The Nintendo Shop for Nintendo Switch is filled with some of the best indie games. Since the console came out in 2017, the library of games has continued to grow rapidly. While it may be easy to know the must-have big titles, there are also plenty of great indie ones that we think everyone should at least give a try.
Cult of the Lamb
Play as an adorable, innocent lamb who is just building a following of other cute creatures and punishing those who bring disorder. In the indie game, Cult of the Lamb, you build a cult of your very own by battling your way through dungeon-style maps and taking out the bosses and converting others along the way. Get equipped with random weapons and skills each with their own traits and build up a home for your cult, decorated however you’d like. The combat is fast, fun, and exciting, and the customization draws you in.
This beautiful, hand-drawn animation is meant to mimic the style and action of the very first cartoons. Cuphead follows Cuphead and Mugman as they get into trouble with different baddies across the map trying to pay a debt to the Devil. The jazzy music really takes you back to the times of the style and adds the perfect soundtrack to what can be a painstakingly difficult battle. This is a challenging indie game with lots of fun super moves and weapons for you to choose from. There’s even DLC content available for more characters and adventures.
Make your own way through the Hallownest in this side-scroller, Hollow Knight. Go through boss battles, find new abilities, and enjoy the twists and turns. On the Switch, players will receive free content packs including The Grimm Troupe, Lifeblood, and Godmaster. These add new enemies, music, bosses, and some hidden secrets we’ll let you discover on your own.
For something a little more calm and emotional, you’ll definitely want to try GRIS. There aren’t any monsters or dangers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a battle. It follows a young girl in her grief journey and visually dictates all the ups and downs of trying to make it through a difficult time. There are puzzles to figure out and a beautiful soundtrack to absorb while you begin to make your way back to the world through new eyes.
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Cadence Of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer
This is a modified version of another indie game, Crypt of the NecroDancer, that features Legend of Zelda characters. You can even actually play as Princess Zelda! Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer randomly generates each piece of the game so you’ll never have the same experience twice. The beautiful music of The Legend of Zelda games is remixed and plays while you battle, only allowed to move and attack on the downbeats. If you love music, dungeons, and Zelda, this is a must.
The spirits are calling for your help, but it’s not a horror! In Cozy Grove you play a customizable Spirit Scout who has traveled to an island to help the spirits find peace. This is an indie game that paces out your play with a maximum of an hour’s worth of tasks each real-time day for you to complete. Outside of the quests you can decorate your campsite or tent, fish, and craft. It’s a relaxing, hand-drawn title where the world gets a little bit brighter as you leave your mark on it.
Untitled Goose Game
A goose has to do what a goose has to do. Although it may seem like pure chaos, and definitely can be if you mess around enough, the geese are on a mission! Ransack and terrorize a little town as a honking goose, stealing items from farms, shops, restaurants, and other local areas while completing your to-do list, or not. Play on your own or team up with a friend for double the terror.
In this fiery tale, you are the Prince of the Underworld and you want out. Build relationships with monsters, Gods, and more — and continue to grow stronger as you go on. The world changes each time you come back, but the bosses remember you. In Hades, every play-through will be a different story and you can change what abilities you fight with.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Take it back to the days of 8-bit graphics with this platformer collection. In the main Shovel Knight story, you play as the knight himself on a quest to save his love. You are up against The Enchantress and her Order of No Quarter knights as they try to take over the kingdom. The story continues in Plague of Shadows, Specter of Torment, King of Cards, and can be brought into a 4-player duel with Showdown.
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There are two versions of this indie game available on Switch with the same basic premise. In Don’t Starve, players enter a strange world with unique creatures and biomes as the scientist, Wilson or an assortment of other bizarre characters. You must figure out how to craft, eat, battle, and overall survive. There is also a Hamlet DLC for purchase that adds new relationships with the pigs, a new world, new items, new characters to play as, and more. You could also choose to pick up Don’t Starve Together instead and bring some friends into this cross-play compatible frenzy, or try out some new characters. The developer of these titles is still adding new content and reworking pieces of the games regularly.
Another pixel platformer worth picking up is the thrilling adventure, Celeste. Madeline is on her way to the top of Celeste Mountain and you have to get her there by completing the platform levels. The journey is more than just climbing a mountain though. On her way up, Madeline begins to discover herself.
Here, your goal is to make it through the platformer island without dying at all. Each time you die, you start all over. However, death has its perks as each time you come back there are more weapons and upgrades at your disposal. Dead Cells offers difficulty options to offer whatever amount of challenge you’re looking for and updates the game every few months to provide more to enjoy.
Tunic is a beautiful 3D puzzle world with a hero who is sure to capture your heart. In this adventure, you are a small fox fighting monsters on a hunt for a hidden treasure. Explore the forests, find manual pages, and discover more treasures. If you listen closely you may even find some hidden puzzles and adventures.
If you’re going for a visually stunning and captivating story, Eastward hits all the marks. It has a unique style that is somewhat pixel but with some subtle details you can’t get in true pixel form. John and Sam have teamed up to save Eastward from an evil society and their dungeon bosses. Each character has a unique set of abilities that the player will need to switch between to solve the puzzles. Find out more about Sam’s powers and save Eastward.
Try to find out which of your friends is the best liar by getting a group together for Among Us. As a crew member, you are running around a base trying to complete tasks on your to-do list, but there is an imposter among you trying to kill everyone in the group before the tasks are completed. Work together to figure out who is a real crew member and who is faking to win. Anywhere from four to 15 people can play at once!
- This article was updated on March 17th, 2023