Best Indie Games for Nintendo Switch iMore 2021
Nintendo consoles are made on the backs of flagship titles like Mario and Zelda, and that's not much different on the Nintendo Switch. But over the last few years, Nintendo has embraced indie gaming in a big way. Some of the best games on the Nintendo Switch aren't big blockbuster titles. Instead, they're made by smaller indie developers. These developers can explore themes outside of gaming norms, experiment with gameplay tropes, and tell stories that haven't been told before. Here are the best indie titles on the Nintendo Switch.
- ★ Fight your way out of the Underworld: Hades
- Settle down and stay awhile: Stardew Valley - Nintendo Switch
- Fight. Die. Repeat.: Dead Cells - Nintendo Switch
- What lurks below?: Creature in the Well
- This game is red hot!: Cuphead - Nintendo Switch
- Listen to the banana: My Friend Pedro - Nintendo Switch
- Unleash the beast: Katana Zero - Nintendo Switch
- Nostalgia rich: Horace
- Light 'em up!: Enter the Gungeon
- I keep on falling: Downwell
- Drifting by: Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition
- What lurks below?: Hollow Knight - Nintendo Switch
★ Fight your way out of the Underworld: HadesStaff Pick
Hades is the latest roguelike to steal the hearts of gamers all over. As Hades' son, Zagreus, you must fight your way out of the Underworld and through tons of procedurally generated dungeons while learning more about the Greek pantheon of gods, demons, and heroes.
Settle down and stay awhile: Stardew Valley - Nintendo Switch
Videogames can sometimes be hectic, difficult, and time-consuming, so why not take a trip to Stardew Valley? Build your farm and meet the locales, all while playing at your pace. The farming game has continued to grow with consistent updates from its developer and is now better than ever.
Fight. Die. Repeat.: Dead Cells - Nintendo Switch
Another roguelike bursting with hours upon hours of gameplay, Dead Cells is a difficult 2D platformer that's perfect for quick, action-packed sessions. It looks and runs great on the Switch.
What lurks below?: Creature in the Well
Creature in the Well is a top-down, pinball-inspired, hack and slash dungeon crawler. That combination might sound insane on paper (and it is), but it makes for a wildly creative game.
This game is red hot!: Cuphead - Nintendo Switch
One of the best looking games on the Xbox and PC has appeared on the Switch, looking as dapper as ever. It's a tough as nails run and gun platformer with art and animation ripped straight from the 1930s. Fans of challenging games will find a lot to love here.
Listen to the banana: My Friend Pedro - Nintendo Switch
My Friend Pedro is about a man, a talking banana, and lots of bullet time. Jump, shoot, and slow downtime in this satisfyingly ridiculous action game.
Unleash the beast: Katana Zero - Nintendo Switch
Stylish and challenging, Katana Zero follows a samurai through a noir-like thrill ride with plenty of twists and turns. The action and puzzles are fun, but the story is fantastic.
Nostalgia rich: Horace
Horace is a game that shouldn't be as good as it is, and yet it is SO good. Play as Horace as you guide him adventure like none other. The game is difficult, but the titular character is incredibly endearing from their humble beginnings to their bittersweet end.
Light 'em up!: Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon has enjoyed massive success on the Nintendo Switch and can be credited for bringing so many roguelikes to the system. Combining dungeon crawling with twin-stick shooter gameplay, Enter the Gungeon will keep you shooting for a long time.
I keep on falling: Downwell
Downwell proves that you don't need a complicated story, difficult game mechanics, or even color. Downwell is about a man falling down a well. Your goal? Just make it to the bottom.
Drifting by: Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition
A beautiful soundtrack and fantastic animations make up Hyper Light Drifter, an action game that pays homage to the 8 and 16-bit games of yesteryear.
What lurks below?: Hollow Knight - Nintendo Switch
Hollow Knight is a gorgeous Metroidvania game that brilliantly blends exploration with combat. You'll need more than just your wits to survive these difficult boss encounters.
A shovelful of riches: Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove - Nintendo Switch
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is quite literally a treasure trove of content. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove brings 4 campaigns and a multiplayer mode to make the ultimate Shovel Knight package. Grab your mighty shovel and seize the day.
Conquer your demons: Celeste - Nintendo Switch
Celeste is a deeply moving platformer that deals with the difficulties of crippling anxiety and self-doubt. The difficulties of those illnesses are a couple with a challenging platformer. You'll feel relief along with Madeline as you conquer each challenge and climb to the top of Celeste Mountain.
HONK!: Untitled Goose Game - Nintendo Switch
Technology has reached its peak. You are a goose set loose upon an unexpecting populace to do goose things. Honk your heart out and cause mischief.
Despite everything, it's still you: Undertale - Nintendo Switch
Undertale is a strange RPG that is delightfully strange and witty, undercut by a creeping sadness throughout. Its simple graphics and gameplay make room for some excellent storytelling.
Grow up: Night in the Woods - Nintendo Switch
A call back to adventure games of the early 90s, Night in the Woods is a simple game about coming home after being gone for a really long time. The angst is strong with this one, and that's what makes it so good.
A story about golf: Golf Story
A goofy game that is part RPG, part golf simulator, and does a pretty good job at being both. Prove yourself to be more than just a guy without a job in this very funny Switch exclusive.
Be the monster you fear: Carrion
Carrion flips the roles of a traditional horror game. You are not fleeing from a monster — you are the monster. Stalk through levels and consume any who stand in your way to freedom.
Asking the right questions: Baba is You
Baba is You asks fundamental questions, and the answers to these questions are rarely direct. Baba is You offers 200 logic puzzles that range from simple to impossible. Don't overthink it!
Prepped to perfection: Overcooked! 2 - Nintendo Switch
Overcooked! 2 is the sequel to the party game Overcooked!, and builds upon that game's chaos in wonderful ways. Work with up to three friends to prepare food and avoid obstacles for a high score.
No person left behind: Into the Breach
Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game with an emphasis on survival. Who lives and who dies relies solely on you in this fantastic strategy game.
Advance the war!: Wargroove - Nintendo Switch
If you've ever found yourself pining over Nintendo's long-dormant Advance Wars series, then Wargroove is for you. The strategy game is colorful, and most importantly, very fun. It's a deep tactics game with lots of content to sift through.
Soccer with cars: Rocket League - Nintendo Switch
In a nutshell, Rocket League is a game in which you play soccer with cars, and it is amazing. A bumping soundtrack and crossplay/cross-progression are the cherry on top of this now free to play gem.
9 to 5 has never been so much fun: Good Job!
Good Job! is a puzzle game where you must experiment with your environment to solve puzzles. A minimalist aesthetic and physics-based puzzles add humor to the already absurd indie game.
The fool no more: Sayonara Wild Hearts
Overcome heartbreak and start anew in this dreamy arcade shooter with a fantastic pop soundtrack.
Real renegade behavior: Star Renegades
Star Renegades is a procedurally generated mission-based campaign with a tactical turn-based battle system. Each playthrough is challenging, unique, and never the same.
What's your favorite?
As indie games continue to flood the Nintendo eShop, we'll make sure we update this list with our favorites. Just make sure you have an SD card with enough storage space to download these indie gems. If you're looking for the cream of the crop, look no further than Hades. It's a roguelike that's fun and fluid, but it's the art, voice acting, and story telling that will keep you going back for more every time you die — and you will die alot. If you enjoy Hades, you'll find lots to enjoy with Dead Cells.
For those looking for a more laid back experience, Stardew Valley is the perfect match for you. With no goal except to build up your farm, Stardew Valley has hours of content to enjoy at your own pace. Fans of Stardew Valley will also enjoy Night in the Woods.
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