Best indie games for Nintendo Switch iMore 2021
Nintendo consoles are built 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
- Who is the imposter?: Among Us
- Rage in these streets: Streets of Rage 4
- Who is the imp- no, the Gnosia?: Gnosia
- A slightly different reality: Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
- Learn to let go: Spiritfarer
- Light 'em up!: Enter the Gungeon
- Find yourself again: Sea of Solitude: The Director's Cut
- More than just a kitty: Gato Roboto
- 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.
Who is the imposter?: Among Us
Everyone knows Among Us — the multiplayer game received a huge resurgence in popularity recently, climbing from only dozens of players to thousands upon thousands in a matter of months. The viral hit makes the jump to the Nintendo Switch and includes cross-play, so you can play with your friends on other platforms.
Rage in these streets: Streets of Rage 4
Streets of Rage 4 is the insanely excellent sequel to Sega's classic beat 'em up franchise. A new art style, updated music, and satisfying co-op gameplay elevate Streets of Rage 4 to must-play status.
Who is the imp- no, the Gnosia?: Gnosia
Gnosia is a sci-fi social deduction RPG where you must try to deduce who among you're your crew is a Gnosia, a deadly threat that has infiltrated your ranks. Players will have to gather clues to determine who they think is a Gnosia and then vote to put them into cold sleep. Gnosia is a unique spin on the genre with tons of replayability with multiple special events and an eclectic cast of characters.
A slightly different reality: Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
A magical realist adventure game told in five acts, Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is an experimental game that draws inspiration from theater, film, and electronic art, as well as the history of videogames. An art-house treat for the Nintendo Switch.
Learn to let go: Spiritfarer
Spirtfarer is a cozy management game about dying. While on the surface, that may seem dark, Spirtfarer is anything but. You play as Stella, ferry master to the deceased, as you build a boat, befriend and care for spirits before releasing them into the afterlife. Spent time with your new friends, create memories, and learn how to say goodbye to your loved ones.
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.
Find yourself again: Sea of Solitude: The Director's Cut
Sea of Solitude: The Director's Cut is the updated version of the 2019 Games for Impact nominee. You play as Kay, a girl so hopeless that she turns into a monster. Featuring a new cast of voice actors, updated cutscenes and animations, and a rewritten script, there's no better way to experience this emotional journey than on the Nintendo Switch.
More than just a kitty: Gato Roboto
In Gato Roboto, you are a cat in a cozy armored mech suit on a journey to save your stranded captain and his crashed spaceship. Using a combination of your feline instincts and awesome mech suit, journey through this monochromatic Metroidvania. Adventure awaits!
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.
New school Hyrule: Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda
Crypt of the Necrodancer was a unique spin on the adventure genre, combining typical dungeon crawling with a rhythm game. The last thing we expected from a sequel would be a crossover with Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, but that's exactly what we got. Jump and slash to the beat in familiar Zelda locales and even control Princess Zelda and Link.
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 an RPG that is delightfully strange and witty, undercut by a creeping sadness throughout. Its simple graphics and gameplay make room for some excellent storytelling.
Build a deck worthy of greatness: Slay the Spire
Roguelikes and card games are all the rage in the indie scene, so what would happen if you combined them? You get Slay the Spire, a unique and addictive card-battling roguelike. Craft a unique deck, battle bizarre and grotesque monsters, and climb the spire.
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.
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 storytelling that will keep you going back for more every time you die — and you will die a lot. 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 Spiritfarer, a cozy, feel-good game that deals with heavy themes.
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