The Nintendo Switch is out in less than two months, and it’s already got a hefty library of games confirmed for it. We take a look at the indies.
Following yesterday’s reveal of Nintendo’s newest console, the Switch, we finally have the big picture on the console. Nintendo showed a lot of big projects, from the long-awaited Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to announcing sequels to cult favourites No More Heroes, Xenoblade Chronicles and Shin Megami Tensei. There was even 1, 2, Switch and its glorious milking mini-game.
Nintendo’s sizzle reel also showed a number of indies that will be appearing on the console. Here’s a comprehensive look at the indies you can expect on Switch.
Has-Been Heroes has been headlining the indies that will be invading Switch, and it’s got a very indie set-up. A band of three heroes must escort twin princesses to the Princess Academy, but their task is hardly straightforward. The game will be a rogue-like, and feature a ‘challenging’ blend of action and strategy. And of course, if the title hadn’t made it clear enough yet—expect lots of irreverent humour. Has-Been Heroes is under development at Frozenbyte, developers of the Trine trilogy and Shadwen.
Expect Has-Been Heroes to release some time in March, the same month the Switch launches.
Anti-gravity vehicles speed across futuristic tracks in Fast RMX, a more “high octane” alternative to Mario Kart on the Switch. The game will feature multiplayer for up to 4 players via splitscreen, and up to 8 players online. And yes, it’s at 60 frames per second, at a full 1080p resolution. Fast RMX comes from Shin’en, developers of Fast Racing Neo and Fast Racing League, which released on the Wii U and the Wii respectively.
No release date has been announced for Fast RMX yet.
When Rime was first shown off in 2013, it was a PlayStation 4 exclusive. Times have changed since then, with the developer acquiring the rights to the game, and turning it into a multi-platform title that will also show up on the Switch. The game itself looks to be very reminiscent of Ico and The Legend of Zelda games, and focuses on a boy trying to escape an island and a curse—at the same time, no less! Rime is being developed by Tequila Works, the developers of Deadlight.
The game is expected to release some time in May this year.
Seasons of Heaven
Seasons of Heaven is a rare indie exclusive for the Nintendo Switch, and gosh, does it look absolutely breathtaking. The game is built in Unreal Engine 4, and is based on a French novel of the same name. Much like Rime, it also has a young boy as the protagonist, although this one struggles with Asperger’s and has a bulldog companion to aid him. Bet that dog would’ve come in handy, eh wot, faceless Rime protagonist kid?
Seasons of Heaven is being developed at Any Arts Productions, and has no release date at present.
The third instalment in the venerable Syberia series of games has had a bit of a troubled development since its announcement back in 2009. Now, it looks finally on track for release, even if it doesn’t have a release date yet. The game continues directly from the previous game, and follows Kate Walker as she helps the Youkol people with an ancestral tradition.
Syberia III is under development at the veritable French studio Microïds and is expected to release in the first quarter of the year.
The Sacred Hero
There’s not much to go on for The Sacred Hero, as its developer Simplistic has been coy about what it’s all about. We know that it’s an adventure game that “twists the conventions of the RPG genre”. Also, a sword in the stone. The game’s exterior shot doesn’t look its best, and judging by the framerate, doesn’t run its best either. According to the dev, however, this is because the game is still in early production.
Expect The Sacred Hero to release some time in 2018.
A pleasant little explore-em-up with a distinctly low-poly style, Riverside has you changing its world’s textures to create interesting effects. There doesn’t seem to be much information about this one, other than you follow the river to a certain fountain. The game is being developed by Zockrates Laboratories, and has no release date just yet. It’s also coming to the Oculus Rift, if you’d prefer to have jump right into the world yourself.
No release date has been announced for Riverside just yet.
Dungeon of Zaar
If you’d prefer a more indie alternative to Disgaea 5, there’s Dungeon of Zaar, which was successfully Kickstarted last and promises fast-paced turn-based tactics. The developers only seem to have ‘planned’ the game for Switch so far, so it’s unclear when it will make it to the console exactly. With a cute art style and some complex tactical gameplay though, it does seem to scratch a very particular itch.
Tank It! is described as an anti-war game, and it has you controlling a drone controlling a tank. Being the John Rambo of tanks, it’s going to roll its way into villages housing civilians and terrorists alike. How you deal with the situation from there on is up to you, but it’s probably going to get ugly.
The game will be a console exclusive for the Switch, and is expected to release some time later this year.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
Wonder Boy is a bit different. This one’s actually a modern take on an ancient classic: Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap. Don’t worry, it might be an independent development, but it’s got the blessing of series owner SEGA. It’s got a fairly fun-sounding plot about a hero turned into a half-lizard by a dragon. It doesn’t even end there, though, as the hero is bound to transform into a lizard, a mouse, a piranha, a lion, and a hawk.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is under development at Lizardcube, and is scheduled for release later this year.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
Someone up there must really love the Wonder Boy series, because apart from the above remake, there’s also a spiritual successor in development. Monster Boy also takes strong influences from Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap and also has you transforming into six animals while trying to solve puzzles and beat enemies.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom comes from Game Atelier, and is scheduled to release sometime later this year.
Playtonic’s much-awaited spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, Yooka-Laylee, is confirmed for Nintendo Switch after its Wii U version was cancelled due to technical issues. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer that will have you controlling a chameleon-bat pair named… wait for it… Yooka-Laylee, and features bright, colourful environments that make it look like an absolute joy.
Although Yooka-Laylee will release on other consoles on 11 April, there’s no word yet on when the Switch version will arrive. Expect more information later this year.
Ports and Remasters
Apart from the games still in development, there’s also a bunch of games coming to Switch that are already out on other platforms. Here’s the indies that will be getting Switch versions:
Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure will be headed to the Switch, which is appropriate considering Minecraft is also getting a special version for Nintendo’s newest console.
Shovel Knight will be digging its way between your Joy-Cons, complete with its expansions.
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas was coyly confirmed to release on “a Nintendo console”, which we take to believe is the Switch, and not the Gamecube.
Cube Life: Island Survival HD is an HD version of the original… which doesn’t really make much sense considering the original was already in high definition. Regardless, it’s coming to Switch.
Stardew Valley, last year’s indie darling, is headed to Switch to satisfy all your Harvest Moon-esque farming dreams.