The Latest

New Releases: April 8th-14th, 2021

From Astro Aqua Kitty, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, ISLAND, Poison Control, and Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire, it’s a bountiful week for Switch owners. But PlayStation 4 and 5 owners aren’t completely out of luck, the latter two titles are headed to Sony’s marketplace alongside Cozy Grove, a game about camping on a haunted, ever-changing island.

Header art: ISLAND, Switch

PlayStation 4
Cozy Grove (digital, $13.49)
Poison Control (digital, 39.99)
Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire (digital, $4.79)
What the Dub?! (digital, $7.99)

Switch
.cat (digital, $9.99)
Always Sometimes Monsters (digital, $7.99)
Astro Aqua Kitty (digital, $14.99)
Candy Match Kiddies (digital, 3.99)
Cannon Brawl (digital, 9.99)
Cozy Grove (digital, $13.49)
Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire (digital, $4.79)
DON’T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale (digital, $8.49)
Graviter (digital, $7.99)
Gravity Heroes (digital, $14.99)
Hike (digital, 4.99)
ISLAND (digital, $59.99)
Isolomus (digital, 1.99)
Knight Squad 2 (digital, 11.99)
Legends of Talia: Arcadia (digital, $2.99)
Luckslinger (digital, $7.99)
Pixel Game Maker Series Osyaberi! Horijyo! Holin Slash (digital, $11.99)
Poison Control (digital, 39.99)
Potion Party (digital, $8.49)
Ravensword: Shadowlands (digital, $6.99)
ReactorX (digital, 4.99)
Sakura In Gameland (digital, $9.99)
Say No! More (digital, $13.49)
Skyland: Heart of the Mountain (digital, $14.99)
Super Fowlst 2 (digital, $4.99)
The House in Fata Morgana: Dreams of the Revenants Edition (digital, $39.99)
The Mysterious Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (digital, $9.99)
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV (digital, $59.99)
Toree 3D (digital, $0.99)
What the Dub?! (digital, $7.99)
Yoko & Yuki: Dr. Rat’s Revenge (digital, $4.99)

Xbox One
Cozy Grove (digital, $13.49)
Knight Squad 2 (digital, 11.99)
Luckslinger (digital, $7.99)
What the Dub?! (digital, $7.99)
Yoko & Yuki: Dr. Rat’s Revenge (digital, $4.99)

PC
Cozy Groove ($13.49)
Girls in Glasses ($TBA)
Knight Squad 2 (11.99)
Nigate Tale ($TBA)
Super Retro Fighter ($TBA)
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV ($59.99)
Before Your Eyes ($9.99)

Rob’s Pick: From Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender, Iron Crypticle to Rock Boshers DX, Tikipod’s Dugan Jackson has consistently created some of the best retro-style experiences around. These are the games I find myself habitually returning to when I don’t have the time to revisit a 40-hour RPG. This week’s release of Astro Aqua Kitty builds a massive structure on the foundations of the original Aqua Kitty. Yes, there’s still the Defender-like play where you’ll gun down screens of hostile foes. Innovation arrives with the injection of exploration, as well as a myriad of different weapons and ship augmentations to collect. In theory, it’s not far removed from a Metroidvania, except the action shifts from platforming to a vast subaquatic map. Most importantly, Jackson really nailed the sense of balance, with everything from different characters, loot drops, to enemy respawns feeling just right.

Additionally, I have to acknowledge Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire. I’ve been playing solitaire-style mahjong since Activision (!) released Shanghai in the late eighties. Back then, it was hard to read the titles given the resolution of the Commodore 64. But pick up Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire and you won’t face that issue. Now, title matching is accompanied by models that range from voluptuous moms, office ladies, and pop idols, who all live up to the assertion made by the title. It’s got a combo and scoring system, so it’s definitely one of the better solitaire-style mahjong efforts out there. I do wish there was a josei version for equal-opportunity ogling, though.

Ryan’s Pick: STGs and I share a long and tumultuous relationship that dates back to the Sega Genesis era. I recall mentioning one of my favorite STGs Truxton in the past here in my picks here, and if I remember correctly I was using that game’s name in vain. STGs that spawn enemies from behind at exactly halfway on the screen are pure evil. That’s what makes these games so fun though, is that there is some memorization required in order to do slightly better each time in order to progress. Super Retro Fighter has my interest this week because I feel like it looks like a really polished and difficult STG. I just like difficult games, especially when the developers come right out and say that it’s hard. The levels and enemies seem pretty gruesome when it comes to the sheer amount of bullets on screen, so if you are a masochistic gamer then this is your game. Seeing that many things being sprayed at you at once is unnerving, but much like real life, you kind of learn to navigate your problems as you are going through them.

“Opposed to space violence?” I ask while lifting my glasses to the bridge of my nose, revealing a blinding glare off my lenses. Then may I suggest Girls in Glasses. True to its name, this VN gal game features just that. At first glance it does not seem that this one may be as fan-servicey as some other VNs I have seen debut on Steam, but instead it feels like there is ever so slightly a bit more class and sophistication involved as you attempt to trigger the correct flags with each of the characters’ routes. Is it because of the glasses? Have I watched way too much Japanese animation to accept this trope as canon? The game comes fully voiced save for the main character, so that fact is fairly reassuring as a VN fan that you should be treated to a fairly high-quality product. This particular game seems to feature a bunch of backgrounds with fully bloomed cherry trees, and with spring upon us I can’t think of better timing than to try this one out.

Matt S’ pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): Having not played The House in Fata Morgana before, I’m looking forward to that on Nintendo Switch this week. The art. It’s so pretty, what with its richly evocative gothic tones and stuff. It’s also one of those visual novels that has an impeccable reputation across just about every group that play these games, and that’s always a good sign.

For something a little more… gamey… I didn’t realise that Ravensword: Shadowlands was due for a Switch release, but while I don’t think it’s a brilliant game by any means, as a budget take on the Elder Scrolls aesthetics and structures I actually didn’t mind it on mobile devices. It’s easy-playing action RPG stuff with a large sense of scale, and I wouldn’t mind having that sitting among my Switch digital library.

Finally, I do have to acknowledge that after last week being disappointed in the lack of waifu and fan service, this week brings us Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire, and that game has copious amounts of both. It’s a tight, easy playing solitaire mahjong experience, with increasingly-revealing costumes your reward for playing well. There’s no reason for that element to be there, but then there also doesn’t need to be a reason for it to be a welcome addition. I could have done with a bit more balance in the character designs – there’s oppai and then there’s this, and I prefer my fan service to be a bit more… subtle – but it’s a great take on a classic gameplay formula either way.

Matt C’s pick (editor, Shindig): It’s weird how a Switch release can get me to finally play a game I’ve had sitting unplayed in my Steam library for years, despite knowing that it’s exactly my kind of thing and getting nothing but the highest praise from everyone who’s played it. Which makes The House in Fata Morgana: Dreams of the Revenants Edition my pick for the week: a work of Gothic fiction that, by most accounts, is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Delving into the memories of an old mansion and the people who lived there, The House in Fata Morgana is a nuanced exploration of love, discrimination, redemption, and most of all, human nature. Coupled with beautiful art that deliberately moves away from the anime style typical of visual novels in favour of something more impressionistic, and a haunting soundtrack, it’s a game poised to bury itself deep in your heart and never let go.

I’m also curious about Poison Control, even though I didn’t really like Penny-Punching Princess or The Princess Guide. It’s an action RPG with a dash of third-person shooter and even a Splatoon-esque system of clearing up poison (so you can shoot it at enemies, naturally), which sounds like an odd mix that could just work. But most of all, it’s the art style that’s really got my attention: street art, anime, surreal hellscapes, and a gothic touch all combine to create something that looks entirely unique.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

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