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Reviews Featuring ‘My Time at Sandrock’, Plus Today’s New Releases and the Latest Sales – TouchArcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 14th, 2024. In today’s article, we start things off with a couple of reviews from our pal Mikhail. He’s got a look at the significantly improved My Time at Sandrock, plus a steady evaluation of Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- Sweep the Board! to get us going. After that, I dive into today’s new releases, which include at least a few games worth considering. We finish things up as ever with the lists of new and expiring sales for you to digest. Let’s get to work!

Reviews & Mini-Views

My Time at Sandrock ($39.99)

My Time at Sandrock released late last year on Switch and other consoles with it hitting 1.0 on PC, but the Switch version was quite lacking. This wasn’t a big surprise because My Time at Portia was very rough on Switch, and isn’t great even today. Since My Time at Sandrock is a much more ambitious game across the board, I didn’t think we’d see many fixes, but I was thankfully wrong. The developers didn’t want to give up on the Switch port, and it got a lot of optimization with a major update a few months ago. I’m revisiting the game for this review to highlight how the Switch version is, and whether the game is worth your time today on Nintendo’s hybrid system.

Well, I already included it in my feature on the best cozy Nintendo Switch games, so yes, I definitely recommend it, but I can’t remember the last time a game of this scale saw such a huge upgrade in its sequel. There are additions and enhancements to just about every aspect of the game, and I’m glad the team released this in early access to fix things up even more before bringing My Time at Sandrock to console.

If you’re new to the “My Time at” series, My Time at Sandrock is basically a huge life simulation game that features resource gathering, farming, loads of customization, many NPCs, a lively town, building, and more. My Time at Sandrock, like My Time at Portia, gives you a lot of freedom, and I always love soaking in the worlds in these games and just doing my own thing while all the other NPCs are on their routines.

When it comes to life simulation games, until I got a Steam Deck, I used to prefer playing them on Switch. Now, I like having them on both devices and basically like them the most on portables, but having bad ports doesn’t help. Some games like Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town and Rune Factory 5 from Marvelous had similar issues, though they never saw the fixes they needed. My Time at Sandrock thankfully got fixed up enough to be in a state I’ve enjoyed playing it in handheld mode, though this is still the worst platform to play it on when it comes to visuals and performance.

In a lot of ways, My Time at Sandrock feels like one of the best sequels in the genre with how much it improves, but there are some aspects that feel like a step back. I’m not sure if it is fair to compare My Time at Sandrock to My Time at Portia‘s current version, but there are a few polish issues, and some elements that look lacking on Switch.

My Time at Sandrock‘s music is amazing. The voice acting gets the job done, but the music kept getting better the more I played. I never got tired of it in the time I’ve put into the early access Steam release, the 1.0 launch on Steam Deck, and the Switch version since getting it. I hope we see more added in updates and even potential DLC.

Right now, you can play My Time at Sandrock on Switch in prioritize performance or quality mode when docked. I didn’t spend too much time with it docked, but it definitely didn’t bother me like Portia did on Switch. The UI needs work though since it feels sluggish quite often even for basic menus.

My Time at Sandrock is an excellent life simulation game that improved on everything in My Time at Portia. It is bigger and better, and the recent updates have made it one I can recommend on Nintendo Switch as well. If you held off on it after hearing how rough things were at launch, you can now grab it. It isn’t as good as My Time at Sandrock on Steam Deck, but it is worth getting for handheld play now. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- Sweep the Board! ($59.99)

When Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- Sweep the Board! (henceforth Demon Slayer Sweep the Board) was revealed as a Switch exclusive, it made sense, despite the prior Demon Slayer game available on all platforms right now. These kinds of party board game hybrids seem to do well on Nintendo’s hybrid system, and after how well the Demon Slayer action Adventure arena game was on Switch, this made even more sense to release soon, but I was curious how this would feel for someone playing solo or online mainly.

Demon Slayer Sweep the Board ships with five boards available at the start covering the Swordsmith Village, Yoshiwara Entertainment District, Mugen Train, Tsuzumi Mansion & Mt Natagumo, and Asakusa & the Northwest Town. These boards feature different movement methods based on the theme. The boards themselves are great, but where Demon Slayer Sweep the Board falters is in the minigames being inconsistent in quality. You can play against the CPU and set difficulty levels for each CPU player, or tackle the game online with matchmaking. Matchmaking sadly didn’t work too well for me both now and around launch.

In future updates, I hope the online play can be improved. Matchmaking takes too long, and most games I’ve had are not fun because of the stability issues. Aside from that, I’d love new characters or even more boards added as DLC. I assume something will be added when the game is ported to other platforms in the future.

Visually, Demon Slayer Sweep the Board is a mixed bag. While some areas look really good given the platform, there are some clear cutbacks for it being on Switch. Some parts of the game even have very blurry textures or low resolution assets despite the low frame rate target on Switch. I assume some of this was done to ensure it plays well online against other players, but it still disappointing. The gameplay movement with changing perspective and animations are very good though, as are the character models.

Demon Slayer Sweep the Board ships with dual audio support which is good to see. Smaller scale anime games usually only include Japanese voiceovers. Aside from that the audio in general fits the IP and board game setting.

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- Sweep the Board! has a lot of potential, but it is lacking for online play right now. If you have folks to play with locally and like the IP, this will be a good purchase. The team at CyberConnect2 did a great job translating Demon Slayer to this setting, but I hope there’s more added through the year and the online is improved. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Select New Releases

Braid, Anniversary Edition ($19.99)

The game that made Jon Blow one of the early darlings of the console indie scene is now available on the Switch in very fine form indeed. Manipulate time to solve puzzles and platforming challenges in pursuit of a missing princess. But maybe there is something more to this story? This Anniversary Edition gives the game the deluxe treatment, with new art, creator commentary, and a whole lot more. Mikhail certainly enjoyed it in his review, so if this particular flavor of belly-button lint is your thing, it’s an easy pick-up.

Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior ($24.99)

The latest release from Quantic Dream’s Spotlight label, developed by Sand Door Studio, Lysfanga is a time-manipulating action game where you create temporal clones of yourself to aid in combat. Indeed, the action here almost feels like you’re solving puzzles, and it’s very clever in how it’s set up. There isn’t much more to it than the combat, unfortunately. It makes what could have been a great game into merely a good one, but it might still be worth looking into.

Biomutant ($39.99)

I actually expected the Switch version of this game to add some technical woes on top of the game’s existing issues, but it’s a surprisingly good conversion. I mean, keeping the limitations of the hardware in mind. And that means we’re left with Biomutant, an interesting open world action-RPG that gets about as much wrong as it gets right. It’s certainly an ambitious game, and if you’re the sort that can be tolerant of rough edges for the sake of some fun or interesting gameplay elements, you might consider taking a punt on this. But be aware that there are a lot of rough edges here.

Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengeance of the Slayer ($16.99)

I mean, yes. This certainly looks like part of the Hypnospace Outlaw universe. This is a first-person shooter that leans hard into a 90s edgelord aesthetic, and it captures it with remarkable precision. As a shooter it’s decent classic-style action, but what really makes it is its bizarre protagonist Zane. Those of us who were teenagers in the 1990s will likely see a lot of ourselves in him, even if it makes us cringe to do so. Our pal Mikhail is going to be reviewing this one, so do look forward to that.

Athenian Rhapsody ($14.99)

Lots of unusual games today. This… might be the oddest, and on a day with Slayers X also releasing, that’s saying something. It’s a comedy RPG with so many choices and variables that no two playthroughs will be exactly the same. Moreover, when you finish the game you’ll get a postcard you can trade with other players and use in different ways that are not all entirely clear yet. This could be really cool, or it could be a total dud. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, so I really can’t say one way or the other.

Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution ($49.99)

Another Neptunia action-RPG, and what can really be said about these at this point? The characters have dedicated fans who are going to show up no matter what, the budgets are a lot smaller than the ideas the developers want to realize, and yet despite feeling like ten pounds of mud in a two-pound bag, there’s a certain charm to it all. I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there reading this who hasn’t already made up their mind on Neptunia as a series; this installment will not convert anyone one way or the other. Nevertheless, I will be doing a review of it. It’s what we do.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Plenty of good games on sale today, with some new low prices on things like Prodeus, Supraland, Temtem, and more. The outbox on the other hand isn’t quite as full of gems, but it’s at least worth a look-over to see if anything grabs you. Check both of those lists and see what’s what.

Select New Sales

Nobody Saves the World ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/20)
Guacamelee 2 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/20)
Archvale ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/21)
The Wild at Heart ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/21)
Unpacking ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Flynn: Son of Crimson ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Dodgeball Academia ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/21)
Supraland ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical ($20.99 from $29.99 until 5/21)
Unsighted ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Infinite Guitars ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
A Hat in Time ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/21)
Forager ($6.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Mineko’s Night Market ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Ghost Song ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)


Prodeus ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/21)
Midnight Fight Express ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Moonscars ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Temtem ($17.99 from $44.99 until 5/21)
While the Iron’s Hot ($14.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Slay the Spire ($8.49 from $24.99 until 5/21)
Ikenfell ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/21)
Void Bastards ($8.99 from $29.99 until 5/21)
Wizard of Legend ($4.79 from $15.99 until 5/21)
Right and Down and Dice ($8.40 from $11.99 until 5/22)
Strike Team Gladius ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/27)
Ashwalkers ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/27)
ScourgeBringer ($5.09 from $16.99 until 5/27)
Ultimate Chicken Horse ($6.74 from $14.99 until 5/27)
Terra Memoria ($14.99 from $19.99 until 5/27)


Lords of Exile ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/27)
Born of Bread ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/27)
Spirit of the Island ($18.74 from $24.99 until 5/27)
Gravity Circuit ($15.39 from $21.99 until 5/27)
Vernal Edge ($14.29 from $21.99 until 5/27)
Demon Turf ($12.49 from $24.99 until 5/31)
Dungeons of Dreadrock ($1.99 from $10.00 until 6/3)
LEGO Star Wars: Skywalker Saga GE ($19.99 from $79.99 until 6/3)
Mortal Kombat 11 ($9.99 from $49.99 until 6/3)
Mortal Kombat 1 Premium ($54.99 from $109.99 until 6/3)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, May 15th

Aragami 2 ($9.99 from $39.99 until 5/15)
Archetype Arcadia ($22.49 from $29.99 until 5/15)
Asterix & Obelix: Slap Them All! ($6.24 from $24.99 until 5/15)
Bramble: The Mountain King ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/15)
Bugsnax ($12.49 from $24.99 until 5/15)
Cloudpunk ($3.74 from $24.99 until 5/15)
Cry Babies Magic Tears: The Big Game ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/15)
Die After Sunset ($14.99 from $19.99 until 5/15)
Dolphin Spirit: Ocean Mission ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/15)
Fluffy Horde ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/15)
Fresh Start ($8.99 from $19.99 until 5/15)
Garfield Kart Furious Racing ($1.99 from $29.99 until 5/15)
Hercule Poirot: The First Cases ($5.99 from $29.99 until 5/15)
Inspector Gadget Mad Time Party ($23.99 from $39.99 until 5/15)
Jumbo Airport Story ($7.00 from $14.00 until 5/15)


Mega Mall Story ($6.00 from $12.00 until 5/15)
Murder on the Orient Express ($23.99 from $39.99 until 5/15)
My Universe My Baby Dragon ($10.49 from $29.99 until 5/15)
My Universe Puppies & Kittens ($2.49 from $24.99 until 5/15)
No Place Like Home ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/15)
Octahedron: Transfixed Edition ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/15)
Octodad: Dadliest Catch ($4.49 from $14.99 until 5/15)
Operation Wolf Returns: 1st Mission ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/15)
Scrap Riders ($6.99 from $19.99 until 5/15)
Space Papers: Planet’s Border ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/15)
Sparklite ($3.74 from $24.99 until 5/15)
The Dragoness: Command of the Flame ($12.59 from $17.99 until 5/15)
The Lightbringer ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/15)
The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf ($9.99 from $39.99 until 5/15)
Valthirian Arc Hero School Story 2 ($13.39 from $19.99 until 5/15)
Warm Snow ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/15)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, perhaps some reviews, and maybe even some news. We’ll have to see. I was actually out on a business trip for most of today, and you’ll see the results of that somewhat soon. With a lot of help from Mikhail, I got this article out anyway. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

#Reviews #Featuring #Time #Sandrock #Todays #Releases #Latest #Sales #TouchArcade

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