The biggest concern I have personally with the Switch’s chance for long-term success is Nintendo’s ability to attract partners. Already there’s a minimal investment from big third party partners like Ubisoft and EA in year one of the Switch. How could anyone blame them for being skeptical of Nintendo hardware in a post-Wii U world. It’ll be up to Nintendo to build a user-base that offers profitable opportunities before we see anything like near a Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed or Madden gracing the console. The main reason why I can understand Nintendo spacing out their first party content over year one of the Switch is to ensure that early adopters have a steady stream of content to play. The lack of third-party padding during the early goings definitely leaves plenty of space to fill. There is still some hope out there for early Switch adopters though – NINDIES!
Indie development has taken over much of the gaming industry. Indie games have long provided the low-cost entry level games but increasingly this generation of indie developers have taken over the “middle ground” between the small indie darlings of old and the major ‘AAA’ high development games that gamers flock too. Indies, or ‘Nindies’ as Nintendo have trumpeted, have taken over the market with handfuls of games coming to various platforms each week. Luckily for Nintendo and anyone pondering making the Switch (snap!) – It would appear that Indie developers are positive on the Switch.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of Indie games that appear on their way to fill in the gaps on the Nintendo Switch;
Yep the big dog. You can call it “Indie” but Yooka-Laylee deserves as much attention as any game on any system. The developer Playtonic is full of old-school Rare team members and Yooka-Laylee appears to be the next installment for anyone missing the 3D open-world exploration games of old. Currently scheduled to release on PC, XB1, and PS4 on April 11th it’ll be interesting to discover when this switch-confirmed game will be playable by those wanting to play on the go.
IGN, GameSpot, GameXplain, Kinda Funny, NWR, and most anyone else that put their hands on the Nintendo Switch preview event had great things to say about Snipperclips. Currently an exclusive to the Switch console, Snipperclips is rumored to be launching with the Switch on day one for $20 (DualShockers) – Thats the right time and price to provide Switch adopters an opportunity to put the Switch’s multiplayer focus to the test.
Back in 2016 on our “games we’re looking forward to” discussion, I mentioned Rime in my top-5. The former PS4 exclusive has had a rocky development thus far disappearing for about a year only to surface as a multi-platform game now coming to PS4, Xbox, and yes the Nintendo Switch in May. This Indie game sports a gorgeous art-style that evokes Wind Waker memories and gameplay that appears similar to something like the Witness.
Already available on PS4, XB1, and PC – Stardew Valley was an Indie hit in 2016 and has been confirmed to be arriving on the Switch console. While no date has been announced, comments made by the developer regarding cancelling Wii U port development for Switch would point to an earlier than later release for Nintendo gamers. The open, country-life RPG would appear to offer value to any fan of a Minecraft or an Animal Crossing with a lovely art-style and should benefit from the ability to be played on the go. http://stardewvalley.net/stardew-valley-console-release-dates/
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth Plus
The expansion to ‘Binding of Issac’, Afterbirth Plus will launch with the Switch console on March 3rd. The hit dungeon crawler from Nicalis is largely available everywhere in some form (even on 3DS provided you have the ‘New’ one) but it’s also something for new switch owners unfamiliar to test and largely has positive reception (metacritc score between 85-93 depending on versions of the game).
Speaking of Nicalis
In a tweet that has since been deleted, Nicalis also lifted the lid that it would appear to be bringing 1001 spikes as well as Cave Story to the Nintendo Switch platform. Both games are also currently available on almost any other platform, but both also have been well received by many across the internet. Especially Cave Story, which received many 90+ reviews upon release.
Has Been Heroes
A brand new, rogue-like action strategy game, Has Been Heroes comes to the Switch from Frozenbyte, that’s the same developer of the Trine series, for the right price of just $20. With Has-Been Heroes, you control three lanes each consisting of one character, a myriad of spells and items in some good old turn based fun.
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
While not 100% confirmed yet, Oceanhorn devs have announced that Oceanhorn would be arriving to ‘a Nintendo console’ in 2017. The port will be long overdue as its already on other platforms, but still represents a very Zelda-esque romp for anyone that hasn’t already taken the plunge. Our very own Kyle, really enjoyed his time with this game on PlayStation 4. Our Review
Sporting an 81 metacritic score and “overwhelmingly positive” reception with over 1000 reviews on Steam, Redout should be on your radar if you’re thinking of grabbing a Switch in year one. Here’s what the developer has to say about it;
Using Epic’s Unreal graphics engine and razor-sharp control mechanics, Redout is one of the most intense game experiences in the Nintendo Switch launch line-up. Whether you play it on the go or on an 80” HDTV, Redout delivers a new entry into the pantheon of classic anti-grav formula racing games. “You’re gonna leave this game with your eyes dry, because you can’t blink,” promises lead game designer Giuseppe Franchi of 34BigThings.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Shovel Knight is coming to the Switch in many forms but this is the one you should be looking for. Treasure Trove will include Shovel Knight proper, but with the expansions Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment and all additional DLC. One of the best games from an independent developer in recent memory, should be owned by anyone that hasn’t already given it a try. Treasure Trove will also include a Co-Op mode available to all versions except 3DS and Vita so if you have it on 3DS, you might be encouraged to Switch.
Cube Life: Island Survival HD
Yes the Switch will have Minecraft and yes Minecraft has taken the video game market by storm, but this is my blog and I want to show some love to game that too often gets dismissed as just a “minecraft clone.” While it is true, both games provide very similar gameplay, Cube Life captured the attention of my two kids much moreso than Minecraft ever has largely due to Cypronia’s willingness to adapt the game to the Wii U’s control scheme. I hope the same rings true for the Switch release which will also come at a much cheaper price of entry than Minecraft if history holds true.
Without a doubt there’s a lot to look forward to playing on the Switch outside of Nintendo’s first party games. The number of Indies supporting Switch continues to grow with each passing day and even if some of these games aren’t exclusive, I’d imagine many gamers out there would be willing to double dip on the highlights simply to be able to play on the go. I know I won’t bat an eye at double-dipping on Oeanhorn, Shovel Knight, and Cube Life for my own personal collection. The console quality in the palm of your hand to be played anywhere definitely increases my opportunities to continue playing.
I couldn’t possibly list my quick opinion on every confirmed Nindie in development, but I can make sure they’re at least included on this post somehow. So as more announcements continue to come across my desk, I will continue to update this list until the Switch launches.