I play a lot of video games, especially on the Nintendo Switch. I like dissecting their components and putting them under a magnifying glass for a review. However, I just don’t have the time to fully review every game I play, and as a result, I get behind on posting my opinions on various games that I’ve played this year. So in order to play “catch-up,” I had the idea to write shorter 1 or 2 paragraph reviews for these. I still have other games I have yet to review, so I think I will make these kind of posts any time it makes sense to.
Human Resource Machine
Human Resource Machine – Nintendo Switch – 8.5/10
Human Resource Machine is a puzzler developed by the same people responsible for World of Goo and Little Inferno. It’s also their best game yet, making you feel like a total genius after you beat each one of its many puzzles. The premise is simple: you have to take the values in your “inbox” and place them in the “outbox” in accordance to the instructions you receive at the beginning of a level. In order to do that, you have to create a list of commands that guide your character’s actions.
Mechanically, what you are doing here is creating a program using variables, loops and jump commands. The interface is great, encouraging you to try messing around with its options to try to figure out the most efficient logic to complete each puzzle. It can get pretty dastardly hard near the end of the campaign, and I suppose if you don’t find crunching numbers to be fun, you might not like this. I found it to be really worth my time, and it turned out to be a perfect portable time killer for the Switch.
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – Nintendo Switch – 9.5/10
I think many people just roll their eyes at the mention of Minecraft nowadays, but it really is a great game. I poured a lot of hours into it in its early PC days, and haven’t really played it much since. I did pick up the mobile edition of the game, but I didn’t find it to be very compelling due to the touch screen controls. Minecraft on the Switch for me is kind of like playing catch-up on the new mechanics and items, and it breathed new life into the experience. The console controls work perfectly here, and the interface is thankfully streamlined in all places where it makes sense to do it. Crafting in particular stood out to me as painless and easy, which was a pleasant surprise.
What makes this easily the best version of Minecraft that I’ve ever played is the portability factor. This is a game that can be played in short spurts, or for hours on end, so it’s an insanely nice fit for the Switch. At home, you can spend a lot of time delving into caverns and building fortresses, while on the go you can focus on short bursts of farming and crafting. It’s fantastic, and totally worth the cost of entry if you haven’t played Minecraft in a while.
GoNNER – Nintendo Switch – 7.0/10
GoNNER is a simple roguelike platformer from developer Art in Heart. It’s got a very simple and minimalistic art style that looks nice thanks to the plentiful vibrant colors. The levels are randomly generated, but they typically share enough elements that make each run feel quite similar. The core mechanics here are fun: you run, jump and shoot, and there is a nice variety of different guns and abilities, as well as enemies to fight.
This game’s minimalism, however, is also its downfall. It does a poor job of explaining a lot of the mechanics, which is fine when you are able to figure things out on your own, but I found it impossible to tell what certain items really did without leaving the game to search it on Google. When you couple this with the fact that GoNNER can be quite difficult, it makes for a game that can be frustrating. It’s a nice and pretty package for what it is, but the lack of polish holds it back from being truly great.