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5 must-have Nintendo Switch games that aren’t Zelda

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When the Nintendo Switch launched, one game dominated all conversation: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The highly anticipated flagship title captured hearts everywhere with its “open-air” freedom and ability to approach situations from any angle imaginable. Gamers were transported back to their school days of sharing secrets and trading stories on the playground — “You did what to kill what?” and “I didn’t know you could use that to do that!”

But that was well over a month ago, and if you got the Breath of the Wild then, your time in Zelda’s fantasy world of Hyrule is probably winding down. Or maybe you’d like to put off beating Ganon and see what else the Switch has to offer. Luckily, the system has plenty of games to complement one of the greatest ever made.

Snipperclips

We included Snipperclips in our list of the best games of 2017 so far, and for good reason. The Switch exclusive is the other killer app of the launch lineup, and is able to provoke shouts of annoyance and delight in equal measure. You play as two pieces of paper that can cut each other into any shape to solve different puzzle types. The closest game to Snipperclips is Crayon Physics or Scribblenauts in the amount of leeway in solutions that it affords the players.

Snipperclips is ideal for two, and is the showcase for the Switch’s built-in multiplayer — even Snip and Clip, the player characters, evoke the shape of the Joy-Con controllers themselves. Because the game comprises a series of brainteasers, casual and even non-gamers can join the fun. Early on, the solutions to the puzzles were fairly one-note, although this could be indicative of our lack of creativity. Our solutions usually involved variations of turning each other into bowls or combining ourselves into one big bowl (see the screenshot above). But eventually, the game opens up with variety; you and your partner must use your lateral thinking abilities to the utmost. If you always have a ready Player 2, Snipperclips is essential for your Nintendo Switch library.

Fast RMX

Consoles have typically launched with a racing game that pushes the hardware; Fast RMX — a futuristic arcade racer like F-Zero or Wipeout — fits the bill for the Switch. Digital Foundry has called the Switch exclusive “perhaps the most beautiful portable game ever,” and it’s easy to see why. Fast RMX has twelve racing machines blitzing along at hundreds of kilometers per hour on tracks with tornadoes and thunderstorms. The visuals work in concert with the sound design and HD rumble (you can feel those tornadoes vibrating in a circle in your hands) for a multisensory spectacle.

The game is a technical marvel. In handheld mode, Fast RMX runs at the Switch’s native resolution (720p) at 60 frames per second. When docked, the game runs at a dynamic resolution (but mostly 1080p), still at 60 frames per second. Even more impressively, these specs are maintained when played in splitscreen two-player and even four-player modes, which is just sheer technological wizardry. If you’re going to buy one game from this list, get Fast RMX. Its full-fledged single- and (online!) multiplayer modes, with time attack in a future patch, provide almost infinite replay value. Not bad for something developed by five people.

Graceful Explosion Machine

Shoot-em-ups are perfect games to be entranced by, and Graceful Explosion Machine is a beautiful and engaging exemplar of the genre. A timed exclusive for Switch, the game is a side-scrolling shooter where you pilot a spaceship through four planets to get home — these aren’t games that you play for the story, but for the mechanics. And Graceful Explosion Machine delivers the mechanics in spades. It kits you out with all the gear at the start: a basic gun, a melee energy sword, screen-clearing homing missiles, and a long-distance Kamehameha-like blast. Then, the game leaves you to figure out how to chain together explosions with grace and efficiency.

The result is a score attack game as good as Geometry Wars and Resogun. The frantic, in-the-zone chase after the combo multiplier, as well the drive to be stylish in weapon use, is reminiscent of Bayonetta or any of Platinum’s masterpieces. It helps that Graceful Explosion Machine’s art direction is clean and easy to parse no matter how hectic the chaos becomes; HD rumble also provides a unique feel for each weapon. A ranking system (that peaks at S+ for a perfect run — no hits and an unbroken multiplier) plus global leaderboards round out the package. Earning an S+ and seeing that you’re only 27th in the world keeps you coming back for more.

Snake Pass

Snake Pass is a mascot platformer with a mascot who can’t jump. A 3D collectathon to rival Yooka-Laylee, Snake Pass puts all of its challenge in what is usually the most intuitive part of platformers: moving the player character. Every minute detail of controlling Noodle the snake’s movement is in your control, from the orientation of his head to whether he’s gripping a surface. It’s a puzzle platformer where your body is the puzzle — Banjo Kazooie and Captain Toad meet QWOP and Octodad.

The Dark Souls of snake-based games, Snake Pass is equal to From Software’s skill-based series in providing both frustration and relaxation. But once you get past this high initial learning curve — it’s a bit like driving a weird, heavy, ropey car — the game becomes more deliberate, and is a matter of planning where you want to slither next. Noodle’s ridiculous contortions are greatly enhanced by the game’s production values, which show the effectiveness of Unreal Engine 4 in rendering cartoon visuals (and the ease with which the Switch supports an off-the-shelf engine). A soundtrack by David Wise of Rare fame transports you to the Nintendo 64 era, when you played these games for the sheer fun that they entailed.

Lego City Undercover

The only non-indie on this list, Lego City Undercover is the best the Lego series has to offer. While other Lego games practically required you to be familiar with the fandoms they spoofed, Lego City Undercover shines on its own merits with an original story that stars supercop Chase McCain as he infiltrates the criminal underworld of the titular Lego City. The game is a Grand Theft Auto that, as trite as the phrase may be, truly is fun for the whole family. Its pop culture references range from Columbo to The Shawshank Redemption to, of course, The Matrix. Dad jokes abound.

Originally a Wii U exclusive, Lego City Undercover returns on the Switch with a bevy of improvements that include a 1080p presentation when docked, vastly improved lighting, and — perhaps most important of all for a Lego game — local co-op. You will need an extra pair of Joy-Con or a Pro Controller to get in on the two-player action, though. The open world of Lego City is nowhere near the breadth of that of Breath of the Wild, but sometimes it’s just comforting to play a game that tells you what to do. Best of all, the Switch’s portability makes Lego City Undercover the most complete handheld Lego game to date, and allows you to snap up the game’s hundreds and hundreds of collectibles wherever you are.

SEE ALSO: Demon’s Souls to Dark Souls III: Ranking the Series

Camera Shootouts

Flagship Smartphone Camera Shootout: Best of 2017

Find out which premium smartphone comes out on top

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The iPhone X, Pixel 2, Mate 10 Pro, and Galaxy Note 8 — they may all look different, but they share one important feature: an excellent set of cameras.

Join us as we compare photos taken by each of these flagship smartphones around Indonesia and Singapore. Which shooter comes out on top? Watch and find out!

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Features

Dyson V8 Carbon Fibre cordless vacuum hands-on

The future of housekeeping

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Made a mess? Dyson’s got you.

The V8 Carbon Fibre, the newest addition to Dyson’s renowned cordless vacuum line, has just been launched in Southeast Asia.

The new cleaning device utilizes the same technology from previous Dyson innovations, which ensures optimum performance of this lean, mean, cleaning machine. Certain features — like a better battery and a more powerful engine — are improved on this new vacuum release.

Dyson engineer Sam Twist explains what the V8 Carbon Fibre can do

Dyson engineer Sam Twist explains what the V8 Carbon Fibre can do

At the launch in Bangkok, Thailand, I got to go hands-on with the device. Quite literally, I made a mess and cleaned it up with the V8 Carbon Fibre. Here are some initial observations:

Easy to handle

What amazed me most is how intuitive this device is. There was no learning curve. I picked it up for the first time, pulled a trigger that’s perfectly positioned in the area where my hand goes, and voila, I was vacuuming!

Now, call me uninformed on the workings of a vacuum (and general housekeeping) but I always thought vacuums were heavy. At least I didn’t expect something with this power to be as light as it was.

Like their Supersonic hairdryer, the V8 Carbon Fibre is ergonomically balanced. Simply put, it’s designed in a way that ensures easier handling.

Power!

This engine, tiny and light as it is, isn’t just a load of hot air (pun intended).

This device has 30 percent more suction power than its predecessors. That capability was shown off in a curious exhibition, one that entailed a vacuum-sealed container and some water. Yep, this vacuum sucks, in the best possible way.

This device tests the vaccum’s suction power! You can see the water rising as the device is turned on.

From corn chips to oregano, sprinkles to baking soda; we tried the vacuum and another Isa-made mess was averted.

Leave no dirt in sight

And, if the newly cleaned surface isn’t enough proof for you, you can just take a gander at the dirt you’ve picked up in the vacuum’s compartment.

This machine runs on an improved battery that’s capable of 40 minutes of non-stop, cord-free cleaning on low mode.

Very versatile

Aside from the fact that it’s a pretty capable machine, this thing also works well on different surfaces and different scenarios.

Different Dyson-engineered heads allow for cleaning a variety of textured spaces. There’s a tool specifically designed for carpets, hardwood floors, mattresses, and even one for “mess-free dog grooming!” Various accessories also mean that you can modify your vacuum specifically for the spot you want to clean — imagine a multi-angle brush attachment that allows you to clean hard to reach areas.

An added feature is that these vacuums have a wall-mounted charging dock, which is the most convenient thing. I’m definitely reserving a spot for this device in my future hypothetical high-tech house!

Now, these are just my initial thoughts on the V8 Carbon Fibre, but it’s enough to get me excited over vacuuming — who would’ve thought?

Quite honestly, I’ve never really enjoyed cleaning up my messes, but this thing might just change that.

The Dyson V8 Carbon Fibre will retail for PhP 47,500 in the Philippines starting February 21. It will be available in Thailand come March.

SEE ALSO: Dyson Supersonic review: Bladeless hair dryer

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CES 2018

Episode 001: Getting lost at the world’s largest tech show

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In this first epidose of GadgetMatch Podcast we talk about the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) which just wrapped up in Las Vegas. Michael Josh and Isa share behind the scenes challenges of covering the world’s largest tech show. And the team talks about the most attention grabbing tech from the show including an entire range of Artificial Intelligence and Google Assistant gadgets, Vivo’s new phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, Sony’s new robot dog, and Razer’s Project Linda.

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