Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 20th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a trio of game reviews from our pal Mikhail. He takes a look at the expansion to Two Point Campus, plus evaluations of Inscryption and Paradigm Paradox. After that, I’ve got some summaries of all of the new releases of the day. There are a bunch of them, actually! Expect rolling releases all through this week leading up to Christmas. Finally, the lists of new and outgoing sales, which are also fairly robust. Let’s get started!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Two Point Campus: Space Academy ($9.99)
I reviewed Two Point Campus a few months ago, and loved it on Switch. I’ve been playing it on and off since launch, but was very curious to see how the DLC would expand the already amazing game. The Space Academy DLC hit Switch last week, and it might be my favorite DLC from Two Point Studios.
Two Point Campus game remains one of my favorite Switch games this year, but I’m very surprised by how good the Space Academy DLC is. You can access some of the content very early on through the sandbox mode, but you will be able to tackle the actual levels in the campaign after clearing the first few stages. This new DLC includes three new campus locations, six new courses, and arrives with a plethora of improvements and enhancements to the main game that are free for all owners.
The new campus locations are wildly great, and quite a bit harder than the early levels of the base game. They definitely up the craziness in just about every way, so I’d only recommend trying them once you’ve gotten the basics of the main game done. If you do want to jump into the new content as soon as possible, clear the first map and try the new DLC locations in sandbox mode.
As with all DLC reviews, it is also worth considering the state of the base game right now. Two Point Campus: Space Academy arrived on Switch a week after other platforms and it coincided with the holiday-themed update. The base game has seen quite a few improvements since launch across gameplay, the interface, animations, and more. It is in a much better place, and is a much easier recommendation if you’re after a quirky but deep simulation game with great music.
Right now, my only problem with Two Point Campus: Space Academy is the Switch version is a bit unstable. Even after the patch that fixed the save file crashing issue, I’ve run into a few crashes in my time with DLC while loading new maps. I’ve not lost progress yet, but it is annoying dealing with this on Switch.
Since my original review, I’ve also played Two Point Campus on Steam Deck. Sega also gave me a code for Space Academy there, and I think the Steam Deck version of Two Point Campus is my favorite across all platforms. It delivers a fantastic portable experience right now. It isn’t bad on Switch, but if you do have the option, consider playing Two Point Campus and the Space Academy DLC on Steam Deck over any other system.
Two Point Campus: Space Academy is the best kind of DLC. It feels like a perfect extension of the base game, and delivers a lot of content for its asking price. It might be a bit challenging compared to the base game for some, but this is exactly what I wanted from the DLC for the game. If you enjoyed Two Point Campus, the Space Academy DLC is an essential. I just hope the stability of the Switch version can be improved in future updates. –Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Paradigm Paradox ($49.99)
I always appreciate developers trying new things across games in genres they are known for. With Paradigm Paradox, Otomate opts for less of a focus on romance, but adds a generous serving of magical girls and a superhero-esque story. Unfortunately, pacing issues and the story not committing to certain plot points enough make this experience feel a bit rushed compared to what I expect from a visual novel by the developer.
I’m not against shorter games, and always prefer them in busier release times, but I almost feel like Paradigm Paradox would’ve benefited from doing more with its characters. Maybe a potential fandisc or sequel can build on the world here, because the art and aesthetic are both great. The voice acting is also very good.
Paradigm Paradox is a shorter than expected visual novel given Otomate’s usual fare, but I enjoyed many aspects of the experience. Going against the norm is risky, and I applaud the developers for trying that here, but the pacing issues hold Paradigm Paradox back from being an easier recommendation. It isn’t the best otome visual novel I’ve read recently, but is worth checking out if the premise interests you. Just don’t expect the quality of Piofiore or Cafe Enchante here. –Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Inscryption from Daniel Mullins Games and Devolver Digital was one of the most interesting games I was yet to try from 2021. I saw it on many end of year lists, but thought I would wait for a console or iPad release. What initially feels like a deck-building roguelike, ends up being a lot more. I skipped the PS5 version because I was waiting for a potential Nintendo Switch version to check it out. I ended up playing Inscryption on Steam Deck and enjoying my time with it a lot. Having now played it on Nintendo Switch, we have a much better portable version of the game.
Given how friends kept telling me I should trust them and play Inscryption without looking much up beforehand, I figured it had something unique about how it handles its narrative. Having now played it, I can see why no one wanted to explain why I’d enjoy it. Inscryption goes above and beyond in so many ways, and it keeps subverting the player’s expectations. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Inscryption has some aspects that might annoy people who aren’t fans of RNG in games. I expected those elements, but the way different genres and mechanics were blended together here elevated Inscryption to something special.
On Nintendo Switch, I assumed Inscryption would have touchscreen support. Sadly, it does not. It looks and runs great in handheld mode with some slightly long load times, but the addition of proper HD Rumble adds to the immersion. This is a game you want to play with a good set of headphones in handheld mode.
While I hope Inscryption gets touchscreen support in a future update, it has arrived as an excellent conversion on Nintendo’s hybrid system. If you skipped prior releases with the hope of enjoying Inscryption on the go, your wait has been worth it. I’m looking forward to grabbing the eventual physical release. If you enjoy unique takes on narratives, Inscryption is a game you do not want to miss. It also shines on the OLED display on Switch. –Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Mortal Shell: Complete Edition ($29.99)
Here’s another Souls-like option for those seeking one. Mortal Shell released on other platforms a while back, and it got a decent reception both critically and with players. This Complete Edition includes the Vicious Cycle expansion, a fifth playable character named Hadern, and the Rotten Autumn content update. I’ll have a review of this one as soon as I can.
Picross X: Picbits Vs Uzboross ($19.99)
This is a different spin on the Picross concept from Jupiter’s usual approach. In this game, you have to solve a series of 5×5 puzzles as quickly as you can in order to survive. You can play alone or in both local and online multiplayer with up to eight players. For all those who want a Picross game without the complex logic or chill vibes. All joking aside, it’s an attempt to shake up a concept that is rather well-worn and it will be interesting to see if it works.
Floppy Knights ($19.99)
The rather enjoyable turn-based tactics/card game mash-up Floppy Knights arrives on Switch with all of the DLC quests built in. Summon units from floppy disks to engage in battle in dozens of challenging levels. Novel and fun to play, with plenty of interesting mechanics to sink your teeth into.
Dr. Kobushi’s Labyrinthine Laboratory ($9.99)
This is a puzzle game with one hundred levels of top-down challenges. It reminds me a bit of Chip’s Challenge, though it seems to be very much its own thing. It’s all wrapped in a rather charming presentation, which is always appreciated in this kind of game. For a tenner, this seems nice for fans of the genre.
Kaiju Wars ($19.99)
The rather cool Kaiju-themed strategy game that hit other platforms earlier this year now makes its way to the Switch. You have a simple job: try to protect your city against attacks from giant monsters. There are five different kinds of Kaiju, and do keep in mind that they cannot be stopped; only slowed down. Make the best use of your available resources and don’t be afraid to make the sacrifice play. You get a rather meaty campaign here plus some weekly challenges to keep you engaged after you’ve cleared the main game.
Mind Jab ($7.00)
Inspired by Arcomage from the Might & Magic series, this is a strategic card game about trying to build up your sanity and tear down your opponent’s mind. There are about one hundred cards in the deck, and there are no extra transactions or unlockables to deal with. You can play against the computer or against another player via local multiplayer. Online multiplayer would really help this one, but I suppose if you have someone nearby willing to learn the game with you, there might be some fun to be had here.
Sucker for Love: First Date ($9.99)
Western visual novel creators, I am begging you: make something sincere. It’s okay. You don’t have to be ironic just because you’re creating something in this genre. Anyway in this one your protagonist does a summoning ritual and ends up calling in a girl version of Cthulhu. Wacky hijinks ensue as she promises the hero a smooch in exchange for completing a few small tasks. Do what you will with it.
Iron Lung ($5.99)
This one has quite the premise, but the long and short of it is that you are exploring a blood ocean in a small submarine called an Iron Lung to try to find resources that will help save humanity. Your submarine is kind of shabby so navigation requires you to piece together information from various means. Be careful, as there are things lurking out there in the blood.
Party Party Time ($5.00)
A simple party game from SAT-BOX for up to six players via local multiplayer. There are a bunch of minigames to play. You know how all this works. It has a nice colorful vibe, and from what I’ve seen it seems to do what it sets out to well enough for a fiver.
A fairly generic, low-priced top-down twin-stick shooter with procedurally-generated action. Not much I can add to that, so I leave it to you to decide if you’d rather have this or two delicious Milky Way bars.
Mia’s Christmas ($2.49)
A fairly generic, low-priced matching puzzle game with a Christmas theme. Not much I can add to that, so I leave to you to decide if you’d rather have this or two delicious Snickers bars.
Fight Club – Join us if you can ($3.99)
Absolute trash merchants Cooking & Publishing are back with yet another game based on their “answer questions/repeat answers without making a mistake” template they’ve used in a dozen or so games so far. This time with dangerous skirting of trademarks and copyrights! Wow! It’s garbage.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
If I had to point at a few interesting deals in today’s list, I would gesture towards Dandara Trials of Fear Edition and Parasite Pack. There’s plenty to see though, so do take a good look through that inbox. Star Wars fans who haven’t already filled out their collections will also want to direct some attention to the outbox as the latest round of discounts come to a close.
Select New Games on Sale
Ye Olde Cribbage Club ($2.99 from $5.99 until 12/31)
Later Daters Premium ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/31)
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 DE ($17.99 from $89.99 until 1/2)
Naruto Ninja Storm 3 FB ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/2)
My Hero One’s Justice ($5.99 from $59.99 until 1/2)
My Hero One’s Justice 2 DE ($19.99 from $79.99 until 1/2)
God Eater 3 ($8.99 from $59.99 until 1/2)
Captain Tsubasa RoNC ($14.99 from $59.99 until 1/2)
Namco Museum Archives Vol 2 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/2)
SD Gundam Battle Alliance DE ($59.49 from $84.99 until 1/2)
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star BR DX ($48.99 from $69.99 until 1/2)
Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet CE ($8.99 from $59.99 until 1/2)
Pac-Man 99 Deluxe Pack ($14.99 from $29.99 until 1/2)
Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Fest DE ($40.14 from $54.99 until 1/2)
Little Nightmares I&II Bundle ($14.99 from $49.99 until 1/2)
Backbone ($12.49 from $24.99 until 1/2)
Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/2)
Dandara Trials of Fear Edition ($3.74 from $13.99 until 1/2)
Atomicrops ($4.49 from $14.99 until 1/2)
West of Dead ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/2)
Mosaic ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/2)
Bad North Jotunn Edition ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/2)
Road of Death ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/2)
Star Renegades ($9.99 from $24.99 until 1/2)
Townscaper ($4.19 from $5.99 until 1/2)
Rain on Your Parade ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/2)
The Longest Road on Earth ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/2)
Wolfstride ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/2)
Ziggurat ($4.49 from $14.99 until 1/3)
Ziggurat 2 ($19.99 from $24.99 until 1/3)
Picross S Genesis & MS ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/4)
Kemono Friends Picross ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/4)
Picross Lord of the Nazarick ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/4)
Picross S7 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/4)
RiffTrax: The Game ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/6)
SGC Short Games Collection 1 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 1/7)
Hot Sento Girls and Love ($4.48 from $8.97 until 1/8)
Secret Kiss is Sweet and Tender ($4.27 from $8.54 until 1/8)
The Dark Prophecy ($6.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
Long Live The Queen ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
Tales of Aravorn: SotW ($9.99 from $19.99 until 1/9)
TEN ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Parasite Pack ($3.99 from $7.99 until 1/9)
Flat Kingdom Paper’s Cut Edition ($3.99 from $7.99 until 1/9)
Taqoban ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
LIMBO ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
INSIDE ($1.99 from $19.99 until 1/9)
Super Sunny Island ($3.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Camped Out! ($14.99 from $19.99 until 1/9)
Ankora: Lost Days ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Voyage ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Castle Formers ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Flower Shop: Summer in Fairbrook ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
Royal Frontier ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/9)
Cosmos Bit ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Klang 2 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/9)
The Wizard & the Slug ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Remote Life ($9.49 from $18.99 until 1/9)
Chefy-Chef ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
The Legend of the Dragonflame ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Blackberry Honey ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/9)
Repentant ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
Quest for Infamy ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
The Psychoduck ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Back in 1995 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
Wild West Crops ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Dandy & Randy DX ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/9)
Dungeon Slime Collection ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Roll The Cat ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Arenas of Tanks ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
HellGunner ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 21st
Broken Universe: Tower Defense ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/21)
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, Assorted ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/21)
Crowdy Farm Rush ($1.99 from $5.99 until 12/21)
Detective Di: Silk Rose Murders ($1.99 from $12.99 until 12/21)
reky ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/21)
RWBY Grimm Eclipse DE ($7.49 from $29.99 until 12/21)
Star Wars Episode 1 Racer ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/21)
Star Wars Jedi Academy ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/21)
Star Wars Jedi Outcast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/21)
Star Wars KotOR ($11.24 from $14.99 until 12/21)
Star Wars KotOR II: Sith Lords ($11.24 from $14.99 until 12/21)
Star Wars Republic Commando ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/21)
Star Wars The Force Unleashed ($12.99 from $19.99 until 12/21)
Stubbs the Zombie ($6.79 from $19.99 until 12/21)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, and perhaps some news. I really wanted to get more done today, but sometimes the days get away from you. I hope you all have a great Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!