Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 26th, 2023. In today’s article, we start things off with a hefty review of Dave the Diver courtesy of our pal Mikhail. He’s still feeling sick, but that didn’t stop him from slinging some sick prose about this hot new game. I apologize for nothing! After that, I summarize the not-inconsiderable list of new games for the day. We finish things up in the usual fashion, with some lists of new and expiring sales for you to think about. Let’s get to it!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Dave the Diver ($19.99)
Dave the Diver is the one that almost got away from me. I skipped it on PC around launch despite a close friend constantly telling me that I specifically would love it. This year has been bonkers for game releases, and I knew I’d eventually get to it, because I love fishing games, and Dave the Diver felt like it would be special based on one short clip I watched. Fast forward to it being announced in a Nintendo Direct for Switch, and I’ve played and adored almost everything about it.
Dave the Diver is a very interesting game in how it blends together polished mechanics from different genres while oozing charm. Usually, a game based on fishing, pool, or golf is enough to get me interested, but there is one specific cut-scene in Dave the Diver that told me everything I needed to know about it. I will not get into spoilers because there is a lot of love put into the story and characters here, but that moment took me back to Steins;Gate. That’s all I will say.
The core gameplay loop in Dave the Diver is a blend of diving and restaurant simulation. What really impressed me, is in how the developers keep up a steady flow of new mechanics, upgrades, unlocks, and more while having great mission variety. There are a few missions that felt too close to boring fetch quests, but those were probably the only ones I disliked in the long runtime Dave the Diver offers for its main story.
The diving aspect usually involves you exploring the depths, avoiding or attacking the aggressive fish that try to kill you, using your harpoon or weapons to catch some fish, and completing missions. As you dive deeper, the variety of creatures increases, and you can also pick up objects like treasures, weapon blueprints, refills for ammo/oxygen, and find points of interest to use to fast travel back up.
These aren’t all instant though, and you need to plan to have some oxygen left and not many dangerous creatures near you while you call to be taken back up. I had many instances of getting greedy and ending up being eaten by a shark causing me to just be able to bring back one item from the massive stack of treasure and fishes I collected down. Remember to not be greedy.
The simulation is what happens after you finish your morning and afternoon diving session. This is where you plan your menu, hire people, customize your restaurant, and take part in mini-games of serving people, cleaning up, and more.
All of this is tracked by Dave’s phone which has a surprising amount of usable apps including a music player, todo list, calculator, and more. This also lets you upgrade Dave, craft weapons, fulfill requests for specific people, and track how the restaurant is doing. There is a lot of depth (HA! -Shillin’ Shaun) in Dave the Diver.
So far, a lot of the mechanics seem pretty straightforward, but there are so many instances of delight thanks to scripted missions underwater or characters appearing in the restaurant that make every day in-game feel special. If you don’t want to spend too much time with upgrades and stuff, you aren’t really penalized. This can get hectic, but is a very relaxing game.
The structure of the game perfectly suits portable play, which explains why it was so popular on Steam Deck. I played Dave the Diver on both Switch and Steam Deck. The latter is definitely the better experience, but Dave the Diver is a competent port on Switch. The frame rate is lower as expected, but it looks good. The major issue is the load times on Switch. One issue I have with the game in general, is with the many canned animations that seem to take too long. You can skip the cut-scenes after seeing them once, but the diving animations and some other sections should’ve been skippable or shorter. This reminds me of how Starfield is full of those canned landing and take-off animations.
Dave the Diver is an amazing game. I’m shocked at how well it keeps up its pacing of unlocks and new missions throughout its two dozen or so hours of runtime, and there’s just so much to do. I never got tired of playing it, but I hope future patches can address the long load times on Switch. Barring that, Dave the Diver is top tier, and essential for Nintendo Switch. Just download the demo right now. Don’t waste time. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Dave the Diver ($19.99)
There’s a nice, big, detailed review right above this, so you don’t need me to yammer on about anything. It’s a really cool game and I back up Mikhail’s enthusiasm for it. Give it a go.
Spin Rhythm XD ($24.99)
You know, I have a lot of respect for games that communicate how their gameplay works through a single screenshot. It’s immediately obvious how this one works. You have to hit the beats by spinning the dial on the tube. Got it, cool. This is actually a really great rhythm game, well worth picking up if you like the genre. I give it a solid thumbs-up.
Gordian Quest ($19.99)
Speaking of games that say it all with a screenshot, here’s Gordian Quest. Yes, it’s another Darkest Dungeon-style game that blends roguelite elements, deckbuilding, and turn-based battles. I’ll have a review of this one, but it’s pretty much what it appears to be. The only question is if you’re still hungry for this kind of affair.
CometStriker DX ($14.99)
Shoot left, shoot right, boost to dodge in any direction. Those are your tools in this intense action game. You’ve got five levels to explore, and they’re fairly roomy affairs. Each one culminates in a wild boss battle with bullets aplenty to avoid. You can play on four difficulty settings, and they actually change layouts and add new behaviors to the enemies so there is a meaningful difference. There are some unlockable characters, a couple of unlockable modes, and support for local two-player co-op across the entire game. I like it.
Varenje – Don’t Touch The Berries ($9.99)
This is kind of a puzzle adventure game where you’re shrunk down and need to find the necessary ingredients to make a potion that will return you to your original size. There are eight chapters to play, and the art certainly does look nice. It seems relatively light as this genre goes, so if that sounds to your taste then by all means.
Great Ambition of the Slimes ($11.99)
I really enjoyed Ambition of the Slimes. It was a quirky twist on the turn-based tactical RPG genre that had some fun with tropes of the genre. The spin-off didn’t work as well for me, so I’m glad to see we’ve got a more orthodox sequel here in Great Ambition of the Slimes. More slime types, more units to take over with them, and lots of new battle scenarios as you show the world that slimes shouldn’t be messed around with. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
Kickback Slug: Cosmic Courier ($11.99)
Slugs don’t usually get around too well, and that could be a problem if one has to work as a space courier. Fortunately, Slippy Slug has figured out that if he fires a gun, he’ll fly off in the opposite direction. You’ll have to master this in order to clear more than fifty levels spread across five different zones. Not only will you have to navigate the tricky terrain, you’ll also have to deal with some nasty bosses from time to time. And if it’s not too much trouble, see if you can’t collect all the lost parcels hidden along the way. There are a lot of fun games releasing today, and this is another one.
World of Horror ($19.99)
This is a roguelite cosmic horror RPG where you choose a character and try to solve a variety of mysteries in a Japanese city plagued with supernatural terrors. You’ll encounter different mysteries in each run, and you’ll have to engage in turn-based battles against a variety of monsters and ghosts. The look of the game is striking, calling back to classic computers. It looks cool, and I hope to make some time to try it out soon.
Get Me Out, Please ($29.99)
A horror game for up to four players via local wireless or online multiplayer. You’re in a school and a monster is stalking you. Hide, run, and do whatever you can to survive. It looks like it might be interesting as long as you have others to play with, but unless you set that up yourself I don’t like your odds of making that happen.
even if TEMPEST Dawning Connections ($49.99)
Where there is a successful otome visual novel, there is a fan disc follow-up. Here’s the one for even if TEMPEST. You get three stories, one showing you what happens after the events of the original, one showing an alternate story, and one showing side stories of minor characters. If you enjoyed the original a lot, you’ll probably like this. If you haven’t played it yet, then don’t even think of buying this. It’s like that.
Hana Awase New Moon ($36.29)
An otome visual novel with a hanafuda motif. It comes in four different flavors, so if you want to get all the handsome boys you’ll need to drop around one hundred and forty-five US dollars. Wow! The nice thing is that there is a free demo you can try out to see if it’s something you want to splash out on. I’ll leave that to you.
Visco Collection ($19.99)
QUByte has another collection of vintage games for us, but this time it’s really a collection. Seven arcade games from Visco, including Andro Dunos, FlipShot and its sequel Bang Bead, Captain Tomaday, Ganryu, Goal! Goal!, and Neo DriftOut are here, with some modest options and online play in some games. I’ve played around with this a little and while it’s a bit bare bones in terms of extras, the games themselves play well and are rather fun.
Arcade Archives Burning Force ($7.99)
SEGA’s Space Harrier was a huge arcade hit, so it’s little surprise Namco made more than one attempt at trying to cook up their own reply to it. Those two did a good job of keeping the other one motivated back in the day. Burning Force isn’t as famous as Space Harrier, but if you enjoy that game then you have to play this. It’s fast, furious, and fun. I picked up this release the minute it went up, so you know it’s good. Well, as long as your tastes match mine. If they don’t, then I don’t know what you should take away from that anecdote.
Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery ($19.95)
This is a cute little detective game about a frog detective. You get three different cases to solve here, and they’re all quite funny in a family-friendly way. Anyway, if you’re looking for something relatively chill and light-hearted to relax with this weekend, this might fit the bill.
Nyanzou & Kumakichi Let’s Make a Flower Garden ($1.00)
If you have a buck and an urge to arrange flowers in a garden, here you go. Do a good job and you’ll get a lot of customers. Get a lot of customers and you’ll get a lot of money. Get a lot of money and you’ll be able to buy more stuff for your garden. That’s the game.
THE KITTY in The Trapping Garden ($9.99)
Hey, it’s another room escape-style adventure game using this same interface. Regista has a row that it knows how to hoe, and hoe it it shall.
Space Storeship ($4.69)
You’re a little sheep girl on a spaceship, and you need to work your way through more than fifty puzzling rooms. The main gimmick of the game is that you can swap the viewpoint from top down to 2D, which will shift the room’s layout and how you can interact with it. Kind of neat, really. An affordable little puzzler for those on the lookout for one today.
This is a strategy game where you control robots that you’ll send out to gather resources, build and defend bases, and so on. It’s on the easier side as this kind of thing goes, and it wraps up within a few hours. Reviews for other versions have been on the positive side if not overwhelmingly so, so if you like the premise it’s probably worth looking into further. This is as far as I can take you, however.
Hamster on Rails ($14.99)
In this puzzle game, you have to build railroads that will take the hamsters to their goal on each of the sixty-four stages. You’ll also need to work levers to activate or deactivate various gimmicks as the hamsters travel. Keep an eye out for hidden chests, as you can earn some fun costumes to dress your hamsters up in.
Seaside Driving ($4.99)
This is an endless driving game. Drive by the seaside in one of eight different vehicles on five randomly generated tracks. Listen to synthwave and think about how we as a culture seem to be having an inordinate amount of difficulty moving on from the 1980s. Don’t think about why; it’s too depressing. Collect coins! That’s better. Look, this isn’t fancy dining by any means, but for a fiver it doesn’t really have to be. Just keep in mind that you can throw three more bucks in that pot and get the actual OutRun to play.
Wet Steps ($4.99)
A visual novel about a guy who ends up with four charming ladies after his lips. Gosh, that seems to happen a lot in these games. Well, smooching makes the world go ’round, after all. Make your choices and reach one of four different endings. Hey, I’m not going to stop you.
A very, um, modest 3D action game. You play as a magician who has to battle monsters in some ancient ruins to uncover the secret of ultimate wisdom. You have four types of magic to use against your foes. I don’t know if I would spend sixteen bucks on this, but maybe someone would.
The Bin Bunch
Paintball 3 – Candy Match Factory ($9.99)
Halloween Bubble Shooter ($1.99)
Animal Kart Racer 2 ($19.99)
Horror Gallery ($9.99)
Horror Tale 2: Samantha ($9.99)
Paper Dash – Ghost Hunt ($9.99)
(North American eShop, US Prices)
The big thing today is the discount on Cult of the Lamb, which is happening as a result of it being the latest Free Game Trials for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. I’ll also point out Xeno Crisis at a new low price of just five bucks. Have a look through both lists as usual, however. You might find something that strikes you. In the good way, not the ouchie way.
Select New Sales
Cult of the Lamb ($14.99 from $24.99 until 11/1)
Goosebumps: Dead of Night ($9.89 from $29.99 until 11/1)
Snake Game ($2.99 from $3.99 until 11/3)
Dominant Mind: Code Breaker Game ($3.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Xeno Crisis ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Pilgrims ($2.79 from $6.99 until 11/6)
Machinarium ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/6)
Creaks ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/6)
The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation ($20.99 from $29.99 until 11/6)
Happy Game ($5.25 from $13.13 until 11/6)
Loco Parentis ($6.69 from $9.99 until 11/9)
Kaichu: The Kaiju Dating Sim ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/9)
Sacred Zodongga Defense ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/10)
Rice Bowl Restaurant ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/10)
Seven Pirates H ($27.99 from $39.99 until 11/10)
Moe Waifu H ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/10)
Satay Shop Tycoon ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/10)
Otoko Cross: Pretty Boys Klondike Solitaire ($3.49 from $6.99 until 11/10)
Kao the Kangaroo ($12.89 from $29.99 until 11/15)
OTTTD ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/15)
Death Squared ($2.24 from $14.99 until 11/15)
Super One More Jump ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/15)
Tokyo Dark Remembrance ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/15)
Tiny Metal ($4.49 from $14.99 until 11/15)
Chiki-Chiki Boxy Racers ($2.99 from $9.99 until 11/15)
Fall of Porcupine ($11.99 from $19.99 until 11/15)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, October 27th
Burrow of the Fallen Bear ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/27)
Hyper-5 ($6.99 from $9.99 until 10/27)
Laserpitium ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/27)
Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey ($4.19 from $11.99 until 10/27)
Neko Journey ($6.99 from $9.99 until 10/27)
Neko Secret Room ($3.49 from $6.99 until 10/27)
Paradise Marsh ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/27)
Pirates on Target ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/27)
Pretty Girls Rivers ($2.99 from $5.99 until 10/27)
Pretty Girls Speed ($2.99 from $5.99 until 10/27)
Rainbow Skies ($13.99 from $19.99 until 10/27)
Robo Revenge Squad ($6.00 from $20.00 until 10/27)
Sea Horizon ($8.99 from $14.99 until 10/27)
Spacewing War ($2.79 from $6.99 until 10/27)
Super Chicken Jumper ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/27)
Teratopia ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/27)
Wire Lips ($3.49 from $6.99 until 10/27)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the remaining releases of the week, along with whatever sales and big news roll in during the course of the day. I hope you all have a thrilling Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!