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  1. Rhythmic gameplay, colorful and cartoonish graphics, and one rat's mad quest for revenge—Mad Rat Dead is definitely a singular type of game. It's also the type of game that can be fiendishly addictive if you're easily pulled in by rhythm-platformers, though some of the game's trickier sections and flaws might deter more casual players. A lab rat killed in an experiment is visited by the Rat God and given a second chance to relive his last day on Earth, but all the rat can think about is killing the scientist that experimented on him. Mad Rat discovers he can hear and speak to his own
  2. One part noir adventure, one part jazz performance, one part study of the physics of the universe's origin—you know what, no, there's really no easy way to sum up Genesis Noir, and that's part of what makes it such a beautifully compelling game. From its stunning black and white aesthetic to its narrative and gameplay structure that staunchly refuse to limit themselves to any one methodology, Genesis Noir is a game that 100% embraces its own style and allows players to get swept up in its vibe. It's a wonderful artistic undertaking, which makes it all the more disappointing that it's a technic
  3. First Yoshi, now Turnip Boy—when will the rash of tax evasion end? Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion from developer Snoozy Kazoo and publisher Graffiti Games takes a hard look at white collar crime, through the lens of an anthropomorphic vegetable. This hilariously silly game builds a fun romp out of a goofy meme, combining humor with the tried and true adventure formula of 2D Zelda games. It's not a long adventure, but you'll be grinning the entire time. You play as Turnip Boy, an adorable turnip who seems to be, in reality, a menace to society. His life of crime as a tax evader has ca
  4. I started my hunting career with Monster Hunter Tri back on the Wii. At the time I knew nothing about the franchise, but a heavy advertising push had me intrigued, and when I got the chance to preview the game at a public event held by Capcom, I was hooked. I bought a Classic Controller Pro specifically for Tri, and proceeded to put hundreds of hours into not just Tri but 3 Ultimate, 4 Ultimate, Generations, and Generations Ultimate, maining a different weapon in every game and learning the ins and outs of monster hunting as the series continued to expand from a niche, tough-as-nails franchise
  5. Looking for a simple and quirky game about life lessons for workplace culture? Say no more—this is the perfect game for you. Say No! More from developer Studio Fizbin and publisher Thunderful is a delightfully absurd game about standing up for yourself in a company that expects you to be nothing more than a "yes man." It's a wacky and utterly charming experience though not a gameplay-heavy one. As the story begins your customizable character has just landed a new internship at a major company. Your best friend and roommate sends you off with a homemade lunch in a stylish lunchbox and
  6. I'm just going to get right into it: you'd think a game developed by recognizable names in the industry and published by Square Enix would be better than this. Maybe not a guarantee of top quality, but some guarantee of baseline game development skills. Yet Balan Wonderworld fails at some of the most basic 3D platformer elements to the extent that it's genuinely shocking that it was released at all. As the story begins you choose to play as either Leo or Emma (which basically only changes the intro and outro cutscenes of the game) who are both unhappy children for reasons that aren't
  7. The third entry in the confusingly named Bravely series, Bravely Default II marks the franchise's leap from the 3DS to the Switch, from handheld to HD console. Even with that technological leap though, BDII retains all of the core elements of its predecessors, including turn-based battles, a job system that allows you to customize your party, and a classic sense of JRPG difficulty that demands that players fully consider how best to assemble their party for any given challenge. This latest entry is once again an absolute delight for JRPG fans, even if the changes and additions feel rather mini
  8. Apparently you can't keep a good bandicoot down as Crash returns after a long hiatus—not counting the N. Sane trilogy remastering—and is just as zany as ever. The aptly subtitled Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time brings back most everything that made the original Crash games unique, as well as the aspects that made them frustrating. The story picks up where the N. Sane Trilogy left off as the villainous Dr. Neo Cortex, Dr. N. Tropy, and Uka Uka tear a rift in the space-time continuum and begin to open more rifts in the multiverse in order to consolidate evil power. Crash, Coco, and
  9. Koei Tecmo's Musou series just can't keep to itself these days, can it? In the footsteps of games like Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors comes Persona 5 Strikers, a combination of Persona 5's characters and impeccable style with Musou's fast-paced combat gameplay. But while previous crossovers tend to be more of a Musou game with some Zelda or Fire Emblem flavoring, this game is first and foremost a continuation of Persona 5, with some fresh wrinkles that transform the original's turn-based action into something more intense. As such, this one is almost strictly for fans of the Phantom
  10. Move over space pirates and space plumbers, there's a new star of the zero-G game world, and it's otterly adorable. Space Otter Charlie, from developer Wayward Distractions and publisher Quantum Astrophysicists Guild (appropriate), takes players on a space-faring adventure where an otter's swimming skills are translated into zero-G exploration. Unusual protagonist aside, this game's simple but engaging gameplay makes for a fun ride, short as it may be. In the future, humanity abandons the Earth after rendering it inhospitable. Left behind to fend for themselves, the animal kingdom fo
  11. One part Marble Madness and one part 3D platformer, Skully throws players into a tumultuous world of forests, caves, and lava-filled volcanoes with one of the most unlikely protagonists imaginable: a skull. Imbued with earth-based energy from an elemental deity, Skully draws power from mud to navigate perilous environments and overcome platformer obstacles. Despite the inventive premise though, the game lacks depth and polish, making the adventure more of a lifeless slog. As the game begins Skully is reanimated by Terry, an earth elemental deity who is trying to reconnect with his th
  12. Approximately four years ago, Switch owners got a chance to pop Puyos and clear Tetriminos in Puyo Puyo Tetris, a combo of two great puzzle games in one unique package. Tetris has been a worldwide phenomenon for decades now, but Puyo Puyo has had far more limited releases outside of Japan. As anyone who has played Puyo Puyo Tetris can attest to though, both puzzle games are equally addictive, especially when you throw additional game modes and features into the mix. Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is less of a landmark release than its predecessor, but still offers the same addictive gameplay. PP
  13. Arachnophobes rejoice: here's a game that lets you take out all of your aggression on eight-legged creatures in increasingly ridiculous ways. From swatting them with a clipboard to wielding a rocket launcher, Kill It With Fire from developer Casey Donnellan and publisher tinyBuild Games takes the common fear of spiders to absurd extremes with simple physics mechanics and destructible environments. But while the premise is funny, it might not have much staying power. There's no plot in Kill It With Fire, you're simply taken from one location to the next, starting in a humble little ho
  14. Part point-and-click adventure, part platformer, and all irreverent humor, Lair of the Clockwork God is a satirical, self-aware blend of video game genres that delights in breaking the fourth wall just about anywhere it can. By switching between the two protagonists, you'll tackle either classic adventure game puzzles—find items and combine them to progress—or traditional 2D platforming with all of the spikes and hazards that entails. Although the experience gets undeniable points for originality, the execution of this premise leaves something to be desired. You play as Ben and Dan—c
  15. Even as someone that owns a Wii U and played all of these games on it, it's nice to see so many of the Wii U's gems get a second chance in the spotlight with Switch ports. The hardware may have failed to find broad reach, but the games themselves provided fantastic experiences, and in the case of this game, a chaotic and wonderful multiplayer experience. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury offers Switch owners a chance at playing possibly the best multiplayer Mario platformer out there, as well as a sizable bonus mode that provides a more sandbox Mario experience that is no less compelling.
  16. It took several years for Ori and the Blind Forest to leave behind its Microsoft-exclusivity and make the leap to the Switch in 2019, and thankfully fans haven't had to wait as long for its sequel to also land on Nintendo's hybrid console. Ori and the Will of the Wisps, available just months after its Microsoft system debuit, brings players back to the gorgeously designed forest environment, home to Ori and his friends, for another engaging Metroidvania adventure and another heartfelt tale. It's easy to see that, if you liked the first game, you'll love Will of the Wisps just as much.
  17. Six years ago, developer Mografi Kickstarted their mystery adventure game, Jenny LeClue - Detectivu. Last year the game released on PC and mobile devices, and now Switch owners have the opportunity to experience the mystery as well. Was the game worth the wait? The clues in this case are impeccable writing filled with humor and heart, stylish presentation, and engaging mystery gameplay, leading to only one logical deduction. Our protagonist, Jenny LeClue, is a confident, precocious young girl determined to follow in the detective footsteps of her mother. But Arthurton, their sleepy h
  18. While everyone eagerly awaits the next big name title from their favorite developers, it might be best to look to the indie world for fresh takes on familiar genres. Blue Fire, from developer Robi Studios and publisher Graffiti Games, wears its inspirations on its sleeve, drawing upon the adventure elements of Zelda, platforming of Mario, and tone of the Souls series to create a challenging 3D action-adventure. That wide blend of game design may also be why Blue Fire oftentimes doesn't feel as polished as it should be, though. You play as Umbra, a diminutive warrior who awakens in a
  19. What would it look like if you put the gameplay of Metroid Prime in a comedy setting? You'd get Journey to the Savage Planet, a first-person adventure game that sees you exploring an uncharted planet with a wise-cracking AI companion, all on behalf of an oddball interstellar exploration company. Between collecting new equipment to explore further and battling the occasionally aggressive alien fauna, Savage Planet has all the makings of a solid 3D Metroidvania, though some rough edges do prevent it from standing toe to toe with the Prime series. You play as an employee of Kindred Aero
  20. Are you the type of gamer that wants fast-paced combat and exploration, or the type that prefers slow, meticulous sim gameplay? Well, with Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, you don't need to choose between the two. Of Rice and Ruin combines side-scrolling action with a richly detailed farming simulator centered entirely around rice. Although the two halves ultimately complement each other quite well, neither one feels quite as polished as it could be. You play as Princess Sakuna, a spoiled goddess of the Lofty Realm who is banished to the Isle of Demons after an accident destroys a store of
  21. A Metroidvania starring a ninja protagonist already sounds like a winning combination, but if you make that ninja a tablet in a world of robots, well, you've got something special on your hands. Kunai isn't afraid to get silly, but it also backs up its goofy moments with top-notch adventure gameplay that proves difficult to put down. The game's story begins with a surprisingly somber explanation that the world has been ravaged by an evil AI named Lemonkus who almost wiped out all of humanity. You play as Tabby, a tablet with the soul of an ancient warrior, awakened to help fight Lemo
  22. The oddball mashup of pinball physics and roguelike progression in Roundguard might prove that roguelike elements really can be applied to any other game genre. From developer Wonderbelly Games and publisher The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild, Roundguard combines the gameplay of Peggle with randomized levels and items to create a unique "dungeon-baller." It's an unlikely combo that works shockingly well. There's not much story-telling in Roundguard but you are treated to occasional scenes of quirky and cheesy humor between characters. Otherwise, this game is all about gameplay. You ca
  23. You may have played an MMO before, but have you played a game within an MMO? CrossCode is set within a fictional MMO called CrossWorlds and, as you might imagine, gets a little meta at times as it explores the relationship players have with a game world. Along the way, CrossCode challenges players with a wide variety of puzzles and real-time combat, with all of the trappings you'd expect from an RPG—side quests, gear to collect/buy, level up perks, etc. All of this is wrapped up in a 16-bit era art style and sweeping soundtrack. It's an incredibly ambitious indie developed project and showcase
  24. Developer Thunder Lotus Games already has two games under its belt, but aside from the beautiful hand-drawn visuals you wouldn't expect those action-heavy games to be related to this quiet, pensive management game focused on dying. Spiritfarer takes players on a thoughtful journey of reflection wrapped up in a tidy gameplay loop of crafting, collecting, and completing quests for your passengers. It's an utterly charming experience that only makes it all the more difficult to say goodbye when it ends. You play as Stella, the new Spiritfarer who takes over for Charon as the ferrymaster
  25. After a 2015 Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the creators behind Skullgirls brought their 2D artwork and animation talents to an unusual mashup of gameplay genres. Indivisible combines side-scrolling platformer environments, Metroidvania backtracking, and action-RPG battles for a pretty unique experience. Not all of the game's elements are perfectly fleshed out, but there's still a lot to enjoy in this hybrid adventure. The story follows Ajna, a hot-headed but friendly young woman who sets out on a quest for revenge after the evil warlord Ravannavar destroys her village. Equipped wi
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