We check out a range of FUNLAB Nintendo Switch products, then go hands on with Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, Skull and Bones and Penny’s Big Breakaway.

If you own a Nintendo Switch, you’ll surely know how many brands and accessories are vying for your attention at any one time. The sheer choice can feel overwhelming, but after spending a number of weeks with gear from FUNLAB, I can attest it might be worth looking into.

First up is the Firefly Pro Wireless Controller, and the first thing you’ll likely notice is its style. The ‘Zonai’ controller I got to go hands-on with is clearly inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s art style, decked out with wonderfully colourful patterns that light up thanks to 7 LED colours and five lighting modes. When they’re on in full force it’s a truly mesmerising effect and one of the prettiest Switch controllers we’ve seen so far. Thankfully despite all the lights you’ll still get around 12 hours of playtime, but you will have to cop a painfully long 6-hour charge once it’s all flat as a tack.

The colourful lights adorned all across the front of the unit makes the Firefly look like a display piece, but I assure you it’s absolutely playable and does a respectable job. Buttons have great resistance, and there are customisable back buttons on the rear and NFC support on the front. If I had one nit-pick it’s that the Firefly lacks both HD rumble and hall effect sticks to avoid any chance of stick drift, but both are understandable given the current $76.72 price point.

Next up was the FUNLAB Switch Carrying Case. Priced at $29.14, it’s not as bulky as some others on the market, but from my testing, that didn’t mean I was concerned if it were to take a bit of a tumble.

But although the underlying structure might be comparable to others, I did appreciate the visual aesthetic. I went with FUNLAB’s Green colourway and it offers a simple artistic offering few companies embrace. It’s also capable of holding the entire Switch line-up (from Lite to OLED), keeps things safe and sound with secure Velcro and hold small cords and up to 10 game cartridges.

Rounding out my time with FUNLAB’s gear was with the FUNLAB Switch Game Case (available for around $24.54). Interestingly, while the Firefly controller is the flashiest, the case might be my favourite product I tried. While game card cases are plentiful in today’s market, there’s an understated simplicity that I appreciated. It sticks to a regular rectangular formfactor allowing it to fit a pretty sizeable 24 games inside. Each slot has also been moulded on a 1:1 basis so that games are kept snug, plus there’s a handy finger arc design to help easily pry them out when you need them.

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A set of magnets helps keep the case closed up tight, and I was never concerned it would accidentally open. Best of all, my case was a bright yellow with Mario-themed designs adorning both sides (Wonder Yellow), and honestly, I absolutely love it.

As a whole, I was pretty impressed with FUNLAB’s offerings. Each product is reasonably priced and packing a hell of a lot of flair. If you’re looking to spice up your Switch accessories, it’s well worth a look.

To look at FUNLAB’s collection of controllers and accessories, you can check out their website at www.funlabswitch.com.

Also out now…

Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Switch)

Puzzle platformer might not be the first thing you think of when everybody’s favourite moustached plumber comes to mind, but that’s precisely the name of the game when it comes to Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

A remake of a 2004 GBA game, this fresh take on the classic Donkey Kong formula sees Mario jumping and leaping around stages to collect keys and track down miniature versions of him while trying to avoid deadly traps. It’s sounds like a simple premise, but with Nintendo’s classic level design in place it’s also one that’s able to use this simplicity to shine with creativity as you try to use all sorts of springs, ropes and moving platforms to get you to your goal.

The visual upgrade is remarkably significant and breathes new life into the original levels, but Nintendo has also included new worlds that take smartly expand on the foundations laid by the original, while quality of life improvements like a new “Casual” mode allowing for more forgiving checkpoints does well to make the experience family friendly.

If you missed Mario’s side adventure two decades ago, then Mario vs. Donkey Kong is certainly worth adding to your library. Old fans might find a little less to get excited about, but you can’t help deny the classic Nintendo charm all around it,

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)

You have to hand it to developer DON’T NOD, they’re not afraid to go outside their comfort zone, and Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden might be one of their best experiments yet. As a ghost hunter sent to the titular New Eden in 1695, it doesn’t take long for your 9-5 to go seriously shaped – your beloved killed in battle. This leaves your partner in ghost form and you with the ultimate quest of taking down the Nightmare ghost that caused all this chaos in first place.

It’s an intriguing tale that is cleverly supported via Go of War-styled combat encounters and an intriguing moral quandary as you contemplate whether to ‘banish’ ghosts in the hopes of bringing your partner to the land of the living or allowing them to resolve……

Expect to run into the odd graphical hitch here and there, but if you’re looking for an action game with a bit of a twist, Banishers may be well worth your time.

Skull and Bones (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)

To say that Skull and Bones has had quite the torturous development cycle would be one of 2024’s biggest understatements. Yet considering it’s been kicking around Ubisoft for a decade, it’s genuinely surprising that this sea-faring adventure is as well put together as it is.

That’s largely due to the game’s strong naval combat, which offers a pretty enjoyable loop as you sail around the map completing quests, battling sea-worthy foes and ultimately working to deck out your ship. I was a little disappointed that you can’t actually board and pillage enemy ships (a la Assassin’s Creed Black Flag), but what is on offer is still able to shine with Ubisoft’s signature polish all the same. It’s also pretty darn nice to look at, especially when you’re able to simply look out at the open sea.

Likewise, I enjoyed the versatility Skull and Bones offers up as I tinkered with and tested various ship combinations (like trying to find a balance between a big weapon choices without significantly impacting acceleration). It was all in the goal of landing the perfect vessel.

Yes, the gameplay loop can feel a little grindy at times, and the lack of a strong narrative may fail to hook long-term players, but Skull and Bones is a still plenty seaworthy for those willing to set sail.

Penny’s Big Breakaway (Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)

Otherworldly yo-yos aren’t the focus for many modern games, but that’s just part and parcel of Penny’s Big Breakaway and this ode to classic platformers is all the better for it. The chaos kicks off when an unexpected interaction with Cosmic String transforms humble street performer Penny’s Yo-Yo into a living creature, but the weirdness that spirals from there serves as a great jumping off point for this peculiar platformer.

Things admittedly get off to a bit of a shaky start, but thankfully it’s not long before the sheer creativity of Penny’s yoyo as a central mechanic is harnessed. And once you’re in full swing prepare to be chaining movement combos that’ll see you quickly whipping and zipping around all manner of creative environments that will surprise and delight you.

That last part shouldn’t be too hard to believe considering some of the game’s talent was also behind the beloved Sonic Mania, but it will take a while to get accustomed to game’s various mechanics and navigate effectively. I also noticed a bit of strange blurring for distant environments on our Switch version, but it’s a minor niggle I was happy to endure considering how perfectly suited Penny’s Big Breakaway is for portable on-the-go play.

There’s plenty of music to enjoy and collectibles to find, making this adventure well worth checking out. Fingers crossed we get more.

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