The brightest pixels on the smallest screen.
Unwrapped a brand spanking new Nintendo Switch and looking for some indie goodness to load it up with? It can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when you’re still getting your head around a new eShop, especially one as engorged with independent gems as that of the Switch. Or maybe you’re simply looking for some fresh new games to play in 2019 and fancy something a little different between the traditional release calendar. Here are seven indie games for the Switch we can’t wait to get our hands on.
Chucklefish’s upcoming turn-based tactical game Wargroove looks like a challenging and addictive adventure. Players will control one of 12 different commanders, each with their own unique personality and motivations for entering the battlefield. A spiritual successor to handheld tactical games from the 2000s, Chucklefish aims to bring the genre back with a modern title building on the cult classic idiosyncrasies of games like Advance Wars.
Wargroove supports local and online multiplayer with competitive and co-op play for up to four players. When we previewed Wargroove back in October, it was clear that this is where the game “really comes alive.” With high-resolution pixel art, modding capabilities, and a host of other features, it certainly looks like a step in the right direction for the genre.
Super Meat Boy Forever
In 2010 the indie gaming gods provided us with a canonical classic in the form of a squishy cube of meat. In 2019, that cube’s back and together, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl are on a white-knuckle journey to save their new baby Nugget from the evil Dr Fetus.
The original Super Meat Boy title made its way to Switch last year, offering quick and easy multiplayer functionality on the big and small screen. 2019’s offering, however, is chock full of saws, drills, and enemies spanning over 7,000 levels, each boasting dynamic difficulty adjustment. That means even if you’ve spent the last 9 years honing your skills in this bloody arena, you’re still up against a challenge in the sequel.
With brand new punching and kicking mechanics and “a story so rich and moving that it makes Citizen Kane look like an unboxing for a dehumidifier” (according to its Steam page), it’s likely this indie gaming giant will be hitting more than a few Switches this year.
My Friend Pedro
DeadToast Entertainment call My Friend Pedro a “violent ballet,” which is just about the best way to describe a high-octane shoot-’em-up ordered by a banana. A 2D platforming structure sets the stage for a bizarre shooter with preliminary gameplay footage showing exceedingly satisfying shootouts.
Manipulate your weapon and body through the air in this bullet hell frenzy, building up to that magical moment you can switch to slow motion. And slow motion looks gorgeous. Each precise movement contributes to you landing a perfect shot as enemies can only marvel at your gun-wielding, airborne prowess. Imagine Deadpool had a bloodthirsty banana pal directing his every violent move. It’s simple, satisfying fun that we’ll definitely be sinking a few hours into on release in 2019.
The Switch has no end of cute little action adventure games but what it hasn’t got is an action-RPG from Lab Zero, the team behind the critically acclaimed Skullgirls. But it soon will have. After raising over $2 million on Indiegogo in 2015, the game is finally ready for release this year and the Switch might just be the best place to play it.
Indivisible tells the story of Ajna – a tomboy with a rebellious streak who sets off on a dangerous quest after her home is attacked. The signature art style of Lab Zero shines through and gives the game a great look and feel. As you can imagine, the combat looks sublime – after all, when you’ve got the team behind Skullgirls working on it we’d expect nothing less.
There seems to be quite a lot of platforming but Indivisible also promises a huge fantasy world to explore as well as a host of colourful characters to join you on your journey. All in all, it looks like a great little adventure to enjoy whilst commuting or relaxing at home.
Mineko’s Night Market
Sometimes, you want to play a game that’s all about taking it easy and enjoying the world around you. One with a visual style that’s like gaming comfort food. That’s what Mineko’s Night Market has going for it, and much more. The Animal Crossing-like merchant simulation game puts you in the shoes of a young girl named Mineko, who’s just arrived at her new home on a fictitious Japanese island at Mount Fugu’s base.
The locals worship a Sun Cat named Abe, who’s been spotted in real life, and residents are spreading rumors throughout the town. That’s just one of the weird idiosyncrasies the place has about it – Mineko will discover a whole lot of other quirks about the island while she crafts items for her weekly night market, completes odd jobs, and interacts with the townsfolk.
It’s going to be an intriguing adventure with a stunning art style that we can’t wait to dig into and unravel all its mysteries. It also happens to look perfect for on-the-go play.
Death is the most universally feared occurrence we suffer. It’s just so final. Necrobarista presents a world which takes just a little of the sting out of death by allowing the recently departed one last night on earth before visiting their final resting place.
The setting for ceremonies of such monumental importance? A coffee shop, of course! Needless to say, you’ll be subjected to some pretty bizarre, touching and heated situations by working there, perhaps all in one night.
Necrobarista is a visual novel with a difference – two, in fact: it’s anime in style but developed by Australians with a setting to match, and it boasts full 3D animation with the ability to freely walk around and move the camera. Speaking of the animation, it looks fantastic. Vivid characters and gorgeous lighting give Necrobarista an unforgettable style. After a delay late last year, it’s scheduled for PC and Switch in early 2019.
Sayonara Wild Hearts
We can always count on indies to deliver the unexpected. Sayonara Wild Hearts is just that, announced at last year’s The Game Awards and promising something very different.
Truth be told, Sayonara is hard to sum up, so we’re going to let developers Simogo do it for us. In their announcement blog post, they explained it’s “a pop album video game about being awesome, riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts at 200 mph.” Phew.
It’s this mishmash of ideas which makes Sayonara look so exciting. It’s fast and bombastic with searing neon animation, a bizarre concept about biker gangs and alter egos in a whole other dimension, and they composed an entire pop album for the soundtrack. But amongst this madness, it retains a super-simple control scheme to keep itself accessible. Look out for Sayonara Wild Hearts on Switch at some point this year.
Sync your Joy-Cons and tap the same button three times, because 2019 already looks set to be an amazing year for indies on the Switch. Want to spread your wings while you wait? Check out the 5 Best Upcoming Indie Games of January 2019, or check out our full list of the Best Upcoming Indie Games of 2019!