Tag Archives: Game Reviews

Super Toy Cars Review

As a kid, one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday was to take my matchbox cars
outside and play with them in the dirt, in the driveway, and in my dad’s garage. I would make
all kinds of tracks with chalk and make my cars race, all the while getting lost in my play time
thinking of how fun it would be to drive these toy cars. How amazing would this world look
from a 1:64 scale perspective. Well, the days of fantasizing are over, thanks to eclipse
games, arcade racer, Super Toy Cars, that released on Nintendo Switch March 2, 2018.

super toy cars screen

Who made this big mess

At first glance, Super Toy Car looks like your kids have ripped their room apart, but after you
take off from the start line you begin to see how beautiful the race track environment is and
how much detail was actually put into each track. As you speed around the toy room you’re
treated to an amazing soundtrack, that really got me in the mood for some good old fashion
arcade racing. The main way you will be playing through Super Toy Cars will be, in the
career mode where you can unlock and buy new cars. You will also be able to buy
upgrades, to improve your car. There is no shortage of races with fifteen different track
variants over eight episodes or six races each. There are also five different race types. There
is your traditional race, time trial, checkpoint race, knock out race, and a different type of
knock out race called evade where it’s the same as a knock out race, but the track is littered
with mines.

It’s play time

One of my favorite things about this game is how much it reminds me of one of my
favorite games, Micro Machines. Super Toy Cars have a great top-down view. I also enjoy
how much Eclipse Games focuses on making this game fun to play, and nice to look at. This
game really comes to life when you’re able to play four player couch co-op.
Wait a minute
There are some things left to be wanted in Super Toy Cars. I had issues with my car flipping
out of control, and no I didn’t hit on of the trap laid by another racer. Getting stuck on walls
and not being able to get back to the race without restarting the race. The biggest missed
point is no online multiplayer. In today’s day and age games like this really need an online
multiplayer.

super toy cars 1920x1080

Time to go home

At the end of the day. If you enjoy arcade racing games this is for you. If you enjoy great
visuals in a game this is for you. There’s a little bit of everything in this game for someone.
This game is a great palette cleanser when you’re looking for a game you can just turn on and
relax

By: Joel Brooks

~Nintendo Family Gaming~

 

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Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Review

Skyrim The Novel

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is a throwback to choose your own adventure books. This title instantly reminded me of Skyrim, but in the form of a novel. Lone Wolf is made up of two sections; the novel, and the action segments. The game progresses as you read the story and make choices. Some of these choices will lead to things like a battle or picking a lock. When one of these action segments takes place, the game moves from the novel to a 3D world. Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf surprisingly works well and will keep your interest. The story is captivating and has a way to connect with you right away.

The In’s and Out’s

One of the first things that jumped out at me was the graphics style. The game is gorgeous, between the hand-drawn depictions in the novel and the 3D world that you’re in during the action segments. The music in the game is okay and helps develop the atmosphere the game wants to create. One thing that does bother me though is the saving system. Right from the beginning the game never mentions autosaves, and never shows you how to save the game. I’ve found that whenever you are done playing you can choose from the menu to return to the main menu. When you come back to it the game will pick up right where you exited from. The saving needs to be explained at the beginning of the game to prevent people from being worried about turning the game off.

lone wolf

Time Your Actions

When I say time your actions, what I mean is attack as quickly as possible before the timer runs out. The battle system is my main gripe with Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf. The battle system is based on a timer, you have to perform your actions before the timer runs out. During the timer, there are quite a few actions for you to choose from, and as long as you are quick you can perform a few different actions. Each action depending on which category it comes from will use mana or energy. There is also a special that you can perform, though it seems arbitrary when that special is available. The battle system definitely needs much more explanation as I found myself just choosing actions without planning. Also, the items that are available during a battle are limited to what you have placed on your toolbelt. You start with three slots to place items for battles, which works fine, but items can be scarce at the beginning of the game. You need to make sure you use the rest feature before moving on with the story to avoid using up all of your potions.

lone wolf battle system

In Conclusion

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is an excellent choose your own adventure story with decent game elements. The fact that your choices affect the story adds replay value to the game and makes you want to go back and see what will happen if you make different choices. The battle system could use more explanation to make it flow better for the player. The art style and story are the shining stars of this game. If you like story’s then Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf will be a perfect game for you.

Serial Cleaner Review (Nintendo Switch)

Lets Clean!

Serial Cleaner is a game that I previously covered for its PC version as part of my 31 Days of Halloween series from October. I went into quite a bit of detail there, but I’ll refresh everyone on much of the details, and then discuss how the game translated over to the Nintendo Switch.

Serial Cleaner starts off with a very stylistic, and cinematic cut scene reminiscent of the great seventies cops and robbers action movies. The cheesy, but pulse-pounding movie score sets the mood perfectly, and the hand-drawn paper craft like graphics make the game less grotesque than it ought to be and add a lot of charm and personality. The autumnal shades of oranges, greens, and browns lend themselves well to the era, and the game play is well tuned.

You use your analog stick to move around, A to interact with most items (besides bodies, Y to pick up bodies, ZL to activate cleaner sense (allows you to scan the map for bodies and items of interest), and ZR to activate the vacuum used to clean blood away.

Stealth Cleaning

Serial Cleaner is a stealth puzzle game that tasks you with recovering dead bodies, cleaning up puddles of blood, and collecting evidence at brutal crime scenes, usually populated by enemies of the locally organized crime syndicate. iFun4All has even scattered collectibles throughout the levels that will net you clothes changes and bonus contracts to extend your gameplay experience. Hiding these collectibles around the stage adds replayability, and as is usually the case, adds to the difficulty of the game.

The game has a fair amount of difficulty, but there are a few things that make it somewhat easier than it could be. For one, finding a hiding spot instantly stops your pursuers from looking for you. Obviously, this isn’t unique to Serial Cleaner (I’m looking at you, Grand Theft Auto series), but it can be immersion breaking for some. If you repeatedly get busted during a contract, the location randomly places the bodies around the crime scene again. Sometimes this makes it easier, sometimes harder. Collectibles and evidence don’t have to be located again on a body moving fail, but if you don’t complete the contract before shutting the game down, you will have to find the evidence again.

One minor gripe that I didn’t address before, is that if you walk away from the game and come back to it from a fresh load, you have to watch the opening cinematic that sets up the contract again. No big deal, because it lets you experience the world with the story and characters fresh in mind, but it would be nice to have an option to just skip that portion and start at the contract itself. The world is well fleshed out by having pop cultural references in newspapers delivered to your doorstep, and by having your mom prompting you to watch the news or latest television show with her. It’s a nice touch, but the story and characters are mostly inconsequential since the game is really all about the stealth puzzles.

Conclusion

How does the game run on the Switch? Perfectly. The controls feel very intuitive, and zipping around the stages cleaning up blood with the vacuum is much better on the Switch’s Joycon than with mouse and keyboard. HD Rumble is utilized in the game to enhance the experience. When you get busted, which is shown on screen with a cop whacking you with a nightstick, there is an intense rumble. When you pick up and drop a body into your car or out of a window, you get little rumbles simulating the action of picking up the body and the thump that would accompany dead weight.

I feel like the vacuum cleaner not having HD rumble was a missed opportunity, as it doesn’t even activate the motors at all, so I’m hoping for an update that patches that in for the future.

In my original review of the game, I pointed out that the gameplay may get a little tedious during long play sessions, and that it would be well suited to the Switch’s pick up, play, and then suspend and go style of accessibility. While it is true that being able to suspend the game and later jump back in instantly does make the game a better experience compared to the PC, I actually found the gameplay itself less tedious because of this. I’ve personally never been one to play games on PC, but when I did it tended to be long haul simulation games. Things like Sim City or Civilization. A game that you will be investing hours on end into. Serial Cleaner is a quirky puzzle game best suited for short play sessions, but addictive enough that those short play sessions can turn into an hour very quickly. Puzzle games have always been a better fit for handheld consoles, and so Serial Cleaner really shines on the Switch because of this. I love this game more each time I play it, and cannot wait to get into the bonus contracts. This is the best version of the game.

4 out of 5 stars

*Originally published at Soda’s Fountain Arcade