One of the benefits of signing up for Nintendo Switch Online is access to a plethora of great NES and SNES titles. There are must-play classics like Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda. But there are also lesser-known titles waiting for new players to discover them. Such is the case with May’s upcoming games.
On May 20, subscribers will gain access to the NES title Rygar and the SNES games Wild Guns, Operation Logic Bomb and Panel de Pon. Here’s what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online’s upcoming free games.
Rygar was developed and published by Tecmo for Japanese arcades in 1986. While US players never got to experience it, the NES version was released a year later. It follows a legendary warrior risen from the dead in order to stop the villainous King Ligar and bring peace to the land.
While the arcade version was a straightforward action-platformer, the NES version let players explore and backtrack similar to Metroid. Rygar’s main weapon is the Diskarmor, a shield attached to his wrist by a chain. But completing levels earns access to other items, like a grappling hook, that can be used to reach different areas. Much like many other NES games, Rygar offered no way to save progress. But with Nintendo Switch Online’s ability to create save points, modern players should have an easier time.
Wild Guns is a steampunk western shooter developed by Natsume. It released in the US in 1995 towards the end of the Super Nintendo’s lifespan, though it was remastered in 2017. It follows a young woman who teams up with a bounty hunter in order to get revenge on the people who killed her family.
The gameplay is similar to that seen in shooting gallery games. The player’s character stands in the foreground and shoots robot enemies in the background. The quick pace requires switching between shooting with the reticle and dodging enemy fire. Various weapon upgrades, like the shotgun and machine gun, also appear, and the fact that it can be played cooperatively makes it all the better.
The convolutedly named Operation Logic Bomb: The Ultimate Search & Destroy is another shooter, though of an entirely different type. It was developed and published by Jaleco in 1993 and was actually a sequel to a 1991 Game Boy game called Fortified Zone. It follows a super-soldier who is dispatched to a secret facility after contact with the scientists working there goes quiet.
As it turns out, the scientists were experimenting with dimensional rips in the fabric of space and time. One such rip brought monsters into the real world, though there are plenty of robots and soldier enemies to fight too. It’s played from a top-down perspective similar to Gauntlet and Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Players start out with a basic weapon, but there are plenty of upgrades to discover.
Occasionally, Nintendo Switch Online will add games that were never released in the US. February saw the release of the top-down shooter Pop’n Twinbee, for example. Panel de Pon, which was developed by Paper Mario: The Origami King‘s Intelligent Systems, is a little bit different.
It was released in the US as Tetris Attack in 1995. Similar to how Nintendo reskinned the Japanese-only Doki Doki Panic to be Super Mario Bros. 2, the fantasy setting and fairy characters were replaced by those from Yoshi’s Island. However, the gameplay remained relatively the same. Players must rearrange various colored blocks in order to get three of the same color in a row, which will delete them. It also came with a variety of modes, including Endless Mode and Puzzle Mode, which requires the player to destroy the blocks in a set number of moves.
Nintendo Switch Online members are getting access to four little-known NES and SNES games on May 20. Here's what you need to know about them.