With eShop sales a weekly event, plenty of Switch owners have gone digital only. But if you like the feel of a physical cart, or want games you can more easily swap between actual Switch consoles, it can be hard to snag a real bargain. Which isn’t to say that you cannot get “cheap” Switch games – but which ones are actually worth buying?
I’m something of a traditionalist (if not outright retro gaming fanatic, it’s been five minutes since my last retro games purchase, I may have a problem, etc) in that I like “owning” games. Is that a somewhat anachronistic concept in an era of always-online games and day one patches?
Yeah, it probably is.
There are some advantages to owning actual physical Switch games that go beyond having a shiny, generally red-spined box to throw onto your shelves, however. While digital purchases can be played on different Switch consoles, you’ve got to do the whole messy sign-in process and it can go awfully awry if someone else in your household starts playing a download game right when you wanted to play something else on the same account.
Having a cartridge you can pop in and just work solves those problems, and of course you can then share that game with your mates, sell it, or use it to test out that thing where Switch cartridges are flavoured to stop kids eating them by licking it.
Spoiler: They are, don’t do that.
Cheap is relative, of course, but using $30 as my baseline, I set out to see what I could score out of Amazon Australia under that price point that might be worth buying.
I really don’t like the Rabbids much, because they’re that kind of “forced” funny also found in pie fights and the worst sitcoms. Hans Moleman pretty much scored the definitive gag of this type with just a football, and it’s all been downhill from there.
Shooting the Rabbids as Mario, though? That never gets old. Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a title that’s pretty frequently on special, and it’s not the newest Switch title of course, but it’s still a fine game.
Another oldie-but-definitely a goodie, Rayman Legends at $24 is well worth your while. It’s definitely one of those Switch games that hovers around that lower price point, but unlike a lot of Switch shovel ware, it’s a quality title.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: $24.81 (plus delivery)
So, I already flagged this deal earlier today, but it’s worth repeating, really.
I mean, I figured I’d be looking at really average games at this price point, and Amazon hits me with frickin’ Civilization VI?
There are a few small caveats here. It’s coming from the US, and shipping is not included which does tip it ever so slightly over my $30 barrier, although you might be able to dodge that if you have Prime and include enough other stuff in an order. Obviously you’d also have to wait a while for it to appear, stocks may be limited, etc, etc, etc.
It might be bending the pricing rules a little, but it’s Civ VI. Do I need to tell you why it’s worth buying?
Here’s an oddity. A game that saw light of day on PS4 and Switch, but only the Switch had a regular physical retail release. As you can probably tell from the box art and title, it’s a traditional 1v1 fighter with plenty of fanservice on the side, and while it’s the recipient of some fairly mediocre Metacritic scores, there could be some fun here for under $20.
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries Of Fujisawa: $19.21 + $3 delivery
One part visual novel, one part match-3 puzzler, this is a game that got a mixed critical response, although that seems to be mostly around folks who either get – or don’t get – the whole visual novel concept. If that’s your idea of a good time, though, it could be a good and resoundingly cheap physical game option.
Legendary Fishing: $24
I am not into fishing, but it seems like if you are a prototype Rex Hunt, this is about your only pure option for a fishing game on the Switch. Folks who seem to like fishing games think this is fun, and who am I to judge them?
Toki: $25.01 + $4.99 delivery
There was no way I wasn’t going to throw some kind of retro gaming angle into this roundup, and thankfully here’s the remaster of Toki to keep me sated. It’s not the easiest game – it was always a coin-grabbing game in its original arcade form – and it only just squeaks into the price bracket, but it’s a game about a spitting monkey. Do I need to say more?
Trials Rising: $28.95
There are some issues with the flow of Trials Rising in the way you unlock events, and you don’t quite get the fine control you’d enjoy on other platforms – but then you can’t as easily take a PS4 or Xbox One to another room as easily as you can with the Switch. At this kind of price, there’s plenty of stunt and precision driving fun to be had out of Trials Rising.
Big Bash Boom (Download Code): $19
OK, strictly speaking this is not a physical Switch game. However, it’s a cricket game, you should get at least a box, and I fear that Alex Walker will beat me with a cricket bat if I don’t mention it, so here it is.
It’s cricket, he was very excited for its existence, so it gets a nod.
WWE 2K18: $19.04
Although, at least this isn’t WWE 2K20, so there is that.
It’s not as though you’re awash with wrestling game options on the Switch. Well, at least until they do a version of Fire Pro World for it.
What, I can daydream, can’t I?
Redeemer: Enhanced Edition: $14.98
Technically the cheapest physical Switch game on Amazon right now, this twin-stick shooter didn’t rate well in its PS4 or Xbox One editions, and garnered so little attention in its Switch form that it doesn’t even have a Metacritic score.
Also, its Amazon blurb is hilariously awful.
“Play as Vasily, once elite operative working for the biggest Cybernetic Weapon Manufacturer in the world, he narrowly escape to a secluded monastery when the corporation turned on him, willing to make him one of its cyborg soldiers. For 20 years he tried to find peace and harmony amongst fellow monks until the corporation eventually found his trace and is now closing-in on Vasily’s location. In so doing, they have given him one last shot at redemption.”
I’m honestly not sure if that’s a generic game description, or the plot for the last 20 or so direct-to-video Steven Seagal movies.
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