Nintendo was the place independent developers shunned for years.
During the Wii and early Wii U era, nobody wanted to develop for it. Nintendo made it difficult for the developers with requirements for the games and also wouldn’t let certain games onto its hardware.
However, now Nintendo seems to be the place indie developers flock to when they want their games to sell, and sell well they have.
The Nintendo Switch has now become the bastion for indie games. Because of this, I am going to count down my top five indie games on the console.
5. ‘Golf Story’
This game, which was developed by Sidebar Games, takes golf and turns it into a story. It has some great pixel art as well. Even though I don’t really like golf, this game made it fun to play. It included many different ways to change the gameplay around to keep it unique. Whether that be hazards like sand traps, water or even wind to make it more difficult to play the course, it was fun the whole time. The characters were interesting to watch, too. This is one of those games that was just funny, and it’s not often I play a funny game.
4. ‘Night in the Woods’
This is a game, made by Infinite Fall, that doesn’t include a lot of gameplay other than interacting with the characters in the story. However, that really wasn’t a problem for me because I loved the dialogue. The game focuses on a group of animals who can walk and talk, and that lends itself to a lot of humor; although, that isn’t what the game is about. The main character dropped out of college and is back home for good. She faces a lot of problems on her road to getting better, and the game does great work with that.
3. ‘SteamWorld Dig 2’
This is a direct sequel to the original Image and Form game, “SteamWorld Dig,” which I loved. These two games are Metroidvania games, where the player travels through the game getting different equipment and returning to past areas to acquire more loot. The way you acquire said equipment, however, is the fun part of the game. It’s a little bit like Minecraft where the player has to dig to get more and more materials, which allows the player to buy better equipment. This equipment also allows the search for the materials to go quicker. This gameplay loop is so much fun, and I could, and did, do it for hours. The story was quite interesting too, as it continues straight after the first game but focuses on a different main character. The story ramifications for that were great and made me love the game even more.
2. ‘Hollow Knight’
This is one of the best Metroidvania games, made by Team Cherry, I have ever played. The different abilities the player gains on their journey is great, and I loved facing all the different enemies, too. Every character and enemy in the game is a different kind of bug. Some of them are cute, but then others downright creepy. Then, there are the bosses. The bosses are some of the hardest enemies I’ve had to face in a video game. I’ve been getting more and more tired of these ultra-hard games, and the bosses in this game have a bit of that in them, but that only means it took time and practice to win. The game is also gorgeous. I loved seeing each new area as it was completely different from the last. The story also took on the type of FromSoftware story, where the player isn’t necessarily told everything, which was pretty fun.
Made by Matt Makes Games, “Celeste” is my favorite indie game on the Nintendo Switch. The way the game plays is absolutely perfect. Every time the player dies, it is 100% their fault. That can be aggravating sometimes, but it’s good to know that succeeding is because of the player, not because the game gave it to them. The light story elements are also great. I loved the internal struggle for the main character and how the game portrays that struggle. This game is just amazing and was my game of the year for 2018 too, in front of “God of War,” “Red Dead Redemption 2” and “Marvel’s Spider Man.”