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Nintendo Switch eShop finally has a long-awaited fighting game — over a year late

Pocket Rumble leads the way in a diverse and intriguing eShop update

Pocket Rumble screenshot Cardboard Robot Games/Chucklefish

This week’s Nintendo Switch eShop update is lacking in big names, unless you’re a die-hard fan of the Shining role-playing games, SNK’s classic Samurai Shodown or, uh, Hotel Transylvania. But there is one other interesting release hitting this week.

Pocket Rumble is a simple 2D fighter that was inspired by Neo Geo Pocket Color fighting games. The game only requires two buttons to play, and has a number of offline and online modes that encourage players to train up before taking on the big leagues.

Pocket Rumble seems like a sweet, if niche, release. But excitement for it has built up over the past four years, when developer Cardboard Robot Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for the project. Pocket Rumble hit its modest goal of $22,000 by the campaign’s end, and development continued on until the game launched in Steam Early Access in 2016. It remains there to this today, with 107 “mostly positive” reviews.

In 2017 it was revealed that the game would be a Switch console exclusive, with a March release date.

It was playable at GDC, where it attracted widespread attention from Switch owners looking for a throwback fighter. But the developers ended up pushing the game’s launch back just before its planned March 2017 release, due to unforeseen issues with the online multiplayer component. Updates from both Cardboard Robot Games and publisher Chucklefish came throughout the year to remind fans that the game was still in the works.

The good news is that Pocket Rumble is now here, playable and available to download on Switch. The fans who have been waiting for 18 months are going to have a very good day.

Pocket Rumble is the star of this update, but there are several other intriguing indies on the list, including an “adult” version of the Jackbox Party Pack games called Awkward; a port of adventure game classic Another World; and the very pretty point-and-click episodic game The Lion’s Song. The full list is below.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.