The turn of the seasons marks a quarter of the new year, and for many gamers, it somehow still feels like 2019 had only just begun.
At the Spring 2019 Nindies Showcase, we were treated to a slew of new releases – familiar faces and greenhorns alike – to the wildly popular Nintendo Switch. Just when you thought Nintendo Direct and Pokémon Sword & Shield was it for the year, you were terribly mistaken.
Just because the games hailing from the Nindies Showcase are all made by smaller developers as opposed to Nintendo’s first-party AAA ones, doesn’t mean you should immediately rule these out. After all, the modern classic Cuphead is among them, among others.
Without further ado, here are the new releases you should definitely consider getting your hands on at the Spring 2019 Nindies Showcase.
Cuphead (April 18)
Everyone’s favourite retro-inspired tough-as-nails Souls-like platformer is finally getting a Switch port. This game needs to introductions from us (check out how much we enjoyed it in our review here!), but all we can say is that if you haven’t tried it yet because you don’t currently own an Xbox One or PC, you should definitely grab a copy once it releases!
Cadence of Hyrule (TBA Spring)
What?! Crypt of the NecroDancer meets Legend of Zelda?! No, seriously, this title is definitely one for the Zelda fans, and surely this comes as a surprise announcement too for many. Brace Yourself Games, the indie developers who made the cult classic rhythm-based Zelda-inspired action-RPG Crypt of the NecroDancer gets a Hyrule-infused twist as now you can hack and slash your way through ranks of baddies with the likes of the titular Cadence, as well as the iconic Link and Princess Zelda, while grooving to stellar beats. Definitely one not to miss out on this year.
Stranger Things 3: The Game (July 4)
Well, whaddaya know. The third season of Stranger Things is getting a Switch title to accompany the Netflix release on the same day. This 16-bit adaptation by BonusXP is in collaboration with the streaming giant, and it features your favourite characters from the hit sci-fi blast from the past. Now you can shoulder tackle Hawkins Laboratory goons with your friendly neighbourhood Jim Hopper or blast them to bits with a bazooka-wielding Joyce Byers. Perfect for a morning of coffee and contemplation, eh?
Blaster Master Zero 2 (Available Now)
The sequel to the 2017 3DS and Switch title is now out, and this 16-bit sci-fi platforming shooter looks an absolute gem. If you’re looking for a good alternative to Metroid Prime, this is the one for you.
Nuclear Throne (Available Now)
Ah, yes, one of the best top-down rogue-like shooters from the PC is finally out on the Switch, and the only gripe many would have is that this port should’ve happened way earlier. Nuclear Throne is a high-adrenaline shooter that will absolutely keep you on your toes (sometimes even literally because of how intense it can get) and is sure to keep your eyes glued to the screen for hours on end. And now you can do it on the go with the Switch! Just remember to not accidentally vent your frustration on others on your commute when you die many times over.
Bloodroots (TBA Summer)
The Switch is one such platform where rogue-like games absolutely flourish (see: Hollow Knight and Hyper Light Drifter) because of how seamless their controls port over to the console/handheld hybrid, their simple game design and easily accessible (not to mention addictive) gameplay, and relatively small storage space size. Bloodroots looks to add to that increasing list of stellar rogue-likes, and this one looks rather unique in that the world is literally your playground. You’ll be using anything and everything to murder and massacre your enemies as you cut a path of destruction across the Weird West. When a game’s tagline is “KILL EVERYONE” emboldened in red in the first few seconds of the trailer, they mean it when they say it.
Creature in the Well (TBA Summer)
See what we mean with the rogue-likes? Creature in the Well is another such iteration of the genre, and this time it’s got a different cool trick up its sleeve: pinball. Yes, you’ll be fighting baddies using skill shots much akin to the classic arcade game to advance through the game’s post-apocalyptic levels, while avoiding death as much as possible. Another cool title to look out for.
Katana Zero (April 18)
Check this *inhales deeply*: 16-bit time-travelling samurai action-platformer neo-noir Blade Runner/Cyberpunk-ish world with Matrix-esque bullet-time combat. Need we say more?
RAD (TBA Summer)
The title of this game sums up the trailer – and hopefully the official release – perfectly. Set in a post-apoc world with heaps of nuclear radiation spread across the land, this 3D rogue-like puts you in the shoes of a teenager who’s fighting to survive. And, as with any growing teen in a world full of toxic radiation, you’ll be exposed to the stuff, which will sometimes cause you to mutate, giving you rad (heh) new abilities such as flight, reach attacks, elemental blasts, and more. And it can’t get any more Stranger Things with the rad (oh, stop it) 80’s synth pumping your adrenaline as you play.
Overland (TBA Fall)
This post-apoc survival game is slightly less action-packed than the others on this list, but is probably just as engaging in the sense that whatever decisions you make have weight. Think Telltale’s Walking Dead’s story and decision-making gameplay meets Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons’ art direction and style. If you like something a little more contemplative, go for Overland when it drops this fall.
Neo Cab (TBA Summer)
Ever wondered what’s it like to be a Grab or Uber (or whichever cab service that’s available in your country) driver? One thing’s for sure in Neo Cab is that it’s definitely not a walk in the park. You’ll be ferrying people across the roads of Los Ojos, dealing with all sorts of personalities, all of whom will give you driver ratings based on how well you vibe with them. At the same time, you’re also looking for your friend who just went dark, so that’s that. Good times.
My Friend Pedro (TBA June)
This title is absolutely bananas. Literally, as the striking feature of this balls-to-the-walls 2.5D sidescrolling shooter is a talking banana (we’re not sure if the banana or the playable protagonist is Pedro, but both are certainly bonkers). Deadpool, is that you?
Pine (TBA August)
At first glance of this trailer, you’d be hard-pressed to believe that this was done by a small team. At the very least, it looks like it was done by a AA studio, and certainly looks up there on the Switch’s graphical end. In this game, you’ll be playing as a human boy named Hue, who’ll be fighting, trading, negotiating and interacting with the many bipedal creatures in this world, in a bid for humanity’s survival.
Super Crate Box (TBA April)
Super Crate Box is a love letter to any ’80s and ’90s kid, with its super simple 8-bit gameplay all dedicated to the sole purpose of getting that high score for bragging rights. No frills, just thrills for this simple but stellar title which is due out in just a few weeks.
The Red Lantern (TBA Late 2019)
Timberline Studio’s story-driven resource management game looks really tight on the narrative, putting you up close and personal in the shoes of a sled racer with your trusty team of five sled dogs on the way to the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race. However, you and your companions get lost in the wilderness and must find a way out all in one piece. The Red Lantern definitely sounds like an emotionally-intense ride, especially with the main character voiced by the amazing Ashly Burch (Aloy, Horizon Zero Dawn).
Swimsanity! (TBA June)
This underwater multiplayer shooter is certainly another one for the adrenaline junkies, which boasts up to four players – either co-op or versus – blasting their way to survival, or to see who’s top dog (or shark) among them.
Vlambeer Arcade (TBA 2019)
Rounding off this list is Vlambeer Arcade, a collection of bite-sized games from developers Vlambeer. This collection will actually be updated over time (just purchase this title and you’ll have access to all of them when they drop eventually), with the action-packed 2D shooter Ultra Bugs leading the line.
And that’s all from the Spring 2019 Nindies Showcase. A stellar lineup of indie titles that will surely keep you glued to your Switch screens throughout the year, no doubt.
Marion grew up an addict of RPGs. He likes diving in, taking in the worlds, the characters, the stories… and sometimes forgets to go to sleep because of it. Nearly every sentence he speaks has a Dungeons & Dragons reference. He also dreams of becoming a Witcher someday.