Nintendo Life's Scores

  • Games
For 4,130 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 20% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Lowest review score: 10 Ava and Avior Save the Earth
Score distribution:
4134 game reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    An interesting combination of kingdom management and point-and-click adventuring that doesn't always form into a cohesive whole. Yes, Your Grace has a flavour all of its own, though, and you'll genuinely come to care for the royal family at its core.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mr. Driller is one of those elite few puzzle games that, like Tetris, remain immensely playable no matter what year it is. The GameCube edition was one of the finest examples of this and, a full 18 years later, it hasn't aged a single day. Given that you can easily enjoy it in 10-minute bursts or epic three-hour sessions, there are fewer games better suited to the Switch. A must-have for puzzle fans.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The central loop of 'race, win, upgrade, race' is certainly compelling while it lasts, and if you have fond memories of Star Wars Episode I: Racer from your childhood this is as good a way to relive them as possible – just don't expect any huge overhauls from the original game. Star Wars Episode I: Racer sets itself apart from the likes of Wipeout with its earnest take on the popular licence, and it's still fun to relive one of the best scenes in the prequel trilogy, but it's a long way from being one of the best racers on Switch.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ninjala is a good-looking and impressively tactical free-to-play arena fighter. It's currently lacking in modes and maps, there are problems with how the lacklustre opening tutorial goes about onboarding new players and the rock-paper-scissors aspect of proceedings is sure to be controversial but, overall, the game is off to a pretty strong start. We can't wait to see where GungHo takes its cast of pint-sized bubblegum protagonists in the coming months.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The word of the day here is "absorbing". Urban Flow's title isn't a misnomer; the gameplay is as smooth as the graphics and once the pieces are in place you shouldn't have any trouble getting your head around it. Accessibility has been rather masterfully welded to a relatively complex, punishing task, here. We dare say it might be difficult to think of your own ventures out into the city centre the same way again. After all, Urban Flow will quickly make you an expert at directing traffic.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Blair Witch starts off strong, throwing its players into a setting that comes with some pretty terrifying baggage for anyone who's familiar with the film upon which it is based. It's got a handful of fun mechanics, including the absolute star of the show, Bullet, and its story comes on strong towards the end, injecting the final third with some real tension. However, this is also a game that plods along for the most part, making no real use of its spooky setting, instead hemming players into small areas and forcing them to partake in a string of simplistic and rather hackneyed puzzles and busywork at the expense of any real tension. Overall then, Blair Witch is something of a mixed bag; it's not the worst horror game we've played recently, but it also doesn't do enough to earn a hearty recommendation.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While there are sporadic “action” sequences as you flee from Dark Song and avoid enemies, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is a game primarily about exploring a well-crafted setting and the narrative that unfolds therein, so your enjoyment will depend on your openness to that kind of experience. The distinctive visual presentation is gorgeous – and a significant upgrade to its predecessor’s art – but it’s a bit of a shame the sound and dialogue hasn’t had quite the same level of polish. Longevity is another shortcoming; once you've finished the game's 10-hour story, there's little reason to return. Overall, though, this is a great narrative-centric horror game that fans of the genre should absolutely jump on.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's all about the games, and they're still good fun. In fact, Darius Cozmic Collection Console is a marginally easier recommendation than the arcade one; there are five distinct titles here rather than three, and they're all worth playing – even if none of them quite reach the glorious heights of Darius Gaiden.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade is a good compilation and the titles included are of a high quality, but as comprehensive as it is, it's still a little limited for the price. Enthusiasts, however, will be delighted by it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Trials of Cold Steel III is another excellent addition to a franchise that gains so much of what makes it absorbing from the huge amount of background detail and world-building that's been achieved in earlier entries in the series. Newcomers should be aware that taking the time out to play Trials of Cold Steel I and II is advised to get the absolute maximum amount of enjoyment out of this one but, even if you're jumping in fresh, there's still plenty to love here once you find your feet. With a massive cast of well-written characters and tons of excellent combat and exploration spread across its epic running time, this is a top-notch addition to the Switch's library of JRPGs.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Colt Canyon is an excellent roguelike with razor-sharp gameplay that’s incredibly addictive. The rhythmic action is comparable to titles like Hotline Miami, and there’s a constant temptation to have ‘just one more go’. Some may not be too keen on the heavily-pixelated graphics, but it’s the gameplay that truly shines through here, and once you’ve conquered the steep difficulty curve you’ll find this to be a fine addition to the Switch’s growing selection of roguelikes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There's a ton of content here and, in the end, the whole thing feels like a pretty successful celebration of what made the first game a cult classic in the first place. It's not going to be to everyone's tastes, however, and if you like your strategy action to be a little more intense, you might want to stick with something like Wargroove or Fire Emblem: Three Houses instead.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The often frustrating controls and totally random gameplay elements do tarnish the experience somewhat, but we still had a whale of a time playing Behold The Kickmen. The cutting humour goes a long way to making it an enjoyable romp, and the story mode holds your interest via its funny narrative and the attraction of ploughing cash into improving your team. While it's never going to challenge legitimate soccer simulations on the market, we're glad it exists; as much as we love the sport, it does take itself far too seriously. For £2.99, you could do a lot worse.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A masterpiece to this day, Duke Nukem 3D is done proud by this Switch conversion. It looks and runs briliantly, the online options are a welcome inclusion and it's not compromised in any way from its earlier console release. It's a shame that a handful of previously-available expansion packs are missing, but given the low price of World Tour Edition, it feels churlish to complain. In the words of the Duke himself, come get some.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A decent start. The microtransactions aren’t massively intrusive, the energy system isn’t too debilitating and the stages aren’t Candy Crush Saga-style efforts where it’ll take you 70 goes to get lucky enough to eventually clear them. These are all qualified by the word “yet”, though, and that’s the thing to bear in mind as this game evolves on a fortnightly basis. It’s yet to be established whether this is the sort of mobile game that lulls you in with a false sense of security and then, later down the line, hits you with ridiculously difficult stages that will almost certainly need power-ups to clear (we see you, Dr. Mario World). For now, though, we’re happy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The second Namco Museum Archives compilation is far more eclectic than the first. Vol 1 had more of the typical classics you’d expect from a Namco collection, and while that may seem a bit boring and predictable the reality is that they were classics for a reason: most of them are more fun to play. While there are still some great titles in here – Rolling Thunder and Mappy-Land are highlights – the general quality is lower than that in the first volume. The only reason you should be opting for this one over the first is if you’re sick to the back teeth of Pac-Man and Dig Dug and are looking to discover some lesser-known NES games.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    NES and Namco fans will be happy with the titles on offer here. Some of them have never been released in the west before and the star of the show – Pac-Man Championship Edition – is an entirely new NES port created just for this collection. Each of the 11 games has at least some value, but the bare-bones nature of the presentation is a little disappointing: for a game with Museum in the title, we'd hoped each game would have been celebrated a little more with art and behind-the-scenes info.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All in all, yes the game is very limited. And yes, it’s unlikely to keep most people interested after a few days. But we have to acknowledge the intention here: this isn’t a game to make money, it's not a system seller, and it’s not even a game that we can honestly say you have to download. As a free product, though, it does exactly what you’d need it to do: get you up on your feet a bit more during difficult times, and maybe even put a smile on your face too. Hey, turns out that wasn’t so tough after all.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Considering the long-reaching cultural impact that the SpongeBob cartoon has had on modern pop culture, it’s nice to see that the franchise got at least one solid video game that properly represents the unique draw of SpongeBob and his friends. Though Battle for Bikini Bottom doesn’t bring anything new to the table as a 3D platformer, its strong level design, lighthearted tone, and gorgeous remastered visuals make this one an easy recommendation. That being said, rampant technical issues hold the game back from true greatness, which is a real shame given the quality in nearly every other area. As a result, this certainly isn’t the game to unseat Super Mario Odyssey, but those of you that love a good collect-a-thon 3D platformer will find plenty to love here.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    Other than the odd camera-darkening problem we experienced – which can hopefully be fixed with an update for those it affects – we definitely like Pokémon Smile. It isn’t going to give Smash Bros. a run for its money or anything like that, but it isn’t trying to: much like the recently released Jump Rope Challenge on Switch, it’s a light-hearted, free way of trying to inject a little fun into an otherwise mundane task. Just bear in mind that it can be a little harsh when it comes to judging your brushing, and so you need to prepare your child for the reality that they won't be catching a Pokémon every time they play.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What this all amounts to is a brilliant little tactics game, right up there with Into the Breach and XCOM – if not even better. The bite-sized structure belies a deceptively complex and meaningful game, where all your decisions ultimately mean something significant for that final desperate attack. If you enjoy stealth or tactics games – or you're simply looking for a way into either genre – then Invisible, Inc. deserves your attention.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Warborn takes the tried and tested Advance Wars formula, adds a bunch of huge Mechs, some overwrought '90s anime-inspired cutscenes and a story that sees you take control of four different commanders as you seek to restore order to the Auros system. There's nothing inspired or unique here; Raredrop Games is playing it safe and straight down the line, but fans of the genre, and most especially fans of massive Gundam-esque robots, will get a solid (if unspectacular) experience out of what's on offer with this one. Just don't expect any surprises.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Elements of Burnout Paradise are starting to show their age now, but nobody can argue with the quality of its actual racing action. If you can put up with its various niggles and quirks and don’t mind the astronomical price (relative to other systems), it’s easily one of the most entertaining – and certainly one of the fastest – racing games on the Switch.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Isle of Armor is a lovely addition to the base Pokémon Sword & Shield games, bringing in far more new features to tickle hardcore fans than we initially expected. On the downside, it’s a little shy on narrative-driven content and is really all about the isle and its Pokémon inhabitants. Still, while we would certainly have liked to have seen more story-based gameplay, what’s on offer is still excellent, and offers dedicated fans of the series an awful lot to explore and do. If you loved the Wild Area in Sword and Shield and want more of that, we can safely say you’ll get a real kick out of this.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ruiner is an exceptionally stylish, brutal and bloody top-down shooter that hurls you unceremoniously into a relentless onslaught of deranged creeps, cyborgs and enormous mechanoid bosses all hellbent on your destruction. A steady drip-feed of new combat skills – alongside a ton of meaty guns and melee weapons – keeps the action feeling fresh, and the game's excellent graphics and thumping techno soundtrack do a top-notch job of bringing the whole thing vibrantly to life. There are a few framerate issues here and there in docked mode – something which has been an issue in other versions of the game – but, overall, this is a super-solid version of a supremely enjoyable and challenging cyberpunk action-adventure.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While its roguelite gameplay is familiar territory, Demon's Tier+ executes the formula very well. It could do with a more elegant tutorial than the multi-page bombardment the game starts with, but it's hard to hold that against it when everything else works so nicely. It may not have prestige, but Demon's Tier+ is cheap and cheerful. A good, pacy game for two.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    We won’t mince words here, Summer in Mara has absolutely nothing to offer that hasn’t been done much better in other games that are easily available right now. If you want a cozy farm sim with a pleasant atmosphere, get Stardew Valley or Rune Factory 4. If you want a thrilling adventure you can take at your own pace, get Minecraft or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Even if you’ve played those and are looking for something new, please don’t waste your time or money here. This is not a 'hidden gem'; the alluring presentation of Summer in Mara only acts as a pretty mask for a much uglier game beneath the surface – one that’s keen on wasting your time with no meaningful payoff.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    If The Binding of Isaac didn't assuage your desire for whining, crying, pooping babies, this won't satisfy your strange craving. If it wasn't associated with such a high-profile streamer it wouldn't even have cause to exist. Who knows, though? Maybe Poopdie - Chapter 2 will be amazing. And monkeys might fly out of our butt. If you laughed at the word "butt" just then, definitely buy this game.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Table Top Racing: World Tour - Nitro Edition does the whole dinky toy car racing thing much better and feels like a much more solid and cohesive experience. Although, Super Toy Cars 2 could teach TTR a thing or two about engaging handling. Of course, both games fall well short or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, and Team Sonic Racing. If you need another dose of fantastical arcade racing in your life, just pick up the one or two of those three that you don't own.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With only two dozen levels to complete, a more experienced gamer might breeze through Awesome Pea 2 with relative ease. Those after a meatier experience – or perhaps one that contains a storyline – may want to look elsewhere, but otherwise, this is a decent way to spend an evening during the quieter summer months.

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