Lists of games big publications say should be on the switch are unbelievably abundant, but in the end, they’re mostly unrealistic. Does IGN really think Batman Arkham City could run on the Switch? The Switch isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but it is an indie game paradise, so why not play to the console’s strengths?
Nintendo just announced a ton of Nindies, or Nintendo Indies, including titles that can only be Indie gems such as Super Meat Boy Forever, and Steamworld Dig 2. Its very clear Nintendo is dedicated to bringing as many talented Indie developers to the platform.
Nicalis, best known for its mastermind developer Edmund McMillen, intends to bring all the games they’ve ever made and are making to the Switch. They’ve already brought Cave Story + and The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth + and of course now Super Meat Boy forever. I own both Cave Story and Binding of Isaac on my switch and they’re great ports of great games, not to mention they’re the only developers treating their physical copies of the game unlike any other developer, including awesome stuff inside like sticker sheets, a manual with game art, a disc copy of the game’s soundtrack and keychains!
Nicalis is making BANK off of its sales with the Switch, so why shouldn’t other equally popular games get the same treatment? Here’s a list of games I think would not only excel in sales but in quality on the Nintendo Switch.
Darkest Dungeon is one of the most punishing, and difficult games of all time, and yet its phenomenal. There is no other indie game I would like to see more on the Switch than this. Having Darkest Dungeon on the go would be perfect because its turn-based, but requires a lot of time to be committed to playing it due to the structure of its dungeons. By porting it to the Switch, you essentially negate that time commitment, throwing out the only large deterrent from the game besides its intense difficulty. Even then, the game added a “radiant” difficulty which makes the game much less punishing, which makes the game even more accessible to the Switch audience which includes many kids and casual gamers. You can also disable the game’s less-liked mechanics such as the corpse mechanic which takes up space on board making battles much more difficult.
There are great ways the Switch’s features would benefit the game, such as its touch screen which would allow you to drag and drop items from your inventory, and better manage your character’s stats and abilities.
The Nintendo Switch is a phenomenal console for turn-based games, but its only Turn-based games so far are ports of Disgaea 5 and I Am Setsuna. Releasing Darkest Dungeon on the Switch, especially a physical edition, would leave it with just about no competition because there aren’t any exceptionally difficult games on the platform yet unless you count Breath of the Wild’s Master mode or any of the NeoGeo ports like Metal Slug 3.
I can confidently say I am one of the few people who did not enjoy Undertale (please keep the outrage in the comments to a minimum) but I know there is a massive crowd which did, and I’m equally sure a lot of those fans have a Switch. The game has extremely simplistic controls and equally simplistic visuals so I see no reason the Switch can’t handle the game. The game did get a release on the PS4 on the day of this post (August 15th) so I don’t see why we can’t expect a port to the Switch in the future.
Update: WOOPS looks like Owlboy was already confirmed for Switch back in May! ALL THE BETTER!
Owlboy was one of my favorite games in 2016, and just like Undertale it has fairly simple controls. Despite being exclusive to PC, Owlboy works best as a twin-stick platformer, played with a controller. The only hurdle to the game’s controls would be locking the aiming reticule, since the game was designed to let you aim 360 degrees with a mouse. D-Pad Studio, creators of Owlboy, are currently working on a multiplayer game called Vikings on Trampolines, which besides having an amazing name, seems to have been in development before Owlboy’s release. The company seems to be great at multitasking, considering they took 9 years to make Owlboy, releasing Savant - Ascent in 2013 as well, so I don’t see why they couldn’t port the game to Switch as a side project. I know I’d buy it, I bought the Indie Box version of the game even though I never played it. I just loved the game so much I wanted to buy a physical copy of it. I’d do it all over again with a physical release on Switch.
Hand of Fate 1 and/or 2
Fans of RPGs and the Batman Arkham series would feel at home with the fantastic Hand of Fate, and with its sequel on the way I can only expect an even greater experience. The game only needs several inputs because its only inputs are movement on a single plane, blocking, dodge rolling, countering, and attacking. You could play the game on one of the Switch controllers if you wanted to because you don’t need both sticks. On top of this, half the game takes place outside of combat, so you spend just as much time playing a turn-based card game as you do playing an Arkham-style brawler.
The only issue I see in porting the game (besides you know, the actual metric tons of coding involved in porting a video game from PC to console) would be the game’s visuals. The game is made on Unreal Engine 4, and Hand of Fate 2's visuals look stunning. I worry the Switch would not be able to handle a visually intensive game like this.
Literally anything by SuperGiant games
Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre are phenomenal games that define the indie game as a medium of art. Now then, whether that quality would translate well when ported to a mobile system is a very difficult question to answer. Bastion and Transistor are games whose story relies heavily on the narration of Logan Cunningham’s amazingly gruff voice. Additionally, Pyre and Transistor have pretty complicated control schemes.
Thankfully, all three games work well with a gamepad, despite Pyre and Transistor’s controls favoring a mouse and keyboard. We also know many users use their Switch solely in docked mode, as evidenced by Kotaku’s Patricia Hernandez running a poll that over 20 thousand users submitted. We know over 25% of Switch owners play in solely docked mode, while just over 50% use theirs in both docked and un-docked mode. Many Switch owners will still get to experience the narration at home, that is unless they’re willing to wear earbuds when they take their Switch on the go.
I think Bastion, out of the three games listed, would work best on Switch due to it being a brawler, which requires a much simpler control scheme.
Spelunky is a masterpiece of an arcade game. Its fast paced, it has clear visuals, and has tight, responsive controls. The game requires a lot of time and practice, and taking it on the go would allow you to do exactly that. Imagine having a game with tons of replayability on a plane, or on the bus, or genuinely any kind of long trip. The game does not get boring.
Dust: An Elysian Tale
Dust : An Elysian Tale is one of the greatest passion projects in Indie history. The game is a work not just of art but genius game design, with its metroidvania inspired gameplay, and incredibly unique art style. The game was made by a single man, Dean Dodrill, and he is a genius. Not only did he make the game in just three and a half years, the PC version of the game is a masterpiece of optimization, so its clear he has the incredible skill it takes to port a game by himself.
Save for the damage caused by occasional button mashing, the slow but nuanced storytelling and gameplay of Telltale’s games would fit nicely at home with the Switch. Most of Telltale’s games are on mobile phones and tablets, so the games could even benefit from the Switch’s touchscreen. The only immediate hurdle clear in porting Telltale games would be the engine. The Telltale games engine does not seem to be a powerhouse of clever programming. Mobile version of Telltale games have terrible framerate, overheat devices, and drain battery ludicrously fast. That means extra work would be required to make the game function properly on the Switch.
Is there any other Indie game you can see on the Switch? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
You’re reading TAY, Kotaku’s community-run blog. TAY is written by and for Kotaku readers like you. We write about games, art, culture and everything in between. Want to write with us? Check out our tutorial here and join in. Follow us on Twitter @KoTAYku and Like Us on Facebook.
Have a story you want told? See a game you want to know more about? Contact the author of this post via his e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @Geo_star101