The Nintendo Switch has so many amazing indie titles that can be considered some of the best games on the system.

There are a lot of them, so instead of sifting through that eShop, we’ve made a list of 40 fantastic indie titles that simply must be played by any Nintendo Switch owner (as of August, 2018).

Disclaimer: We are only listing titles that we have personally played as we do not believe in putting a game on a list that we have not personally experienced. Therefore, there may be a few notable exclusions (such as The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+, Overcooked 2 and Darkest Dungeon), but we will try our best to get to them and consider them for our future updated list in September. If there are any games that you believe should be a candidate for this list, please let us know in the comment section below.

Note: All prices and ratings are in USD.

 

40. Kamiko

Price $4.99

Published By Flyhigh Works

Genre Action / Arcade

Rating E

Players 1

This game is for when your grandparents don’t know what to give you for your birthday, and your parents tell them that you would like a game for your “Nintendo”, but they have no clue when it comes to games so they give you an eShop card. After you use that card to buy an expensive game, what are you going to do with the remaining $5? You buy Kamiko, of course! This indie darling is similar to topdown Legend of Zelda games with an arcade twist. Battle demons, solve puzzles and break all the seals to face off against various stage bosses.

 

39. Pool Panic

Price $14.99

Developed By Rekim

Published By Adult Swim Games

Genre Adventure / Multiplayer / Party / Puzzle

Rating E10+

Players 1 – 4

Don’t panic, it’s only pool. But it’s pool in a wacky world full of crazy scenarios. Run around as a cue ball and pot all of the other balls, including: raccoon balls who will only come down when you’ve knocked the meat off of the barbecue grill and ballerina balls who glide away when you aim at them. Pool Panic contains that Adult Swim vibe that may seem familiar from many wacky cartoons, and this game bursts with so much personality that it’ll all oddly make sense in the end.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Quick Review.

 

38. Splasher

Price $14.99

Published By Plug In Digital

Genre Platformer / Arcade / Action

Rating T

Players 1

Splasher is an incredibly challenging 2D platformer that takes place in a construction factory that is conducting some shady business. Put and end to it and stop the mad scientist by shooting different color ink in order to stick on to or bounce off of walls. Just imagine Splatoon as a 2D platformer.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Quick Review.

 

37. Thumper

Price $19.99

Published By Drool LLC

Genre Action / Music / Arcade

Rating E10+

Players 1

As soon as you boot this one up, you’ll realise that Thumper sets out to purely overstimulate your senses. It’s a rhythm game that requires your unwavering attention with its original fast-tempo tracks and reflex-testing obstacles.

 

36. Graceful Explosion Machine

Price $12.99

Developed By Vertex Pop

Published By Vertex Pop

Genre Action / Arcade / Shooter

Rating E

Players 1

This shoot ‘em up indie game has you controlling the GEM fighter in order to blast your way through alien worlds. Collect jewels for high scores and feel every shot with HD Rumble to be truly engrossed in this wacky arcade shooter.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Quick Review.

 

35. Thimbleweed Park

Price $19.99

Developed By Terrible Toybox, Inc.

Published By Terrible Toybox

Genre Adventure / Puzzle

Rating T

Players 1

From the creators of the phenomenon Monkey Island, Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick have made another masterpiece with Thimbleweed Park. This game takes place in a town of the same name and is set in neo-noir 1987. Play as five characters, all trying to uncover mysteries of murder and terror. With serious themes coupled alongside witty humour, this indie gem will bring out a range of emotions as it encapsulates the magical storytelling that Gilbert and Winnick are known for.

 

34. Fast RMX

Price $19.99

Developed By Shin’en

Published By Shin’en

Genre Racing / Action / Arcade

Rating E

Players 1 – 4

Players (Local / Online) 2 – 8

Some of you may have played Fast Racing Neo on the Wii U. If so, then this game might seem a little familiar. Fast Racing RMX combines fast action-packed racing with futuristic graphics and smooth controls. Even though fans have been screaming for a new F-Zero game for well over a decade now, at least we have this indie gem to tie us over.

 

33. Bleed 2

Price $14.99

Developed By BOOTDISK REVOLUTION

Published By Digerati

Genre Action / Adventure / Fighting / Platformer

Rating T

Players 1 – 2

Bleed 2 is a run n’ gun 2D sidescroller that improves on everything that its predecessor had done before it. With smooth controls, heart pumping music and off the walls action, the game is an adrenaline kick that delivers in every way. Fight big bosses and utilize its slow motion mechanic to make last second dodges and feel like Neo from the Matrix. Bleed 2’s main story is a short experience that can be finished in a single hour, but there are plenty of modes to keep you coming back. So if you were looking for something quick to play through in a single afternoon, then this is the game for you.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Quick Reviews On Bleed and Bleed 2.

 

32. Freedom Planet

Price $14.99

Developed By GalaxyTrail

Published By Marvelous (XSEED)

Genre Action / Adventure

Rating E10+

Players 1

You gotta go fast, and we’re not talking about Sonic. No, Freedom Planet is a fast-paced action platformer that combines the exciting speed of Sonic with action-based combat. Play as Sash Lilac, a mystical dragon who must recover the Kingdom Stone in order to bring back peace throughout Avalice. Freedom Planet features a surprisingly deep story, complete with voice acting (albeit a little corny at times).

 

31. Poi: Explorer Edition

Price $29.99

Developed By PolyKid, LLC

Published By PolyKid

Genre Platformer / Adventure

Rating E10+

Players 1

For those who grew up in the golden age of 3D platformers, this game will surely tickle that nostalgia bone. Poi is an ambitious title that takes inspiration from classic Super Mario and Banjo-Kazooie games on the Nintendo 64. Embark on a grand adventure across many worlds, and don’t forget to pick up  many collectibles along the way!

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our review of Poi.

 

30. Severed

Price $14.99

Developed By DrinkBox Studios

Published By DrinkBox Studios

Genre Action / RPG

Rating T

Players 1

Developed by the same company that brought us Guacamelee, Severed utilizes their iconic artstyle with a unique gameplay twist. Use touch screen controls to slash at enemies with precision and timing. This first-person dungeon crawler is bursting with personality and is definitely one to consider if you like to play the Switch in handheld mode.

 

29. Jotun: Valhalla Edition

Price $14.99

Developed By Thunder Lotus Games

Published By Thunder Lotus Games

Genre Action / Adventure

Rating T

Players 1

Jotun: Valhalla Edition is a beautifully hand-drawn action game that immerses you in Norse mythology. Thora, a female viking warrior who has suffered an inglorious death, must prove herself to the Gods in order to enter Valhalla. Featuring nine levels filled to the brim with Viking mythology, take down ferocious Jotuns (giant Norse elementals) with Thora’s two-handed axe and powers bestowed upon her by the gods.

 

28. Minit

Price $9.99

Published By Devolver Digital

Genre Action / Adventure

Rating E

Players 1

Minit is a black and white action adventure game akin to classic Legend of Zelda games. But there’s a twist: You only get 60 seconds until you die and are sent back to the house. Get to the bottom of the cursed swords by gaining hints and uncovering your next move. Use the time that you have to make quick progress, and save the world one minute at a time.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Quick Review.

 

27. Gorogoa

Price $14.99

Developed By Buried Signal

Published By Annapurna Interactive

Genre Puzzle / Adventure

Rating E

Players 1

Gorogoa is an artistic puzzle game that is laid out on a square with four images. The player must delve deeper into each image to find connections with each other. Guide the young boy across various religious and spiritual themes in a 20th century European setting.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Quick Review.

 

26. Blaster Master Zero

Price $9.99

Developed By INTI CREATES CO., LTD.

Published By INTI CREATES CO., LTD.

Genre Action / Adventure / Shooter

Rating E

Players 1 – 2

With the return of a classic NES platforming series, Blaster Master Zero fits right at home on the Nintendo Switch. Go back and forth between side-scrolling 2D and topdown areas to experience the best that this unforgotten era has to offer.

 

25. Night in the Woods

Price $19.99

Developed By Infinite Fall

Published By Finji

Genre Adventure / Platformer

Rating T

Players 1

Night in the Woods may seem cute and fluffy with its stylistic design, but it contains more mature themes than you’d initially expect. This game brings up everyday issues of local businesses and the pressures of adulthood. Explore a vibrant world and talk to the furry residents to reveal some truly deep and emotional moments.

 

24. West of Loathing

Price $11.00

Developed By Asymmetric

Published By Asymmetric

Genre Adventure / RPG

Rating T

Players 1

Don’t let West of Loathing’s simplistic art style fool you, there is so much more to this game that what appears on the surface. Combat is surprisingly deep and the world contains much to explore and discover. But where this game truly shines is in its dialogue. With witty banter set in a classic western, West of Loathing will actually make you laugh out loud. Play one of three character classes and fight back as the cows have literally come home.

 

23. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

Price $9.99

Developed By INTI CREATES CO., LTD.

Published By INTI CREATES CO., LTD.

Genre Action / Platformer

Rating T

Players 1

Inti Creates is responsible for some of the most memorable Nindies, and Curse of the Moon continues that trend by paying homage to classic side-scrolling Castlevania games. This title keeps the core gameplay elements of the series like platforming, boss fights, and falling backwards into pits, but eases newcomers in with some needed difficulty settings. Experienced players might still find the “veteran” setting too easy, but the post-game which restricts your party should alleviate any of those concerns, and helps keep the experience fresh. It’s short, but stands as a great appetizer to the upcoming Ritual of the Night.

 

22. Enter the Gungeon

Price $14.99

Developed By Dodge Roll

Published By Devolver Digital

Genre Action / Adventure / Arcade

Rating T

Players 1 – 2

Enter the Gungeon is a unique dungeon crawler that pits you against hordes of enemies and big baddies in order to find the gun that can kill the past. With seven heroes to choose from and an array of guns to fight with, you’ll be gunning down enemies for hours on end!

 

21. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

Price $26.79

Published By DotEmu

Genre Adventure / Action / Platformer / Other

Rating E10+

Players 1

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a wonderful recreation of the classic Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap (basically the same name) on the Sega Master System. This indie darling features beautiful recreations of its artwork and music, with the ability to go back to the old retro style on a whim. Play as a boy (or as a girl in this remake) who gets inflicted with curses that transforms him/her into various animals, each with their own unique abilities. This remake is a love letter to retro gaming and a gift to fans of simpler times.

20. Yooka-Laylee

Price $39.99

Developed By Playtonic Games

Published By Team17 Digital Ltd

Genre Platformer / Adventure / Action

Rating E10+

Players 1 – 4

Want some more 3D platforming goodness? Then look no further than Yooka-Laylee! From a team largely built on many ex-Rare employees, Playtonic Games brings us a beautiful 3D platformer in the same vein as Banjo-Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. With the soundtrack composed by Grant Kirkhope himself, you’ll feel just like a kid again collecting pagies and fast-forwarding through those dialogue grunts and squawks.

 

19. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: Ultimate Edition

Price $29.99

Developed By WayForward

Published By WayForward

Genre Action / Adventure / Platformer

Rating T

Players 1

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was the result of a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. Shantae has never looked better in High Definition, with an eye-popping art style and character designs that have been years in the making. This new iteration of Shantae allows the half-genie to transform into different animals, each with their own unique abilities. Play as Shantae as she saves the day again, this time by helping Uncle Mimic retrieve the missing components in order for him to finish off his newest creation of the Dynamo. With the Ultimate Edition, you also get more expansions as well as a few new transformations.

 

18. SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition

Price $19.99

Developed By Image & Form International AB

Published By Image & Form International AB

Genre Action / Strategy / Shooter / RPG

Rating E10+

Players 1

SteamWorld Heist is a very unique strategy shooter from the creators of the SteamWorld Dig series. Play as robot space pirates as they travel from ship to ship in epic tactical shootouts. In similar Wormslike fashion, battle it out in 2D spaces and shoot your opponents whilst achieving the mission’s goal. And don’t forget, some of your bullets can ricochet off walls, so be sure to use that to your advantage!

 

17. The Jackbox Party Pack 3

Price $24.99

Developed By Jackbox Games

Published By Jackbox Games

Genre Party

Rating T

Players 1 – 8

The Jackbox Party Pack series is the ULTIMATE party game franchise (except for perhaps Mario Party)! Whilst all four titles in the series are a lot of fun, we feel as though the third installment contains the most innovative and unique games. Join in on your smart device and laugh at the hilarity that ensues from those around you.

 

16. Snipperclips Plus: Cut it out Together!

Price $29.99

Developed By SFB Games

Published By Nintendo

Genre Puzzle / Action / Multiplayer

Rating E

Players 1 – 4

Snipperclips: Cut it out Together was a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and perfectly utilizes the instant two-player fun that you can have with the Joy-Cons. Work together to cut each other into various shapes so that you can solve some of the creative puzzles that this game has to offer. Despite having to say some pretty strange stuff that can easily be taken out of context, the game is innocent fun with colorful graphics and light-hearted gaming goodness… unless you get frustrated easily.

 

 

15. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King

Price $14.99

Developed By Castle Pixel

Published By FDG Entertainment

Genre Action / Adventure / RPG / Platformer

Rating E10+

Players 1

So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Nintendo Switch owners probably like a little series known as Legend of Zelda. Am I right? At launch, the Switch was graced with a beautiful 3D open world Zelda game called Breath of the Wild, but for those who wish to scratch that 2D Zelda itch, this is the game for you! Play as Lily as you traverse dungeons, solve puzzles and defeat bosses in order to awaken the king and stop his evil wizard brother from taking over the Kingdom of Blossom.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our review of Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King.

 

14. Dead Cells

Price $24.99

Developed By Motion Twin

Published By Motion Twin

Genre Action / Platformer

Rating T

Players 1

Dead Cells is a procedurally-generating roguelike metroidvania (say that five times fast). The game has a unique art style with 2D sprite-based background and 3D character models that have be down-resed in order to maintain that smooth gameplay whilst keeping true to its art style. Play as an undead science experiment who keeps coming back to life at the beginning each time you die. Make your way through each section and collect as many upgrades. Take down a variety of horrifying enemies, collect precious cells from them and spend them on permanent upgrades to progress through the game.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Review.

 

 

13. Yoku’s Island Express

Price $19.99

Developed By Villa Gorilla

Published By Team17

Genre Platformer / Adventure / Puzzle / Arcade

Rating E10+

Players 1

Yoku’s Island Express is a Metroidvania Pinball game that is as unique as it sounds. Play as a little beetle tethered to a ball twice his size who has just accepted a new job as a postman (postbug?) on the tropical island of Mokuma. However, Mokuma is in danger as the ancient island deity is trapped in a restless sleep. So it falls to you to gather the three chiefs and save the island… for some reason.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Review.

 

12. Battle Chef Brigade

Price $19.99

Developed By Trinket Studios

Published By Adult Swim Games

Genre RPG / Puzzle / Platformer / Action

Rating E10+

Players 1

Have you ever wanted to live in a fantasy world, fighting strange monsters and using the ingredients that you harvest from them in Iron Chefesque battles? Well if yes, that’s a strange dream you have there… but you can live it in Battle Chef Brigade! This indie title combines 2 side-scrolling combat with challenging element matching puzzle gameplay to make the best dish in order to appease the judges, beat your opponent and rise the ranks to join the Battle Chef Brigade. With high quality voice acting, beautiful hand drawn visuals and an engaging story, this game has it all.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our Quick Review.

 

11. Axiom Verge: Multiverse Edition

Price $19.99

Developed By Thomas Happ Games LLC

Published By Thomas Happ Games

Genre Adventure / Action / Platformer

Rating E10+

Players 1

Hungry for a new 2D Metroid game this isn’t just a remake? Well, this is the answer! Axiom Verge is clearly inspired by the space bounty hunter we all know and love with graphics that are reminiscent of the SNES iteration. Some consider this indie title as the new Metroid game that we’ve been clambering for for years.

 

10. Inside

Price $19.99

Developed By Playdead

Published By Playdead

Genre Adventure / Puzzle

Rating M

Players 1

With critical acclaim and the winner of many awards, you may have heard about this game before. But just in case you haven’t, here’s the rundown: Inside is a puzzle platformer with dark and melancholic aesthetics. Without giving away too much, play as a young boy seemingly on the run and escaping men with flashlights and ravenous dogs. Inside stands out among the rest with its sombre moods and superb storytelling, a truly spectacular visual experience.

 

9. Owlboy

Price $24.99

Developed By D-Pad Studio

Published By D-Pad Studio

Genre Platformer / Adventure / Action

Rating E10+

Players 1

Meet Otus, a mute Owl who lives in the skies. Otus must save his world from a band of menacing pirates and learn more about the events that lead the Owls to live in the skies. Otus can pick up and carry many things, including friends that he meets along the way that each have their own unique abilities. Owlboy had a ten year development cycle, and the dedication that D-Pad Studio is evidence of its quality and polish – a true love letter to the games of a past era.

 

8. Golf Story

Price $14.99

Developed By Sidebar Games

Published By Sidebar Games

Genre Adventure / RPG / Sports

Rating E

Players 1 – 2

Love golf? Love stories? Well, why not combine the two? This charming little golf game combines the popular sport with RPG mechanics, alongside charming visuals and excellent storytelling. With it’s classic 16-bit art style and precise golfing mechanics, this Switch exclusive is simply a treat to play.

 

7. Overcooked: Special Edition

Price $19.99

Published By Team17 Digital Ltd

Genre Party / Strategy / Communication / Simulation

Rating E

Players 1 – 4

Warning: Do not play this game if you are prone to stress! This frantic co-op cooking game will have you screaming at your friends and family, yelling things like: “the kitchen is on fire!” or “who dropped this plate on the floor?!”. The fun and challenging gameplay is wholly unique with frantic action that you’d expect in any restaurant’s kitchen. However, Overcooked will reveal a whole new side of your loved ones, so you have been warned.

 

6. Stardew Valley

Price $14.99

Developed By ConcernedApe

Published By Chucklefish LTD

Genre RPG / Simulation

Rating E10+

Players 1

Inspired by classic farming simulators such as the Harvest Moon series, Stardew Valley perfects the beloved simulation genre. Build a thriving farm, court townsfolk, mine gems, fish and craft your own story. This indie gem fits right at home on the Nintendo Switch, with the ability to craft your own farming life wherever you go.

 

5. SteamWorld Dig 2

Price $19.99

Developed By Image & Form International AB

Published By Image & Form International AB

Genre Action / Platformer / Adventure / Puzzle

Rating E10+

Players 1

This sequel to Image & Form’s breakout hit SteamWorld Dig follows Dorothy and her mysterious wise-cracking companion in search of her friend Rusty (the protagonist of the original game). Dig down into the depths of the earth’s core, craft your own path and collect jewels in order to upgrade your gear and abilities.

 

4. Rocket League

Price $19.99

Developed By Psyonix

Published By Psyonix

Genre Sports / Racing / Action

Rating E

Players 1 – 4

Players (Online / Local) 1 – 8

The car-soccer phenomenon has come to the Switch and Nintendo made sure that we all knew about it at E3 2017. This addictive game is a perfect addition to Nintendo’s online gaming library, and you can also get a Mario and Luigi hat for your cars… how cute is that!

 

3. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Price $24.99

Developed By Yacht Club Games

Published By Yacht Club Games

Genre Action / Adventure / Platformer

Rating E

Players 1 – 2

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is the best value for money, with three full campaigns each packed with their own unique story and campaign. This 8-bit retro inspired platformer feels like it was ripped straight out of the 80s, but with perfectly precise controls and truly fantastic chip-tune music. Any day now we should hear news of a concrete release date for the fourth and final campaign, King of Cards, which will be free to all those who purchase Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.

 

2. Celeste

Price $19.99

Developed By Matt Makes Games Inc.

Published By Matt Makes Games Inc.

Genre Action / Adventure / Platformer

Rating E10+

Players 1

Celeste is a tough-as-nails platformer that follows Madeline, a young girl on a journey to climb a mountain that tests both her physical and mental strength. Each individual frame contains expertly crafted platforming sections that follows a trek to overcome Madeline’s more pragmatic side that continuously gets in her way.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our review of Celeste.

 

Honorable Mentions

Below is a list of games that we know should either be on this list or have the potential to be on the list (from what we’ve heard), but we have not played them (listed in alphabetical order):

  • 20XX
  • The Banner Saga (1-3)
  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
  • Cave Story+
  • De Blob (1&2)
  • The Escapists 2
  • Floor Kids
  • Furi
  • Garage
  • Iconoclasts
  • Ikaruga
  • Into the Breach
  • Limbo
  • Little Dew 2+
  • Lumines Remastered
  • The Messenger (Review in progress)
  • Overcooked 2
  • Oxenfree
  • Pocket Rumble
  • Prison Architect
  • Runbow
  • Salt & Sanctuary
  • Yono and the Celestial Elephants

That’s A LOT of honorable mentions. We have a lot to play so that our next list isn’t missing any great and deserving titles.

But for now, our no.1 indie game for the Nintendo Switch is…

 

 

1. Hollow Knight

Price $15.00

Developed By Team Cherry

Published By Team Cherry

Genre Action / Adventure / Platformer

Rating E10+

Players 1

Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania style platformer that can arguably be compared to such titles that coined the genre itself. Guide Hollow Knight through the ruins of Hallownest, an ancient civilization that is overrun with those who remain. Absorb their souls and use it to heal and cause devastating attacks as you continue to delve deeper into the danger that lurks. Team Cherry’s passion project shines in it visual presentation, with jaw-dropping aesthetics and attention to detail. The combat and movement is incredibly fluid, running at 1080P/60FPS on Nintendo Switch.

If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our review of Hollow Knight.

 

All of these indie darlings are amazing fits on the Nintendo Switch and are perfect games to play in between the Marios and the Zeldas. No doubt we have left out some of your favorites, so if you’re just bursting with rage and just want to scream “Why didn’t you include this game?!”, then feel free to yell at us in the Comments section below… please don’t yell at us.

Also, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @switchaboonews as well as Instagram @switchaboo. And hey, why not check out a list of hidden gems on the Nintendo Switch?