SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Cruis’n Blast’ and ‘Rift Adventure’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 27th, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got a couple of decent-sized reviews of some recent releases. Cruis’n Blast zooms past the finish line, and Rift Adventure is here for some indie joy. We then look at the handful of new releases that popped up over the weekend, and finish up with the usual lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s get on with our week!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Cruis’n Blast ($39.99)

You know, I enjoy a good realistic racer. Regular readers may remember I really like rally racing games, and those tend to be very simulation-focused. But sometimes, you just want something a little less grounded in reality. Rise: Race the Future? Okay, not bad, but a little sillier, please. Burnout Paradise? Yeah, that’s a lot of fun. But can we go a little more bananas? Can we turn that realism slider all the way down? Ah, there we go. Let’s reach into the magic game hat and see what comes out. Oh look, it’s Cruis’n Blast, and it’s awesome!

This is ostensibly a port of the 2017 Raw Thrills arcade game of the same name. Indeed, just about everything that was in that game is in this one. All five courses are here to be raced on either alone or in split-screen multiplayer for up to four players. Most of the cars that were in the arcade version are here, as well. Perhaps that might have been enough for some, especially at the game’s lower price. I certainly paid more for less back in the SEGA Saturn days.

But Raw Thrills wisely seemed to understand that a straight arcade port would perhaps be a bit too light for today’s audiences. Cruis’n Blast in particular seems intensely focused on pleasing the types of players that would sit down in an arcade racer in modern times, being more about being accessible and exciting than offering much meat for repeat plays. The driving wasn’t quite on the rails, but it sure can feel like it at times. Fortunately, the Switch version of Cruis’n Blast expands the game in just about every possible way.

There’s a new tour mode with a whole bunch of new tracks. Some of the tracks borrow liberally from each other, and a few are incredibly short, but they’re fun to race on and offer quite the spectacle at times. The game makes no attempts to anchor itself to reality, with giant yetis having a fight around you or massive earthquakes that shatter the road and send you into the underground. Most of the tracks offer alternate paths that may end up as shortcuts or simply offer you a chance for more pick-ups. Money and keys are strewn about the courses, the former used to buy and upgrade new cars and the latter to unlock special hidden rides. The key hunts add extra replay value to the game beyond simply trying to get better times.

The gameplay mechanics have some new additions as well, with the most exciting being the takedowns that seem to have been inspired by Burnout. Cause your opponents to crash and you’ll reap the rewards at the end of the race. Just make sure it doesn’t cost you your position, as you’ll need to rack up the gold trophies if you want to unlock all of the tours and level up your car as quickly as possible. Yes, the cars can also level up. They get experience as you race with them, and each new level allows you to buy some new parts, cosmetics, and so on. Getting golds on all the tours and races, finding and collecting all of the keys, and leveling up all of the rides is a list of tasks you could spend a very long time on if you were inclined to. All of that without even touching multiplayer, which is very fun even if there is no online support.

The racing in Cruis’n Blast truly reflects the game’s arcade roots, focusing on fun over-the-top thrills over any sort of realism. As long as you are okay with that, you’ll likely have as a good of a time with this Switch version as I did. I do wish there was support for online multiplayer as not everyone is going to have willing players in their vicinity, but I guess if a casual player was going to join in on any racing game without Mario in it, it might be this one. It’s colorful, silly, fast, and stylish. Raw Thrills did just about everything it could to make this home version the ultimate way to go Cruis’n, and it certainly does a good job of scratching an itch.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Rift Adventure ($7.99)

It’s always unfortunate when a game’s description gets me imagining a game that reality does not reflect. Rift Adventure talks about teaching players about “tax, tax education, citizenship, and the cause and consequences of their actions". That sounds like a weird hook for a game that looks like a side-scrolling action game, and I was interested in seeing how it went about implementing it. Well, let me explain it. Between stages, you visit a hub town. That hub town has a variety of services, including a healer, a food shop, a blacksmith, and a black market vendor.

That town has a level, from one to five, and depending on its level those services will be better or worse. Every few stages you have to take part in a mini-game where you defend the town from waves of monsters. If you fail the mini-game, the town will drop a level. How do you raise it? By shopping at the food shop and blacksmith. The black market will always stock everything the food shop and blacksmith have at a much lower price, but shopping there won’t raise the town’s level any. That’s it. That’s the tax and citizenship education. Well, okay.

Disappointing as that turned out to be, the actual action gameplay is decent. You play through decent-sized stages that feature lots of platforming and combat, with a few secrets to look for in each of them. The game also times you, so if you’re interested in speed-running that can add an extra element of replay value for you. There are a few bosses to fight, and you’ll ultimately be able to control two different characters. You can gather coins and treasure in each stage, and use that money to buy health-restoring food and new gear. Very perfunctory, but it’s fine.

It’s a decent enough time, and the second character comes in at just the right time to help maintain interest for the rest of the game. It feels very much like the indie action-platformer that it is, but it works well enough. It’s at its best when it’s focusing on its core elements, as its attempts to differentiate itself just don’t quite work. If you’ve got room in your heart and library for another platformer you’ll likely forget about a week after you finish it, Rift Adventure will serve your needs even if it won’t teach you much about taxes.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

New Releases

In My Shadow ($12.00)

When I first looked at the screen shots for this, I thought it was just another first-person adventure game or something. But then the description said it was a puzzle-platformer, so I took a closer look. The action plays out in the shadows on the walls of each of the four rooms of the house. You have to solve the puzzles in each room to help the protagonist Bella come to terms with her past. Basically, by moving things around you will cast shadows on the wall that you can use while platforming. Very similar to Shady Part of Me, if not quite as good. If you enjoyed that game, you may want to check this out simply because there aren’t that many games that use this gimmick.

Beach Volleyball Challenge ($4.49)

This is a very basic volleyball game that allows you to play against a CPU opponent or another player via local multiplayer. It’s an arcade take on the sport, complete with super powers like fireballs, wacky legally distinct costumes like Not-Joker and Not-The-Mask, and little rewards after each match. Feels a lot like something you would download for free on the App Store, play for ten minutes, and then delete. But here you can spend a fiver to do that!


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Well, it’s not a patch on what we saw last Friday, that’s for sure. Broadly speaking, the Mega Man games, Embracelet, and maybe the Pen & Paper bundles strike me as worth considering. Even the outbox list, while being somewhat long, has little that really jumps out to my eyes. Perhaps Rigid Force Redux, as that is a fun game that doesn’t go on sale terribly often. Check the lists yourself, of course. My opinion is just that.

Select New Games on Sale

Lost Ember ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
Haven Park ($8.09 from $8.99 until 9/28)
Embracelet ($2.99 from $11.99 until 9/30)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/2)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/2)
Mega Man Legacy Collection ($9.99 from $14.99 until 10/2)
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/2)
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection ($19.79 from $29.99 until 10/2)
Mega Man 11 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/2)
Mahjong Adventure ($5.19 from $7.99 until 10/3)
Top Run ($3.24 from $4.99 until 10/3)
Knights of Pen & Paper Bundle ($8.99 from $22.49 until 10/3)
Pen & Paper Games Bundle ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/3)
Old School RPG Bundle ($11.99 from $29.99 until 10/3)
Indie Gems Bundle Nonograms ($8.49 from $16.99 until 10/3)

Best Day Ever ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/4)
Cyber Hook ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/8)
Mythic Ocean ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/11)
The Great Perhaps ($3.49 from $9.99 until 10/11)
Postal Redux ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/12)
Jump, Step, Step ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/12)
Circuits ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/12)
Path to Mnemosyne ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/12)
Super Skelemania ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/12)
King Lucas ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/12)
Captain Cat ($3.49 from $6.99 until 10/12)
Spell Casting: Purrfectly Portable ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/12)
.cat Milk ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/15)
Monster Truck Arena ($8.99 from $11.99 until 10/15)
Death Squared ($2.09 from $14.99 until 10/15)

War-Torn Dreams ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/15)
Fluxteria ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/15)
Caretaker ($2.39 from $7.99 until 10/15)
Memory Lane ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)
Memory Lane 2 ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/15)
Don’t Touch This Button! ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)
Ramp Car Jumping ($3.14 from $10.49 until 10/15)
Speed Truck Racing ($4.49 from $9.99 until 10/15)
Cooking Festival ($3.29 from $10.99 until 10/15)
Blastful ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/15)
Press “A" to Party ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/15)
BraveMatch ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)
Dancing Dreamer ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/15)
Jigsaw Abundance ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)

Jigsaw Solace ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/15)
Nerved ($2.69 from $8.99 until 10/15)
Tower of Babel No Mercy ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/15)
Dreaming Canvas ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)
Elli ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/15)
Liberated: Enhanced Edition ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
Werewolf: The Apocalypse HotF ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/16)
Purrs in Heaven ($2.02 from $6.99 until 10/17)
Despotism 3k ($2.19 from $10.99 until 10/17)
Abyss ($2.00 from $2.99 until 10/17)
99Seconds ($2.00 from $2.99 until 10/17)
99Moves ($2.00 from $2.99 until 10/17)
CMS ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/17)
Rally Rock ‘N Racing ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/17)
Horror Pinball Bundle ($2.69 from $8.99 until 10/17)
Touchdown Pinball ($2.01 from $2.99 until 10/17)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 28th

16-Bit Soccer ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
A Short Hike ($5.99 from $7.99 until 9/28)
Aery: A Journey Beyond Time ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Aery: Broken Memories ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/28)
Aery: Calm Mind ($4.49 from $8.99 until 9/28)
Air Bounce: Jump ‘n’ Run ($2.99 from $5.99 until 9/28)
Airfield Mania ($1.99 from $5.99 until 9/28)
Among Pipes ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/28)
AnimaLudo ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Ary & the Secret of Seasons ($9.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
Bear With Me: Lost Robots ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Beautiful Desolation ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Birds and Blocks ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Bridge Constructor: TWD ($5.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Castlestorm II ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Checkers for Kids ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)

City of Brass ($1.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Colorfall ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Croc’s World ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Croc’s World Run ($1.99 from $5.99 until 9/28)
Drawngeon: DoI&P ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Fall Gummies ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/28)
Fantasy Checkers ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/28)
Fantasy Tower Defense ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Gangsta Paradise ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Gordian Rooms: Curious Heritage ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
GRID Autosport ($19.99 from $34.99 until 9/28)
Haven Park ($8.09 from $8.99 until 9/28)
Hyperbrawl Tournament ($12.49 from $24.99 until 9/28)
Jewel Fever 2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Jewel Rotation ($1.99 from $5.99 until 9/28)

Life of Fly ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/28)
Lost Ember ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
Mech Rage ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
My Little Dog Adventure ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Pacific Wings ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Perfect Traffic Simulator ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Remothered: Broken Porcelain ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
Rigid Force Redux ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Royal Tower Defense ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/28)
Skully ($7.49 from $29.99 until 9/28)
Slime-san ($5.99 from $11.99 until 9/28)
Submerged ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Swordbreaker the Game ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/28)

The Coma: Recut ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/28)
The Hong Kong Massacre ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
The Legend of Ninja ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Traffix ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Treachery in Beatdown City ($8.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Unbound: Worlds Apart ($15.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Water Balloon Mania ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Windscape ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Yellow Fins ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Zoo Dentist ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with a review or two, perhaps some news, certainly some new releases, and very likely some sales. I’ve been spending way too much time playing through Castlevania: Circle of the Moon in the Castlevania Advance Collection the last few days. Amazing how much more enjoyable it is on a better quality screen. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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