The Best Indie Games on Nintendo Switch
Nintendo have long preached their dedication to the Nintendo Switch’s vast collection of “Nindies,” Switch games from indie developers. They’ve certainly kept their promise when it comes to ensuring the Switch has a wide variety of quality titles from smaller studios. Below, we’ve spotlighted ten of our favorite indie games available for the Nintendo Switch. If you’re finally exhausted Breath of the Wild and are looking for something different to play, check these out!
|Switch Release Date||Jun 12, 2018|
Hollow Knight offers a smooth, polished, challenging and unforgiving Metroidvania experience. You’ll take on the role of a brave little insect in a sprawling and dark world known as Hallownest. The beautifully drawn animations and wonderful soundtrack do an excellent job of setting the tone of this rich exploration-based adventure. You can customize your hero’s abilities by taking advantage of collectible items. There is a welcome complexity to the game. Hollow Knight on the Switch is packed with content, offering four expansions that are completely free to download, including new bosses, enemies and items.
|Release Date||Oct 5, 2017|
You’ve likely heard of Stardew Valley, and it certainly deserves all the hype. A spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon series, Stardew Valley offers a charming farming simulation. Its rich 2D graphics are oozing with pixelated charm and its soundtrack sets the perfect mood for a hard day’s work in the field, or deep in the nearby mines. Its sole developer, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone, has done an excellent job of crafting a story you can actually care about, with characters that you’ll learn to love.
|Release Date||Jan 25, 2018|
||Matt Makes Games Inc.|
Celeste is easily one of the best platformers on the Nintendo Switch, combining navigation of dangerous maps with the compelling story of Madeline, the young protagonist facing self-doubt in her attempt to climb Celeste Mountain. As the mountain is both literal and figurative, you may find yourself touched by Celeste’s emotional story. Even if you aren’t moved by the story, you’ll certainly appreciate Celeste’s tight platforming, excellent level design, fluid controls, and awesome soundtrack.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
|Release Date||Mar 3, 2017|
||Yacht Club Games|
The widely popular Shovel Knight is considered by many to be one of the best 2D side-scrolling platformers of all-time, and with good reason. Pick up your shovel and dig and bounce your way through tons of levels and bosses, collecting treasure and powerful items unlocking new abilities. Shovel Knight and its expansions features co-op, and two people can play with just a single pair of Joy-Con controllers. You may have noticed a Shovel Knight cameo in other indie titles, and there’s even a Shovel Knight assist trophy in Smash Bros. Ultimate! If that isn’t hitting the big time, I don’t know what is.
|Release Date||Jul 27, 2017|
||Team17 Digital Ltd|
There simply aren’t enough couch co-op games anymore, but the Switch is seeing to that. Overcooked! reminds us just how fun they can be, offering a hilarious and hectic local cooperative kitchen management experience that will have you shouting, “I NEED A CHICKEN!” It’s relatively simple design offers a wacky spin on traditional time management games (think Diner Dash) by challenging you not only to create recipes correctly, but deal with level-specific mechanics, including moving platforms, rats, ghosts, and more. There’s a sequel available, Overcooked! 2, for any chefs that need more on their plate.
|Release Date||Jun 29, 2017|
There’s certainly no shortage of 2D platformers on the Nintendo Switch, but so many of them are awesome. GoNNER is no exception. A challenging platform shooter experience with familiar roguelike elements, GoNNER’s procedurally-generated levels explode with color. Its trippy soundtrack will keep you immersed in every level. If you’re looking for a challenge and a few hundred deaths won’t turn you off, go to GoNNER.
|Release Date||Feb 13, 2018|
An adventure eleven years in the making, Owlboy impresses with its beautiful pixel art, echoing and improving on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis era. Its graphics are beautiful, its story is endearing, and the platforming is on point. Playing as Otus, the charming silent protagonist, you’ll make your way with the help of a motley crew of characters, each offering unique abilities and aiding you in your fight (and flight) when picked up.
Night in the Woods
|Release Date||Feb 1, 2018|
In a world of indie platformers, Night in the Woods focuses primarily on speaking with locals while occasionally balancing off a street light. Less adventuring, more killing time in Possum Springs. The cast is relatable, with poignant commentary on the struggles of the young and aimless in small town America. While things take a while to turn for the weird, you’ll still likely find yourself hooked by the Love and Rockets mystique. There’s a Guitar Hero-style minigame that will drive you nuts.
Enter the Gungeon
|Release Date||Dec 14, 2017|
One part roguelike, one part bullet-hell, all parts amazing. Enter the Gungeon features a polished and satisfying dungeon-crawling experience, offering more than enough looting and shooting to keep you busy. The game has multiple playable characters lost in procedurally generated dungeons. All filled with enemies, traps, and tons of other threats more than happy to take your life. Repeatedly. Oh, and there’s guns. Lots and lots and lots of guns. More guns than you'll know what to do with.
SteamWorld Dig 2
|Release Date||Sep 21, 2017|
||Image & Form International AB|
SteamWorld Dig 2 offers (yet another) absolutely beautiful Metroidvania, featuring all the exploration you could ever ask for. It’s a little on the short side, but those hours are filled with engaging gameplay with a charming story, challenging puzzles, fun unlocks and upgrades. You’ll likely find yourself squeezing in every hour of gameplay possible in search of all of SteamWorld Dig 2’s hidden secrets.