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Steamworld Dig 2, Blaster Master Zero, Runner 3, and Other Indie Titles Shine on Nintendo Direct

The Nintendo Switch's early selection of indie titles is looking sharp. Here's what's coming, and when you can expect it.

Article by Nadia Oxford, .

If you're worried the Nintendo Switch won't have anything to offer you once Zelda: Breath of the Wild is tucked away, Nintendo's "Nindies Showcase," which it broadcast as a Nintendo Direct presentation earlier today, might alleviate those fears. There's some good stuff on the way from independent developers, and quite a bit of it is new content / exclusive to the Switch / coming very soon.

Switch-ing On Indie Support For Nintendo's New Platform

We talk to indie developers about bringing their games to Nintendo's Switch and how Nintendo has helped that process along.

Here's a breakdown of what we saw:

Steamworld Dig 2 – Coming Summer 2017

Image & Form, the makers of the incredibly excellent Steamworld Heist, returns to its rock-picking roots with Steamword Dig 2. Dorothy, the steambot merchant from the first Steamworld Dig, is doing the digging this time around. She's on a quest to find a "long lost friend," possibly Rusty, who kind of wandered away after the first game.

Yooka-Laylee – Coming 2017

We already knew this was happening, but we got official confirmation during the presentation (there's multiplayer, too!). You can get your traditional 3D platforming on "very soon."

Overcooked Special Edition – Coming 2017

This original version of this frantic local multiplayer cooking game comes highly recommended by Jaz. The Special Edition for Switch includes all the DLC, and the Switch's HD rumble will let you "feel" the cooking process. This may be the first time video game vibrations make us hungry.

The Escapists 2 – Coming 2017

The follow-up to 2015's prison break game was announced last year, and now it's coming to the Switch as well. It supports drop-in drop-out co-op gameplay for up to four players.

GoNNER – Coming 2017

This critically-acclaimed (and very weird) 2D platformer was slated for a Switch appearance some time ago, but the Nindies presentation gave us a little more detail. Its console debut is a timed exclusive to the Switch, and will have "content tailor-made for the console."

Dandara – Coming Summer 2017

Dandara is a stylin' platforming game that rotates you 360 degrees. The floor is the floor, until suddenly it's the wall. We've all had days like that. There's 3D rumble support, too.

Kingdom Two Crowns – Coming 2017

This kingdom / war simulation game features graphics that harken back to the days of '90s PC games – not to say that's a bad thing if you're nostalgic for the Sierra era of old. You can fight for and protect your people, or you can stomp them into the mud. It's good to be the king. There's a co-op mode, so you're going to want to behave yourself unless your other player is a kindred spirit in the worship of chaos.

Runner 3 – Coming Fall 2017

Commander Video is back (a tip from me to you, don't ever look at his butt, it's a malformed horror), and he's still eager to run through an assortment of weird and wonderful worlds while accompanied by a kicking soundtrack. This one's exclusive to the Switch.

Blaster Master Zero – Coming March 9, 2017

This one's a biggie for retro game enthusiasts, and it's another Nintendo exclusive (it's on the 3DS, too!). Like its NES predecessor, Blaster Master Zero features vehicular combat and top-down adventuring. Sophia III will save us all.

Flipping Death – Coming 2017

Stick it to the Man garnered some admiring eyeballs in 2013 thanks to its weird story, memorable art style, and odd but addictive platforming elements. Zoink! Games isn't getting any less weird with Flipping Death, another platforming game that looks delightfully unorthodox and is built around strange mechanics – namely, possessing people and their ice cream cones to solve problems.

Graceful Explosion Machine – Coming April 2017

This brightly-colored angular shooting game uses HD rumble to let you feel every kill you make. Yesss. Soak it up into your palms. Graceful Explosion Machine debuts on Switch before any other console.

Mr Shifty – Coming April 2017

C'mon, you know you can trust anyone named "Mr Shifty." This stealth-action game lets you sneak around as you attempt to pull off a big heist floor-by-floor, but if things get sticky, you always have your fists. HD rumble lets you feel the crunchiness of knuckles-on-nose. Mr Shifty debuts on Switch before any other console.

Tumbleseed – Coming Spring 2017

Tumbleseed is a roguelike physics game from the makers of Threes! And Ridiculous Fishing. You must balance a tiny seed while it scales a mountain to save its home. There's an inspirational message in there somewhere ... something about tiny things moving mountains. You know how it goes. Like many of the games on this list, Tumbleseed uses HD rumble.

Shakedown Hawaii – Coming April 2017

Vblank, the studio that expertly combined retro nostalgia and modern open world mechanics into 2012's Retro City Rampage, is back with Shakedown Hawaii. This one's still all about top-down mayhem, albeit in a glorious 16-bit style. You can nuke an entire forest with a flamethrower. I am all about that. Shakedown Hawaii is a timed exclusive for the Nintendo Switch.

Pocket Rumble – Coming March 2017

Pocket Rumble is a 2D fighting game with some serious scanlines accenting its VGA-style graphics. Its simplified control scheme relies on just two buttons, but don't be fooled into thinking it's exclusively for beginners. I mean, Smash is built around its simple controls, and look where that series wound up. HD rumble also makes an appearance here, and really drives home the intensity of each attack. Pocket Rumble is a Switch console exclusive.

WarGroove – Coming 2017

We got a glimpse of WarGroove in January, though it didn't have a name back then. Now that we've seen an official trailer, WarGroove still looks like it combines Fire Emblem's medieval themes with Advance Wars' graphical style and tactics. In other words, give it to us. Now. Um, please.

Stardew Valley – Coming Summer 2017

Finally, the farming sim we all went ga-ga for last year (and, in my case, am still ga-ga for) is coming to Switch. Moreover, the Switch iteration of Stardew Valley will be the first console version of the game to support multiplayer. Does this mean we can visit each others' farms and smooch? Gosh, I hope so.

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Comments 12

  • Avatar for InsertTokenz #1 InsertTokenz 2 months ago
    I was kind of floored too to read that Enter the Gungeon is also coming to the Switch. Having played a lot of it for the first time earlier this year on PC, I'm pretty stoked to see it hit the system. All things considered, I'm loving a lot of the indie titles coming to the Switch thus far. :)
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #2 SIGGYZtar 2 months ago
    Hope we get to unlock the original Blaster Master.
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #3 Jonnyboy407 2 months ago
    A lot of these look fun! Gotta make sure to get some extra storage for my Switch before too long
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #4 NiceGuyNeon 2 months ago
    Good.... good....
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  • Avatar for Namevah #5 Namevah 2 months ago
    The biggest surprise for me is Thumper, a 2016 game that I loved and is appreciative that it's coming to a more portable console. Beyond that, there's a surprising number of games that caught my interest. Hopefully the support keeps up.
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  • Avatar for admiralsnackbar #6 admiralsnackbar 2 months ago
    This was an EXCELLENT presentation. Stardew is a system seller for a lot of people I know.
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  • Avatar for kingaelfric #7 kingaelfric 2 months ago
    Whoa. This is very good news. I hope it's just the beginning!
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  • Avatar for jimgamer #8 jimgamer 2 months ago
    It was interesting watching the trailers and thinking "that would be great on my Vita", but remembering that such indie releases would often also have a PS4 port, with perhaps slightly better performance, and the benefit of a big screen. Then I'd hope for the Cross Buy treatment. And then it really hits me how the Switch will be perfect for these games, with portable and TV taken care of, and performance no doubt strong for both. I really think Nintendo is on to something here.Edited February 2017 by jimgamer
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  • Avatar for LK4O4 #9 LK4O4 2 months ago
    Man, SteamWorld Dig 2 and WarGroove (!!!) just look incredible. I'm really impressed to see Nintendo coming out of nowhere with new indie announcements that look this good. And shouts to Pocket Rumble for even having a trailer with scanlines!
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  • Avatar for Thusian #10 Thusian 2 months ago
    What is crazy to me is that infographic this is just a sample one site counted 64 and while some are re-releases and ports the handheld factor makes me want them for switch real bad as I mostly play portables.
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  • Avatar for detten17 #11 detten17 A month ago
    Whoo! Steam World Dig 2 :D
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  • Avatar for CipherStone #12 CipherStone A month ago
    I admit I don't end up playing a lot of indy games so I wasn't really all that interested in this stream, but now that I see the games I'm more hyped for some of these than any other games on the Switch! Yooka-Laylee, Stardew Valley (on a portable), Steam World Dig 2 and WarGroove(!!!) All look great.

    I hope Nintendo keeps working with indies on the Switch, because it would be a shame if they had a big push in the beginning that fell off after launch.
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