Reviews Featuring ‘Rune Factory 5’ and ‘Dark Deity’, Plus Today’s Releases and Sales – TouchArcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 28th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a few reviews to check out. Rune Factory 5, Dark Deity, Royal Frontier, and Mini Words Collection all get put in the chair of judgement for their respective evaluations. There’s just one new release to look at, and look we do before heading into the usual lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s get started!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Rune Factory 5 ($59.99)

It’s a wonderful thing that Rune Factory 5 exists. After series creator Neverland went kaput in 2013, it seemed that Rune Factory 4 would be the last installment. While its unusual blend of farming and action-RPG isn’t as rare as it once was, there is a particular flavor to Rune Factory that gives it value beyond its mere concept. But it has been a long while since Rune Factory 4, and expectations for handheld games in 2022 are a lot different than they were in 2012. With Rune Factory 5, series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto and his team have to not only shake off whatever rust has accumulated but also take a big step forward in terms of production values while they are at it.

I wish I could say that they’ve pulled it off in spectacular fashion, but that isn’t the reality. Rune Factory 5 is exactly as messy as you would expect from a game borne of its circumstances. The Rune Factory core is here and works as well as it ever has, albeit without quite as much meat on its bones as Rune Factory 4 Special has. Relative to the previous game, the graphics are certainly more ambitious, but they don’t quite get as far as they need to in order to favorably compare with its peers. Even worse, there are a lot of performance issues. Lengthy load times, extremely unstable framerates, and an overall laggy feeling plague the game to an obvious extent. It’s also worth noting that a lot of things have happened in this genre in the last ten years, and Rune Factory 5 feels like it pays no mind to any of it.

If you haven’t played any Rune Factory games before and are thinking about dipping your toe in, I’d probably recommend Rune Factory 4 Special ahead of this game. It’s more polished, has more content, and is a bit easier to play. But if you’re a Rune Factory fan and have already plowed those fields, you’ll find enough to like in Rune Factory 5 to make it worth your attention. It feels like the seed of a new era for the series, but it’s going to take a bit more nurturing before the harvest is truly ready.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Royal Frontier ($6.99)

Need another roguelite RPG? Royal Frontier is a rather straightforward take on the idea, seeing you move your party across a board, node by node, engaging in turn-based battles and dealing with various events. While it isn’t exactly swimming in unique ideas or exciting flash, I can’t say I had a bad time playing it. Battles incorporate Mario RPG-style timed button presses to keep you tapping while you fight, and there’s enough strategy involved that you have to make careful use of your resources if you want to survive. Each run will earn you points towards unlocking new perks that you can use on your next, and there are even some new characters to earn. In terms of presentation, it will be very familiar to fans of Woblyware’s other efforts like Devious Dungeon or Random Heroes.

The biggest problem with Royal Frontier is in its difficulty curve. Once you’ve unlocked some of the better perks, and you inevitably will, it gets really hard to lose. You’ll be swimming in useful items and abilities to the point that rolling over its three worlds is a trifle. A bit of a sloggy trifle, but a trifle nonetheless. With how low the asking price is, it’s hard to feel too upset over how soon it all unravels. But unravel it does. With how stiff the competition is in this genre, it’s hard to recommend this one with much zeal.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Dark Deity ($24.99)

For a great many people in the West, their first experience with Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series was through the Game Boy Advance installments. If that is you, then you are going to love Dark Deity. Heck, even if it isn’t you, there’s a good shot you’ll like this. It’s a strategy RPG that doesn’t seek to be anything more than that, and it’s not shy about cribbing as much as possible from its source of inspiration. I’ll be level with you all here: I don’t think the game ever actually creates a strong identity of its own, and that may be an issue for some. But I can’t be too disappointed at a game that mimics games that I love so uncannily.

I think it’s very safe to say that if you like Fire Emblem, particularly the Game Boy Advance era of the franchise, you will almost certainly enjoy Dark Deity. It has some technical flaws, with some seriously lengthy loading times and the odd bug here and there, and it’s not quite as polished as Nintendo’s efforts. But it probably goes farther than any other indie effort I’ve seen in capturing that particular feel, and it’s very, very easy to start playing and find yourself unable to step away until you have just one more battle.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Mini Words Collection ($3.99)

I normally like word games quite a bit, but Mini Words Collection just didn’t do it for me the way I’d hoped. You get three different variants, with each of them asking you to spell out words from a grid of letters by joining them together. The main difference comes in what kind of hint you’re given. In the first, you get a picture. In the second, the first letter, number of letters, and type of word are given to you. The third type gives you the word in another language.

All three modes start off with some painfully simple puzzles, but eventually provide a decent enough challenge to make you think. You get tons of puzzles, probably more than you’ll want or need. It functions well enough, but it’s just missing that bit of zest to help it stand out. Mini Words Collection assuredly offers up enough of what it’s serving for the meager price it commands, but a buffet is only as good as the taste of the dishes.

SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5

New Releases

Tile Flip ($0.99)

This is a port of a free-to-play ad-supported mobile game. Handheld mode only, as it requires touch controls. The idea is to make all of the tiles the same color. When you touch a tile it flips, and all of the connected tiles in the four cardinal directions will also flip. There are one hundred levels in total, which works out to less than a penny each. I leave it up to you if that’s a deal you’re interested in.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Let’s see what we have in today’s list. Atari’s Recharged games are on sale, and they are quite a bit of fun. This War of Mine is also at a new low price, and I think it’s a very heavy experience for those looking for such things. Over in the outbox, the latest Square Enix sale is wrapping up. Load up on RPGs while you can, and don’t forget to throw a pity purchase in the direction of Balan Wonderworld to celebrate its anniversary. Is he kidding? Who even knows in this work-a-day world?

Select New Games on Sale

B.ARK ($6.99 from $9.99 until 4/1)
City Driving Simulator ($6.99 from $13.99 until 4/1)
Koral ($2.39 from $11.99 until 4/1)
Mind: Path to Thalamus ($2.39 from $11.99 until 4/1)
Infernium ($4.99 from $24.95 until 4/1)
Car Driving School Sim ($7.99 from $15.99 until 4/1)
Carnage: Battle Arena ($7.99 from $15.99 until 4/1)
4×4 Dirt Track ($6.99 from $13.99 until 4/1)
Carebotz ($4.49 from $8.99 until 4/1)
Breakout: Recharged ($8.99 from $9.99 until 4/2)
Asteroids: Recharged ($7.99 from $9.99 until 4/2)
Black Widow: Recharged ($6.66 from $9.99 until 4/2)
Centipede: Recharged ($6.66 from $9.99 until 4/2)
PONG Quest ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/2)
Atari Flashback Classics ($19.99 from $39.99 until 4/2)


RollerCoaster Tycoon Adv. ($24.99 from $49.99 until 4/2)
The Last Survey ($1.99 from $14.99 until 4/2)
Art Sqool ($1.99 from $12.99 until 4/3)
Bus Driver Simulator ($5.99 from $29.99 until 4/4)
Darkest Hunters ($2.12 from $5.30 until 4/4)
QB Planets ($2.09 from $6.99 until 4/4)
Climbros ($2.97 from $9.90 until 4/4)
All Walls Must Fall ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/4)
Breathing Fear ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/4)
WoM: Planar Conquest ($6.79 from $16.99 until 4/4)
Selma & the Wisp ($2.99 from $9.99 until 4/4)
Car Mechanic Manager ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/4)
Shadows 2: Perfidia ($2.39 from $7.99 until 4/4)
Vampire’s Fall Origins ($3.89 from $12.99 until 4/4)
Otti: The House Keeper ($2.69 from $8.99 until 4/4)


Foodtruck Arena ($4.79 from $15.99 until 4/4)
Storm Tale ($2.39 from $7.99 until 4/4)
The Mims Beginning ($2.69 from $8.99 until 4/4)
Doubles Hard ($2.39 from $5.99 until 4/4)
Theatre of Sorrows ($2.99 from $9.99 until 4/4)
House Flipper ($9.99 from $24.99 until 4/4)
Tank Mechanic Simulator ($3.59 from $17.99 until 4/4)
Dungeon of Crawl ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/4)
Tax Fugitive ($3.49 from $4.99 until 4/4)
Broken Blades ($2.79 from $3.99 until 4/4)
Unspottable ($8.39 from $11.99 until 4/5)
Horned Knight ($1.99 from $5.99 until 4/8)
A Pretty Old Bunny ($3.49 from $4.99 until 4/8)
Zombo Buster Advance ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/9)
Death Race 2020 ($1.99 from $5.99 until 4/11)


Vigil The Longest Night ($13.19 from $21.99 until 4/11)
Lost Castle ($2.99 from $9.99 until 4/11)
SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption ($4.74 from $18.99 until 4/11)
Bridge Strike ($1.99 from $6.99 until 4/12)
Mushroom Heroes ($2.09 from $5.99 until 4/15)
City Traffic Driver ($6.99 from $13.99 until 4/15)
Driving World: Italian Job ($6.49 from $12.99 until 4/15)
Math Gym ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/15)
The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf ($29.99 from $39.99 until 4/16)
Marsupilami Hoobadventure ($22.49 from $29.99 until 4/16)
The Sisters Party of the Year ($20.99 from $29.99 until 4/16)
Garfield Kart Furious Racing ($5.99 from $29.99 until 4/16)
Beyond a Steel Sky ($29.99 from $39.99 until 4/16)
Flashback ($1.99 from $19.99 until 4/16)
Mega Party A Tootuff Adv. ($5.99 from $29.99 until 4/16)


My Universe: Interior Designer ($22.49 from $29.99 until 4/16)
Asterix & Obelix Slap Them All ($22.49 from $29.99 until 4/16)
Asterix & Obelix XXL 3 ($5.99 from $29.99 until 4/16)
Gear.Club Unlimited ($2.98 from $14.90 until 4/16)
Syberia ($2.98 from $14.90 until 4/16)
Syberia 3 ($4.99 from $49.99 until 4/16)
Blacksad: Under the Skin ($7.99 from $39.99 until 4/16)
This War of Mine: Complete ($1.99 from $39.99 until 4/17)
Beat Cop ($1.99 from $14.99 until 4/17)
Moonlighter ($4.99 from $24.99 until 4/17)
Nerved ($2.69 from $8.99 until 4/17)
Fluxteria ($2.09 from $6.99 until 4/17)
Blastful ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/17)
Children of Morta: Complete ($10.79 from $26.99 until 4/17)
Dreaming Canvas ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/17)

In Rays of the Light ($5.59 from $7.99 until 4/17)
Music Racer ($4.89 from $6.99 until 4/17)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 29th

Balan Wonderworld ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/29)
Chess Ace ($3.19 from $7.99 until 3/29)
Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon ($15.99 from $39.99 until 3/29)
Collection of Mana ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/29)
Collection of SaGa FFL ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
Croc’s World 3 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/29)
Detective Case & Clown Bot: MitHL ($2.99 from $5.99 until 3/29)
Dragon Quest ($3.24 from $4.99 until 3/29)
Dragon Quest II ($4.21 from $6.49 until 3/29)
Dragon Quest III ($8.11 from $12.49 until 3/29)
Dungeon Encounters ($20.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Eschatos ($24.29 from $26.99 until 3/29)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles ($11.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Final Fantasy IX ($10.49 from $20.99 until 3/29)
Final Fantasy VII ($7.99 from $15.99 until 3/29)


Final Fantasy VIII Remastered ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/29)
Final Fantasy XII TZA ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/29)
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Forgotton Anne ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
Galaxy Champions TV ($1.99 from $6.99 until 3/29)
Gem Wizards Tactics ($1.99 from $12.99 until 3/29)
Heart Chain Kitty ($4.95 from $9.90 until 3/29)
Hexologic ($2.00 from $2.99 until 3/29)
I Am Setsuna ($19.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Legend of Mana ($20.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Little Bug ($1.99 from $12.99 until 3/29)
Lost Sphear ($19.99 from $49.99 until 3/29)
NEO The Worlds Ends With You ($29.99 from $59.99 until 3/29)
Octahedron: Transfixed ($5.19 from $12.99 until 3/29)


Oh My Godheads: Party Edition ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/29)
One Line Coloring ($2.79 from $6.99 until 3/29)
Oninaki ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/29)
Pinball FX3 Williams Vol.1 ($4.49 from $9.99 until 3/29)
Romancing SaGa 3 ($20.29 from $28.99 until 3/29)
SaGa Frontier Remastered ($17.49 from $24.99 until 3/29)
Spelunker Party! ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Spy Chameleon ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/29)
Star Ocean First Departure R ($8.39 from $20.99 until 3/29)
Starlight Alliance ($4.95 from $9.90 until 3/29)
Super Soccer Blast America vs Europe ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/29)
Super Sports Blast ($7.49 from $24.99 until 3/29)
The Persistence ($2.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
The Turing Test ($2.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
Trancelation ($3.99 from $9.99 until 3/29)


Treachery in Beatdown City ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
Trials of Mana ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/29)
Unstrong: Space Calamity ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/29)
Vampire: The Masquerade – CoNY ($3.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
Vampire: The Masquerade – SoNY ($5.19 from $12.99 until 3/29)
Voice of Cards: Isle Dragon Roars ($22.49 from $29.99 until 3/29)
World of Final Fantasy Maxima ($15.99 from $39.99 until 3/29)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more interesting new releases, with WRC 10 notably leading the bunch off the top of my head. Maybe Crystar as well? I haven’t checked. But we’ll have summaries of all of them, plus whatever news and sales roll in. I should also have another review or two ready to go, depending. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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