charming, and even though there might be danger at every corner and you know you have to be careful it manages to make it a pleasant experience as well. Even if this is a Metroid-vania, you’re not exactly powerful: the tools at your disposal will be very limited, nor you’ll have any explanation of how they exactly work.
A game that really surprised us, and well worthy of being bought if you have the chance. Regarding the Switch factor: I feel like this game works perfectly in the portable mode because of its relaxing nature, but you’ll still need to use both Joy-Cons to make it work. I feel like the game could have easily worked fine with even a single Joy-Con, but since it’s a single player game there shouldn’t be any trouble.
Next up we have 2 games by 10tons, and we’re gonna start with Sparkle 2! If you ever played Zuma, by Popcap, it’s basically the same thing: there will be a lot of coloured spheres traveling in a “snake” pattern, and you’ll have to shoot other spheres to make them match up and disappear, and you have to do it fast before they reach their destination, or you’ll fail the level and restart again. The only real difference between Sparkle and Zuma is that this one has unlockable upgrades, adding customization and replayability to this title: you’ll be able to make the spheres move slower, or automatically have a specific power-up if you shoot a certain amount of orbs and so on, all unlockable by playing through the campaign. There’s also a nice sense of progression: the game starts really easy and becomes quite challenging on the final levels, and if that’s not enough you’ll also unlock other game modes in which you can compete!
Overall, a nice puzzle game to pass time and that everyone can play with ease. It also uses perfectly everything the Switch has to offer: you can play with both Joy-Cons or a single one, or ditch them entirely and use the touch pad. Playing with touch controls will certainly be faster and easier, but if you choose to play with Joy-Cons you’ll be able to hold a button to be sure where exactly the sphere will land, so it still tries to provide the players with the best experience possible.
Now for something completely different, we have the rogue-like futuristic twin-stick shooter Neon Chrome. We’ll have to travel several levels in a row while trying to stop the Overseer: to do so, we’ll take control of different sleeping soldiers, each with unique characteristics. The levels are (mostly) procedurally generated, and the characters and power-ups we can choose from will change at every beginning of the run, so that everything will always feel different. We’ll also have several guns and special moves (like rocket missiles, laser beams or mine) to unlock and to choose from; in each level we may also access, like we mentioned before, to power-ups that will help us in our run, like more bullets before we reload or more health, speed and so on. It can also be more forgiving, compared to other games of the same genre: everytime we defeat a boss we’ll unlock a checkpoint, allowing us to restart from there, should we choose to, instead that from the very beginning. The most important thing to do while traveling is to try and find the most credits as possible, to unlock permanent upgrades for the next runs; you can gain them by killing enemies, choosing them as your power-ups or, the easiest way, by opening the crates within the level.
Neon Chrome is a surprising and challenging experience, that we recommend playing on your tv with a regular controller. You can still enjoy it in portable mode, but since everything on screen tends to be small I feel like you need to play it on a larger screen to truly experience the game. You’ll need 2 Joy-Cons to play, understandable since it’s way more complex than the previous games: there’s also the possibility to play in co-op with 3 other players, provided that they too have their controllers or Joy-Cons. If you enjoy these kind of experiences it is certainly recommended, and the fact that there aren’t many games like this on Switch either truly helps this title.
So here we are at the end of these Switch hands-cons! Since I’ve bought a Switch only recently, you can expect more game coverage from me as well; if you liked what you’ve read about these games, then consider checking them out on the eShop and give them a shot! If you’d like to try Neon Chrome yourself, just add a comment below and tell us your experience with the Nintendo Switch thusfar. We’ll give away a Switch Code for the game at the end of the weekend.