Bells, Miles, Turnips, and Crafting!

We take a trip to an island paradise with an in-depth discussion on the latest in the Animal Crossing franchise, New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch! Before I bring on this week’s guest, I talk about the return of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater! Plus, two games I’ve been playing recently, Lonely Mountains: Downhill for the Nintendo Switch and Wingspan’s Steam beta.

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A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Host | Derreck Mayer (@TheStarTrekdude) Special Guest | Lisa Linh (

Music | David Renda at Fesliyan Studios

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Bells, Miles, Turnips, and Crafting!

Lonely Mountains: Downhill Switch Review

It’s a warm, sunny day. The breeze whooshes past as you speed quickly down the trail. As you continue, your speed increases; there’s a turn! You apply the brakes and drift right, avoiding a painful collision with a rock. On the other hand, maybe you’re me and you slam right into it, ending your run. Thunderful’s latest game from developer Megagon Industries, Lonely Mountains: Downhill, takes you through some treacherous mountain bike trails filled with twists, turns, jumps, ramps, trees, rocks, and broken pieces from all the times I’ve crashed…. okay, that last part is a joke.

Official Description from Thunderful

The Lonely Mountains are waiting for you! Explore rocky mountain slopes with your bike, jump over sandy gorges or find your way through the foggy forests. Each Lonely Mountain awaits you with new challenges! Sprint, jump and slide to find your own way to the finish line. Explore the detailed mountain worlds or face the ticking clock – with every success you unlock new bikes, paintwork and outfits piece by piece. Train your skills day and night, improve your place on the leaderboards and ultimately compete with the best riders in the world in the risky Free Ride mode.

My Thoughts

That description sums it up nicely. It’s a sweet game with a simplistic beauty to its basic polygon graphic approach. It’s clean, tight, and smooth in its performance. The sound effects are surprisingly crisp and realistic, adding a true depth to the game. The graphics are pretty and cute with an odd sense of detailed simplicity. I love the trees. They feel almost as if they are stop-motion animated, which is wonderful. Other natural elements include rocks, rivers, grass, and small plants. Not much else blankets the scene, no bears or deer from what I can tell, for example.

Frankly, I found it quite difficult. In my time with the game, I’ve explored one of the four mountains you can unlock as well as two of its trails. Each trail includes multiple difficulty modes that provide varying challenges. Challenges include limiting the number of crashes or completing in under a certain time. Some, called “Cross the Finish Line”, remove all of the checkpoints, making it even more difficult to get all the way through a run. The initial trail, Graterhorn Trail 1, has 6 checkpoints throughout. My best time is 2:45.77, for example.

Now, let’s talk game play. The controls are simple. You accelerate with ZR, break with ZL, steer with the left Joy-Con joystick, and can sprint with A. There are three steering modes: Left/Right, Left/Right Inverted, and Screen Based. I find the latter to be the most difficult for me to use, personally. Now, as you go, you’ll pick up speed going downhill, especially if you stay on the path. The main issue here is that if you hit something going fast enough, you’ll crash. This will cause you to restart from the previous checkpoint or beginning of the map. Why is this an issue? Well, without an speedometer or gauge, it is difficult to know the line between slow enough to graze the rock or tree and fast enough to crash into said rock or tree. I’m sure it gets easier over time but I found it frustrating, especially during timed trials.

Let’s move on to customization. There are some personal cosmetic options including multiple helmet types, skin tones, hair, and facial hair options. Additionally, there are multiple bikes. You begin with the Grasshopper and work your way toward the Geronimo, which I feel looks the coolest. Each bike has a different set of stats including stability, agility, acceleration, among others.


Overall, I think it’s a relatively solid game that looks easier than it is. If you’re looking for a challenging cycle game with pretty graphics, you’re in luck. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quiet, casual ride through the woods, I don’t think this is for you.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill is available digitally for Nintendo Switch now and was previously released on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. It’s standard price is $19.99.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill Switch Review

SteamWorld Dig Lands on Switch

For those who don’t listen to our video game podcast, Gamer Heroes, you might not know that I’m a big fan of Image & Form (now part of Thunderful) and their SteamWorld series of games. If SteamWorld Dig Rustyyou’re not familiar with the series, the SteamWorld games follow steam-powered robots in two different game styles. SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Dig 2 are both digging platformers while SteamWorld Heist is a turned-based RPG platformer. I’ve spent a lot of time playing these three games and you can find my reviews of them here:

This article is going to focus on the newly released Nintendo Switch version of the original SteamWorld Dig game. It’s priced at $9.99 USD and is available on the Nintendo eShop now.SteamWorld Dig Rusty

Overall, they’ve done a nice job bringing the game to Nintendo Switch. Back when I first played, it was on the 3DS and while it’s still one of my favorite handheld games, the graphics were certainly not HD given the restrictions of the DS hardware line. The game, also being available on Steam, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and Wii U means that it’s been available in an HD format on other platforms for a while now. In fact, the Nintendo Switch version of the game is the first release of SteamWorld Dig since the 2015 release on Xbox One.SteamWorld Dig Dorothy

Now, I’ve only ever played on 3Ds and Steam. So if you’ve played on Playstation or Xbox and had a totally different experience, please let me know but also keep in mind that I wasn’t exposed to those platforms for this title.

SteamWorld Dig DorothyThe game looks good. Visually, the graphics are nice and hold up well on my HD TV as well as in handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch. Of course, SteamWorld Dig 2 just looks a lot better. While the basic visual style is similar, SteamWorld Dig 2 has a lot more going on with more background animations and minor movements. I think the biggest change for me is the single screen experience. On 3DS, the mini-map, inventory, and some other features display on the bottom touch screen and are easily accessible by clicking on them. The Switch, only having a single screen, handles this by providing the mini-map in the upper right of the game play screen and the inventory on the bottom. Clearly, this works better than it would have on 3DS due to the significantly higher resolution but I truly loved the dual-screen experience on the 3DS. Steam provided a secondary window for the mini-map, which I found a bit clunky, so I would at least rate the Switch version higher in that regard. One cool feature is that the options menu provides a slider for increasing or decreasing the size of the mini-map. I just made it as large as can be, since I primarily play in TV mode.

The game play is solid and smooth for the most part. I do find that the game is a little slower in response when compared to the more recently released SteamWorld Dig 2. So if you are going back to play this one, that felt pretty noticeable. If SteamWorld Dig on Switch would be your introduction to the franchise, then I doubt you’ll notice.SteamWorld Dig Digging View

At the end of the day, I think this is a solid version of the game but I don’t think I can call it the definitive version or anything like that. Where you play the game will likely depend on your personal preference. I think the 3DS version still has a lot to offer but if you’re like me and seem to be playing your DS less and less thanks to the Switch, I’d snag this new release of the game and once you finish, you can move on to SteamWorld Heist, since it’s also available on Switch now.

SteamWorld Dig is a personal favorite of mine and it’s definitely an Indie game worth checking out. If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on gaming, please check out Gamer Heroes. We have new episodes on Tuesdays and you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and Spreaker!

‘Till next time… keep on diggin’.

SteamWorld Dig Lands on Switch