It’s been a surprisingly strong year for the Nintendo Switch even as sales slow and fans eagerly await its successor, and today the company promoted a bunch of indie games that will fill out the console’s release calendar heading into 2024, from a new Shantae action-platformer to a port of beloved cult-hit sci-fi mystery game Outer Wilds. Unfortunately, everyone’s favourite Hollow Knight sequel, Silksong, is still MIA.
Last month’s Super Mario Bros. Wonder was the fastest-selling game in the franchise’s history, and a remake of the beloved SNES classic Super Mario RPG arriving later this month rounds out another great year for the Switch. But plenty of smaller games are also coming to the device this holiday season and beyond, and Nintendo highlighted some of the big ones in its latest Indie World Showcase.
Here’s everything we saw during Nintendo’s brief presentation today:
Shantae: Risky Revolution (WayForward)
The 2D half-genie is getting another retro follow-up to the original 2002 Game Boy Color adventure (which goes for four digits on eBay and still isn’t part of the Switch Online catalog). Risky Revolution will be a mix of old and new, with creature transformations and big boss fights as well as a four-player co-op mode and the ability to jump between the background and foreground. It’s out sometime next year.
Outer Wilds: Archaeologist Edition (Mobius Digital/Annapurna Interactive)
Outer Wilds was an excellent space exploration puzzler and one of the best games of 2019. Now it’s finally coming to Switch next month on December 7. Archaeologist Edition will include the Echoes of the Eye expansion, and will be a must-play on Switch for anyone who hasn’t already experienced its compelling mysteries, deep secrets, and incredible ending, assuming the performance and visuals are still intact on Switch.
On Your Tail (Memorable Games/Humble Games)
This is a new one about exploring the seaside village of Borgo Marina trying to unmask who’s been menacing the place by collecting clues in the form of trading cards. On Your Tail has you play as the young detective Diana, who can chill, fish, and meet new friends in this detective life sim hybrid. It’ll be a timed Switch exclusive in 2024.
A Highland Song (Inkle)
Another 2.5D narrative-led platformer? Sign me up. A Highland Song is about guiding a character named Moira on a journey through the Scottish Highlands. There’s rhythm-action elements with the music affecting how quickly you can progress, and inclement weather forcing you to change up your approach. A Highland Song comes to Switch on December 5.
Backpack Hero (Jaspel/Different Tales)
Another deck-building roguelike? Sign me up for that too! Backpack Hero looks similar to a Dungeons & Dragons campaign turned into a Magic: The Gathering deck builder except your arsenal will be dependent on how you organize the limited space in your backpack. Loot you collect from dungeons is brought back to help repair your village, which you can expand and decorate as you see fit. The game goes live today.
Howl (Mi’pu’mi Games/Astragon Entertainment)
Howl is a turn-based tactics game that features a “living ink” art style that lets you see upcoming enemy attacks and plan multiple turns in advance, making every encounter into a little puzzle box. A plague is sweeping through the world and the only way to defeat it is to collect resources and upgrade your abilities. You know, the usual. Howl is out now and has a free demo.
Blade Chimera (Team Ladybug/WSS playground/Playism)
Blade Chimera is basically a cyberpunk Castlevania. There have been a lot of these retro 2D action-platformers in recent years, but Blade Chimera’s art and abilities make it seem like it could stand out. A Lumina Sword helps the hero slice down enemies and also restore old parts of the environment to unlock new paths forward. It’s a Switch timed exclusive coming spring 2024.
Death Trick: Double Blind (Misty Mountain Studio/Neon Doctrine)
The circus is in town and someone’s dead…probably. Death Trick is a choose-your-own adventure visual novel in which you play a detective interviewing acrobats and fire-breathers to find out what happened to a missing performer. It’s coming to Switch in 2024, with a free demo out today.
The Star Named EOS (Silver Lining Studio/Playism)
Picture a storybook where you dive into the pages and learn about your past memories. That’s what The Star Named EOS looks like. The puzzle adventure “explores photography and the ways we can capture the fleeting moments that shape our lives.” It will probably make you cry. The Star Named EOS is headed to Switch by spring 2024.
Moonstone Island (Studio Supersoft/Raw Fury)
Moonstone Island might just have it all: creature collecting, dungeon crawling, deck building, card-based combat, and life sim farming. Hopefully the adorable and colorful-looking mashup of Pokémon, Stardew Valley, and Slay the Spire is half as good as the recipe suggests. The initial reviews on PC have been great. It will be a Switch timed exclusive launching in spring 2024.
Core Keeper (Pugstorm/Fireshine Games)
You probably know this one already. If you don’t, Core Keeper is kind of like Minecraft meets Zelda. Another way of saying that is it’s like crafting sim Terraria if it were top-down instead of a side-scroller. You dig tunnels to collect materials, items, and treasure that can be used to make a home-turned-factory deep underground while you search for an ancient relic. It features up to eight player co-op, lots of RPG elements, and some neat environments. The Switch port of the Steam hit is coming in summer 2024.
But wait, there’s more!
A sizzle reel near the end of the livestream also teased a bunch of other games coming to Nintendo Switch at the end of 2023 and in the year ahead. Here’s the PR:
- Enjoy the Diner, a mysterious narrative adventure with point-and-click elements, available on Nintendo Switch later today!
- Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist, a painting adventure in which you’re invited to explore the charming town of Phénix while creating and selling works of art, available on Nintendo Switch later today!
- Heavenly Bodies, a delightfully challenging physics-based space puzzler that asks you to complete a series of seemingly simple tasks aboard a 1970s space station, arriving to Nintendo Switch in February 2024.
- Braid: Anniversary Edition, a remaster of the acclaimed puzzle-platformer, with updated graphics and sound, plus newly added developer commentary, launching for Nintendo Switch on April 30, 2024.
- The Gecko Gods, a relaxed puzzle-platformer starring a tiny gecko who must explore a set of mysterious islands and temples on a mission to save its friends, launching on Nintendo Switch in spring 2024.
- Planet of Lana, a cinematic puzzle-adventure framed by an epic sci-fi saga that stretches across centuries and galaxies, launching on Nintendo Switch in spring 2024.
- Urban Myth Dissolution Center, a captivating mystery game in which you’re tasked with investigating curses, haunted houses and other urban myths, coming to Nintendo Switch in 2024.
While most of these games are still a couple of seasons away, Backpack Hero, Enjoy the Diner, and Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist are all out today. Howl and Death Trick: Double Blind also have free demos out today. The heavily rumored “Switch 2” could get revealed any day now, but there’s still a ton of games coming to the existing hardware. Hopefully all of them will be backward compatible on whatever new console Nintendo is currently cooking up.