SwitchArcade Round-Up: Mini-Views With ‘Writhe’ and More, ‘Spinny’s Journey’ and Today’s Other Releases, and the Latest Sales


Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 18th, 2021. In today’s article, I finally catch up on a bunch of games I’ve had piled up for review. On top of that, there are several new releases to look at, though none of them are what I would describe as a must-have. We’ve got summaries of them anyway, of course. Finally, we’ve got a healthy list of new sales and all of the outgoing sales to round things out. Let’s get to it!


Epitaph ($12.99)

Usually the absence of one particular feature isn’t enough to drag a game down all that much, but in the case of Epitaph the lack of online multiplayer is a real issue. There’s a really well thought-out battle system here, with lots of interesting strategic options and a lot of variety thanks to the assortment of characters you can choose from. But the single-player content rarely feels like it’s showing that system in the best light, and multiplayer is limited to local only. If you have a like-minded friend nearby that is willing to play with you, feel free to bump that score up a full point. Otherwise, this is a game that is all dressed up with almost nowhere to go.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Writhe ($9.99)

This game feels like a decidedly old school concept played from an unusual perspective, and I kind of dig it. It’s essentially an arcade-style shooter where you have to try to survive as long as you can against increasingly dangerous waves of enemies in closed arenas. The gimmick is that you’re doing this from a first-person perspective, which certainly adds some spice to the old idea. You have two guns and part of the strategy is in knowing when to use which. There are a few different arenas and several different enemy types that help mix things up. As you play, you’ll unlock Lore entries and exhibits in a virtual museum that you can wander around in. It feels a little light on content but the core loop is solid enough.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Blacksmith of the Sand Kingdom ($19.99)

I generally like what RideOn Japan does with its games, whether it be the tactical RPGs it works on with Circle Entertainment or the crafting RPGs it does with KEMCO. This is one of the latter sort, exchanging the usual cooking and tavern bits for smithing and selling equipment. Aside from the slight change in theme, this plays out very similarly to the likes of Marenian Tavern Story. You go out and engage in RPG-style adventuring and battling to power up and acquire resources, then use them to make equipment or improve your shop in some way. Performing certain tasks nudges the story forward. It’s not something I can spend too much time with in any given session, but it’s something fun to fire up for shorter bursts when I don’t want to get up to my knees in anything too deep. Solid work as usual for this developer.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Stardash ($9.99)

Stardash originally released quite some time ago on mobile, and while this Switch version is based on the spruced-up refresh Orangepixel put out a little while back, it often feels of its original time and place. Still, there’s some fun to be had here for patient platforming fans. There are quite a few stages and each of them has some extra targets to aim for beyond simply completing them. At the same time, even getting to the end can be a little tricky as the game goes on. Add in some fun secrets to find and there’s a fair bit to enjoy here as long as you’re okay with some very plain platforming mechanics.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Down in Bermuda ($19.99)

Yeah, Down in Bermuda is a pretty good puzzle/adventure game. It’s colorful, the puzzles are challenging without being too ridiculous, and it wraps up before you get sick of it all. This Switch version is a pleasant enough port of the mobile original, though it’s easy to spot in places what kind of interface the puzzles were probably designed for. But gosh, it’s that Apple Arcade problem again. I have a hard time strongly recommending you drop twenty dollars on this when you could just subscribe to Apple Arcade for a fraction of the price and play the same game in a perfectly fine fashion, along with every other game on that service. But if all you have a Switch or you want to properly own the game instead of renting, this is a fine way to do that.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Choices That Matter: And Their Souls Were Eaten ($5.99)

Following somewhat hot on the heels of the first Choices That Matter story on Switch, this second story delivers another exciting tale with plenty of interesting choices and high-quality writing. There’s a very different vibe to the tale when compared to And the Sun Went Out, but it works just as well. That’s little surprise, however. Tin Man Games put out some of the best choice-based narrative adventures on mobile, and the trilogy of Choices That Matter games feel like the culmination of all of that. If you liked And the Sun Went Out or just dig a good story, you’ll want to grab this. It’s a real deal at the price it’s going for.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Spinny’s Journey ($14.99)

Let’s go back to the Game Boy Advance’s launch, which happened almost twenty years ago. Yeah, two whole decades. Sigh. Anyway, in Japan and Europe you could find a quirky little puzzle game called Kuru Kuru Kururin in the launch line-up. You played as a spinning stick trying to make your way through top-down stages without touching the walls or any other hazard. Some people liked it, some people found it a bit annoying. If you’re one of the people that liked it, you’ll want to look into Spinny’s Journey. It’s basically the same exact idea, and it’s clear it was made by people who really loved Kururin.

Red Colony ($6.99)

Hmm. This game is trying to pull off the difficult task of delivering a survival horror experience on a 2D plane. It has a lot of mature content, both violent and sexual, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. The visuals look good in stills but they animate in a very odd, stilted way. As for the gameplay, it appears to involve a bit of action, a bit of evasion, and some puzzle-solving. I haven’t been able to play it myself and I haven’t seen any opinions from anyone who has, so that’s really all I can say for now.

12 Labours of Hercules III: Girl Power ($7.99)

The third in this series of light strategy games sees Megara on a quest to save her husband Hercules from Charybdis. A new story, but the gameplay is extremely familiar. Complete stages by clearing away things, gathering resources, building other things, and so on. Collect puzzle pieces and try to rebuild a great castle. Pretty much the expected quality as this series goes, so if you liked the previous games you’ll enjoy this one as well.

Clay Skeet Shooting ($3.99)

Oh hey, another Pix Arts release. Been a whole two days since the last ones dropped. Anyway, this is a simple shooting gallery type of game, with various guns and more than 100 levels. Some weak graphics, odd controls, and an overall presentation that just doesn’t work make for another poor title from this publisher. About the only nice thing I can say about it is that it’s only four bucks. And yet even at that level, there are far better things you could buy.

Olympic Table Tennis ($4.99)

Ah, but you didn’t think Pix Arts would just release one game in a day, did you? Here’s another one for good measure. It’s a table tennis game, but with a slightly different set-up from most. You don’t control the paddle’s movement. It’ll head towards the ball automatically. You just have to focus on where you want to send the ball and how much lift you want to put on it. It’s single-player only, so all you can do is battle against the poor computer AI until you get bored and regret not picking up a handful of delicious Snickers bars instead. Also, I’m 95% certain they can’t use the word ‘Olympic‘ in the title without having a license. Wonder if anyone who would care will notice?


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Some of the games in today’s list might be part of the New Year’s sale, but I can’t be sure. What I can be sure of is that a fair number of them are unrelated to that business. Nevertheless, it’s still a pretty large assortment of games to look through. There isn’t a lot in the outbox, so you can probably keep your money in your pocket there. At any rate, take a careful look through both lists and see what grabs your attention.

Select New Games on Sale

Raging Justice ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/21)
Quad Fighter K ($3.99 from $7.99 until 1/21)
Tesla vs Lovecraft ($5.24 from $14.99 until 1/21)
JYDGE ($5.24 from $14.99 until 1/21)
Crimsonland ($4.89 from $13.99 until 1/21)
Neon Chrome ($5.24 from $14.99 until 1/21)
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf ($2.99 from $9.99 until 1/21)
6180 The Moon ($1.99 from $3.99 until 1/21)
Vegas Party ($4.39 from $21.99 until 1/21)
West of Loathing ($7.70 from $11.00 until 1/21)
Dandara: Trials of Fear ($5.99 from $14.99 until 1/22)
World of Goo ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Crawl ($4.49 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary ($14.99 from $29.99 until 1/22)

Yono & Celestial Elephants ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/22)
Party Planet ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/22)
Super Rocket Shootout ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/22)
Don’t Starve ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/22)
Monopoly ($9.99 from $39.99 until 1/22)
Pac-Man CE 2 Plus ($7.99 from $19.99 until 1/22)
Kingdom New Lands ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Vostok Inc. ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Steredenn: Binary Stars ($5.19 from $12.99 until 1/22)
Moon Hunters ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Pankapu ($2.39 from $11.99 until 1/22)
Masters of Anima ($2.49 from $9.99 until 1/22)
Little Inferno ($4.99 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/22)
The Bridge ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/22)

SteamWorld Heist ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/22)
Transcripted ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/22)
Dungeon Rushers ($2.99 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Furi ($7.99 from $19.99 until 1/22)
Hello Kitty Kruisers ($20.96 from $29.99 until 1/22)
DragoDino ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/22)
Party Golf ($1.99 from $15.00 until 1/22)
Framed Collection ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/22)
Splasher ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Hammerwatch ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/22)
GoNNER ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/22)
Human Resource Machine ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Tumblestone ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/22)
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/22)
The Darkside Detective ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/22)

Tumbleseed ($4.94 from $14.99 until 1/22)
The Next Penelope ($2.00 from $12.99 until 1/22)
Swim Out ($2.03 from $5.99 until 1/22)
Pop the Bubbles ($3.99 from $7.99 until 1/24)
Demon’s Tilt ($11.99 from $19.99 until 1/24)
Tactical Mind ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/26)
Three Fourths Home ($2.24 from $8.99 until 1/27)
Paranautical Activity ($2.39 from $7.99 until 1/27)
1979 Revolution: Black Friday ($3.59 from $11.99 until 1/27)
Spectrum ($2.39 from $11.99 until 1/27)
Hacky Zack ($2.49 from $9.99 until 1/27)
Shikhondo Soul Eater ($4.19 from $13.99 until 1/27)
Vertical Drop Heroes ($2.49 from $9.99 until 1/27)
INK ($2.24 from $8.99 until 1/28)
The Spectrum Retreat ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/28)

Tallowmere ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/28)
Fibbage XL ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/28)
Quiplash ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/28)
Ironcast ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/28)
Super Volley Blast ($6.99 from $9.99 until 1/29)
City Driving Simulator ($5.99 from $11.99 until 1/29)
Path to Mnemosyne ($2.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Captain Cat ($2.09 from $6.99 until 1/31)
EQQO ($3.60 from $6.00 until 1/31)
Journey of the Broken Circle ($4.80 from $8.00 until 1/31)
King Lucas ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Super Dodgeball Beats ($2.00 from $12.99 until 2/1)
Legrand Legacy: TotF ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/1)
Spell Casting: Purrfectly Portable ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/1)
Super Skelemania ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)

Circuits ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Jump, Step, Step ($2.49 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Trax – Build It Race It ($2.99 from $14.99 until 2/3)
Save Koch ($6.00 from $20.00 until 2/3)
Galactic Trooper Armada ($3.59 from $5.99 until 2/3)
TOHU ($13.49 from $14.99 until 2/4)
Gradiently ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/4)
Saboteur! ($4.00 from $8.00 until 2/4)
Saboteur II: Avenging Angel ($4.00 from $8.00 until 2/4)
Saboteur SiO ($7.69 from $10.99 until 2/4)
Lust for Darkness: Dawn ($10.49 from $14.99 until 2/4)
Construction Machines Sim ($20.64 from $29.49 until 2/4)
Farm Mechanic Simulator ($20.64 from $29.49 until 2/4)
Farm Expert 2018 ($20.99 from $29.99 until 2/4)
Down in Bermuda ($7.99 from $19.99 until 2/4)

I, Zombie ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/5)
Bonkies ($11.99 from $14.99 until 2/5)
Abyss ($2.00 from $2.99 until 2/6)
99Seconds ($2.00 from $2.99 until 2/6)
99Moves ($2.00 from $2.99 until 2/6)
Rally Rock ‘N Racing ($2.99 from $9.99 until 2/6)
Horror Pinball Bundle ($2.96 from $8.99 until 2/6)
Touchdown Pinball ($2.01 from $2.99 until 2/6)
Purrs in Heaven ($2.09 from $6.99 until 2/6)
Power Racing Bundle ($5.94 from $16.99 until 2/6)
Rock ‘N Racing Bundle ($5.99 from $19.99 until 2/6)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 19th

Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 ($5.99 from $29.99 until 1/19)
Atomic Heist ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/19)
Color Zen Kids ($3.19 from $3.99 until 1/19)
Dead Dungeon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/19)
Fall Gummies ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/19)
Fantasy Tower Defense ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/19)
One Person Story ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/19)
Perfect Traffic Simulator ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/19)
Pixel Action Heroes ($3.99 from $4.99 until 1/19)
Snooker 19 ($13.99 from $34.99 until 1/19)
Sweet Witches ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/19)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with some news, new releases, and sales to check out. There may also be a review or two depending on how energetic I’m feeling. I hope you all have a super Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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