As a passionate gamer, I can't help but be impressed by the vast array of indie games available on the Nintendo Switch. Problem is, with so many great games out there, and more coming out each day, it can be hard to find out where to go next!
To help solve that problem (or make the choice of what to play next even more difficult), in this article, I'll be ranking the top 10 indie games for the Switch based on their Metacritic overall ratings as of April 13, 2023. I'll also include their scores, MSRP in USD, and some fun facts about each title.
10. Axiom Verge
Developed by Thomas Happ Games, Axiom Verge is a Metroidvania-style action-adventure game that pays homage to classic 8-bit and 16-bit titles. Players control a scientist who awakens in a mysterious, hostile world. Fun Fact: The game was developed by a single person, Tom Happ, who handled all aspects of its design, art, and music.
9. Into the Breach
Created by Subset Games, Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game set in a world overrun by giant monsters. Players control powerful mechs and must protect cities from the relentless onslaught. This captivating title has garnered acclaim for its engaging gameplay and tactical depth. Fun Fact: The game's creators, Justin Ma and Matthew Davis, previously developed the hit indie game FTL: Faster Than Light, which also received widespread praise for its innovative mechanics and challenging gameplay.
8. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
Developed by Moon Studios, Ori and the Blind Forest is a visually stunning action-platformer with a touching story. Players control Ori, a guardian spirit, and navigate a beautifully hand-painted world filled with puzzles and dangerous creatures. Fun Fact: The game's art style was inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Disney animation.
7. Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is a hand-drawn action-adventure game developed by Team Cherry. Players explore the depths of the insect kingdom of Hallownest, battling fearsome foes and uncovering ancient secrets. Fun Fact: Hollow Knight features over 150 different enemies and 40 boss battles. Bonus Fun Fact: This is my personal favorite game on the list!
6. Dead Cells
Dead Cells, developed by Motion Twin, is a roguelike action-platformer with procedurally generated levels and a vast array of weapons. As players progress, they unlock new abilities and permanent upgrades. Fun Fact: Motion Twin is a French cooperative company, where every employee has equal say in the decision-making process.
5. SteamWorld Heist
A FANTASTICALLY addictive game that's WAY up on my personal list of "Can't-Miss" Indies. Developed by Image & Form, SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based strategy game with unique 2D shooting mechanics. Players control a crew of steam-driven robots, led by Captain Piper Faraday, and engage in intense, tactical battles aboard enemy spaceships. SteamWorld Heist's innovative gameplay, charming art style, and quirky humor have earned it a Metacritic score of 91. Fun Fact: SteamWorld Heist is part of the SteamWorld series, which also includes the critically acclaimed SteamWorld Dig games.
Celeste is a challenging platformer developed by Matt Makes Games. Players guide Madeline through a series of increasingly difficult levels as she climbs the treacherous Celeste Mountain. Fun Fact: The game features an "Assist Mode" that allows players to adjust the difficulty, making it accessible to a wider range of skill levels.
Developed by Supergiant Games, Hades is a roguelike dungeon crawler set in the Greek underworld. Players control Zagreus, the prince of the Underworld, as he battles his way to freedom through hordes of mythological creatures. Fun Fact: Hades features a rich narrative and fully voiced characters, including appearances by well-known Greek gods such as Zeus, Poseidon, and Athena.
Developed by Toby Fox, Undertale is a unique RPG that has captured the hearts of millions of players. Set in a world inhabited by monsters, players control a human child who must find their way home. Undertale is known for its innovative combat system, which allows players to choose between fighting or sparing enemies, leading to multiple story paths and endings. Fun Fact: Undertale was developed almost entirely by Toby Fox, who not only created the game's art, design, and story but also composed its memorable soundtrack.
1. The House in Fata Morgana
I gotta be honest, before writing this article, I had never heard of this game - but reading not just the score, but the written reviews listed on Metacritic have opened my eyes, and I had to do far more research! Taking the top spot, The House in Fata Morgana is a gothic visual novel developed by Novectacle (Now called "NOVECT"). As a relatively small and independent game development studio, Novectacle likely has a limited number of employees, but the exact number is not readily available. Since the company was active and released a game in 2012, they have been around for at least 11 years as of 2023. A bit high on price, relative to other indies makes this a bit of an unfair comparison. Garnering a critic score of 96 with at least 10 'professional' reviews on Metecritic, I had to add it to the list.
The game is a visual novel style that tells a haunting tale of love, betrayal, and tragedy as players unravel the mysteries of a cursed mansion across multiple time periods. The game was first released in Japan in 2012 and has since received international acclaim, with an English version being released in 2016. It's is a gothic suspense tale that explores themes of tragedy, love, and humanity's dark side.
Developed by Askiisoft, Katana ZERO is a stylish neo-noir action-platformer with fast-paced, one-hit-kill combat. Players take on the role of a samurai assassin, uncovering a dark conspiracy through a series of increasingly challenging levels.
Fun Fact: The game's soundtrack was composed by Bill Kiley and LudoWic, who were inspired by 1980s synthwave music.
Hyper Light Drifter
Created by Heart Machine, Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action RPG with pixel art graphics, inspired by 8-bit and 16-bit classics. Players explore a vast, mysterious world filled with dangerous foes and lost technologies.
Fun Fact: The game's creator, Alex Preston, was inspired by his own experiences with congenital heart disease when crafting the game's story.
Developed by ConcernedApe, Stardew Valley is a beloved farming simulation game that has captured the hearts of millions of players. In the game, players inherit an overgrown farm and must work to restore it to its former glory. Along the way, they can grow crops, raise animals, mine resources, fish, and forge relationships with the townsfolk. Stardew Valley is praised for its charming pixel art, engaging gameplay, and immersive world. Fun Fact: The game was single-handedly developed by Eric Barone, who taught himself how to code, create art, and compose music for the game.
These Nintendo Switch indie games ranked by Metacritic scores showcase the incredible creativity and innovation found in the indie gaming scene. Each title offers a unique experience, proving that smaller development teams can create memorable, high-quality games that leave a lasting impact. If you haven't already, be sure to explore these indie gems and immerse yourself in their captivating worlds.
Sound off in the comments if you have one that's missing from this list, or what your favorite one is!