Games that earned Two Thumbs Up in 2019

The year 2019 was another great year to be a Nintendo gamer! I’ve said it before, but it seems like playing video games has left the stereotype basement of unkempt young guys and entered the era where everyone can be a gamer. No matter what kind of gaming genre you like or if you like gaming on a console or on your mobile. And that, as you know, is something that is close to my heart!

We reviewed many games on the site again this year, most of them on Nintendo Switch. Time to look at the ones that earned our highest praise of Two Thumbs Up. Should we end up on a deserted island, all alone but for our trusty gaming device (and a power outlet, of course) then these are the games we will take with us!

My Time at Portia – released April 16- Reviewed by Yvonne

For fans of simulation games, My Time at Portia has all the elements: farming, questing, fighting and socialising. Not only that, they are all implemented equally well. The Switch holds too few of these ace simulation games that combines all the gameplay I want so well. My Time at Portia offers a very well rounded package with spades of content. A veritable time sink.

If you are a fan of simulation games and like them to have goals, quests and some fighting as well, I can definitely recommend My Time at Portia!

My review of the game is here. 

Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamesh- released April 25 – Reviewed by ChamZen

ChamZen had a great time with more then one title in the Steamworld series. This one, a card based RPG, got the highest praise. She writes in her conclusion:

With Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech Image & Form have added another brilliant title to their Steampunk games. The gameplay is entertaining and great fun to play, nothing felt tedious or repetitive during the combat. You do have to be involved as you think about what cards to play on your teams’ next move. 

With the hand drawn environments, the quirky characters, humour and the engaging gameplay Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a very welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch.

Find her review here. 

Lethal League Blaze – released July 12 – Reviewed by Paige

Paige loved this fighting game, saying that:

Lethal League Blaze is a unique fighting game developed and published by Team Reptile, and is a sequel to the original Lethal League. The game is 2D but is made with 3D models and backgrounds in a cel shaded style. All the character designs are unique and interesting. Such as a beanie wearing crocodile, skateboarding robot and roller skating teen with a hover pack.

Lethal League Blaze has about nineteen songs most of which you need to unlock. I’d been listening to the soundtrack long before I got the game, as it has some very, funky fresh beats. This game looks and sounds great. It is a fun game, where speed is the name.  While the game might seem to be based on a sole gimmick, the real complexity comes from developing your skills, and interacting with other players.

Her review is here. 

Lethal League

Dragon Quest Builders 2 – released July 12 – Reviewed by Yvonne

Several of our team members were playing this game, though for Paige it clashed with her playing time for Fire Emblem Three Houses. ChamZen and I loved every minute of it though. I made the review, ChamZen made several guides for Dragon Quest Builders 2.

Think Minecraft with RPG elements, but without the blocky appearance. A huge game with many, many hours of gameplay.And I would even go as far as to say that you don’t have to be an RPG fan to play it. If you like sim games of the sort of Animal Crossing or farming games, you can get a lot of enjoyment and creativity out of Dragon Quest Builders 2. Sure, there are enemies to fight. But with Malroth and the other NPC’s helping it’s a piece of cake.

As ChamZen described it: “I can’t give enough thumbs to this game”. And so we gave two thumbs!

Read my review here. 

Slay the Spire – released June 6 – Reviewed by Pikodoodle

Slay the Spire is a deck building card RPG. Pikodoodle was looking for something new to play, and stumbled upon it in the eShop. She writes in her conclusion:

Slay the Spire is a fantastic roguelike deck-builder. It offers creative freedom to craft your deck—more player freedom than I’ve experienced in any roguelike game.

Since you can experience the Spire differently with its three characters (in future: four characters), the replay value is high, making it worth more than $25.

I highly recommend Spire to card-game lovers and anyone who can enjoy learning from failure and experimenting with strategies. But I would caution gamers who have a low tolerance for losing again and again.

Her review is here. 

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout – released October 28 – reviewed by Beth

A title several of our writers were looking forward too. Beth made her review playing the PS4 version, while I made two guides playing the Switch version. I have been an Atelier fan for years now, for Beth it was her first experience. She gave it the Two Thumbs up writing in conclusion:

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout provided an experience that perfectly incorporates slice of life elements whilst providing a storyline that integrates character development where the player will grow attached to each of the characters during their journey. Gust has done a wonderful job in breathing fresh life into the franchise and is the perfect entry for newcomers to play.

Her review is here. 

Woven – released November 15 – reviewed by Yvonne

Woven, by Dutch gaming studio Alterego had caught my attention as being a super cute and colourful puzzle adventure. I was really blown away by it when I finally got my hands on it, and it was every bit as good as expected. I wrote in my conclusion:

Let’s recap here: a small development studio, an amazing looking game that has lots of depth to it. A great story line and puzzles that exercise the grey cells. An added element of narration making it even better. Main characters that instantly make you feel protective. A long enough adventure with the right price tag. And even when I have other games waiting, Woven is taking over my entire spare gaming time.

You can find my review here.  


Where the Water tastes like Wine – released November 29 – reviewed by Ashromer

Puzzle adventure Where the Water tastes like Wine is heavily story based and has a specific look. Both , made Ashromer pay extra attention.  She writes about it:

This game is about as gritty as one could possibly ask for. After playing it, I almost felt like I was covered in road dirt, and had to spit dust and sand-like granules out from in between my teeth. It also has this otherworldly quality, that I absolutely love to death, about it. It combines my love of stories and storytelling, with my love of fantasy and fiction, as well as my love of semi-occult stuff: namely tarot cards.

There’s a soundtrack that will make you want to go square dance, ho-down, two-step, and/or just smile. Writing that will fill your mind with many interesting stories. Characters that also have their own awesome, interesting, fun stories to share. There’s voice acting that will blow your mind!

You honestly can’t go wrong with this game. I would highly recommend it!

You can read her review here. 

Where the water tastes like wine

So, that’s the list of Top Games 2019 that were reviewed on Happy Holidays to you, and I hope you can squeeze in some nice gaming!

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