Redbrick Gaming Editors and Writers recommend some of the best games available on the Nintendo Switch, all for under £15
To The Moon – Kieren Platts
Where to start with To the Moon? On a console housing one of the most versatile games libraries out there, To the Moon is perhaps a sleeper pick for the Switch. It doesn’t really have any benefit to being portable, it’s entirely single-player, and its gameplay minimal. And yet, it makes it into this feature simply because it’s so high quality that I’d be embarrassed not to mention it.
To the Moon is a four-hour-long interactive story (and even the interactivity is questionable) with a reputation for reducing players to tears. One day, Doctors Eva Rosaline and Neil Watts rock up to an old man’s house. His name is Johnny, and he’s on his deathbed. But, before Johnny dies, he has one last request that he wants fulfilled. You see, for as long as he can remember, Johnny has always wanted to go to the Moon. And Rosaline and Watts are some of the only people in the world who can make that happen. To do it, they will need to access Johnny’s memories.
Between the innovative science fiction, and the emotional beating that To the Moon is not afraid to hold back on, lies a thoughtful script, a wistful soundtrack, painstakingly crafted pixel art, and an unforgettable story. Lead writer and director Kan Gao expresses sentiments and ideas with crystal clarity, and the sequel, Finding Paradise, only improves on the foundations To the Moon lays out.
It is an RPG Maker title, yes. It’s also not a secret that To the Moon’s largest export are human tears. And now that it’s on the Switch, so that you can shroud yourself in a blanket in bed, or on the sofa, and play it like you might read a book? There’s really no excuse not to especially only at £10.79.
The Walking Dead: Season One – Kyle Moffat
Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead – Season 1 proved to be a remarkable example of an episodic adventure game when it was released in 2012, amassing hugely positive responses from IGN and Metacritic among others. Despite being one of the earlier Telltale Games, it has proven to be one of the best and is still looked upon as a highly emotional and engaging experience.
Every decision matters. Characters will think differently of Lee Everett (the main character) based on your choices which means you must think carefully to build the best character relationships possible. These decisions last for the entire playthrough, emphasising the independence of your journey. I find the story to be so emotionally stimulating because of the overlying theme of melancholy encircling the post apocalyptic world. Every character has lost so much and it’s up to you to raise their spirits and help them to survive. The decisions are made more difficult due to a time limit, meaning mistakes are very possible. This creates an adrenaline rush throughout the most intense moments as one decision could completely alter your journey.
This game feels like a natural fit for the Nintendo Switch, as it works as a game which you can play on a casual basis and a game you enjoy when out and about. On the Nintendo eShop, you can find this gem for £12.99 and it has the replay value to make it well worth the money.
Katana Zero – Alex Green
When it comes to Switch bargains, few are as wonderfully polished as Askiisoft’s Katana Zero. At the time of writing, it’s available on the digital storefront for £13.49, an excellent price for a surprisingly nuanced hack-and-slash combined with a beautiful neon aesthetic and delightful soundtrack. Published by Devolver Digital, players control an assassin who uses a drug called Chronos to predict the future and deliver gloriously brutal deaths across many rooms to find his targets before going home for a nice cuppa and mundane housing problems like noisy neighbours.
Fiendishly simple, yet an idea that gives rise to some beautifully executed combat. Our assassin is fast, able to use objects in the environment to his advantage and deflect bullets with ease. The result is punchy gameplay with brutality at its core and plenty of variation in the level design within that framework, utilising stealth elements and verticality in a fantastic way.
It’s best not to mention too much about the story as surprisingly there’s a lot to unpack across the six-hour playtime. All sorts of side characters join the frame to both help and hinder our protagonist, even sentient masks of comedy and tragedy appear to produce a chaotic sci-fi world with great intrigue to it and an unpredictability to the unfolding narrative.
If the critical excellence isn’t enough, Katana Zero also boasts commercial success with over 100,000 copies sold in its first week, and Askiisoft themselves currently working on a free update to provide a speedrun mode and extra content on top of the original story. Now’s as good a time as any to jump into New Mecca for a fun time slaying.
Stardew Valley – Sam Nason
No game is as fitting for the gimmick of the Nintendo Switch. Currently available for £10.99, the game sees you take the role of a farmer inheriting their grandfather’s old plot of land. Leaving the city behind for a quieter life with nature, the rest is up to you.
Stardew Valley shines through the sheer quantity of things to do. You can befriend the villagefolk and build interesting, dynamic relationships; you can explore the local mines or markets; and, of course, you can take part in your fair share of farming. The controls of the title are intuitive and extremely easy to get to grips with, suited perfectly to the handheld nature of the Switch but not difficult to grasp at all in television mode, either.
While parallels with the Harvest Moon franchise are difficult to ignore, Stardew Valley shines in its desire to push mechanics further and improve on the life sim genre. There are a huge variety of seeds at your disposal from the outset, giving you the perfect opportunity to experiment with different crop types and tailor your farm however you wish. Similarly, the mine invites you to discover jewels, ores and mysteries as you delve into its depths – as well as vanquish creatures with its surprisingly extensive dungeon crawling combat.
Stardew Valley is the relaxing, time-consuming dream of any Switch owner. The portability of the title is a bonus in an in-depth adventure that sees you raise animals, build a farm and essentially maintain a second life in peaceful Pelican Town. While it is available on every current-gen platform, the Switch version is easily the most natural fit.
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