The Nintendo Switch has seen no shortages of indie games since the console’s launch, so here are some excellent, single player eShop titles you may have missed out on.
Has Been Heroes
Developed by Frozenbyte
Published by GameTrust
Has Been Heroes is a challenging roguelike meets Plants vs Zombies experience. You take control of a warrior, a magician, and a thief as they escort two princesses to school. As you venture through randomly generated dungeons, you’ll encounter enemies, merchants, and items. Battles occur on three planes, each defended by your characters. You goal is to defeat all enemies before your heroes are defeated, which can happen quickly if you’re unable to manage the enemy crowds. Each hero is able to switch lanes while their allies are attacking, resulting in powerful chain attacks; this is necessary to break the enemy guard to do permanent damage. It’s high difficulty and hard to grasp mechanics turned off many reviewers, but once it clicks, you’re in for an addictive game play loop.
Developed by Dreadbit
Published by Ripstone
Ironcast is a unique title that blends match three puzzle gaming, strategic turn-based combat, and roguelike elements in a Victorian steampunk setting. In this alternative timeline, Britain and France are at war using steam powered robots known as ironcasts. As one of several pilots, you connect colored tiles to fill your ironcast’s various resource gauges used to power attacks, defenses, and mobility. You’ll have to alternate between offense, defense, and resource gathering during your turn-based encounters against other ironcast pilots. If you lose a match, your progress is lost, but you’re able to earn currency used to unlock additional characters, ironcasts, and permanent buffs for future playthroughs. It’s a unique blend of genres that’s unlike anything else on the platform’s already diverse lineup. The ability to play with both conventional and touch screen controls at the same time make the Switch the ideal version of Ironcast.
Developed by Bulbware
Published by Bulbware
Bulb Boy is a charming 2D point & click horror adventure. During one fateful night Bulb Boy wakes up from a nightmare to find that his house has been overrun by dark, monstrous creatures. Our diminutive hero has the ability to light up areas by attaching himself to sockets. You’ll use his unique power to solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and rescue his missing family. Dialogue is conveyed through picture bubbles, giving the game a sort of child book tone, albeit much darker and in style and substance. It’s a quick game that doesn’t wear out its novelty. The lack of touchscreen controls is an odd omission in the Switch version, but otherwise Bulb Boy’s clever puzzles and successful blend of humor with cartoonish horror makes it a worthwhile play on the Switch…especially with Halloween just around the corner.
Developed by Drool
Published by Drool
Thumper’s description as a “Violent rhythm” game is no understatement: its blend of speed, psychedelic horror, and impactful rhythm mechanics made it a stand out title last year on consoles and VR platforms. The concept complements its unusual gameplay: you control a space beetle that races forward towards nightmarish creatures while making narrow, hair raising turns on an endless track. The game made its way to the Switch in the early summer and takes advantage of the console’s excellent display and HD rumble. The intense vibrations accentuate the brutal physicality of each turn and pulsating speed boosts; you’ll feel each wall scraping turn as well as the impact when you collide against obstacles. The Switch version features the same tight controls and hypnotic, pounding beats without any aesthetic comprises. Thumper will keep you on edge in an engaging way. It’s silky smooth performance and demanding challenge makes this a must have for rhythm game aficionados.
Developed by Fabraz
Published by Headup Games
The premise for this challenging 2D platformer is absurdly fitting: Slime-san and his faithful bird have been eaten by a giant worm and must venture through its massive body to escape before they’re consumed by digestive acid. Slime-san is able pass through parts of the worm’s body as well as slow down time, resulting in some unique level designs. Similar to Super Meat Boy, you’ll die often and learn from your mistakes as you master each level, each of which can be completed within seconds. Slime-san is also full of charming flavor text, strangely humorous NPC characters, and has a high energy soundtrack that’ll have you bopping your head. The game’s limited color palette with its retro pixel art lend it an old school charm.A staggering number of levels and unlockables make this a fantastic value for 2D platforming fans. If you’re craving a 2D platformer that’s challenging and has tremendous speed running potential, this will definitely scratch that itch. Slime-san is a great game to pick up and play, taking advantage of the Switch’s lightning quick ability to wake up from sleep mode.
Developed by Drinkbox Studios
Published by Drinkbox Studios
Severed is an award winning, hack-n-slash first person adventure game with incredible art and music. Following the murder of her family, you played as a one armed heroine armed with a magical sword. The fantastic, Day of the Dead inspired aesthetic gives the grand incredible atmosphere and a foreboding tone. Like its console brethren, the game is played with both conventional controls as well as the touch screen. The touch screen is used to swipe to slice off enemy appendages used for powering up your heroine. This macabre game play flow is both intense and strategic, a truly unique dance involving reflexive timing and enemy management. It’s been released on a variety of platforms like the Vita, Wii U, and iOS, but the Switch version offers both fantastic presentation and great controls in one package. The only drawback is that your wrist may get tired from holding the Switch for long sessions as this is a handheld mode only title.
Developed by Upfall Studios
Published by Upfall Studios
While the Switch has no shortage of roguelike, procedurally generated experiences, Quest of Dungeons is still a worthwhile experience thanks to its simple, yet addictive, game play. It doesn’t offer anything particularly new or exciting in the genre, but it’s a well crafted experience that does all the little things right from its variety of character classes, steady skill progression, enjoyable combat system, and intuitive controls. The relative simplicity of the game makes it easy and enjoyable to play whenever you’re in want of a rogue-like fix. It’s another game that benefits from the pick up and play anytime versatility of the the Switch.
Developed by MixedBag
Published by MixedBag
forma.8 adopts the classic Metroid formula and transplants players into beautiful, foreboding landscapes. The story is appropriately minimalistic: you play as a probe that crash lands on an unexplored planet and must search for the other probes that accompanied you. You’ll discover a diverse variety of environments, battle hostile entities, and discover new abilities that opens up new areas and mysteries to uncover. The game is brilliantly illustrated with a distinct mix of organic and mechanical areas full of superb minimalist visuals and fantastic use of color. The Switch’s HD humble does come off a little too strong and the controls can feel a bit floaty, but overall forma.8 offers amazing ambiance and an organic sense of discovery.
Developed by Pixel Perfex
Published by Headup Games
Earth Atlantis recently won best of show at the BitSummit Awards 2017, a prestigious indie award game event in Kyoto, and recently made its exclusive debut on the Switch. While inspired by classics such as Gradius and R-Type, Pixel Perfex added their own twist: 96% of Earth has been submerged underwater and you must hunt aquatic-mechanical beasts in your submarine. What makes Earth Atlantis immediately stand out is its sepia toned, hand drawn aesthetic. The illusion of being underwater is further enhanced by great parallax scrolling and tremendous background details. The flow of gameplay is not unlike a Metroidvania title: you’re able to freely explore each stage, killing small enemies, collecting power ups, all while hunting for the stage’s boss enemy. Like the games it’s inspired by, you’re able to freely turn left to right, resulting in some intense encounters while dodging bullets in narrow areas. Boss fights can be a bit difficult at times, but overall Earth Atlantis strikes a great balance between bullet dodging and exploration.