Over the past week I played through Shantae and the Seven Sirens, which is one of the many games I bought on sale after Thanksgiving.

Once I started it, I realized that I already played part of it. In 2019, it (well, a small part of it) was a launch title on Apple Arcade. At the time, I, like most Apple nerds, got the Apple Arcade free trial. I did not click with Apple Arcade. The only game I liked on it at the time was Shantae and the Seven Sirens. That version was my introduction to the Shantae series. After my Apple Arcade trial ended, I bought the next best thing, Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero, on the Switch.

Because I had played part of it in 2019, I decided to play it this time using the original 2019 level of difficulty, rather than in the newer “definitive mode” with “balanced difficulty.” That may have been a mistake, because the game posed no challenge at all. Healing items and magic refills abound, and about 20% of the way through you get a heading dance (which is like a magic spell) that makes healing almost entirely unnecessary.

While not challenging, it was a lot of fun. The game has cute and colorful graphics, a funny and entertaining script, snappy controls, and runs smooth as butter on the Switch.

After I beat it, I started a new game under the “definitive mode”. Right away I found it much harder—harder than I expected, to be honest. I will likely play through it again at this higher difficulty setting and see how I fare.