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Best of Switch Indies – 02 Jan 2022

by stowball 5 months ago in product review · updated 4 months ago
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A look at the best indie games released on the Nintendo Switch over the past 2 weeks

It’s been an understandably quiet Holiday period on the Nintendo Switch eShop, with only 41 games released over the previous 2 weeks combined. While most of them seem like absolute trash, 3 indie publishers thought they’d take a chance at getting between you and the rest of your presents.

Cold Silence

Released: 27 December 2021

Price: AU$7.50 / US$4.99 / GB£4.49

Genre: Platformer / Arcade / Adventure / Action

Developer: Half-Face Games

Publisher: TERNOX

Cold Silence is a minimalistic horror platformer about survival in the snowy mountains. Follow the mysterious voice from the radio, fight your fears and reveal the truth.

Why this excites me

I love how the developer has combined a muted 2-colour palette (plus a dash of striking blood red) with some genuinely surreal imagery and monsters to create real horror tension.

Usually, a platform game with terrain that is hard to make out would be a source of frustration. However, in Cold Silence, I feel the white space of hidden, snow-covered platforms perfectly increases the gravity of the player’s situation, as does the limited supply of weapons and equipment.

I’m sure Cold Silence will have a few rough edges, but in my opinion, this looks like a true, uncut gem.

Gardener’s Path

Released: 23 December 2021

Price: AU$7.99 / US$4.99 / GB£4.99 + 20% additional launch discount

Genre: Puzzle / Adventure

Developer: Viridino Studios

Publisher: Ratalaika Games

Gardener’s Path is a top-down, turn-based puzzle game about fighting giant insects and protecting underground gardens.

Why this excites me

Gardener’s Path uses a pretty familiar main mechanic for a puzzle game, which, in the absence of knowing its real name, I’ll clumsily call Frictionless Motion™. It’s where the player continues to move in the direction pressed until stopped by an object.

While the mechanic may be typical, the game itself looks to be a lovely interpretation. Throughout the 60 handcrafted levels, you’re gradually introduced to new foes and artifacts that allow you to do things like travel back in time and perform elemental attacks to solve each puzzle.

Lacuna

Released: 29 December 2021

Price: AU$30.00 / US$19.99 / GB£17.99 + 20% additional launch discount

Genre: Adventure / Puzzle

Developer: DigiTales Interactive

Publisher: Assemble Entertainment

A murder, a hack, and a bombing. All it takes to plunge the solar system into war–unless you, special agent, Neil Conrad, can do something about it.

Ask questions, collect evidence and piece together the mystery until the ugly truth reveals itself… or not.

Why this excites me

This immersive, Sci-Fi noir, narrative masterpiece sees you take control of a CDI agent in a beautifully written, 16-bit pixel art, free-roaming “point-and-click” adventure.

Unlike traditional point-and-click adventure games, there are no repeated conversations, and the optional outlines on interactive objects ensure you can focus on the story and solving the puzzle, not on trying to scavenge each scene for that magic combination to progress.

And your in-game decisions genuinely impact the branching story, with your choices being irreversible and sometimes detrimental to your end goal.

At this time of the year, with people’s attention focused elsewhere and the huge amounts of sales on the eShop, I sincerely hope these 3 games aren’t overlooked because they deserve to be played by as many gamers as possible.

However, if you’re not ready to add them to your collection right now, remember that you can always find them–as well as hundreds of other games–on my Best Of Switch Indies list, which I’ve been curating since the Switch’s release in 2017.

Read my round-up of the best, underrated indies on the Nintendo Switch of 2021

Read the previous weekly round-up

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About the author

stowball

I design: digital, craft, board games.

I write: code, fiction, reviews.

I play: games, guitar, football.

See my: complete Best Of Switch indies list

Say hi: twitter.com/stowball

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