Wow, the Nindies Showcase came and went in a flash, but there’s plenty to talk about. For those who missed it, enjoy this overview of what we saw:
Something I love about the Switch is that I’m realizing all of these games that would be perfect on the go. I’ve been talking with some of my close friends about this one since the game came out back in 2017. Cuphead just makes sense on the Switch. Being able to run and gun while at a friend’s house, on a plane, or in the backseat of a car would be… magical. Luckily, the Nindies Showcase started with the release date of Cuphead for the Switch, April 18, and it’s available for pre-order now. We just can’t give our joycons a rest, can we?
Overland combines a beautiful but dangerous atmosphere with turn-based gameplay and a post-apocalyptic storyline. Levels are procedurally generated, so each playthrough is different than the last. The game’s first 2D Prototype was finished all the way back in March of 2014, so this has been a long journey for developer Finji. The game is now set for release in the fall as announced by Nintendo. The game is coming to PC as well as the Switch.
MY FRIEND PEDRO
I remember first seeing My Friend Pedro in action on Jacksepticeye’s YouTube channel last summer, and I was extremely excited for the game right off the bat. You play as a badass guy dual-wielding pistols and shooting up tons of enemies while doing backflips and ricocheting bullets off of frying pans. The game centers around a banana named Pedro that tells you what to do. While this could be a metaphor for schizophrenia, what really captures my attention is the flashy gameplay. Thanks to the Nindies Showcase, we finally have a release month of June this year. However, during the announcement, it was called a “console exclusive for Nintendo Switch…” Since the game already has a Steam page, I was curious if this was another Metro: Exodus blunder. I reached out to the developers, DeadToast Entertainment, and confirmed that the game “will be releasing on PC and Switch simultaneously in June.”
This is a game I just learned about today through the Showcase, and I’m hooked. You play as a cab driver in a world that is completely automated. You spend your time picking up fairs and meeting tons of characters while trying to reconnect with your friend, Savy, a wanted civilian. This is all accompanied by simulation-type goals like budgeting, tracking your mood, deciding which fairs to pick up, etc. I’m excited to meet the full cast of characters this summer.
THE RED LANTERN
When trying to find out more about this game, I had a hard time. It seems to be flying a bit under the radar. This is Timberline Studio’s first game, and the premise is… different to say the least. You play as a young dog sled racer who gets lost in Alaska and must find her way home. The reveal trailer was narrated by a great voice actress who reads her lines with a lot of confidence and emotion. The narrative has me very curious, and I’ll be checking this one out when it releases later this year.
Survival horror games can really all blend together and start to look alike. This one is a little different because of its minimalistic nature. It has been out on PC since late 2017 and received plenty of praise. It was included on Metacritic’s “top 100 best videogames of 2017,” a great accomplishment considering it was going up against The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon Zero Dawn, What Remains of Edith Finch, Cuphead, and many more games with universal praise. The game is creepy, thrilling, and coming to Switch in May.
Releasing to the Switch alongside Cuphead, Katana ZERO has you playing as a ruthless assassin. Katana in hand, you slash your way through dozens upon dozens of enemies that can all eliminate you in one hit. There are some dark underlying themes that you must work through each day after an “assignment” in order to get yourself to the next one. While I certainly don’t have much interest in these platforming titles, the premise is an intriguing one accompanied by nice pixel art.
Another post-apocalyptic game, it centers on your ability to mutate and use these mutations to fight off enemies and save the world. I like the idea of reanimating the world just by walking over it. It’s a neat detail that just makes the game a little prettier and different. Developed by Double Fine and published by Bandai Namco, it looks to have a little bit of promise, although the idea has certainly been done before. We’ll have to get a better idea for ourselves when the game releases in the summer.
CREATURE IN THE WELL
A creature has trapped desert dwellers in a huge sandstorm, and you must play pinball to save everyone! Well, kind of. The game was inspired by pinball, but this is mainly used as a way to solve puzzles and fight enemies. Small orbs are thrown by the player at structures off of which they bounce. This hack-and-slash adventure is played in a top-down view as the player puzzles and fights their way through a well to find and destroy this creature that has trapped them. It comes out this summer.
This one is fast-paced and filled with action. While I personally can’t say I’ll pick it up, it is enticing. Mr. Wolf is searching for revenge in a world filled with various ridiculous ways to get around and kill enemies. The world is cartoony and dangerous, but nothing is stopping Mr. Wolf. You know what, maybe I will play this one…
Open worlds are beginning to get overdone and boring unless it comes with something truly unique. It’s hard to say if this one has what it takes to stand out in an oversaturated genre. You play as Hue, a human that is part of one of the last human tribes in Albamare. You look to influence the world around you where other tribes and factions have different goals and tenacities. The game is partly a simulation as the species simulate real interactions with each other, so this is in my ballpark. We’ll see more in August when it comes out.
Vlambeer is a developer with an arcade style. Three of their games are now coming to Switch: Super Crate Box, Nuclear Throne, and ULTRABUGS, their latest project. Critics held both of the formers in very high regard, so this next project has high expectations. Nintendo plans on releasing an entire virtual arcade where more Vlambeer games that are loved by the gaming community can be released in the future.
This simple co-op, underwater action title reminds me a little bit of Nidhogg. The gameplay and art style aren’t similar at all, but I can see myself feeling bored playing it alone but having an absolute blast with my friends. Definitely not my cup of tea, but there’s certainly a strong co-op audience that this can appeal to.
BLASTER MASTER ZERO II
Available now on the Switch, this pixelated action game takes you across worlds to fight off enemies. If you were a fan of the first Blaster Master ZERO, then you’ll love this. Graphically I think it feels a little old and uninspired, but there’s no denying the action.
STRANGER THINGS 3 THE GAME
Developed by BonusXP, this game is set to release alongside the third season of Stranger Things on July 4. This is mostly an action-puzzle game set in Hawkins. You can play as one of a vast array of Stranger Things characters with a friend in local co-op.
CADENCE OF HYRULE
This was an interesting announcement from the developers of Crypt of the NecroDancer. The game features Zelda and Link in a battle for Cadence, the main character of the developer’s aforementioned title, to get back to her home. With tons of enemies to pick apart and two new characters to play as, this should be a fun addition to a series already given high praise by gamers and critics alike. The game releases in April.
Hard to believe this was all crammed into less than thirty minutes. I love the Nindies Showcase as it gives tons of deserving indie developers a chance to give their games exposure in a world run by mediocre AAA titles. Which game are you most excited about?
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.