Reviews Featuring ‘Snakebird Complete’, Plus Today’s New Releases and Sales – TouchArcade


Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 12th, 2023. In today’s article, we get things started with a pair of reviews from our pal Mikhail, who is taking a look at Snakebird Complete and Fashion Dreamer. I’ve got one review myself, for the tactical RPG Arcadian Atlas. After that, we’ve got the list of new releases including Hammerwatch II and more. Then we move into the lists of the newest sales and expiring discounts, as we always do. Let’s get to the games!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Snakebird Complete ($14.99)

Over here at TouchArcade, we’ve been fans of Snakebird ever since it hit iOS in 2016. You can read our review of Snakebird on iOS here. Since that release, Noumenon Games released Snakebird Primer in 2019, a more accessible follow-up that built on the original with many more levels. Fast forward to now, Snakebird Complete has arrived on Nintendo Switch bringing both Snakebird and Snakebird Primer together in a seamless package for Nintendo’s hybrid system.

I’ve been chipping away at it since getting review code, and it has honestly made it hard to play my other review games. When I get sucked into a good puzzle game, I spend too much time thinking about levels and the game when I’m not playing. In fact, I spent 2 hours on it this morning when I wanted to finish writing about 4 other games then. Snakebird Complete is so good, I want to keep playing more of it instead of writing about it. Put that on the box.

If you’ve never heard of Snakebird before, your aim is moving like you would in the classic game, Snake, while collecting fruit to grow in size, but also trying to reach a specific objective or location in the superbly designed levels. The progression in Snakebird Complete is non-linear. You slowly start unlocking more of the map, opening up multiple puzzle options for when you inevitably get stuck and need to try something else or need a break. As you progress further, new mechanics and more birds join the action.

Beyond superbly designed levels and intuitive levels, I love the attention to detail in the little things. The animations are lovely, and the birds’ expressions as you reach the goal or are near a fruit are things most wouldn’t even pay attention to. This is all complemented by a relaxing soundtrack and charming sound effects.

If you do get stuck, there’s an interesting hint system, but I’d really recommend doing what I do when I get stuck in a puzzle game like this: go and do another puzzle or take a break. The solution will come to you. Give it time.

On Nintendo Switch, the game looks great, and I was very happy that touchscreen support is included. I played most of it with touch controls in portable mode, but also tried it docked. The controller support is well-implemented.

Snakebird was amazing on iOS, but Snakebird Complete feels perfect on Nintendo Switch. If you enjoy the likes of Baba is You and even A Monster’s Expedition, Snakebird Complete is essential. They nailed the touch controls and it looks so good on the OLED screen. If you still aren’t sold on it, try the demo. Snakebird Complete is the real deal. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 5/5

Fashion Dreamer ($49.99)

Fashion Dreamer‘s announcement left me conflicted. I was super happy to see syn Sophia back, but it didn’t seem like a new Style Savvy game. Since that reveal, Xseed Games has been slowly revealing more of what you actually do in Fashion Dreamer, and it finally hit me that this is a creativity focused dress up game with some online elements rather than a true follow up to Style Savvy, and that isn’t a bad thing, but the game’s current state leaves a lot to be desired even after its first major update.

Fashion Dreamer has you playing as a Muse in a world full of Muses. Your aim is to grow your influence with followers, your own brand, your own showroom, and more. There’s a lot of customization possible here, but I enjoyed interacting with random Muses to dress them up through what the game calls Lookits. You can also interact with a Muse to absorb the new clothes and accessories.

Speaking of clothes and accessories, the more you progress into earning more followers and doing Lookits, the more in-game items you get. These can be used to use the gacha machine or bingo tickets to unlock more items and basically the more you give Fashion Dreamer, the more you get out of it, but there isn’t really a story as I hoped when it was originally announced. The best analogy I have is Fashion Dreamer is the Happy Home Designer to Animal Crossing‘s Style Savvy.

The online mode is quite nice as well, but you can play Fashion Dreamer offline completely. Day one, I had complaints with the sorting and many aspects of the actual dress up part because you couldn’t even zoom in save sets properly. Those have been fixed, but the biggest non-performance related issue I have is the lack of being able to use any accessories and clothes on any body type. I don’t get why a game about dressing up limits this. As of this writing, I haven’t been able to test the time-limited event since it was taken down soon after the update hit.

Visually, Fashion Dreamer can look excellent, especially when you’re doing poses to show off your Muse and take photos. The rest of it looks a bit basic but nice and colorful. This isn’t an issue on its own, but the performance is not good. Scrolling through items or even walking across the area results in stuttering or freezing. I tested this on 2 Switch consoles to be sure. I hope this can be improved over patches, but right now some portions remind me of Pokemon and not in a good way.

After its first update, Fashion Dreamer still needs work. While the performance is my biggest problem with it, some design decisions need to be addressed like letting any body type wear any clothes or accessories. I’m going to revisit it through each update, but right now this feels more like what we got in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer rather than a true Animal Crossing experience as an example. There’s a lot I like, but this needed more time. –Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Arcadian Atlas ($19.99)

You know, sometimes I think Final Fantasy Tactics doesn’t get its full due in terms of its importance in gaming history. It is certainly well-loved and considerably revered, of course. But if we consider that one angle of a game’s place in history is how influential it is, Final Fantasy Tactics is starting to look like it’s on some kind of short list. You don’t see many games in the turn-based tactical RPG genre in recent years that aren’t paying a debt to it in some form or another, and many of them are outright doing their best to succeed it. Unfortunately, like with its Square Enix stablemate Chrono Trigger, most of these love letters fall a bit flat in some form or another. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but flattery will only get you so far.

Arcadian Atlas really has Final Fantasy Tactics on its mind, and in some ways that plays out really well. The sprites are fantastic, and indeed might be even more expressive and fun to look at than those of the game it pays homage to. The soundtrack is quite good, even if it doesn’t quite live up to one of the finest efforts of Hitoshi Sakimoto. The story has plenty of intrigue and is quite well-written. The battles are smaller in scale than those in Final Fantasy Tactics, but still big enough to be interesting. There is a satisfying number of character classes to play around with and a fair number of skills to make use of. Indeed, I think it does its job well enough that fans of the genre will be sufficiently entertained for their money.

But there are problems here, too. Features and elements that Final Fantasy Tactics had that would be welcome here but are nowhere to be found. The maps have a lot of details on them that make them look natural, but sometimes that stuff blocks your view. Unfortunately, you can’t change the viewpoint in this game so you just kind of have to deal with it. Same if any elevated parts of the terrain are in the way. There are certain complexities to the combat you would expect to find that aren’t in here either, and it’s all very unbalanced and not in the good way. I also feel like it’s far too content to be an homage, not really doing anything to reach beyond what the genre was doing twenty-five years ago. It reminds me a lot of the Mercenaries Saga games, for better or worse.

I think if you love Final Fantasy Tactics, Arcadian Atlas will give you something to chew on. It will also likely irritate you in a variety of ways. It’s every bit the game it’s trying to be, a passionate expression of adoration for one of the genre greats. It’s just a shame that it is content to only be that, since the sparks that do light up properly here show such promise. Perhaps we might see some of those become proper flames in the next game from this team, but for now this is really just one for those heavily thirsting for any tactical turn-based intrigue they can get.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

Hammerwatch Anniversary Edition ($19.99)

This is a remaster of Hammerwatch, which has been available on the Switch for long enough that we now have a remaster to buy. It makes a number of improvements on the original version, but is that enough for you to drop twenty bucks if you already own that one? I’m not the guy to tell you yes or no on that, but I think if you really enjoyed Hammerwatch you’ll probably appreciate the improvements here to some extent. You may, however, want to save some money for the next item on our list.

Hammerwatch II ($24.99)

Hey, it’s Hammerwatch II. Go on some new adventures on your own, or team up with other players online in a group of up to four players. Explore an open world, complete quests, and build up your hero as you push back the forces of darkness. This has been out for a minute or two on other platforms and the general consensus seems to be that if you liked the first one, you’ll have a pretty good time here too.

Petit Petit Petit ($12.99)

A Vampire Survivors-style game that takes place inside of a body and tasks you with using antibodies to defend against invading pathogens and diseases. It’s a clever premise, but reviews of the game on other platforms have been fairly lukewarm. Proceed at your own risk, in other words.

Super Bear Adventure ($9.99)

I think this came out on mobile several years back, where it found an audience thanks to the relatively low number of 3D platformers around. I… don’t think it will enjoy such benefits here and now, but who knows? Maybe there is some hidden charm to it that I’m just not picking up on.

Twin Mind: Power of Love Collector’s Edition ($14.99)

Why yes, it’s another hidden object adventure game. The twin detectives are looking to solve yet another case. I have nothing much to say about any of these games at this point, but if you’re looking for one of them, here it be.

Wood Guy ($9.99)

This is absolute borderline Bin Bunch stuff, but it seems like it could be an actual earnest effort so I’m not going to stick it in there. Yet. Anyway, it’s a pretty clunky action game with hundreds of levels and a local co-op feature if you want to exercise it. There’s also a battle mode in there so that they can technically say the game is for up to four players.

The Bin Bunch

SNQZ ($1.49)

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

There are a bunch of games hitting new low prices today, and while I don’t know that any of them are ultra barn-burners, the prices are low enough that you might want to bite anyway. Over in the outbox, there’s almost nothing going on. Some days are like that. At any rate, check both lists such as they are and see what catches your eye.

Select New Sales

RiMS Racing ($4.99 from $49.99 until 12/27)
Shooting Star Island ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/1)
Earthen Dragon ($4.00 from $9.90 until 1/1)
Heart Chain Kitty: All Screwed Up ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/1)
Hidden Gems: Volume One ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/1)
Sixtar Gate: Startrail ($19.99 from $24.99 until 1/1)
Operate Now: Hospital ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/1)
Railbound ($8.99 from $12.99 until 1/1)
Figment 1 + Figment 2 ($15.99 from $39.99 until 1/1)
Murder Mystery Machine ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/1)
Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo ($5.99 from $19.99 until 1/1)
Syberia ($1.99 from $12.99 until 1/1)
Metamorphosis ($1.99 from $24.99 until 1/1)
Agatha Christie Collection ($11.99 from $29.99 until 1/1)
The Quest for Excalibur: Puy du Fou ($8.99 from $29.99 until 1/1)


Smurfs Kart ($15.99 from $39.99 until 1/1)
The Gardens Between ($2.99 from $19.99 until 1/1)
My Universe: Fashion Boutique ($2.49 from $24.99 until 1/1)
My Universe: Cooking Star Restaurant ($2.99 from $29.99 until 1/1)
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars ($9.99 from $39.99 until 1/1)
Arkanoid: Eternal Battle ($2.99 from $19.99 until 1/1)
Vampire: TM – Shadows of New York ($2.59 from $12.99 until 1/1)
Survivor Castaway Island ($20.99 from $29.99 until 1/1)
Everdream Valley ($12.49 from $24.99 until 1/1)
WRC Collection ($9.99 from $99.99 until 1/1)
The Smurfs 2 ($27.99 from $39.99 until 1/1)
Bang-On Balls: Chronicles ($14.99 from $24.99 until 1/1)
Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands ($10.49 from $34.99 until 1/1)
Horse Tales: Emerald Valley Ranch ($15.99 from $39.99 until 1/1)
TT Isle of Man RotE 3 ($19.99 from $49.99 until 1/1)
Cabela’s The Hunt: CE ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/1)
Cricket 22 ($19.99 from $49.99 until 1/1)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, December 13th

Football Cup 2023 ($2.99 from $9.99 until 12/13)
Glitch’s Trip ($1.99 from $12.99 until 12/13)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more reviews, more sales, and perhaps some news. This was another one of those days where I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked to, but I suppose there isn’t much you can do about that. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!



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