SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Metro Quester’ and ‘Terra Nil’, Plus Today’s New Releases and Sales

SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Metro Quester’ and ‘Terra Nil’, Plus Today’s New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 8th, 2024. In today’s article, we start things off with a couple of reviews for you. Kemco’s Metro Quester and Devolver Digital’s Terra Nil both get their time in the sun to shine, but will they glitter or gloom? After that, we have a few new releases to look at. Nothing too fancy, but not full-on Bin Bunch either. We then finish things up in the usual manner, with the usual lists of new and expiring sales for you to have a gander at. Let’s get to work!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Metro Quester ($19.99)

Yes, it’s another KEMCO release and that means we know exactly what to expect… or do we? Metro Quester is pretty different from the publisher’s usual fare, and I feel like KEMCO has a pretty good track record on those odd occasions when it ventures away from its bread and butter. Metro Quester keeps it going with a pleasingly old-school take on the dungeon-crawling RPG. The closest cousin to it I can think on the Switch is Square Enix’s Dungeon Encounters. The apocalypse has come and gone, and your party is foraging in the ruins of what remains. You need to explore the dungeon, battle enemies, salvage what you can, and always keep your eyes open for your next meal.

This game isn’t going to be for everyone, as it can be rather tricky to wrap your head around. The combat system is turn-based but you have to be very careful as almost any battle can go pear-shaped quickly. Each of the fighters on your team can take multiple actions per turn, and you’ll have to decide which ones are going to help you stay alive through the next round of the enemy’s barrage. There are eight different character classes, and each has its own useful skills to offer your party. It works out a lot like Wizardry in practice or, if you need a more modern reference point, Etrian Odyssey. The exploration isn’t done from a first-person perspective, though. Instead you’ll view things from a top-down view, similar to Dragon Slayer.

The game design was handled by a tabletop RPG designer, and there are certainly plenty of elements that give that away. Your daily actions are limited by how much purification points you have. Pretty much everything you do will consume some, and once you run out you’ll be forced to go back to your camp and end the day. After a certain number of days have passed, your party will need to eat some food. This means that at a bare minimum you need to make sure you find enough food by then. Of course, there are other things you’ll be wanting to get done, most importantly pushing your way further into the dungeon to find the three monsters you need to kill. There is no town to go back to or anything like that, and the dungeon itself consists of but a single massive floor. The only refuge is your camp, which can be moved as you reach certain points.

As you make your way deeper into the game, you’ll meet new characters who might bring some new classes and skills into your fold. You’ll also unlock new equipment and upgrade your existing stuff, which goes hand in hand with the progress of your characters and their blossoming sets of useful abilities. It can take a little while to get the hang of how the game works, but once you do there’s a very satisfying sense of progress to the whole affair. You have to be into that kind of mechanical progress to get the most out of the game, mind you. There is virtually no story here to speak of beyond the premise. While the adventure wraps up in a reasonable twenty or so hours, a New Game+ provides incentive to go back in and find more of the characters and weapons you missed on your first run through.

Metro Quester doesn’t do a great job of teaching the player how its various systems work, and it can be utterly merciless at times. Those who have the patience to get through the process of learning the game and can handle the occasional crushing setback will find a fairly unique and highly enjoyable RPG experience here. You’ll have to make your own story for the most part, but the game does a nice job of providing plenty of fodder for those with the imaginations to do that. I went back and forth on this game, particularly in those early hours, but in the end I have to say that I really dig it.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Terra Nil ($24.99)

Gosh, if only it were this easy. Terra Nil is a very cool simulation game where your goal is to take dead areas and bring nature back to them. You bring back the greenery by purifying the soil, then bring back the water, generate some biodiversity in the plant life, and finally try to reintroduce various types of animals. Finally, you remove all evidence of your presence and head off to the next area in need. While this sounds simple as a summary, making it happen can sometimes be anything but. If I can give starting players any bit of advice, it’s that to remember you are going to need to remove everything artificial you place down, and the only way to finally get it all happens by waterways. Plan ahead.

Once you have the hang of things, Terra Nil can be positively relaxing to play. I think the theme itself helps a lot. Who doesn’t feel good seeing a place come alive with gorgeous green vegetation, flowing blue water, colorful flowers, and a bunch of animals? It’s a very methodical game at its core too, so you more or less just have to do the same thing on each map. The layout of that map is what determines the more granular challenges within your plan, but it’s really easy to zone out with. You can play on one of three modes depending on how carefree you want the experience to be, but even at its most challenging this generally isn’t a very stressful affair.

As for the port to the Switch, I think the interface has adapted fairly well. It’s easier to use than a lot of builders on the platform, at least. Unfortunately, and likely of no surprise to anyone, there are a lot of performance issues here. It gets worse the more complicated the map gets, with some really nasty framerate dips despite the visuals being noticeably less detailed and crisp than other versions. I’ve also run into a few crashes, some of which required me to replay a great deal of progress. Not ideal.

I suppose it says something for Terra Nil that I kept playing through those losses of progress, though. I love the vibe, I think the premise and basic loop is clever, and while I wouldn’t call it my favorite builder on the platform I think it is a good one. The performance issues are more or less par for the course on Switch with this genre, but that doesn’t make them any more welcome. I think if you have the option to play it elsewhere then you might want to do that, but this Switch port is good enough to do the job if you don’t.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

Broadsword: Warlord Edition ($29.99)

This is a turn-based strategy game that offers support for two players via local multiplayer. Amass your army and try to defeat your opponent before they do the same to you. It plays on a hex grid, so you know it has its proper credentials and everything. The only real snag is that price, which feels a touch high to me. But if you like the look of it, don’t let me stop you.

Isolated ($9.99)

An extremely simple game about trying to survive on a desert island. Fish, cook, and rest to manage your character’s needs, and try not to get eaten by any wild marine life. As dining goes, this is far from the fanciest.

The Bin Bunch

Crash Metal – Drift Racing Car Driving Simulator – Premium Edition ($9.99)


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Those post-holiday sale blues are in full effect, I see. I present the lists such as they are. Not much exciting in the inbox beyond the first post-launch sale for Spirittea, and the outbox only has a few real treats in it. Have a look through those lists yourselves and see if anything grabs you.

Select New Sales

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle ($13.99 from $39.99 until 1/16)
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Gold ($20.99 from $59.99 until 1/16)
Pestersim ($14.39 from $23.99 until 1/18)
Wall World ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/19)
Erogods: Olympus ($1.99 from $7.30 until 1/19)
Toki Tori ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/25)
Toki Tori 2+ ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/25)
Swords & Soldiers ($1.99 from $7.49 until 1/25)
RIVE: Ultimate Edition ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/25)
Swap This! ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/25)
Ein’s Sword ($2.00 from $3.00 until 1/25)
Train Traffic Manager ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/26)
Viviette ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/26)
Spirittea ($16.99 from $19.99 until 1/27)
Isolated ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/27)
Golf With Your Friends: Ultimate Edition ($38.49 from $54.99 until 1/28)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, January 9th

Adventure Word: Around the World ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Alive Paint ($3.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Alpha Particle ($6.99 from $9.99 until 1/9)
ANIMUS: Revenant ($4.13 from $22.99 until 1/9)
Asterix & Obelix Slap Them All 2 ($17.49 from $24.99 until 1/9)
Ball laB II ($3.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Betomis ($3.49 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Blacksad: Under the Skin ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/9)
Bunker Life ($8.24 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Casual Challenge Players’ Club ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Clumsy Rush: Ultimate Guys ($1.99 from $6.99 until 1/9)
Color Pals ($2.99 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Counter Crossline: Crime War ($2.69 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Counter Delta 2: Eastern Crisis ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Counter Delta: The Bullet Rain ($3.14 from $14.99 until 1/9)

Counter Recon 2: The New War ($5.24 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Counter Recon: The First Mission ($2.69 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Crime Busters: Strike Area ($5.24 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Dead Rain: New Zombie Virus ($3.84 from $10.99 until 1/9)
Dino Ranch: Ride to the Rescue ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/9)
Dungeon Limbus ($2.69 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Earthlock ($2.99 from $29.90 until 1/9)
Garden Buddies ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Haunted Zombie School ($3.14 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Haunted Zombie Slaughter ($5.24 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Haunted Zombie Slaughter 2 ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Hercule Poirot: The London Case ($19.99 from $39.99 until 1/9)
Little Devil: Foster Mayhem ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Magic Exposure: Yuri Visual Novel ($2.99 from $4.99 until 1/9)
Marsupilami: Hoobadventure ($5.99 from $29.99 until 1/9)

Modern War: Tank Battle ($3.14 from $14.99 until 1/9)
My Universe: Green Adv. Farmer’s Friends ($9.99 from $24.99 until 1/9)
Noob: The Factionless ($27.99 from $39.99 until 1/9)
Otoko Cross: Mahjong Solitaire ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/9)
Running Fable ($3.99 from $7.99 until 1/9)
Shadows Over Loathing ($16.10 from $23.00 until 1/9)
Shape Suitable ($1.99 from $8.99 until 1/9)
Sprout Valley ($4.99 from $17.99 until 1/9)
The Sisters 2: Road to Fame ($26.99 from $29.99 until 1/9)
West of Loathing ($4.40 from $11.00 until 1/9)
World Class Champion Soccer ($2.30 from $10.99 until 1/9)
World War: Combat Guardian ($8.24 from $14.99 until 1/9)
World War: D-Day Part One ($12.74 from $14.99 until 1/9)
World War: Prologue ($8.24 from $14.99 until 1/9)
World War: Tank Battle ($3.14 from $14.99 until 1/9)
Xiaomei & the Flame Dragon’s Fist ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/9)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more reviews, more sales, and perhaps some news. I have to swing by the hospital to get something checked, but I’m hoping it doesn’t take too long. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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