SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Horace’ Review, Mini-Views Featuring ‘ScourgeBringer’ and More, plus the Latest Releases and Sales

SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Horace’ Review, Mini-Views Featuring ‘ScourgeBringer’ and More, plus the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 26th, 2020. As we approach the spookiest, scariest day of the year, most gamers know that the most truly terrifying part of this season is in budgeting for all the cool new games. Today we’ve got reviews of some recently-released games that you’ll want to consider, along with summaries of a few new releases. There is also a surprisingly large list of new sales that came in over the weekend, though the bulk of it really isn’t going to surprise or interest many of you. Not much cooking in the news, but there rarely is early in the day on Mondays. Let’s go!

Reviews

Horace ($14.99)

I haven’t been so genuinely delighted and surprised with a game in a very long time as I have been with Horace. While the game apparently released on home computers last year, I’ve never heard anyone talking about it. Now that I’ve sunk an entire weekend into completing it, I have no idea why its praises haven’t been sung to me before. This game is flat-out incredible on multiple levels, and I can promise you now that you’ll be seeing it in my Best of 2020 article in December. What a wonderful, thrilling, impactful little treasure Horace is, as though the developer was told they had one shot to make the game of their dreams and put every darned thing they could ever want into it.

Horace tells a story about the tumultuous life of the titular robot. We watch him come to life for the first time, see him welcomed into the warm home of a kindly old man and his extended family, watch him fit into his role as domestic help, and go right alongside him as circumstances begin to change. Regardless of everything else going on, Horace has a goal: he needs to collect one million pieces of trash, as by doing so he will have a chance to become a real boy. Or so the kindly old man says, anyways. Horace doesn’t always pick up on humor.

You’re going to be collecting trash, and that is one of the few things that remains consistent over the course of this rather lengthy game. It’s never the primary goal at hand, but it’s always there. As you make your way through areas, you’ll see trash in odd places. Sometimes you can reach it with some clever and well-timed platforming. Sometimes you’ll have to leave it behind and come back when you’ve got the right upgrades. The game keeps a running total of how many pieces of garbage you’ve picked up, along with how many pieces remain in the current area. Helpful, that is.

I’m sitting here asking myself why I’m writing so much about collecting trash. If I were to list the reasons why I love Horace, I’m not sure where I’d put that aspect of the game. It’s fun to find it all. But I suppose the reason why I’m writing so much about it is that most of the things I love about Horace are things that I don’t want to tell you about. You’re better off discovering them in your own playthrough, just as I did. This is a game with twists in its narrative and gameplay, and its unpredictable and constantly-changing nature is one of the things that makes it special. I don’t want to spoil any of it.

So what can I say? You’ll visit tons of different areas, each one lovingly detailed and often home to at least one or two strange, endearing characters. The platforming action is intense and quite challenging in places, but it’s quite manageable thanks to the spot-on controls. There are lots of mini-games, some paying homage to classic games. The game looks gorgeous thanks to its excellent pixel art, and its soundtrack, rich with classical music, fits like a glove. In spite of the considerable length of the game by platformer standards, Horace packs in enough variety and quirks to keep you interested the whole way through.

The presentation, the gameplay, and the story all knock it out of the park here. The game uses a lot of humor and makes plenty of references to classic pop culture, but it never feels overdone or insincere. It’s stupidly sincere, I would go so far to say, and I love that. I love it. Even the game’s basic structure feels like a love letter to classic British platforming adventures, but without most of the rough edges that make those games hard to approach in modern times. It’s like it’s putting the best possible face on the ideas it loves, standing on their shoulders to attain greater heights than they ever could.

If you only take one recommendation from me this year, let it be Horace. It deserves to be played, and you will have an incredibly enjoyable time should you choose to do so. It’s a fantastic platformer, a fun collectathon, a compelling story, and a treat for the senses. It’s the kind of game that after you play it, you just want to tell someone about it. Friends, you are all my “someone”. To think that you could have something so ridiculously good for fifteen lousy dollars. Mind-boggling. Play Horace.

SwitchArcade Score: 5/5

Mini-Views

ScourgeBringer ($16.99)

I can’t speak to the real origins of ScourgeBringer, but it genuinely feels like someone looked at Celeste and Dead Cells and saw a chance for a chocolate and peanut butter moment. That could have gone badly, but it works well here. Zipping around each room slicing and shooting the enemies while bounding off the walls and dashing in the air feels great. As you make progress you’ll unlock new abilities and upgrades that will help you survive longer. It’s fun right from the get-go and it stays enjoyable as the hours go by. I don’t think it’s quite as memorable as either of the games it resembles, but it’s sure as heck good enough to stick with for a while.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Blackjack Hands ($0.99)

This is a variant on the previously-released Poker Hands, and it feels very much like one. By that I mean you can tell the idea of shuffling these cards around to make specific combinations was built around the idea of poker and its diverse range of potential hands. Switching to a blackjack motif doesn’t break the concept, but it’s a little less enjoyable trying to build sums that beat the dealer’s hand. The game has to do a little stretching to get the required complexity out of the comparatively simple rules. Even with that this feels like an easier take on Poker Hands. It’s amusing enough, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it if it were more than a dollar. Luckily that’s the price, so a light recommendation is what we’ve got.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Disc Room ($14.99)

Disc Room succeeds on two separate levels. First, it’s a challenging and highly satisfying slice of arcade action. By and large you’re just trying to dodge an ever-increasing number and type of deadly discs in each room, surviving as long as you can manage. You get some new powers on the way that can help you with that task in creative ways, such that this simple act of trying to get out of the way of danger somehow stays fresh. You’re also unraveling a dungeon room by room, opening doors by completing various objectives. Some of them are clear but tough to pull off, while others take a bit more thinking or the right ability. It’s a well-done game all around, even if it sometimes gets a bit too intense for the Switch to handle smoothly.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Undead Darlings: No Cure for Love ($29.99)

This is a hybrid of visual novel and first-person dungeon-crawling RPG, and it really does hold up both ends of that equation. The plot is interesting enough, even if some of the dialogue is a little on the stupid side. Tongues are generally planted firmly in cheek through much of the story, but there are some serious bits as well. Meanwhile, the dungeon crawling and turn-based battles are competently done, even if they don’t really have much new to offer. It’s fun to pile up on enemy weaknesses to build a multiplier for a devastating attack, but by and large it’s the usual “fight and heal” stuff that serves as a staple of the genre. Kind of a pleasant surprise for me, really. Just make sure you have a high tolerance for harem anime tropes because this one is stuffed with them.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

Strife: Veteran Edition ($9.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

It’s weird how you can be sick of something at one point of time and then miss it so terribly later. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder in some cases. Case in point: Strife, a game which at its initial release in 1996 gained mostly middling appraisal all-around. We were so drunk on the Quakes and Duke Nukems that Strife just seemed like something for another less-busy day. And here we are. Appreciation for its curious blend of boomer shooter and RPG has only grown over time, resulting in a title that is rather fondly remembered in 2020. It’s also significant in that the PC version of this Veteran Edition was the first original release of Night Dive Studios, a company who has brought a lot of great titles back from the graveyard. If you’re looking to add another DOOM engine game to your Switch, you won’t be unhappy with this.

War Titans ($14.99)

A port of a free-to-play mobile game that hit the App Store a couple of years ago, making very little impact. This is an action game with transforming mechs that leaned heavily on IAPs in its original form to fuel progression. This Switch version doesn’t have those IAPs, so you’ll just have to grind your way through. If you want to give it a try yourself, it’s still available on both iOS and Android and won’t cost anything if you’re just playing a bit. I don’t think it’s very good at all, but you may feel differently. One person’s trash and all that stuff.

Gnome More War ($2.99)

This is a castle defense/shooter hybrid where you have to fend off gnomes who are trying to steal your food. The gnomes will come in waves along different rows, and you’ll have to try to pick them off before they reach your farm. Your character sits in a basket on a pulley of sorts, and if that kind of sounds like the Konami classic Pooyan, well… yeah, I think that’s probably the inspiration. But it’s quite different thanks to the presence of power-ups, the different lanes, and unlockable upgrades. Quite enjoyable, especially for the reasonable price.

Zombie Hill Race ($9.99)

Pretty much a clone of Not Doppler’s mobile hit Earn to Die 2. Side-scrolling mayhem against undead hordes with destructible environment bits and so on. You can get a variety of vehicles and upgrade them by collecting coins on each run, which will hopefully help you survive longer in the next one. And that’s about it. Even setting aside the obvious similarities to someone else’s good idea and total lack of any improvements or additions to the formula, this release is carrying a price literally ten times that of Earn to Die 2 on the App Store. Go play that instead.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Oh joy, Ultimate Games is having a sale. I think it would be a stretch to call any of its releases good, but to the extent that they are amusing I think these sale prices are still a bit high. The real steal of today’s list is the amusing brawler Bloodroots, which is down from its usual price of $19.99 to a silly $1.99. Jenny LeClue: Detectivu is also discounted to an absurd extent. It’s easily worth a couple of bucks. Paradise Killer is an amazing adventure game and while its modest 20% discount isn’t the biggest, the game is definitely a deal even at full price. As always, I recommend taking a close look at both lists just in case something you’re interested in happens to be on sale.

Select New Games on Sale

Clue ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/30)

Battleship ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)

Data East Retro Classix 2-in-1 Packs ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/31)

Maze ($5.24 from $6.99 until 10/31)

I Wanna Fly ($2.10 from $2.42 until 10/31)

Godly Corp ($2.07 from $7.99 until 10/31)

Gym Hero: Idle Fitness ($1.99 from $2.29 until 10/31)

GoFishing 3D ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/31)

Fishing Adventure ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/31)

Otherwordly ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/31)

Ski Sniper ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/31)

AvoCuddle ($2.59 from $12.99 until 10/31)

Bug Academy ($2.59 from $12.99 until 10/31)

Bohemian Killing ($2.39 from $7.99 until 10/31)

Tank Mechanic Simulator ($10.79 from $17.99 until 10/31)



Her Majesty’s Ship ($7.69 from $10.99 until 10/31)

CopperBell ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/31)

Indygo ($3.84 from $6.99 until 10/31)

Ramageddon ($4.39 from $7.99 until 10/31)

The Executioner ($5.44 from $9.90 until 10/31)

Paint Your Pet ($2.74 from $4.99 until 10/31)

Gerty ($3.89 from $12.99 until 10/31)

Pangeon ($2.99 from $9.99 until 10/31)

Feathery Ears ($2.99 from $9.99 until 10/31)

Ailment ($2.39 from $5.99 until 10/31)

Climbros ($2.97 from $9.90 until 10/31)

Undead and Beyond ($2.19 from $10.99 until 10/31)

Swords & Sandals: Spartacus ($2.59 from $12.99 until 10/31)

Repressed ($2.39 from $7.99 until 10/31)

RMX Real Motocross ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/31)



Doubles Hard ($2.39 from $5.99 until 10/31)

Selma & the Wisp ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/31)

Robot Squad Simulator ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/31)

Scrap ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/31)

Garage Mechanic Simulator ($2.79 from $6.99 until 10/31)

Car Mechanic Simulator Pocket ($2.19 from $19.99 until 10/31)

Motorcycle Mechanic Simulator ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/31)

Billy Bomber ($2.00 from $5.00 until 10/31)

Ultra Off-Road 2019: Alaska ($2.08 from $18.99 until 10/31)

Ships ($2.09 from $13.99 until 10/31)

Please the Gods ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/31)

Help Me Doctor ($2.39 from $7.99 until 10/31)

Incredible Adv. of Super Panda ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/31)

Blindy ($3.19 from $7.99 until 10/31)

The Mims Beginning ($2.69 from $8.99 until 10/31)



Bouncy Bob 2 ($2.00 from $5.00 until 10/31)

Down to Hell ($2.99 from $9.99 until 10/31)

Technosphere ($2.24 from $14.99 until 10/31)

Demolish & Build 2018 ($2.24 from $14.99 until 10/31)

WoM: Planar Conquest ($2.03 from $16.99 until 10/31)

Super Tennis ($2.39 from $5.99 until 10/31)

Catch a Duck ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/31)

Epic Clicker Journey ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/31)

Shadows ($2.39 from $6.99 until 10/31)

Shadows 2: Perfidia ($3.19 from $7.99 until 10/31)

Esport Manager ($3.19 from $7.99 until 10/31)

Bloodroots ($1.99 from $19.99 until 11/2)

Spooky Ghosts Dot Com ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/2)

Mech Rage ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/2)

Can Androids Pray: Blue ($2.09 from $6.99 until 11/2)



Sweet Witches ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/2)

Debtor ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/2)

Framed Collection ($3.99 from $9.99 until 11/2)

Think of the Children ($2.59 from $12.99 until 11/2)

The Stillness of the Wind ($4.54 from $12.99 until 11/2)

Swordbreaker The Game ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/2)

Super Mutant Alien Assault ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/2)

Church in the Darkness ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/2)

Neo Cab ($14.99 from $19.99 until 11/2)

Rack N Ruin ($5.19 from $12.99 until 11/2)

In Other Waters ($11.24 from $14.99 until 11/2)

Paradise Killer ($15.99 from $19.99 until 11/2)

Breathing Fear ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/2)

Event Horizon: Space Defense ($2.09 from $6.99 until 11/2)

Skull Rogue ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)



Alien: Isolation ($19.99 from $34.99 until 11/3)

Tactical Mind ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)

FunBox Party ($1.99 from $2.49 until 11/3)

Awakening of Cthulhu ($2.39 from $11.99 until 11/5)

City Driving Simulator ($5.99 from $11.99 until 11/6)

Car Driving School Simulator ($8.99 from $13.99 until 11/6)

Gas Station: Highway Services ($5.99 from $11.99 until 11/6)

Supermarket Shriek ($17.99 from $19.99 until 11/6)

Stones of the Revenant ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/6)

SUPERHOT ($14.99 from $24.99 until 11/7)

Lydia ($2.00 from $4.00 until 11/7)

Outlast: Bundle of Terror ($6.24 from $24.99 until 11/7)

Outlast 2 ($7.49 from $29.99 until 11/7)

Warsaw ($15.99 from $19.99 until 11/7)

Soul Searching ($3.99 from $9.99 until 11/7)



Infini ($5.00 from $12.00 until 11/7)

Twister Road ($0.99 from $4.99 until 11/8)

Jenny LeClue: Detectivu ($2.99 from $24.99 until 11/9)

CrossKrush ($3.99 from $4.99 until 11/9)

Bridge Strike ($2.09 from $6.99 until 11/10)

Quest Hunter ($14.99 from $29.99 until 11/10)

Speedway Racing ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/12)

Pumpkin Jack ($23.99 from $29.99 until 11/12)

Party Golf ($1.99 from $15.00 until 11/12)

Party Crashers ($1.99 from $15.00 until 11/12)

Grood ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/13)

Zombie Hill Race ($5.99 from $9.99 until 11/13)

UORiS DX ($4.50 from $9.00 until 11/13)

Truck Driving Simulator ($8.99 from $11.99 until 11/13)

WeakWood Throne ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/13)

Conduct Together! ($1.99 from $19.99 until 11/13)

Agent A: Puzzle in Disguise ($1.99 from $19.99 until 11/13)

Fury Unleashed ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/13)

The Demon Crystal ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/13)

Queen’s Quest 2: SoFP ($1.49 from $14.99 until 11/16)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27th

AFL Evolution 2 ($42.49 from $49.99 until 10/27)

Atomic Heist ($1.99 from $7.99 until 10/27)

Bee Simulator ($15.99 from $39.99 until 10/27)

Carto ($17.99 from $19.99 until 10/27)

Dark Burial ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/27)

Dead Dungeon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/27)

Eight-Minute Empire: Digital ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/27)

Evan’s Remains ($5.59 from $6.99 until 10/27)

Hyper Jam ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/27)

Istanbul: Digital Edition ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/27)

Morphite ($2.39 from $14.99 until 10/27)

My Little Riding Champion ($11.99 from $29.99 until 10/27)

One Person Story ($2.00 from $2.99 until 10/27)

Storm Boy ($0.95 from $5.99 until 10/27)



Street Racer Underground ($5.39 from $5.99 until 10/27)

The Unicorn Princess ($15.99 from $39.99 until 10/27)

This Strange Realm of Mine ($1.29 from $12.99 until 10/27)

Torn Tales: Rebound Edition ($5.59 from $7.99 until 10/27)

TT Isle of Man ($14.99 from $49.99 until 10/27)

Whipseey & the Lost Atlas ($0.95 from $5.99 until 10/27)

WRC 8 FIA World Rally ($14.99 from $49.99 until 10/27)

Yes, Your Grace ($11.99 from $19.99 until 10/27)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow we’ll have several new releases to check out including Cobra Kai and Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, and there should probably be some news to look at as well. Naturally we’ll also have whatever sales pop up, and perhaps a review of Torchlight III if I can get it done. I hope you all have a decent Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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