Beyond’ & ‘Epyx Collection’, Plus New Releases and Sales – TouchArcade

By admin Apr30,2024

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 30th, 2024. In today’s article, we’ve got a few reviews for you to enjoy. Our pal Mikhail crashes the door with his thoughts on Reigns: Beyond and Let’s! Revolution!, and I’ve got a fairly hefty look at The Epyx Collection: Handheld. After that, we’ve got a handful of new releases to take a peek at, and they’re not a bad lot all up. Finally, we bring things to a close for April with lists of new and expiring sales for the day. Let’s put this month to bed!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Reigns: Beyond ($4.99)

I feel like at this point you either love or hate Nerial’s Reigns series. Over the years, we’ve seen it go through sequels, collaborations, different eras, and more, but Nerial also took the series to space for its Apple Arcade game in Reigns: Beyond. A few years after hitting Apple Arcade, Devolver Digital and Nerial brought Reigns: Beyond to Switch and Steam, and it is another essential entry in the series.

What set Reigns: Beyond apart when it hit Apple Arcade was its sci-fi setting back then, and it still holds up brilliantly now on a replay as you set off to become famous as a rock band recruiting while playing gigs across the galaxy. I’ve always loved how Nerial elegantly brings the theme of the game to the interface and menu elements in addition to the card art itself, and Reigns: Beyond might be the biggest jump for me.

On Switch, Reigns: Beyond just like prior games, has touch support and decent rumble. It looks and runs as it should, and there really isn’t anything to complain about with the port. I always wanted to buy Reigns: Beyond to own instead of only having access to it via Apple Arcade, and I’ve done just that with this new release.

I love just about every Reigns game, but Reigns: Beyond is easily one of the best in the series, and a super strong game on its own. I still think the original game is the best entry point, but Reigns: Beyond is fantastic and absolutely worth the asking price on Switch. If you dislike the Reigns games, this won’t do anything to change your mind though. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

Let’s! Revolution! ($19.99)

Let’s! Revolution! (henceforth Let’s Revolution) is a game I had my eye on since a friend told me it was perfect for Steam Deck. I never got around to playing it back when it hit PC last year, but the new Switch port was the perfect chance to finally give it a go. I’ve been playing Let’s Revolution on both Switch and Steam Deck over the last few weeks, and it is excellent almost across the board.

Before looking into the gameplay, Let’s Revolution‘s aesthetic grabbed me from the start. It is gorgeous with its colorful look, slick animation work, and elegant interface. This is all accompanied by a great soundtrack that I’ve been listening to while working lately. But the real draw of Let’s Revolution is the gameplay.

Let’s Revolution is basically Minesweeper meets roguelite puzzles with turn-based combat. That blend itself is complex, but the progression and classes in the game truly elevate Let’s Revolution to something special. There is some RNG involved of course, and I wouldn’t have it any other way despite how annoying it has gotten in a few situations. That might be an issue for some players, but I’m used to it by now.

I had access to Let’s Revolution on both Steam and Switch. I played it on my OLED Switch and Steam Deck and have no complaints with the visuals or performance on either handheld. It is slick, smooth, and looks excellent across the board with good use of rumble on Switch. The only thing I’d like to see in potential future updates is touch support on Switch.

Having finally played Let’s Revolution thanks to the new console ports, I definitely regret not jumping into it last year on PC. It is an amazing blend of Minesweeper and roguelites with gorgeous visuals, slick animations, and a great soundtrack. Aside from some issues that arise due to RNG and the lack of touchscreen support on Switch, I have no complaints with Let’s Revolution. It is an easy recommendation on both Switch and Steam Deck. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

The Epyx Collection: Handheld ($11.99)

With how much the Game Boy dominated the first big handheld war, it can sometimes be easy to forget about the competition. SEGA gives us the odd kick to help us remember the Game Gear, but there was another: Atari’s Lynx. The most powerful of the three handheld consoles, it had the misfortune of being Atari’s console at a time where that was a virtual guarantee of last place. Its power had a heavy cost, both in price and battery usage, and Atari just wasn’t in a place to offer it the software support it needed to compete with Nintendo. Realistically speaking, it never had a chance.

But you know, Atari probably could have made it easier on itself. Its owner at the time was Jack Tramiel, a sharp businessman who was known for his tenacious leadership style and… let’s say frugal nature. As was the case with all of the consoles released by Atari during Tramiel’s tenure, the Lynx was not developed by Atari itself. Rather, it was the work of Epyx, a company best known for its microcomputer hits like Impossible Mission and Summer Games. Two of the designers of the Amiga computer had been asked by a former colleague, now at Epyx, to develop a handheld. By the time it was ready, Epyx’s fortunes had made a significant turn for the worse.

The handheld, called the Handy, was shopped around to various companies in hopes of securing a partner. After being turned down by the likes of Nintendo and SEGA, Epyx finally found a potential ray of hope with Atari. A deal was struck wherein Atari would take over production of the console, which it renamed the Lynx, while Epyx would support it with games. It’s what Epyx was good at, after all. It whipped up some games for the upcoming launch of the system, but in an incredibly self-owning move (something Atari proved to be a dab hand at) Atari played some nasty hardball with Epyx, depriving the company of the funds it desperately needed to stay in business. Epyx folded before the Lynx even launched, and Atari now owned the whole shebang. Unfortunately, it now had to support the whole thing more or less on its own. Well, at least it had that first blast of titles from Epyx?

An aggravating story, one of many from the history of Atari. It gets even more frustrating when you spend some time with the Lynx’s library of software. It’s better than you might expect, even if it wasn’t really what the console needed at the time. But those initial Epyx games demonstrate very well that it was familiar with the console on a more intimate level than anyone else, flexing the tech while showing off the publisher’s experience in creating quirky, enjoyable games. One can only wonder what we would have seen from Epyx had it continued to work on the console over the span of its life. Well, such is the business. Okay, that’s the preamble. Let’s get to the review.

As with many bankrupt companies, Epyx has seen its IP fall into the hands of a company that doesn’t do much more than license said IP out to interested parties. Indeed, the set of games we’re looking at here saw release, along with two other games, on the Evercade console a few years ago. It’s here on the Switch courtesy of Pixel Games UK and Imagine Software, and they’ve done a pretty good job of the nuts and bolts. The emulation quality here is good, and you get the important features like save states, screen filters, and rewind. We’ve also got 3D models of the boxes and manuals here, albeit carefully scrubbed to remove any and all mentions of Atari, the Lynx, and other marks not associated with Epyx. It would be nice if there was some historical context here, but for the price it’s hard to be too upset with what we’ve been given.

How about those games, though? You get six of them here, which makes up two-thirds of the games Epyx developed for the Lynx and roughly 8% of the total commercial library of the platform. Another Epyx game, Chip’s Challenge, was already released separately. The other two games use IP belonging to WB Games, who seem to have forgotten they own any video games that predate the year 2000. So realistically, these are the only six we could have gotten. The games included here are: Blue Lightning, California Games, Electrocop, Gates of Zendocon, Todd’s Adventures in Slime World, and Zarlor Mercenary. If you remember the Lynx but didn’t own one, chances are these are some of the titles you most strongly associate with the system.

Blue Lightning is a real tech showcase, demonstrating that Lynx could do a better take on After Burner than SEGA’s own 16-bit console apparently could. The game itself has a much more relaxed pace than SEGA’s arcade hit, and despite how good it looks and sounds for its era it’s a fairly average game. California Games was the pack-in for the system and features four extreme sports events. Your mileage will vary with each of these, but the surfing and footbag minigames are as satisfying as ever. Electrocop is an early take on a roguelite action game and is another hardware flex. Those who are patient with it will find it more rewarding than it initially seems. Probably the clunkiest of the lot here, however.

Gates of Zendocon is a horizontal shooter, and it’s a rather unorthodox one. Don’t come into it expecting something conventional and you might find a lot to like. Todd’s Adventures in Slime World isn’t the game you might think it is, but there’s a certain pleasure in its methodical action-adventure gameplay. It’s a shame we don’t have multiplayer support in this collection, because this game would really benefit from that feature being available. Zarlor Mercenary is a vertical shooter that I’ve never really gotten on well with. It’s another unusual take on its genre, and you might like it better than I do. All up, not a bad bunch of games when you consider they work out to about two bucks each.

The Epyx Collection: Handheld is a really good starter set for those looking to investigate the Atari Lynx library. I’d say this is a better and more iconic selection than the Lynx games included in Atari 50, even. While you won’t get any interesting historical information here, the included quality-of-life features, along with extras like manual and box scans, make this a solid effort on the whole. The games themselves run the gamut from interesting experiments to downright compelling experiences. More than worth digging into, in my opinion.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Tales from Candleforth ($11.99)

Add another point-and-click style adventure game to the Switch’s rather hefty roster. A girl named Sarah takes over the family apothecary after her grandmother goes missing, and soon discovers that not everything is what she believed it to be. With hints that her grandmother might still be alive, Sarah finds herself neck-deep in her family’s secrets. Some of those secrets might be very dangerous indeed, but she’ll have to confront them all the same.

The Fall of Elena Temple ($2.99)

We’ve seen her adventures, and we’ve seen her definitive adventures, but now we must bear witness to the fall of Elena Temple. No, literally. This is a puzzle-action game where you need to collect all of the coins in each of the twenty rooms, but there’s one problem: gravity. Luckily, you have a solution: time mischief. You can undo a set number of falls in each room, and when you do the coins you grabbed will remain collected. By this means, you must snatch up all of those coins littered about. Defy the laws of the universe, Elena. See where it gets you.

Before the Green Moon ($11.99)

One of those Harvest Moon-inspired slow life farming sims, this one with a slight sci-fi twist to it. Reviews over on Steam are quite positive, with a lot of praise going to how the small cast of characters is developed over the course of the game. The real question mark at this point is how well the Switch port has been handled, and that’s something I don’t yet have an answer for. Let’s hope it’s a smooth one so we can add another good farming sim game to the list.

Space Routine ($4.99)

A life simulation about a space family doing space things. For five dollars I wouldn’t want to get my hopes up too high, but this developer’s previous game was a lot of fun and I’m hoping this one pans out the same way. You’ll have to manage each member of the family’s sometimes routine, sometimes surreal daily life. Could be fun, but I haven’t had the chance to try it yet so I can’t say with any certainty at this point.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

If you’re in the market for catgirls, today’s inbox will be of interest to you. The whole Nekopara “saga” for twelve bucks. Twelve bucks and your sense of shame, you lewd creature. Aside from that… well, you can have a look on your own. Not much in the outbox, unless you want to stock up on Team17 games during their once-per-month line-wide sale.

Select New Sales

Digimon Survive ($17.99 from $59.99 until 5/13)
Wonder Boy Returns Remix ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Nekopara Vol 1 ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Nekopara Vol 2 ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Nekopara Vol 3 ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Nekopara Vol 4 ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
QV ($4.49 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Hotel Sowls ($2.39 from $7.99 until 5/13)
MazM: Jekyll and Hyde ($4.49 from $14.99 until 5/13)
MazM: Pechka ($11.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
MazM: Phantom of the Opera ($4.49 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Motesolo: No Girlfriend Since Birth ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/13)
Zombie Hunter: D-Day ($2.24 from $8.99 until 5/13)
Smilemo ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/13)

Savior of the Abyss ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/13)
Shutter Nyan! Enhanced Edition ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/13)
My Divorce Story ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Super Nanaru ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/13)
HammerHelm ($8.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Who is Zombie ($2.69 from $8.99 until 5/13)
Miracle Snack Shop ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/13)
Mortal Kombat 1 ($34.99 from $69.99 until 5/20)
Batman: Arkham Trilogy ($35.99 from $59.99 until 5/20)
Negligee ($6.69 from $9.99 until 5/20)
Roomie Romance ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/20)
Super Dungeon Maker ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/20)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, May 1st

9 Years of Shadows ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Amber City ($5.39 from $8.99 until 5/1)
Braveland Trilogy ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/1)
Bravery and Greed ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
CLOSER ($4.19 from $5.99 until 5/1)
Dreamscaper ($6.24 from $24.99 until 5/1)
Guild of Dungeoneering UE ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Jetboard Joust ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/1)
Mars Base ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Neon Blight ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Ruin Raiders ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)

Shalnor Legends 2: ToT ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/1)
Stolen Realm ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Terracotta ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
The Knight Witch ($6.79 from $19.99 until 5/1)
The Past Within ($1.99 from $5.99 until 5/1)
The Serpent Rogue ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
To The Rescue! ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
TOEM ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Worms WMD ($5.99 from $29.99 until 5/1)
Yoku’s Island Express ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Yooka-Laylee & the Impossible Lair ($2.99 from $29.99 until 5/1)

That’s all for today and this month, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the usual Wednesday stuff. More new releases, more sales, maybe a review or two, and whatever big news rolls in. I’m a bit sleepy so I’ll forgo the usual slice of life comment for today. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

By admin

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