The Switch has a great library of indie games that can be experienced on the go or from the comfort of your couch or bed. And since now is a good time to stay home, reflect and catch up on your gaming needs, here at Techfiddle we thought of providing you with a list of top 5 Indie Games for your Nintendo Switch (with a bonus upcoming game to look out for in the end).
- Stardew Valley
Developed by Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, Stardew Valley is magical from tips to toes. Released in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch, this is simply one of the best simulation role-playing video games on the market. From its colorful pixel art and animations to the way how sounds click when you plant a seed or water your farm, it’s a meditative process meant to be experienced. The premise is simple- you quit the busy city life to take care of your grandfather’s farm. As the story unfolds, you will encounter various characters whose stories you choose to discover. The game feels living and breathing with its four seasons providing unique farming, fishing, mining and exploration opportunities. Your actions have an impact on the town and have it transformed into a capitalized hub or a wondrous place connected to nature, where spirits journey the land… Stardew Valley is escapism at its best. After hundreds of hours, you will still find so much to be discovered it is going to keep you coming back. And if there is one advice I could give it is – is don’t rush it. Even if the in-game day has only 24 hours, there is more than enough time to complete all your goals, as the game doesn’t have credits end game screen. Stardew Valley is Nintendo Switch and gameplay loops at its finest. The latest update also allows for co-op play both couch and online, so bring a friend.
2. Katana Zero
If you ever wanted to experience what it’s like to be a time manipulating samurai in a cyberpunk-ish world filled with neon lights and mysterious programs enhancing human potential, Katana Zero is all that and more. Released on the Switch in 2019, it follows the Hotline Miami action formula of one-hit death, instant-replays gameplay loops, but with a side-scrolling and platforming twist. The protagonist is an amnesiac, tasked with executing targets without asking too many questions. He also possesses an ability that allows him to manipulate time, due to an experimental drug that some bad people injected him with. And he gets his targets from a shady psychiatrist that provides the protagonists with counseling sessions. Everything only becomes weirder and more convoluted as the game progresses and it is an absolute blast or better-said slash to play. thanks to its amazing soundtrack created by Wickrecordings and speedrun options, a high skill cap (try completing a room without the slow-time option) Katana Zero will have players entering a state of flow, few games can evoke. Execute (literally) a room perfectly, press the replay button and witness the smooth and precise action, whether you play it docked or handheld.
3. Cup head
Originally an Xbox exclusive, Cuphead was simply meant to come to the Nintendo Switch. This brutally difficult, rewarding and visually unique game (inspired by 1930s cartoons), delivered on some of the most memorable boss fights in 2019. The story is driven by the classic bargaining with the Devil twist, but it’s the visual aesthetics, music and over the top challenges that take center stage here. Take control of either Cuphead or his brother Mugman and start running, gunning and platforming your way to victory. Remember, master the game at your own pace, it will take some time to get into the groove of things, especially on harder difficulties. Bosses like the Phantom Express, Wally Warbles and the Devil himself that will leave you angry, frustrated, but ultimately fulfilled and satisfied to the brim for defeating them. Perform parties, learn enemy patterns, master timing in order to gain the full scale of this creative endeavor from the StudioMDHR. What’s even better, if your friends have the stomach for it the Switch allows for co-op play. “Yes we did it!” while high fiving each other, that is how satisfied Cuphead can be if you manage to hold down the urge to throw the controller in its tougher levels.
4. Untitled goose game
The Untitled goose game developed House Hou from Australia took the gaming world by storm Honking its way to the Nintendo Switch. You play a goose, the evolutionary peak of charisma and nuisance in the animal kingdom. It’s a stealth game, but that would be an overstatement. The mechanics are simple “Honk!” to attract attention, sprint to run away and complete goofy objectives that are simple and disruptive. No plots, no complex decision making, you are a goose that’s there to complete checklists and create “havoc” in a small provincial UK county. Tasks come in many forms such as: tripping a gullible gardener, making a picnic, dressing a statute stealing keys from unaware citizens to open a TV shop and dance on camera etc. The goose knows how to make a scene and it is hilarious. A lot of details were put into its animations to transmit the vibe and carelessness that embody the “stealthy” goose. The single piano score, that switches in tune with the intensity of the action happening on screen is just as charming as the plain colorful visuals of Untitled Goose Game. It is the stress reliever in uncertain times. The game doesn’t punish failure, it just adds more fun to the experience. Unaware citizens just shoe the goose away and go about their day, it is stress-free. Explore and annoy as you see fit while walking in the shoes of the closest Hitman version of a goose game character – precise, deadly and clunky. The game may feel short, but the stories that you will be able to share with your friends are well worth it.
Developed by Nomada studio from Spain, Gris (the French word for “Gray”) centers its main plot around dealing with negative emotions. It’s a platformer adventure game that evokes a wide array of feelings and is thought provoking as well. Gris, the game’s protagonists, is a young girl that changes the world around her by painting the world in colors and affecting the surrounding landscape. Gameplay is free of danger and immediate death, you’ll be unlocking new abilities that will help you progress through the story. Nothing complex or challenging though, the pillars that Gris stands on are primarily its art direction and sound, gameplay simply providing the tools needed to help you in painting and uncovering its mysteries. A lot of its themes are open to interpretation and players are encouraged to discover their own meaning for them in the world of Gris. And the world is absolutely breathtaking at times. The watercolor art style and vibrant colors are delightful with a soundtrack to match its visual tone. It articulates the mood and color of feelings such as loneliness, loss, kindness, to the point I sometimes put the controller down and simply became engrossed in the game’s surroundings and atmosphere. Gris is an intersection and is highly recommended to be experienced in docked mode, you won’t regret it.
Upcoming Switch indie game to look out for: Yes, Your Grace
Developed by Brave At Night and published by No More Robots, “Yes, Your Grace” puts players in the shoes of a medieval king and brings a layer of humanity to the matter of running a kingdom. With the help of its main characters, story-driven campaign and fantastic pixel art visuals, this management simulation RPG boldly showcases how each choice comes with consequences. The core gameplay is straightforward. Players control Eryc, the king of Davern starting off each day by addressing petitioners and deciding whom to support. Interactions are done via dialogue options and players choose how to address each issue. There is never one good route as every solution comes with a trade-off either short or long term. As the story progresses, more options and areas become available. How the story unfolds is up to you!
Eryc is not just a sovereign that tries to properly distribute the kingdom’s limited resources (gold, supply, army, contentment), but also a husband and father aiding his family on personal matters that will ultimately decide the fate of the kingdom. You won’t be able to satisfy everyone, no matter how hard you try and every action or lack of it will have repercussions. Here are a few examples: Funding a city fairy to raise the contentment of your citizen will use up your gold resources, deciding which neighboring country to ally with for the war effort can lead to “unforeseen” loses in your army numbers, supporting one of your daughters in an argument comes at the expense of the other sister’s well-being down the line. Remember not all things are in your control and as Shakespear said: “Heavy is the head that wears the crown”. Successfully Kickstarted in 2015 and released on March 6th on Steam the developers are working hard on bringing this gem to the Nintendo Switch sometime in 2020.
This year is going to have quite a few new entries so in case you are looking for upcoming indie games in 2020, keep Techfiddling.