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17 Best Indie Games on Nintendo Switch

Cooking, farming, golf, and more!

The Switch has enjoyed a solid lifespan at this point, and every year of its life has been filled with more promising indie games to play than the last. Some have inevitably been better than others though, so why not celebrate the console’s longevity with this list of the 17 best indie games on Nintendo Switch?

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This post was originally written by Dawson Roberts.

Night In The Woods

Games Like Life Is Strange: Night in the Woods
Image Source: Infinite Fall

On the surface, Night In The Woods may seem like a game made for children with its anthropomorphic characters and cartoon aesthetic. In reality though, it’s a game all about the concept of growing up and accepting that what came before is gone.

It tells the tale of a 20-year-old named Mae who comes home after dropping out of college to find that life is very different to what it was before she left. The majority of the gameplay is either very conversation-based or simple mini games, meaning you’re coming for the story more than the gameplay.

What truly makes Night In The Woods impressive, however, is the fact it embraces every aspect of life — whether it be deemed controversial to talk about or not — and the feeling it leaves you with upon completing it is immensely satisfying. Give it a look if you’re in the mood for a contemplative and empathetic digital experience.

Celeste

celeste switch game box art
Image Source: Nintendo

What could easily be mistaken as another Super Meat Boy clone, Celeste turned out to be intertwined with a deep story of mental illness and acceptance. Combine this with satisfying and challenging platforming propelled by a gorgeous art style and soundtrack. The journey Celeste takes you on is one of great importance and is definitely worth a playthrough.

SteamWorld Dig 2

steamworld dig 2 best indie games on switch
Image Source: Image and Form Games

In this sequel to the cult 3DS game, you break new ground in an effort to rescue the protagonist of the first game who has mysteriously disappeared. SteamWorld Dig 2 attempts to switch up the formula with a change from procedurally generated mines to handcrafted ones.

Each mine you explore is meticulously crafted to contain puzzles and secrets galore, meaning there’s a lot more skill than luck. But much like the first game, the captivating gameplay comes from the fact you’ll still have to think three steps ahead with every hit.

Cuphead

Cuphead Nintendo Switch
Image Source: Studio MDHR

Cuphead is a masterpiece of 2D platforming design, and it just so happens to be one of the most brilliantly animated games ever made too.

Drawn and colored with classic 30s cartoons as inspiration, Cuphead is a precision run-and-gun platformer with a steep difficulty curve. The game’s structure is focused primarily on the spectacular boss fights, each of which can take hours to overcome. Cuphead also features more traditional-style levels with obstacles and waves of unique enemies.

To overcome Cuphead’s challenges, players can upgrade and buy different weaponry from shops. Cuphead is one of the great modern platforming games that fans of the genre shouldn’t miss out on, and The Delicious Last Course! DLC sweetens the package!

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight Official Art.
Image Credit: Team Cherry

Hollow Knight is another punishing platformer, but this time in pure Metroidvania glory. Traverse the dark atmosphere of Hollownest as an adorable bug knight. You’ll encounter many bugs throughout Hollow Knight, so those averse to insects might want to look away, even if they are cute.

The lore behind Hollownest is surprisingly deep, following the Souls-Borne formula of rich environmental storytelling. The combat is straight-up Souls-Borne too, with brutal boss fights and a respawn system similar to Dark Souls’ bonfires. If you like Metroidvanias, Souls-likes, and platforming, Hollow Knight is the perfect Switch game for you. Check it out ahead of the upcoming sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong.

Oxenfree

oxenfree cover art
Image Source: Night School Studio

Trapped on a deserted island, a group of friends must work together in order to unravel the mysteries the island has to offer. Oxenfree is a quaint adventure but that doesn’t mean the story it has to tell isn’t captivating. The brilliantly written dialogue and realistic interactions make these characters feel alive in a world that seems so far from our own. It may not have the most innovative gameplay but for what it lacks, it more than makes up for in its unwinding story.

Stardew Valley

stardew valley 1.6 update teaser sneak peak
Image source: ConcernedApe

If you like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, chances are Stardew Valley will be your next favorite. Your aim is to build up a farm from scratch while building relationships and completing tasks to help further the town’s progress. Its combination of RPG-like quests and farming sim genre make it stand out from its contemporaries and create a fantastically deep adventure you’re bound to put hundreds of hours into.

Owlboy

owlboy key art
Image Source: D-Pad Studio

Owlyboy is yet another obscure indie title on this list as its concept revolves around a boy who flies around like an owl. But Owlboy is full of charm, from its interesting take on weapon switching (which involves carrying around people who have different abilities) to its gorgeous pixelated art style and catchy soundtrack. Owlboy is an old-school platformer that manages to find that perfect balance between nostalgia and innovation, meaning you’re in for a treat if you pick this up.

Snipperclips Plus

Snipperclips Plus: Cut It Out Together! Nintendo Switch
Image Source: SFB Games

If you are looking for a great couch co-op game on the Switch, then look no further than Snipperclips. Its imaginative take on the puzzle genre makes it one of the best multiplayer experiences on the console. In it, you play as up to four miscellaneous shapes (with each player controlling a shape) and your aim is to cut each other into the exact right shape so as to solve a puzzle at hand.

The puzzles vary from trying to pop balloons, operating cranes, and playing basketball, so you’ll rarely be doing the same thing twice. Snipperclips is an exercise in communication and teamwork, something that fewer games are putting an emphasis on and this is a shining example of why they should be.

Battlechef Brigade

battlechef brigade cover art
Image Source: Trinket Studios

Battlechef Brigade is a match-3 game, RPG, and an action platformer, and yet somehow even with three completely different genres mixed together, it manages to form the perfect dish.

By taking part in various cook-offs (match-3 puzzles) you’ll have to source your own ingredients (action platforming) and please various judges with your creations (RPG-like quests). All three genres blend seamlessly into each other, making for consistently varied gameplay.

It also helps that Battlechef Brigade has a wonderful hand-drawn aesthetic and a cast of characters that are both well-written and charming to speak to. Battlechef Brigade is a hybrid game definitely worth picking up.

Thimbleweed Park

thimbleweed park investigating gameplay switch game
Image Source: Terrible Toybox

If you were a fan of the classic Lucas Arts point-and-click adventure games of the 90’s, like Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, then Thimbleweed Park was made just for you. It sets you out on a mysterious adventure into to the self-named town to solve a murder mystery that leads you to stumble across the stories of the obscure residents.

You’ll be playing as clowns, computer geniuses, and detectives in a whole host of different scenarios that remain inspired throughout. Better yet, the game is developed by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the original creators of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, and is the perfect love letter to a genre gone by.

Darkest Dungeon

5 games Worth the Grind, No Matter The Frustration
Image Source: Red Hook Studios

Darkest Dungeon is a bleak RPG that’s full of death, despair, and gruesome monsters. Your aim is to command a squad to conquer the game’s dungeons, keeping them alive from dangerous monsters and ailments. You’ll die a lot, but each time you do so you’ll be more prepared for what will come next. Darkest Dungeon is out for a lot of devices now but the Switch’s combination of controllers and touchscreen make it a perfect fit for the hybrid console.

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth +

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ Nintendo Switch
Image Source: Nicalis

The Binding of Isaac has had many versions come out, each one expanding the base rogue-like game with new enemies, bosses, secrets, items, and levels to play but in this version, you get the complete package, and it’s bursting with content.

Trying to escape your evil mother, you must fight your way through the depths of the underworld in order to successfully escape her wrath. Along the way, you’ll gain power-ups and various items to help further your quest.

Its entirely randomly generated levels make for hundreds of hours of gameplay, making this one of the best bangs for your buck on this list.

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Nintendo Switch
Image Source: Yacht Club Games

Upon release, Shovel Knight was a well-praised throwback to the SNES platformers of a time gone by. Since its release, though, Shovel Knight has grown to become much more than it first was.

Adding in entire new campaigns, difficulties, secrets, and much more. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is a complete collection of everything released for the hit platformer so far. If you have fond memories of SNES platformers you’ll find great enjoyment out of this fantastic collection.

Enter the Gungeon

Enter the Gungeon Nintendo Switch
Image Source: Dodge Roll

Bullet hells can be some of the most stressful games on the market and while Enter the Gungeon makes no effort to change that, what it does do is bring a brilliantly satisfying progression system that makes every playthrough feel unique.

Like Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon is an entirely procedurally generated world, meaning that no run is ever the same. It’s got tons of different weapons, abilities, and bosses, so you’re never going to be short of content.

Even though Enter the Gungeon is incredibly intense, you’ll keep coming back for more just to see what your next crazy run might entail. 

Golf Story

golf story key art
Image Source: Sidebar Games

Have you ever wanted to play a weird RPG that involves using variations of golf to solve every problem? Well then, Golf Story will be right up your alley. You start as a golf newbie and have to work your way up the ranks to play in the best tournaments across the land. But along the way, you’ll be fighting vicious birds, playing simulations, and exterminating moles with your trusty golf club. Its zany concept and tight mechanics make it an incredibly enjoyable recommendation for the switch.

Overcooked 2

Overcooked 2 Nintendo Switch
Image Source: Team17/Ghost Town Games

Overcooked 2 is frantic, intense, and one of the most stressful games you’ll play on Switch, but none of that takes away from the fact it’s also one of the most fun.

Working with up to four players, you have to complete various food orders and make sure everything is cooked to perfection. It’s all about timing and communication. If you’re willing to put your friendships on the line, then Overcooked is easily one of the most entertaining experiences on the Switch, even if it causes a few arguments along the way.


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Author
Matthew Carmosino
Matthew Carmosino is a freelance writer for Twinfinite. He started gaming in the mid-90s where his love for SquareSoft RPGs like Chrono Trigger changed him forever. Matthew has been working in the game industry for two years covering everything from story-rich RPGs to puzzle-platformers. Listening to piano music on a rainy day is his idea of a really good time, which probably explains his unnatural tolerance for level-grinding.
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Chris Jecks
Chris Jecks has been covering the games industry for over eight years. He typically covers new releases, FIFA, Fortnite, any good shooters, and loves nothing more than a good Pro Clubs session with the lads. Chris has a History degree from the University of Central Lancashire. He spends his days eagerly awaiting the release of BioShock 4.