Last year we ran a story on The Bullet: Time of Revenge, a ‘new’ release on the Switch eShop that turned out to be an ‘asset flip’; a ready-made and purchased asset pack given a new name and forwarded to Nintendo for eShop lotcheck.
While this may rub a lot of people the wrong way, this approach is technically legal – the asset kit was purchased from the Unity Asset Store and resold entirely within the license terms – and Nintendo certification is not (and never has been) a test of quality, even when games came with the Nintendo Seal of Quality stamped on them. If the game loads and meets a set of basic technical requirements, it’s good to go.
It looks like two more asset flips hit Switch eShop on June 8: Bring Honey Home and Red Ball Escape, both from Benjamin Kistler.
The Unity Asset Store page for the latter indicates that the template, created and sold there by Fox Games, “is ready for release”
And some screenshots from Nintendo’s game page:
The Youtube channel Star or Shovelware has run a series called Asset Flip Warning (which contains strong language, so click with caution) to make players aware of the origins of this type of game.
Red Ball Escape is currently on the Switch eShop for $ 2.99 / £ 2.60, and Bring Honey Home, a witch-based jigsaw puzzle, runs for $ 7.99 / £ 7.19 and is mainly the Hexa Puzzle Block asset pack wrapped up and sold on Switch. Star or Shovelware fired off the free demo APK of Hexa Puzzle Block and found the first level to be identical to the Level 1 eShop screen:
With Switch eShop full of quality games lost in the flood, it’s disappointing to see these types of cynical releases fill the digital store front and make the good stuff even harder to find. Hopefully after seeing the asset flips highlighted above, you’ll be the better place to avoid them while browsing the latest indie releases.
Feel free to let us know your thoughts on practice in the poll below and in the comments.
Thanks to Dean for the tip!