SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Panorama Cotton’, Plus ‘Lacuna’ and Today’s Other Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 28th, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got a review of a game that hit the eShop a little while back. Panorama Cotton got off to a rough start, but now that it’s all patched up how does it fare? There are also a handful of new releases to look at, including the excellent Lacuna. We finish things up with the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales, with plenty of titles from Arc System Works joining the many discounts currently going on. Let’s get to it!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Panorama Cotton ($14.99)

Back when Panorama Cotton first hit the Nintendo Switch, it launched with some rather unfortunate bugs that made the game very difficult to enjoy. A few weeks later, it was updated to fix all of those problems. I’ve been playing the game quite a bit since, and I figured today was a good day to put together a short review. Panorama Cotton has had something of a Holy Grail status in the retro game community thanks to its scarcity, so having the game more generally available in an official sense is a good thing. Not all rare retro treasures can back up their reputations, however.

Panorama Cotton does live up to its desirable status in at least one regard: its presentation. For a game on the 16-bit Genesis with no extra chips in the cartridge, Panorama Cotton is quite visually impressive. It’s a behind-the-back rail shooter similar to Space Harrier, but it’s so much smoother and more visually rich than SEGA’s own Space Harrier II on the same console. You’ll fly through dazzlingly colorful landscapes, and the game does as good a job of selling a 3D Cotton experience as the system could possibly muster. The gameplay follows in that pattern, giving you a regular shot and an assortment of magic attacks you can throw. It doesn’t work quite as well as the standard Cotton experience, but it’s enjoyable enough.

Being able to play a rarity like Panorama Cotton for a relatively reasonable price is a very enticing offer at first blush. But now that the game is indeed available in a decidedly non-scarce way, it’s just another retro rerelease. It’s a fun one, and the overall package here offers a variety of nice options like save states and video filters, but the price does seem just a little stiff for what you get. Fans of rail shooters and Cotton should get what they want from it, but others may want to find better options for their action kicks.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

Lacuna ($19.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Oh, you thought you were finished with new releases for 2021? The ol’ eShop still has a couple of goodies left in the tank, and this is one of them. Lacuna is an exceptional indie point-and-click adventure game, one that fans of the genre will want to play as soon as possible. You play as CDI agent Neil Conrad, who awakes to news of a murder. Guess who’s on the case? Make your choices and follow a branching story with multiple endings. It’s really the story that is the star of the show here. It’s well-written noir stuff with a lot of interesting twists thanks to its sci-fi setting. Very cool, very compelling.

Drift Drive X ($8.59)

Eagle-eyed readers can probably guess from the unusual price, but this is another release from the folks at SAT-BOX. It’s a cartoony arcade-style racer where you can pick from a variety of vehicles and try to come out on top on each of the game’s tracks. Up to four players can get in on the racing fun via local multiplayer. The gameplay leans heavily on drifting, with successful drifts charging up boosts. I’m sure this will be as good as SAT-BOX’s other efforts, like the Desktop sports series. So… good enough, probably.

Sky Games ($14.99)

Need a new party game for the end of year festivities? Sky Games would like to help you with that. It’s a competitive local multiplayer game for up to four players, though there is a single player mode if you need to pass some time by yourself. The idea seems to be that you battle each other to grab the balloons around the stage so that you can make your getaway first. There are 20 different maps to play on, though their exact layouts appear to be procedurally-generated. The usual features are here, like character customization and alternate modes of play. This one sort of dropped out of nowhere, so I can’t find many impressions of it yet and haven’t played it myself. Looks promising, at least.

Superpanda ($3.99)

Here’s Pix Arts with another unimpressive “effort". The panda runs, jumps, shoots, and collects coins. There are thirty-six levels spread across three worlds. This seems to be a somewhat modified version of the Panda Adventure template from the Unity Asset Store, which would have cost Pix Arts about $110. They’ll have to sell at least thirty copies to turn a profit. I suspect they will.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Today’s list isn’t as big as what we’ve seen in the last few days, if only because there really isn’t much left to discount. Still, we’ve got some new sales from Arc System Works that may be of interest to those looking to punch some guys. There isn’t too much to worry about in the outbox, but if you’re looking to score some cheap thrills from QUByte then you may want to give it a look anyway.

Select New Games on Sale

Under Leaves ($1.99 from $12.99 until 1/3)
Urban Flow ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/3)
Shadow Gangs ($17.99 from $23.99 until 1/11)
Putt-Putt Travels Through Time ($11.99 from $14.99 until 1/11)
Freddi Fish 3: TCotSCS ($11.99 from $14.99 until 1/11)
Treasures of the Aegean ($14.99 from $19.99 until 1/14)
Sky Games ($9.99 from $14.99 until 1/17)
dweeMIXED: Thwee Pack ($16.99 from $19.99 until 1/17)
Dark Arcana: The Carnival ($2.09 from $14.99 until 1/17)
Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden ($2.09 from $14.99 until 1/17)
Kill la Kill -IF ($10.00 from $19.99 until 1/17)
Guilty Gear ($6.90 from $9.99 until 1/17)
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core+ R ($9.80 from $14.99 until 1/17)
Blazblue Cross Tag Battle ($5.00 from $19.99 until 1/17)
Blazblue Centralfiction SE ($19.50 from $49.99 until 1/17)

Chaos Code New Sign of Catastrophe ($6.70 from $9.99 until 1/17)
The Missing: JJ Macfield ($7.50 from $29.99 until 1/17)
Alternate Jake Hunter Daedalus ($4.80 from $39.99 until 1/17)
Worldend Syndrome ($10.00 from $39.99 until 1/17)
Inferno Climber: Reborn ($4.75 from $13.99 until 1/17)
Damascus Gear Operation Osaka ($2.40 from $19.99 until 1/17)
Of Mice & Sand Revised ($6.69 from $9.99 until 1/17)
Code Shifter ($4.50 from $14.99 until 1/17)
Double Dragon & Kunio-kun RB Bundle ($10.00 from $39.99 until 1/17)
Renegade ($3.50 from $4.99 until 1/17)
River City Ransom ($3.50 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Super Dodge Ball ($3.50 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Crash’n the Boys SC ($3.50 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Double Dragon ($3.50 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Double Dragon II: The Revenge ($3.50 from $4.99 until 1/17)

Double Dragon III ($3.50 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Double Dragon 4 ($3.50 from $6.99 until 1/17)
River City Melee Mach!! ($4.80 from $13.99 until 1/17)
Stay Cool, Kobayashi-San! ($5.60 from $13.99 until 1/17)
Family Tennis SP ($4.20 from $6.99 until 1/17)
Multi Quiz ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/17)
Crowdy Farm Puzzle ($1.99 from $5.99 until 1/17)
Castaway Paradise ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/17)
Zombo Buster Advance ($2.39 from $5.99 until 1/17)
Solitaire TriPeaks Flowers ($1.99 from $5.99 until 1/17)
Spider Solitaire ($1.99 from $8.99 until 1/17)
Drive Drift X ($5.69 from $8.59 until 1/17)
Overlanders ($1.99 from $24.99 until 1/17)
Miniature: The Story Puzzle ($1.99 from $3.99 until 1/17)
Just Black Jack ($1.99 from $2.99 until 1/17)

History 2048 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Harvest Life ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/17)
Pixel Action Heroes ($3.99 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Retro Game Pack ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Super Loop Drive ($1.99 form $3.99 until 1/17)
The Forgotten Land ($2.99 from $14.99 until 1/17)
Color Zen Kids ($3.19 from $3.99 until 1/17)
Cube Life: Island Survival ($11.99 from $14.99 until 1/17)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 29th

2in1 Application Driver & Sniper ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/29)
Aery Little Bird Adventure ($3.49 from $6.99 until 12/29)
Aery Sky Castle ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/29)
Arcade Fuzz ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
ASMR Journey: Jigsaw Puzzle ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Ball laB ($3.99 from $4.99 until 12/29)
Chess Knights: Shinobi ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Daylife in Japan: Pixel Jigsaw Puzzle ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Flying Hero X ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/29)
FUZE4 Nintendo Switch ($4.99 from $19.99 until 12/29)
Kickerinho World ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/29)
Life of Fly 2 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/29)
Missing Features: 2D ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae ($7.14 from $11.90 until 12/29)
Pony World 3 ($3.49 from $6.99 until 12/29)

Puzzle Car ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Puzzletronics ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Red Ronin ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/29)
Retro Tanks ($2.99 from $5.99 until 12/29)
Savage Halloween ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/29)
Space Elite Force ($1.99 from $2.99 until 12/29)
Spooky Chase ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/29)
Super Toy Cars 2 ($2.99 from $11.99 until 12/29)
Swarmriders ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Tanky Tanks ($2.99 from $5.99 until 12/29)
Techno Tanks ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/29)
UBERMOSH:BLACK ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Underland ($1.99 from $7.99 until 12/29)
Vasara Collection ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/29)
War Solution: Casual Math Game ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/29)
Zumba Aqua ($2.39 from $2.99 until 12/29)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with what appears to be a very light day for the Switch. Probably some more sales, at least one new release, and we’ll see what else I can find. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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