There were some breakout indies on the Switch this year
The year is rapidly winding to a close, so it’s a good time for some reflection. Today, Nintendo posted a video looking back on some of the best-selling indies on the Switch.
While Nintendo’s been known for its superstar first-party franchises, the handheld-console hybrid Switch has become another haven for independent games. It feels like many times, when you see a cool new 2D Metroidvania-style game or unique puzzle experience, the question is floated soon after: when’s it coming to Switch?
And indeed, many indies found their way to the Nintendo Switch this year. This best-sellers list is a reflection of that, I think. Ranging from updated ports to brand-new, even groundbreaking independent games, this was a good year in the indie space. And heck, there are games in this lineup I wasn’t even paying attention to until now.
I do recommend watching the video, because it’ll give you a chance to see all these games in motion and get a sense if they’re up your alley. But if you’re at work, or just have a mild curiosity, here’s a text version of the Switch indies that Nintendo spot-lighted as best-selling indies for 2021 (with eShop links):
- Cyber Shadow
- Tetris Effect: Connected
- Stick Fight: The Game
- Curse of the Dead Gods
- Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights
- Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
- Spelunky 2
- Road 96
- Subnautica + Subnautica Below Zero
- Islanders – Console Edition
- Slime Rancher Plortable Edition
- Axiom Verge 2
Some here are not surprising me at all. Games like Eastward and Axiom Verge 2 both seem very at home on the Nintendo Switch. Lots of popular games with fervent followings are here too, from Subnautica to Doki Doki. And I’ll never be surprised to see a Tetris game doing well, either.
But a few jumped out at me as ones that have slipped well under my radar. Ender Lilies has been talked about a little bit this year, but seems worth checking out. Littlewood is completely new to me, and looks like a really interesting life-and-social-sim game. And wow, Road 96. I forgot that game came out this year.
Nintendo’s indie list is a nice reminder of all the games that might have slipped by in the last year. And hey, with a little time left in the holidays, maybe it’s worth picking a few up and trying them out.