Entering the Graveyard of Abandoned Games

I’m a digital hoarder. It’s a problem I’ve been aware of for many years. It started way back in the 90s when I started collecting as many ebooks as I could legally get my hands on. I’ve never seen it as a problem so it’s progressed over the years, and now, I’m hoarding digital games on my Nintendo Switch.

Over the past three years, my collection of Switch games has grown to be nearly 500 titles. I’ll never play them all, so I have a lot of Switch games that sit abandoned. Some have been sent to me, randomly and unsolicited, by a publisher. Most of them, embarrassingly and shamefully, are games I’ve spent my own personal money on. Either I never load the game a single time after downloading it, or I start the game and become distracted by something else. (Look, look, something new and shiny!!). Either way, I never go back to playing whatever game it was. Now, I’ve amassed what I’ve been calling my Graveyard of Abandoned Games (GAG? Sounds appropriate.)

Today we’ll take our first stroll through the Graveyard and see what’s lying around. I’ll share my thoughts and impressions on any titles I actually managed to play, even if it was only for a few minutes. These will not be reviews by any stretch of the imagination. Just my unfiltered, off-the-cuff thoughts. (These games are dead to me so I care even less if anyone’s feelings get hurt.) I’m planning on making this a regular series so I hope you find some amusement in here somewhere. At the very least, I hope my pain can help other’s feel better about the games they’ve buried and abandoned. Now back to that backlog I’ve been ignoring like some obsessed ex.

Ever wonder what it’s like to die of boredom?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a mechanic? What if you could repair buses? Accept the repair bus orders. Diagnose, replace, or fix damaged parts of buses. Disassemble, for example, engine parts, chassis parts, and tires. Buy new parts.

Ultimate Games PR
Bus Fix 2019 Switch Screenshot

The above quote comes directly from a press release for Bus Fix 2019, from Ultimate Games. Now I know that Ultimate Games isn’t known for releasing top-tier titles but this is bad even for them. This “game” includes 6 different buses, each with 50 different parts to repair or replace. Oh, and you also get to repair defects in the buses (whatever those are) and you also have a “richly equipped workshop”. Yeah, I think I’ll pass.

This shit isn’t cute at all.

Anarcute, developed by Anarteam (really?) and published by Plug In Digital, wants to be Pikmin. All of the characters have a Chibi sort of appearance but it doesn’t look “cute” to me. Instead of helping aliens and repairing a spaceship, you’re controlling anthropomorphized animals trying to overthrow an evil corporation and fighting the authorities by rioting.

anarcute on nintendo switch
Virtual rioting and destruction can be fun. This isn’t.

I played less than an hour of this game and that was more than enough. The gameplay becomes repetitive and boring very quickly. Unlike Pikmin, there’s not enough here to push you to want to see more. But that’s ok because there’s not much there to see. What is here isn’t fun for very long and it’s all been done much better before.

You have 5 small cities to battle through in single-player, with a handful of objectives thrown in. The best part of this game is the destructible environments. You can use them to your advantage against the police and that’s pretty fun. Not sure there’s much more to say about this one. There’s a good game here, it just needs to be polished up and a lot more fleshed out. You won’t regret missing out on this. I forgot all about it until I started doing the research for this series.

My biggest regret.

This being the first entry into the Graveyard of Abandoned Games, I figured I’d go big with the final game. When it comes to eShop purchases I regret, the biggest would undoubtedly be Mario Tennis Aces. When the game was announced and shown off, I was immediately excited. Mario Tennis 64 was one of my favorite N64 titles. I spent countless hours playing that version of the franchise. (Bomb tennis, anyone?) And Mario Tennis: Power Tour, on the GameBoy Advance, had some incredible RPG elements.

Seeing Camelot Software was developing the Switch iteration of the series, as they have ALL previous games in the series, I figured it was in good hands and wasn’t very worried about the upcoming game’s quality. Then I did something I haven’t done in years. I pre-ordered the game.

Mario Tennis Aces
The contempt on his face is how this game makes me feel.

Oof. I was waaay off.

Super Mario Aces was a letdown in almost every way possible for me. The single-player campaign was needlessly frustrating, bordering on infuriating. The RPG elements I was looking forward to were basically non-existent. The local multiplayer is the game’s only saving grace but I have zero gamer friends to play with so that’s lost on me. I didn’t play much further than the first boss. Sixty dollars wasted.

Well, that’s it for our first stroll through the Graveyard of Abandoned Games. We saw three games of varying levels of surprise, I suppose. One should be no surprise at all, one minor surprise (?) and one that will probably shock a lot of people. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I had to say (I don’t expect everyone to agree with my thoughts on Mario Tennis Aces, especially), and let me know what you think of the games mentioned by leaving a comment below.

[Personal note: when I sat down to write this article I wasn’t thinking about the Halloween connection. A happy accident!]

Featured Image Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

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I'm a mature gamer (48). I can be opinionated and sarcastic, but I'm very laid back. And I love Nintendo more than any forty-something probably should. (They did help raise me.) I'm also the Editor-in-chief, here at The Nintendo Nomad. Hit me up anywhere you can find me on social media. I'm open to talking about almost any topic (because, politics...).
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