Reviews Featuring ‘Cross Tails’ & ‘PixelJunk Scrappers’, Plus Today’s Releases and Sales – TouchArcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for August 14th, 2023. It’s a quiet day for new releases today, or at least for new releases of note. But worry not, as we have a couple of reviews for you to enjoy. KEMCO’s Cross Tails and Q-Games’ PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe Edition get evaluated, and I’ll spoil it a bit by saying neither one is too shabby. After all of that, we’ve got the lists of the latest sales and expiring discounts for you to consider. Let’s get to work!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Cross Tails ($29.99)

Look, I don’t know why Square Enix hasn’t revived the Final Fantasy Tactics series. I don’t know why it hasn’t ported the original to modern consoles. But I think we have to accept that Final Fantasy Tactics is on a breather at the moment, and that means we have to look elsewhere for our isometric turn-based tactical RPGs. For many Switch players, a reliable answer to the question has been Rideon Japan. The publisher’s Mercenaries Saga series, published in the West by Circle Entertainment, doesn’t exactly shake the world with each of its new installments, but it has developed a steady following thanks to maintaining a decent level of quality.

And hey, we all know KEMCO. One of the most prolific publishers of RPGs of the last decade, it too rarely finds much buzz with its games but still has its fans. It has worked with Rideon Japan before, mostly with the developer’s Atelier-like Tavern Story and Blacksmith games. Cross Tails sees the pair working in their most reliable zones, and it’s perhaps unsurprising that the result is decent. You’ve got a fun premise set in a fantasy world where cat people and dog people can’t get along, a plot that sees a handful of them uncovering a secret third power manipulating them from the shadows, and two different perspectives on how it all plays out. You’ll have to play both campaigns to get the full story on each event, as the tales cross in and out of each other. Oh, that’s the title. Neat.

Mechanically, you’ve got a lot going on here. There are plenty of ways to customize and upgrade your characters as you go, with a whopping thirty different job classes to play around with and a bevy of skills to learn. Unfortunately, money makes the world go ’round even in this setting, so you’ll need lots of cash to keep your forces up to snuff. That means you’re going to be doing a fair bit of grinding, and unless you’re very cautious with how you distribute your resources it’s largely unavoidable. I think for many fans of this genre there’s a certain appreciation for the grind, so it’s not a total buzzkill. Your ragtag team will be growing through the process, and that’s enjoyable to an extent. But do be aware that there is a very real grind here, which ends up spacing out the snippets of story development.

Cross Tails is a very standard turn-based tactical RPG that relies on a novel setting and the two distinct campaigns to help it stand out. Like other works from both this developer and publisher it can be a bit of a grind at times, but otherwise it’s a well-done entry into the genre that sees both parties putting their best respective foot forward. If you enjoyed any of the Mercenaries Saga games or are hungering for a decent way to scratch your strategy RPG itch, it’s worth considering Cross Tails.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe ($24.99)

I certainly appreciate the innovation Q-Games brings to the table with its releases. It could rest on its laurels with what works, but the publisher seems to enjoy trying out weird new ideas to see how they go. Scrappers was an Apple Arcade release that hit a few years ago and brought a co-op focused trash collecting beat-em-up experience to the service. Again, I appreciate the guts. But I was a bit happy to see the game making its way to other platforms, this time under the PixelJunk banner. It’s best enjoyed with other players, and that isn’t always an easy thing to drum up in the mobile world. PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe makes it easy, supporting both local and online multiplayer for up to four players.

The idea here is that you’re moving along the streets with your garbage truck. Each time it stops, you need to gather up garbage and toss it into the compactor. The more you can get in there at once, the more you’ll cash you’ll score. Pile it up high and don’t let it tip over as you make your way to the compactor, and you’ll be on your way to trash-collecting success. Oh, but wait. There are rivals out there, and as you can imagine it won’t take much to get you to drop your load if they come into the picture. You’ll have to smash them up before you try to bring that pile over, and their robotic remains count as trash just as well as anything. You kind of end up frantically alternating between dealing with enemies and trying to collect and deliver as much trash as you can.

It gets a little tiresome in single-player, particularly early on when the game isn’t putting up much of a fight. Each person you add to the formula increases the fun significantly, however. Each person takes care of what they can, and if you master the art of throwing garbage around you can set up a very satisfying relay system. There are a lot of unlockables packed into the game, with a bunch of garbage truck customizations and different characters to play as. All up, you get five distinct areas with a couple of dozen stages, which isn’t bad at all for what this is. There are also some minigames you can play if you want to have a more competitive vibe.

If you’re looking for something a little unique to spice up your multiplayer gaming sessions, PixelJunk Scrappers makes a compelling case. It’s not quite in that Overcooked zone where just about anyone can contribute something, but it’s not in that hardcore zone where only the super-skilled players are having fun either. Those who don’t regularly play with others might want to proceed with more caution, however. The single-player mode is missing that special zip, and finding random people to play with online is as difficult a task as it usually is for all but the biggest of games on Switch.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

A magical day for us, friends. Today is a rare all-Bin Bunch edition of the New Releases section. From another banal driving game that looks as thought it was cobbled together from a Unity Asset Store template to a pair of games I’m relatively sure took the developer a day or two at most to make, we’ve got a full bag of rubbish to get us started on the week. How… how lucky?

The Bin Bunch

Tow Truck Driver Simulator 2023 ($13.99)

Luck Breaker ($0.99)

Candle Fire Run! ($0.99)


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Onion Games is having a summer sale, and I’d recommend just about everything that developer puts out. There are also some dubious visual novels on sale, plus a few other odds and ends. Not much going on over in the outbox, but if you want to get Alex Kidd‘s remake at the cheapest it has been yet, the time to act is now. Check those lists!

Select New Games on Sale

Superliminal ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/21)
Needy Princess Nerd Club ($9.95 from $19.90 until 8/21)
Elder Sister’s Love Training ($9.95 from $19.90 until 8/21)
Becoming Your Beautiful Cousin ($9.95 from $19.90 until 8/21)
Stuck With Naughty Housewives ($9.95 from $19.90 until 8/21)
Black Bird ($13.29 from $18.99 until 8/25)
Mon Amour ($6.29 from $8.99 until 8/25)
moon ($13.29 from $18.99 until 8/25)
Dandy Dungeon: Brave Yamada ($13.29 from $18.99 until 8/25)
Portal Companion Collection ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/26)
Blasphemous ($18.74 from $24.99 until 8/27)
Thymesia Cloud Version ($17.99 from $29.99 until 8/27)
Bravery and Greed ($11.99 from $19.99 until 8/27)

Sunrise GP ($9.89 from $14.99 until 8/28)
Dungeons of Dreadrock ($2.46 from $10.00 until 8/28)
Depth of Extinction ($3.29 from $14.99 until 8/31)
Acceptance ($4.79 from $5.99 until 9/1)
Mothered: A Role-Playing Horror Game ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/2)
Last Beat Enhanced ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/2)
Alterity Experience ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/2)
Shootvaders: The Beginning ($3.49 from $6.99 until 9/2)
Yeah! Fighting Girl ($7.50 from $15.00 until 9/2)
Sunwards ($7.50 from $15.00 until 9/2)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 15th

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX ($5.99 from $19.99 until 8/15)
Bramble: The Mountain King ($23.99 from $29.99 until 8/15)
Buildings Have Feelings Too ($2.99 from $19.99 until 8/15)
Deathrun TV ($4.49 from $14.99 until 8/15)
Foreclosed ($3.99 from $19.99 until 8/15)
Hayfever ($2.24 from $14.99 until 8/15)
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes ($4.99 from $24.99 until 8/15)
No Place Like Home ($19.99 from $24.99 until 8/15)
Ponpu ($2.24 from $14.99 until 8/15)
Right and Down ($3.99 from $9.99 until 8/15)
SGC Short Games Collection 1 ($5.49 from $10.99 until 8/15)
Slaycation Paradise ($5.99 from $19.99 until 8/15)
Spirit of the North ($7.49 from $24.99 until 8/15)
Stranded Sails: EotCI ($4.99 from $24.99 until 8/15)
Swords & Bones 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 8/15)
The Lightbringer ($3.74 from $14.99 until 8/15)
Timelie ($4.99 from $19.99 until 8/15)
Vaporum ($3.74 from $24.99 until 8/15)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews, hopefully some better new releases, some fresh sales, and maybe even some news. I’m way too busy today, so I’m a bit grateful it’s a little slower than usual. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!



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