This past July, former president of Nintendo Tatsumi Kimishima announced that we could expect to see anywhere from 20-30 independent games released every week throughout the rest of 2018. Since then, Nintendo has remained true to its word releasing indie successes like Hello Neighbor, The Mooseman, Overcooked! 2, and many more. It seems that the most recent game to be added to this list is Manual Samuel, a comedic adventure game that originally released on Steam in October of 2016.
As Samuel, a spoiled and petty man who gets in a car accident, the player must make a deal with the devil and go through an entire day manually performing simple tasks, such as breathing, blinking, walking, and many more complex everyday events in order to earn his way back into the world of the living. Manual Samuel isn’t exactly a premiere indie title, but it not only has made its impression, but made its way onto the Nintendo eShop.
What’s particularly interesting about Manual Samuel, and many other titles that have been ported to the Switch since it came out, is how much sense it makes. Games like Hollow Knight and, again, the Overcooked! Series are gaming experiences that, once they’ve made their ways to the Switch, have proven to be perfect games to have on the go. They’re not AAA games, but Nintendo definitely wasn’t intending to make a portable Xbox or PlayStation.
The system is just right for smaller projects that are easy to pick up and hard to put down. Manual Samuel is a great example of this; the mechanics are simple, fun, yet difficult, the humor keeps you playing, and the story has you coming back for more. In an industry that can sometimes get caught up in scale and detail, Samuel can take you on a small, 2D journey that is just as entertaining. I love seeing games like this ported to the Switch! It forces me to wonder what Nintendo will bring to the table through the rest of 2018. What other older games could come to light that have a similar appeal?
The announcement of the surge of indie games coming our way was made in light of the plummeting stocks of Nintendo in the couple of months prior. Nintendo’s stock dropped to the lowest it had been since the release of the Switch in early July when Kimishima’s statement was made. Nintendo’s stocks are already slightly headed back in the right direction, which has a lot of investors taking a cautious breath.
However, I think this industry is run too much by stocks, bonds, investments, and money. In the grand scheme of things, whether or not Nintendo’s stocks are hitting ceilings or floors, the Switch is a powerhouse that, despite its year and a half already in existence, is just getting started. Switches are still selling like hotcakes and games even more so.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.