On a portable console like the Nintendo Switch, ray-tracing, and 4K support would often go to waste. Sure, you could buy the Switch OLED, but even then, the Switch will never be able to rival the graphics of a next-generation console.
Nintendo knows this; encouraging indie developers to take centre stage.
As we have seen over the years, any popular Steam or Itch.io game gets ported to the Switch. As a result, the Nintendo Store is littered with a vibrant collection of some of the best indie games on Switch that already have great support from previous successes on other platforms.
But which are the best Switch indie games? Let’s find out!
Best Switch Indie Games
From Greek gods and gunplay to gardening and ghosts, the selection of Switch indie games is diverse. Literally, there is something for everyone. Butting heads with full-priced AAA titles, Switch indie games are extremely popular across the Nintendo community and today, we’re celebrating the best of the bunch.
The best Nintendo Switch indie games right now are:
Developer: Supergiant Games
Release Date: 17th September 2020
Managing to make a sensical storyline out of the classic Roguelike conceit of dying and retrying, Hades takes our crown as the best indie switch game overall right now. In Hades, you will play the role of Zagreus, the son of the god of hell. Here, Zagreus wants to escape and visit his mother in the overworld, but to do that he’ll have to fend off the denizens and climb out of the depths.
You will be dodging, dying, boss battling and picking up new powers at every corner. Charmingly, these perks are provided by the various gods of Olympus, who you can befriend during your adventures.
It’s surprising to see a roguelike feature, romance, mystery, betrayal and voice acting, so it’s worth checking out before the sequel releases.
Best RPG Indie Switch Game
Developer: Jump Over The Age
Release Date: 5th May 2022
Arguably one of the best indie RPGs to come to Switch in recent years, Citizen Sleeper is a tabletop-inspired role-playing storyline set within a ruined space station, Erlin’s Eye. In Citizen Sleeper, the player controls the narrative using dice, clocks and drives to create whatever pathway you desire within the expansive realm.
It’s an RPG classic that takes away traditional norms for role-playing; introducing stylish and extremely intricate gameplay. There are secrets to unlock, powers to obtain and plenty of paths to complete the game.
If Disco Elysium didn’t have full-voice acting, it might be a strain to read every fervent, drug-addled, or explicit word that is said in the poor seaside town of Martinaise. But the voice acting is exquisite, and the writing is excellent.
As a cop who’s woken from a drunken stupor without even the basic concept of money left in his melted brain, in Disco Elysium, you will either have to solve a murder with a crackpot scheme or sheer dumb luck.
The outcome of the case, and everything else is in your hands, and the game gives you the freedom to hunt mysterious cryptids, bust a drug ring, and even help a kid in from the cold. Surprisingly, these things all affect the case, and seeing how it all fits together is charming and impressive.
A must-purchase for the solo player who wants an immersive experience.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat
Best For Multiplayer
Developer: Ghost Town Games Release Date: 10th November 2020
If you have ever watched Top Chef, or Hell’s Kitchen and thought “Sure, bumping around in a boiling kitchen, throwing together food without a second’s rest looks like fun” – Overcooked is perfect for you. As one of the most popular multiplayer experiences on Switch, Overcooked is the perfect game for date nights, chilling with friends and fostering teamwork.
You will be rolling sushi on the moon, tossing lettuce across a boiling pool of lava and frantically working your way to stop the ravenous hoard by completing missions set by none other than The Onion King. Either you and your friends fall in sync and excel, or you bump your buddy in a ravine and they curse you all the way down.
Baba Is You
Best Indie Puzzle Game On Switch
Developer: Arvi Teikari Release Date: 13th March 2019
For the curious puzzlers amongst us, Baba Is You is an award-winning puzzle game developed by a Finnish independent developer, Arvi Teikari. What originated as a demo in 2017 has now been expanded and released into a full-blown puzzle action.
Interacting with blocks and manipulating them to change how each level works, there are over 200 levels for you to complete with a growing level of complexity as you progress. Become a rock to shield you from damage and turn dangerous objects into items of a more subtle nature as you complete shape how to complete each level.
With over 15,000 five-star reviews, Baba Is You is just perfect, for you.
Best For Casual Gameplay
Developer: Witch Beam Release Date: 2nd November 2021
Like it says on the tin, Unpacking has you spending the entire game taking your stuff out of boxes to decorate your room. You put a mug in the bathroom to hold your toothbrush, and your pots under the sink. It’s all surprisingly meditative, and some light puzzle elements are there to keep things interesting.
There are also cute secrets to find, and each level progresses through the stages in a person’s life. There’s a story there, but it’s all super lightweight. The game is just about room organizing and who knew it could be so zen and peaceful?
Best Switch Indie Card Game
Developer: Daniel Mullins Games Release Date: 5th December 2020
Without saying too much, Inscryption is more than just a card game, there’s a narrative that takes some unexpected turns, and it’s worth playing for that alone. Even so, the general gameplay has you playing a fun card game at a table in a dim cabin with a creepy character.
If you make it through his campaign, you live, otherwise you’re trapped in a card and another takes your place. If you already play one of the many popular digital cards games such as Hearthstone or Marvel Snap, Inscryption will satisfy that end whilst scratching the itch for an engaging storyline too.
Best Real-Time Strategy Indie Switch Game
Developer: Shiro Games Release Date: 22nd February 2017
Without question, Northgard epitomises everything we love about indie-developed real-time strategy games on the Switch. It’s got everything you wanted from Age of Empires, the complexity of Civ VI and graphics that rival most AAA games.
In Northgard, there’s an epic storyline to follow in single-player mode and once you have got to grips with the mechanics, the multiplayer mode awaits you. Reign victorious across military victories, faith victories, economic victories and more as you work your way through all of the Northgard clans.
Return of the Obra Dinn
Best Indie Mystery Game On Switch
Developer: Lucas Pope & 3909 LLC Release Date: 18th October 2019
In the early 1800s, a merchant ship went missing and later washed up with all crew and passengers lost. In Return of the Obra Dinn, you have been hired to investigate, and with the help of a magic pocket watch, you can visit the frozen last moments of the remaining crew.
The problem is, you know almost nothing of what happened or who’s who, so reading diaries, checking your fingers for wedding rings, and guessing what happened next is all you can do. Think Professor Layton meets Pirates of the Carribean.
Whilst Return of the Obra Dinn can be devilishly tricky, it’s never cheap and solving the mystery is both satisfying and exciting.
Enter the Gungeon
Most Replayable Indie Switch Game
Developer: Dodge Roll Release Date: 14th December 2017
Over four years, secret levels, new guns, and more characters were added to Enter The Gungeon. So don’t be fooled by its initial release date. There are rocket launchers, slingshots, guns that shoot ships that shoot cannons, and a water gun. In fact, there are 200 guns in the game, and they have upgrade synergies on top.
Enter the Gungeon is a game that is built for replayability, and one that you can always get better at completing. There’s a two-player mode if you want to beat bosses with your buddy, and as you progress, you will unlock more items whilst filling out the base camp with new people.
All the satisfying elements of a good roguelike game is here.
Best Indie Platformer On Switch
Developer: Team Cherry Release Date: 12th June 2018
In Souls games, you die and become a hollow seeking to regain your humanity. Hollow Knight is just the same, except it’s a 2D platformer and everyone’s a bug.
The creepy-cute aesthetic isn’t just for the charming scenery and the ruined kingdom of Hallownest is intricately designed and populated. Old motorways (stag beetle stations) can be restarted, a village of caterpillars can be saved, and the old mapmaker can be found as a guiding hand.
If Dark Souls had you intimidated by the difficulty, give Hollow Knight a try.
Best Switch Indie Simulation Game
Developer: ConcernedApe Release Date: 26th February 2016
This game really needs no introduction, but I will regardless.
Stardew Valley was (mostly) made by one man with a dream, a dream for the perfect farming sim. Over years of work, ConcernedApe has added beach combing, new farm animals, and even dwarven enchanting.
Yes, your visit to the valley is more than just farming and fishing, with romance, adventuring, archaeology, and more available. And that’s what you want in a farming simulator, a fully fleshed-out town for you to enjoy the country life, without getting your boots muddy.
Hotline Miami Collection
Best Indie Shooter Game on Switch
Developer: Dennaton Games Release Date: 26th February 2016
It’s lucky that the Hotline Miami games are top-down because otherwise, they would be far too gory for your average Joe. Even from a bird’s eye view, watching Russian mobsters’ blood paint the walls and floors might be too much for most people.
But, if you want to wear an animal mask, and commit vigilante violence against a crime syndicate, dial the hotline. Each level is a safe house, dive bar or penthouse that you’ll need to systematically stalk through without getting shot.
You’re not Batman in Hotline Miami, and even a stray pellet kills. It’s a one-of-a-kind shooter that feels explosive to play. Just be ready to close your eyes from time to time.
The Final Word
The Nintendo Switch is synonymous with indie gameplay with almost half of the Nintendo Store featuring games from developers that you may not have heard about. For this, we absolutely love the Switch as it paves the way for new developers to take the limelight for once.
What you get with Indie games on the Switch, typically, is a lot of creativity where Indie developers are not bound by the confinements of third-party investment. Here, they can express their creative minds without being too concerned about the opinions of others. As a result, the outcomes are normally epic.
Have a different opinion on the best indie games for Switch?
Tell us about your favourite indie Switch games in the comments below. In the meantime, here are some other articles that you might enjoy:
Content Disclaimer: This roundup of the best Nintendo Switch indie games has been independently written. GamePro has not been commissioned by any of the mentioned game developers, nor have we received royalties. This includes financial payment, free advertising or free copies of each game.
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