Features

14 independent games are coming to the Nintendo Switch

More reason to get the Switch

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Nintendo, during this year’s Game Developer’s Conference, showcased fifteen independent games coming to Nintendo eShop for the Switch. This is the Nindies Showcase for spring 2018.

Don’t know what Nindies are? The word stems from Nintendo and indie put together. It’s what independently developed games for Nintendo systems are called. With minimal funding, most of these games explore design, soundtracks, and lore like no other. The Nindies Showcase has given developers the chance to create unique experiences for gamers — from stealth action games, tactical role-playing games, to rhythmic games.


Since the launch of the Switch last year, Nintendo says they’ve continued to be blown away by the number of high-quality games coming from passionate independent game developers across the world. Nintendo added by saying that the talented and ever-growing community has found a home on the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo Switch.

Missed the announcement? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the titles of the 14 independent games announced to be coming to the Nintendo Switch soon:

Bad North from Plausible Concept and Raw Fury

Arm troops, shore up defenses, and protect citizens in this beautifully designed real-time strategy game. The Viking-themed Bad North launches first on Nintendo Switch this summer.

Bomb Chicken from Nitrome

Nothing sounds better than a good old-fashioned chicken platformer. Bomb Chicken is just that. It’s a fast-paced game that combines action, puzzles, and arcade gameplay. Lay bombs to escape tricky situations and discover secret areas! Bomb Chicken launches first on Nintendo Switch this summer.

Lumines Remastered from Enhance Games

Who could forget the amazing harmony of light, sound, and intense puzzle-action of the critically acclaimed Lumines? An unforgettable game to play alone or with a friend in local multiplayer, this remade HD version is something you might want to get in on. Lumines Remastered launches on Nintendo Switch in spring.

Light Fall from Bishop Games

This platforming adventure takes players to the forgotten world of Numbra. In this world, they have to master their surroundings by manipulating the Shadow Core, a magical box used to propel them into the air. The game has a speed-run mode where players can race their friends or even the fastest players in the world.

Mark of the Ninja Remastered from Klei Entertainment

The high-definition remaster of the critically acclaimed stealth action game is coming this fall. First released in 2012, this game really makes players feel like a ninja. It recreates a sense of silence, agility, and wit as players navigate through the beautifully designed 2-dimensional game world.

Pode from Henchman & Goon

This cooperative exploration puzzle game is about two unlikely companions working together to navigate around obstacles in this beautiful stone world. Pode is inspired by Norwegian art and culture resulting in stunning environments and gameplay. The game launches this spring.

Pool Panic from Rekim and Adult Swim Games

More than 100 levels await players in this game — everything from jungles, deserts, to cities. This is one giant cartoon game of pool. The weird and wild game has the option to play in local multiplayer with up to four players. Pool Panic launches first on Nintendo Switch later this year.

The Messenger from Sabotage and Devolver Digital

The Messenger allows players to transform the game from an 8-bit platformer into a gloriously rendered 16-bit time-traveling adventure. Players will find upgrades, new abilities, hidden levels, and great speed-running opportunities as they journey through a cursed land. The Messenger launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.

West of Loathing from Asymmetric

West of Loathing is a slapstick comedy adventure role-playing game set in the wild west. The hilarious game is full of puzzles, quests, and turn-based combat. West of Loathing launches on Nintendo Switch as a console exclusive this spring.

Nintendo hasn’t released some of the trailers for the indie games they announced like:

– Banner Saga 3 from Versus Evil
– Fantasy Strike from Sirlin Games
– Garage from tinyBuild Games
– Just Shapes and Beats from Berzerk Studio
– Reigns: Kings & Queens from Nerial and Devolver Digital

See anything you’d like to try out from the Nintendo Switch Nindies Showcase? Let us know. We know it’s a lot to take in after all the announced releases in Nintendo Direct, but these games look promising! I’m personally keeping an eye on Bad North.

SEE ALSO: Undertale is coming to the Nintendo Switch

Unboxing

Apple Watch Series 7 Unboxing: Starlight the new Silver or Gold?

The best smartwatch for fitness and fashion?

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The new Apple Watch Series 7 might look ever-so-similar to last year’s Watch Series 6, but it’s more than meets the eye.

There’s a bigger display, new watch faces, and of course, newer aluminum finishes as well — including ours in Starlight.

But is it the best time for you to buy or even upgrade your Apple Watch?

Here’s our Apple Watch Series 7 unboxing.

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Gaming

Nintendo Switch OLED Unboxing and Review

Should you upgrade?

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Michael Josh might have forgotten to pre-order the newest Nintendo Switch OLED, but that doesn’t stop him from lining up to the nearest Nintendo Store in New York.

After hours of waiting and shopping spree, he finally ordered not one, but two on the line!

Other than the classic red and blue Switch, there’s also a new white version available.

But should you upgrade? Or do you just need to keep your existing Nintendo Switch for now?

Head over to our Nintendo Switch OLED Unboxing and Review now!

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Camera Shootouts

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs vivo X70 Pro+: Camera shootout

The Chinese company’s finest smartphone goes head-to-head with the South Korean giant’s best.

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Huawei with Leica, OnePlus with Hasselblad. Like many brands that have come before, vivo recently partnered with lens manufacturer Zeiss in an effort to level up its reputation as a bonafide smartphone camera champ.

We’ve always been cynical of these co-branding partnerships as being nothing more than a license to plaster a camera company’s logo on smartphones. Although, our experience made us a believer.

Before we do a deep dive on its cameras, let’s discuss the partnership first.

Vivo x Zeiss: What is it all about?

Zeiss claims one of the areas they partnered in has to do with Zeiss T* coating. This time around, all of the X70 Pro+’s cameras have this coating and Zeiss says it has to customize a recipe for each one, so it’s optimized for each lens.

The coating helps reduce the glare, ghosting, and imaging artifacts. Take a look at this example shot at the Barclays Center.

Left: iPhone 13 Pro Max (Normal coating), Right: vivo X70 Pro+ (Zeiss T* coating)

See how the X70 Pro+’s camera managed all that glare.

Cameras

Now, let’s talk cameras and take a look at some samples.

First, the X70 Pro+ has four cameras: a 50-megapixel wide camera, a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 114-degree field of view (and with gimbal stabilization), a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with optical zoom, and an additional periscope camera with 5x optical zoom.

Regular 1x shots

Ultra-wide-angle shot

2x zoom

Using the periscope

Macro

Taking selfies on its 32-megapixel selfie shooter

Mirrored

Performing against the Galaxy S21 Ultra

This is probably what you’ve been waiting for: a comparison of the vivo X70 Pro+ against the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Without further ado, let’s jump ahead. For easier comparison, all photos on the left were taken using the vivo X70 Pro+ while the photos on the right were shots from the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

These photos were shot during the day with the sun out, and the phones do well as expected.

Even in tricky situations such as against the light shots, where the HDR kicks in.

It’s the same on a gloomier day.

Low light is where we’ll see the most dramatic of differences, but first, let’s go indoors.

Admittedly, this wasn’t the most photogenic cocktail but the X70 Pro+ produced the most post-worthy shot.

And we like its photo best in this shot of the bar’s interior.

Next, dusk — right before the lovely blue hour.

This shot taken at Transmitter Park in Brooklyn could go either way. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s photo is the brightest while the X70 Pro+ tones it down a little — keeping it bright but also keeping it as close to reality as possible.

Now, let’s add a human subject. The problem here is the X70 Pro+’s photo is too bright, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s is not very sharp.

Low-light battle

That evening, we also stumbled on a very, very dimly lit bar. Think: heavily dark room with little to no lights.

Truly, the X70 Pro+ is a low-light master. Chay looked stunning and the room looked bright — something you couldn’t even see even with your naked eye. (Because the room is dark, remember?)

The Galaxy S21 Ultra managed to capture all the colors too, but at cost of noise. And when a face is involved — it’s not very flattering.

Although, personally, we wouldn’t post the shot taken using the X70 Pro+. It’s so good, it kind of takes away from the point of the photo.

That said, this is such a great example of how good of a low-light shooter this phone is.

Last shot at this bar without a human subject. The drink was a Piña Colada smoothie and it was white. Notice how the X70 Pro+ captured the condensation on the glass.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s shot was color accurate, but if you’ll zoom in to the upper right corner, you can see how noisy the S21 Ultra’s shot actually is.

You good? Crazy ‘no?

While comparing, here’s one last thing we want to show you. Thanks to its T star coating, notice these two shots taken in two different subway stations. Notice how the fluorescent lights aren’t as blown out on the X70 Pro+’s photos.

X70 Pro+ vs Galaxy S21 Ultra

Cameras aside, the X70 Pro+ directly goes after the Galaxy S21 Ultra. On paper, it’s got a resume that can go head-to-head with Samsung’s best.

S21 Ultra 

X70 Pro+

Processor

SD888

SD888+

RAM

12GB/16GB

12GB

Storage

128-512GB

256GB-512GB

Display

6.8 / AMOLED / 120Hz

6.8 / AMOLED / 120Hz

Battery

5,000 mAh

4,500 mAh

If you look at this chart, you’ll see they’re pretty similar. The X70 Pro+ is at a slight advantage with its newer 888 Plus processor, which was launched last June way after the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s release. While the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a bigger battery.

They both offer a complement of cameras that, as you saw in the comparison, are competitive with one another. But the Periscope Camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra can zoom further to 10x.

They both have things like IP68 water and dust resistance, and an under-display fingerprint scanner — both of which are fast and snappy.

Both have quick wired and wireless charging. The biggest leg up the Galaxy S21 Ultra has is support for the S-Pen, in case you want a phone that lets you use a stylus.

Is the vivo X70 Pro+ worth considering as your GadgetMatch?

Overall, vivo has built a solid challenger, delivering on the needs of hardcore users: a screen that’s great for content consumption be it watching movies or games; cameras that shoot well, especially in low light; and batteries that last longer and charge fast.

And in a world without Huawei — still suffering from the Google ban — and LG, which closed down its mobile phone business this year, vivo is the only other manufacturer that’s made a phone that can legitimately rival the best from Samsung.

Undoubtedly, the X70 Pro+ is one of the best Android phones you can buy today. Period. And for that, the phone deserves the GadgetMatch seal of approval.

For the full vivo X70 Pro+ review, watch our video on YouTube:

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