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So. You have a Nintendo Switch. You’ve got all the important games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart Deluxe, etc. Here are some suggestions for more games to play that won’t break the bank!

Fortnite

(FYI Fortnite is a free to play game which is why I’m including it for  under $20. The above bundle is actually $30 and includes a bunch of different stuff.)

It’s really impossible to talk about inexpensive games on the Nintendo Switch without addressing the fortress sized elephant in the room. Fortnite is free. And it is everywhere. Chances are very good that your kid has been bugging you to play Fortnite for a while if they aren’t playing it already. The Switch is a great place to play it.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a farming simulator with a LOT of extras.  There is a dungeon with randomly generated floors full of loot and an abandoned community center that you rebuild through offerings to tiny beings that live there. Fishing is just about the best part of the game with a simple yet challenging minigame. Like many other games in the genre, you can court citizens in town and spend whole seasons looking for a specific item. This is a great game to get lost in and is a steal at $19.99 on the Switch.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is a side-scrolling action platformer, with many items to find and powers to unlock. This game easily can take 40-50 hours to complete with the expansive map and numerous bosses. You take on the role of a mask-wearing beetle (I’m not entirely sure what he is) wielding a nail to take out the foes that are encroaching your town.

This is a very difficult game, but there is a lot of content here to keep you coming back. Completing challenges is a big part of the draw here and there is a LOT of content to explore.

The Messenger

Simply put… The Messenger is a modern response to the Ninja Gaiden series from the NES era. Sabotage Studio is a team full of people who love that game and have gone out of their way to show their reverence in game form.

It isn’t an easy game, but the experience is well worth the effort. The soundtrack alone is worth spending time with the game. But, exploring the different levels AND playing with the time travel mechanics are rewarding.

This is definitely a game that needs to be on your radar.

Wizard of Legend

Wizard of Legend is an amazing cooperative combat game. It is also the best Avatar: The Last Airbender game ever made. You play as a wizard who use various elemental spells to travel through mazes and battle monsters. This is a challenging game for sure, but dying is part of the fun!

Might Gunvolt Burst

Mighty Gunvolt Burst

Mighty Number 9 was a pretty big disappointment. I know our house had high expectations that it would help fill in the gaps that Mega Man’s absence left behind. All was not lost though. Mighty Gunvolt Burst is a crossover game that includes Both Beck from Mighty Number 9, but also the hero from Azure Striker Gunvolt. This is a simple,  inexpensive game that delivers on all of the promises that Mighty Number 9 made.

Picross S / Picross S2

Picross S Link

Picross S2 Link

Picross is a great puzzle game for people who are on the go. It is easy to pick up and learn, but hard to master. Picross S1 is a steal for the price and you can get both S1 and S2 for under $20. If you are a fan of puzzle games I would recommend that you get this game!

Yoku’s Island Express

Link

In Yoku’s Island Express, you play Yoku, a dung beetle and the new postmaster to the island Mokumana. During your platforming journey, you will meet many colorful settings and characters. But there is a catch, unlike most platformers, your main character can’t jump. Instead, you traverse the world using pinball-like paddles to get around. Yoku has a fairly short campaign, clocking in around 6 hours.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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The Nintendo Switch is wildly popular, and Nintendo is pairing it with an online subscription service similar to both Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. Their service, called Nintendo Switch Online, launched in the fall of 2018 and is a great value for families looking to get more out of their Switch experience. 

The Pitch

Nintendo Switch Online is an annual subscription service that is required into order to play Nintendo Switch games like Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online. It also includes bonus features like access to cloud saves, and access to a suite of NES and SNES games. Subscribers also get access to exclusive sales offers and Switch online exclusive games like Tetris 99. 

Nintendo Switch Online is an annual subscription service that is required into order to play Nintendo Switch games like Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online. It also includes bonus features like access to cloud saves, and access to a suite of NES and SNES games. Subscribers also get access to exclusive sales offers and Switch online exclusive games like Tetris 99. 

How Does it Work? 

Nintendo Switch Online is a subscription based service that can be purchased annually, or in smaller increments. The service needs to be maintained in order to continue the benefits and maintain access to the features. 

The service includes: 

Online Play – Online multiplayer gaming using the Nintendo Switch Online platform

NES and SNES – Nintendo Switch Online – Nintendo Switch Online members have access to curated library of more than 60 NES and Super NES classic games. The collection initially only includes NES games, but was updated a year later to include SNES titles. The curated library of games will grow over time. These games also include online competitive/cooperative play with friends. Certain games (like Super Mario Bros.) even include the ability to virtually pass the controller back and forth.

Save Data Cloud – Subscribers can back up their save game data to the cloud. This makes it easier to retrieve their save data if they lose their Switch or start to use a new one. It is worth mentioning that some games aren’t compatible with cloud saving. The most noteworthy examples are Pokemon Sword and Shield and the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

Smartphone App – Nintendo has released a smartphone app (available for iOS and Android). It syncs with the subscriber’s Nintendo account and includes some minor enhancements for different Switch games. You can also use it to use voice chat with your Nintendo friends as you play. (Certain games, like Fortnite, circumvent Nintendo’s app and allow voice chat through the game software itself. This isn’t universal though.)

Special Offers – Subscribers will have access to exclusive sales and product offerings. They have included controllers, discount game vouchers, and even an exclusive game (Tetris 99). 

How Much Does it Cost?

Nintendo Switch Online can be purchased annually, quarterly, or monthly. The service also has a 7 day free trial. 

Annual Subscription: $19.99

3 Month Subscription: $7.99

1 Month Subscription: $3.99

Nintendo Switch Online also has a Family Membership option where up to 8 Nintendo Accounts can share an online subscription for $34.99 annually. 

Advice

This service is a great value for families. The cost is relatively low at $20 a year and it includes a wide array of free games to play.

If your kids aren’t interested in the NES/SNES games and only play Fortnite, then this is a service you can likely avoid. Fortnite doesn’t require an active subscription to play.

Other Guides

There are a ton of other premium video game services out there so we wrote guides for all of them.  Take a look below:

A Parent’s Guide to EA Origins Access

A Parent’s Guide to EA Access

A Parent’s Guide to the Xbox Game Pass

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Now

A Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Plus

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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dark crystal tactics

By: James Pisano

If you remember Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal”, then you had a fantastic childhood.  If you also played Final Fantasy Tactics, or are a fan of the Final Fantasy universe, then your childhood was even better.  If one or both of those statements applies to you, then I have AMAZING news for you!

On the same day that Netflix is releasing “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” prequel TV series, they’re dropping “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics”.  Yep. It’s a Dark Crystal turn-based tactics game, borne out of a partnership between Nintendo, Netflix, and Bonus XP (The developer behind the Stranger Things games).  You’ll be controlling squads of soldiers from the Dark Crystal universe, on a grid based map, and fight using a combination of swords and sorcery. The aesthetic, while simplistic, looks stylized and appropriate for the game.  The animations also look a bit simple, but this was never going to be a graphics powerhouse. If it delivers a sound strategy game, dripping with personality from the world of The Dark Crystal, I think we will all be very happy.

Now, they’ve planted a flag in the ground by putting the word “Tactics” on the end of a game.  That’s definitely a statement, and one that has not gone well for some other games. However, I have faith that they’re going to nail this.  By the short trailer we’ve seen, and my gut instinct, I’m declaring this one a winner, sight unseen. Will I be right? Time will tell.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Nintendo’s E3 2019 Nintendo Direct was full of fun announcements and surprises! Take a look below for five things that parents need to know!

Animal Crossing: New Horizon Delay

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was unfortunately delayed at the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct.  And while all of us were saddened by this news, we’ve already been waiting 7 years for a new Animal Crossing game, we can wait a few months more.  With its charming design, relaxing atmosphere, and neverending hours of fun, we’ll have plenty to enjoy when it hits the shelves in March 2019.

Two New Smash DLC Characters

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is still rolling out the characters in its fighter pass. The first character was Joker, from Persona 5, which made just about any character to ever be a part of a video game possible. Nintendo revealed two characters during their direct: The Hero from Dragon Quest XI, and Banjo-Kazooie!

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is without a doubt, one of the greatest games ever to come out of Nintendo.  It’s got action, puzzles, story, amazing visuals, and so much more. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t enjoy their time in this version of Hyrule.  So when Nintendo announced that the sequel is in development, jaws around the EFG war room dropped. We all suspected, but now we know its coming. Whenever its ready, we’re bracing for what might be a very different look at Hyrule, and we are 100% OK with that.

Secret of Mana Collection

Let’s see… we’re getting Final Fantasy Adventure (actually part of the “Mana” Series), Secret of Mana, and Trials of Mana, which is actually hitting the US for the first time in history.  Trials was previously known as Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan, and fans of the “Mana” series have been wanting a US port for a very long time. This collection is available today on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $40.  Additionally, a full 3D remake of Trials of Mana will be coming to Nintendo Switch in 2020. All aboard the Mana Hype Train!

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 was announced for later this year. Nintendo revealed a ton of gameplay details during their Direct. This looks like it is going to be a great game for families to enjoy when it comes out later this year.

Honorable Mention: Dark Crystal Tactics

On the same day that Netflix is releasing “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” prequel TV series, they’re dropping “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics”.  Yep. It’s a Dark Crystal turn-based tactics game, borne out of a partnership between Nintendo, Netflix, and Bonus XP (The developer behind the Stranger Things games).  You’ll be controlling squads of soldiers from the Dark Crystal universe, on a grid based map, and fight using a combination of swords and sorcery. The aesthetic, while simplistic, looks stylized and appropriate for the game.  The animations also look a bit simple, but this was never going to be a graphics powerhouse. If it delivers a sound strategy game, dripping with personality from the world of The Dark Crystal, I think we will all be very happy.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Playtonic Games got out ahead of the insanity that is E3 2019 and revealed their next game on Friday June 7th. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is coming to Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One and it looks to be a delight.

Playtonic’s first game, Yooka-Laylee, struggled to reach expectations. They launched on Kickstarter and it set the world on fire, but that came with high expectations. People wanted Yooka-Laylee to be the second coming of Banjo-Kazooie. That just didn’t happen. One of the biggest complaints about the original game was about the camera. Some players even reported getting motion sick.

Faulty camera issues can doom a 3D platformer so it makes sense that Playtonic would abandon that path in the sequel. Impossible Lair is a “2D-Platforming-Adventure-Hybrid” that combines 2.5D platforming with gameplay segments that are top-down and have a heavy puzzle focus.

The trailer is embedded below. Take a look and let us know in the comments if this looks like a game you would want to play!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Here are all of the video game releases rated E-T that are releasing between March 17th and March 23rd.

Monday, March 18th


Turok- Switch

Tuesday, March 19th


American Ninja Warrior: Champion- Switch
Fate/Extella Link- PS4, Switch
SNK 40th Anniversery Collection- PS4, Switch
Symmetry- Switch

Wednesday, March 20th


Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy- PS4, Switch
Super Kickers League- Switch

Thursday, March 21st


Azura Saga: Pathfinder Deluxe Edition- Switch
Block-a-Pix Deluxe- Switch
Grand Prix Story- Switch
Reptilian Rebellion- Switch
Rogue Bit- Switch
StarDrone- Switch
Super Phantom Cat- Switch
Witch & Hero- Switch

Friday, March 22nd


Peasant Knight- Switch
Sushi Time!- Switch
Unravel 2- Switch

For the Grownups


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice- PS4, Xbox One, PC (Friday, March 22nd)


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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kirbys extra epic yarn box art

Here are all the video game releases rated E-T that are releasing between March 3rd and March 9th.

Monday, March 4th


Black Desert-Xbone

Tuesday, March 5th


Bard’s Golds- Switch
Darkest Hunters- Switch
My Little Riding Champion- Switch
Pillar- Switch
R.B.I. Baseball 19- PS4, Xbone, Switch
The Occupation- PS4, Xbone
Unknown Fate- Switch

Wednesday, March 8th


Elevator to the Moon: Turbo Champion Edition- Switch

Thursday, March 7th


Braveland Trilogy- Switch
Ghoulboy- Switch
Valley- Switch

Friday, March 8th


Assualt Android Cactus+- Switch
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn- 3DS
Monument Builders Rushmore- Switch
Paperbound Brawlers- Switch

For the Grown Ups


Devil May Cry 5- PS4, Xbone, PC (Friday, March 8th)


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are being released between February 24th and March 2nd.

Tuesday, February 26th


8-Bit Hordes- PS4
8-Bit Invaders- PS4
Anno 1800- PC
Child of Light Ultimate Edition + Valiant Hearts: The Great War- Switch
DIRT Rally 2.0- PS4, Xbone, PC
Fractured Minds- Switch
RPG Maker MV- PS4, Xbone, Switch
RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore- Switch
Skyhill- Switch
Stellaris: Console Edition- PS4, Xbone
The LEGO Movie 2 Video Game- PS4, Xbone, PC, Switch
The Lost Light of Sisu- PC, Switch
Trials Rising Standard Edition- Switch
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles- Xbone

Thursday, February 28th


Ape Out- PC, Switch
Battloon- Switch
Constructor Plus- Switch
Crash Dummy- Switch
Deltarune: Chapter 1- Switch
My Girlfriend is a Mermaid- Switch
V.O.I.D.- Switch

Friday, March 1st


Awesome Pea- Switch
Creepy Road- Switch
Klondike Solitaire- Switch
Pirates Pinball- Switch
Shred! 2: Freeride Mountainbiking- Switch
Tardy- Switch
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove!- PS4, Xbone, PC, Switch
Treasure Stack- Switch
Riddled Corpses EX- Switch
Swords and Soldiers II: Shwarmageddon- Switch

For the Grownups


Nier Automata: Game of the Yorha Edition- PS4 (Tuesday, February 26th)
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes DLC #1- Switch (Thursday, February 28th)
Dead or Alive 6- PS4, Xbone, PC (Friday, March 1st)


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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The following is a list of all the video games that have been rated E-T by the ESRB that are coming to stores between February 10th and February 16th.

Monday, February 11th

Darkest Hunter- Switch

Tuesday, February 12th


Minesweeper Genius- Switch
The King’s Bird- Switch
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince- PS4, Switch
The Sims 4: Get Famous Expansion- PS4, Xbox One
Trials Rising- PS4, Xbone, PC, Switch

Wednesday, February 13th


Away: Journey to the Unexpected- PC
Iron Crypticle- Switch

Thursday, February 14th


Cinders- Switch
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Expansion- PC
Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~- PS4, Vita
LOVE- Switch
OlliOlli: Switch Stance- Switch
Strikey Sisters- Switch
Tokyo School Life- Switch

Friday, February 15th

Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders- PS4, Xbone, Switch
Ice Climbers Amiibo
Jump Force- PS4, Xbox One, PC
King K. Rool Amiibo
Piranha Plant Amiibo
Space Lift Danger Panic!- Switch

For the Grownup

Crackdown 3- Xbox One, PC (Friday, February 15th)
Far Cry: New Dawn- PS4, Xbox One, PC (Friday, February 15th)
Metro Exodus- PS4, Xbox One, PC (Friday, February 15th)

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are being released between January 27th and February 2nd, 2019.

Tuesday, January 29th


Kingdom Hearts III- PS4, Xbone
Mages of Mystralia- Switch
Playstation 4 Pro: Kingdom Hearts 3 Limited Edition
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy- Switch
Unworthy- Switch

Wednesday, January 30th


Drowning- Switch
Fishing Star World Tour- Switch
Hyperide– Switch

Thursday, January 31st


Agartha-S- Switch
Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings- Switch
Bombfest- Switch
Bleep Bloop- Switch
Downwell- Switch
Dragon Marked for Death: Advanced Attackers- Switch
Dragon Marked for Death: Frontline Fighters- Switch
Eggggg: The Platform Puker- Switch
Gabbuchi- Switch
Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander
Merchants of Kaiden- Switch
Necrosphere Deluxe- Switch
New Star Manager- Switch
Piczle Colors- Switch
Planeterian- Switch
Stray Cat Doors- Switch
Tangledeep- Switch

Friday, February 1st


8-Bit Hordes- PS4, Xbone
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unkown- PC
Animal Super Squad- Xbone
Thea: The Awakening- Switch
Wargroove- Switch

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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