For the most part, Nintendo consoles are made on the backs of flagship titles like Mario and Zelda. The Nintendo Switch has been no different. With stellar releases for both characters mentioned, it's no wonder the Switch has been so successful. That being said, there actually aren't a ton of major titles out on the Switch yet. So what do you do when you have a brand new piece of hardware and you need more software to fill out your ranks? You let independent developers come to the rescue. And indie devs have done just that. There are a bunch of killer games released by independent studios on the Switch and that just makes the system even more enticing.
Here are just some of the very best independent games that the Nintendo Switch has to offer.
- Stardew Valley
- Thimbleweed Park
- The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
- SteamWorld Dig 2
- Axiom Verge
If you were a fan of Harvest Moon, you are most decidedly going to love Stardew Valley. Ported onto the Switch in October of 2017, you can't do better in the charming farm simulator department. Take over your Grandfather's poorly maintained property and turn it into a bustling and thriving farm. Stardew Valley was lovingly developed by Eric Barone and it became one of the best-selling games on Steam, and now you can have it in the palm of your hands with the Nintendo Switch.
If you're anything like me, then you hold a special place in your heart for the adventure games of the 80s and early 90s. The absolute best of those games were developed by LucasFilm Games. Classics like "Maniac Mansion" and "Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders" perfectly blended mind-bending puzzles with off the wall humor. In 2017, Terrible Toybox, led by LucasFilm alums Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, released Thimbleweed Park. This game is a love letter to the early era of adventure games. If you're looking for some quirky fun, then I can't recommend Thimbleweed Park enough.
In recent years, couch-based multiplayer games have been given short shrift by the game development industry. With the wide proliferation of online multiplayer gaming, it seems that there just haven't been a lot of great games with a multiplayer experience designed for people who are actually in the same room. Snipperclips helps to prove the point that that market is totally worth making games for. Do yourself a favor and get together with one to three other players in order to cooperatively solve the clever and interesting puzzles that Snipperclips has to offer.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
It takes some pretty special game design skills to create an abusively difficult game that actually makes you want to keep playing, rather than tossing your controller across the room. Fortunately for us, that little sweet spot seems to be the place where Edmund McMillen lives. The independent developer who brought us Super Meat Boy also created The Binding of Isaac. This roguelike was originally released in 2014 but Switch users got their hands on it in 2017. This new version features every nit of expanded content so it should be enough to keep you busy for a while.
SteamWorld Dig 2
As a sequel to the original SteamWorld Dig, SteamWorld Dig 2 aims to take what worked the first time and make it even better. This 2D platformer sees you take control of a steampunk robot by the name of Dorothy. You will do as the name implies and use your pickaxe to dig your way through a largely subterranean world. Like any platformer worth its salt you will have plenty of bad guys thrown in your path to deal with. If you are looking for a solid platformer to spend your time with then SteamWorld Dig 2 is definitely worth a second look.
Speaking of platformers, this is one of the best that can be had on the Switch at the moment. If you are a fan of the Metroidvania genre then you can just go right ahead and throw this one in the shopping cart. I could tell you what it's about but that doesn't really matter. There are certain gaming experiences in one's life that just can't be recaptured. For me, the original Metroid was one of those games. Axiom Verge came real dang close to giving me that ol' Metroid feeling all over again.
Nintendo is doing an awesome job of encouraging indie developers to come to their platform. We can be sure that there will be a lot more fantastic independently developed games coming out for the Nintendo Switch. That's great news because it means more good games to fill out our libraries while we wait for the major companies to churn out more tentpole games.
What's your favorite?
What independent games are you loving on your Switch?
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