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Best of Switch Indies – 19 Dec 2021

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

Oh, Nintendo, what a massive troll you are. Just when I thought the year was winding down and I could take a well-earned break, you host a surprise Indie World presentation and both announce and release a boatload of new indie games, 6 of which that look amazing!

Aspire: Ina’s Tale

Released: 18 December 2021

Price: AU$19.50 / US$12.99 / GB£11.69 + 25% additional launch discount

Genre: Adventure / Puzzle / Platformer

Developer: Wondernaut Studio

Publisher: Untold Tales

Ina is a young girl trapped in a mysterious tower where it feeds on the dreams of its captors. What will she discover on her path to freedom?

Traverse beautiful landscapes on your journey of self-discovery, meet enigmatic characters and control spirits to solve environmental puzzles to learn why you were imprisoned in this extraordinary place.

Why this excites me

With its intriguing story and exquisite visual and sound design, Aspire: Ina’s Tale seems heavily inspired by LIMBO, one of the most highly regarded games of the last 10 years.

Combining a compelling narrative with a mixture of puzzles, platforming and nightmarish escape sequences, Aspire is another classic in the making.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Released: 16 December 2021

Price: AU$28.50 / US$19.99 / GB£17.09

Genre: Adventure / Puzzle / Multiplayer

Developer: Finji

Publisher: Finji

The first of this week’s Indie World shadow drops, Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a top-down adventure game in a colouring book world where you can draw on anything. Use your painting powers to explore new places, solve puzzles, help your friends, and change the world!

Why this excites me

After the titular master painter disappears, this heartfelt adventure sees you take control of Chicory’s number 1 fan with a magical paintbrush to restore colour and life to the world.

While many indie naysayers bemoan the overuse of retro pixel art, Chicory: A Colorful Tale bucks the trend, instead opting for a gorgeous, almost child-like hand-drawn approach, and succeeds in creating a moving, uplifting experience that somehow seamlessly blends mechanics from Ōkami, de Blob and Splatoon.

Dungeon Munchies

Released: 16 December 2021

Price: AU$21.75 / US$16.99 / GB£12.49

Genre: RPG / Action / Platformer

Developer: maJAJa

Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games

Dungeon Munchies is a side-scrolling action RPG with a focus on hunting down creatures, cooking them, and eating dishes to gain specific abilities.

However, with a stomach that can only take seven dishes, you must put together a meal that maximises your skills as well as craft all kinds of deadly weapons out of the animal and plant parts you can’t eat.

Why this excites me

“Hey, Siri. Like Terraria but with zombies that cook and eat each other.”

What started as a raw, Early Access release on Steam a couple of years ago has slowly transformed into a game that has been exceptionally well received through the help of player feedback.

Because of its meandering development process, it’s still a little rough around the edges in some places, but that doesn’t detract from the fun core gameplay loop of kill, cook, craft. Combined with a wickedly funny story and some great NPC interactions, this Indie World shadow drop will surely be another smash hit on Switch.

FILMECHANISM

Released: 16 December 2021

Price: AU$28.95 / US$19.99 / GB£15.49 + 15% additional launch discount

Genre: Puzzle / Action

Developer: Chemical Pudding

Publisher: Phoenixx

FILMECHANISM is a 2D puzzle-action game with a unique photography mechanic. Help REC, a “camera humanoid”, complete over 200 stages through recording and restoring the environment to solve each puzzle.

Why this excites me

Although Nintendo only showcased FILMECHANISM on the Japanese Indie World stream, this pixel Plankton lookalike immediately caught my attention.

The game’s puzzling hook is that it requires the player to have enough battery power to take photographs of the stage in its present state, which you later restore to progress through the next part of the level.

It looks like an excellent little puzzle game that requires some serious forward-thinking to solve, which the trailer demonstrates perfectly.

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon

Released: 13 December 2021

Price: AU$30.00 / US$19.99 / GB£17.99

Genre: Puzzle / Arcade / Adventure

Developer: Vine

Publisher: Yacht Club Games

Delve with Shovel Knight into the depths of the Pocket Dungeon in an action-packed puzzle adventure like none other!

Join your mysterious guide as you shovel through scads of foes, procure new equipment, and battle bosses, both familiar and new. Explore a tale with endless twists and turns, quest as your favourite heroes, and even challenge a friend for a fast-paced, head-to-head competition!

Why this excites me

I’m usually concerned when a popular IP is taken out of its usual context and put into a different genre completely. However, Shovel Knight’s reputation is essential to Yacht Club Games, so I have complete faith in this new direction.

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon plays like a mashup of Puyo Puyo, Mr Driller and Wario’s Woods, with RPG and rogue-lite elements mixed in for good measure. Combine that with the vibrant, 16-bit pixel aesthetic that the series is known for, and this block-falling, enemy-defeating puzzle game should be on everyone’s radar.

Trash Quest

Released: 16 December 2021

Price: AU$15.00 / US$9.99 / GB£8.99 + 80% additional launch discount

Genre: Arcade / Action / Platformer / Shooter

Developer: Francis Vace

Publisher: RedDeerGames

Enjoy a crazy ride as a racoon aboard the space station, Deliverance, and don’t let anything get between you and your beloved garbage.

Why this excites me

I love Metroidvania platforming adventures, and micro versions like Trash Quest perfectly fill that void in a neat, much less demanding package.

Like its bigger genre cousins, all power-ups, abilities and shortcuts you’ve unlocked persist when you die or complete stages, but unlike them, there is only a single spawn point in the much smaller, interconnected maze of the space station.

The pixel art is great, the platforming looks tight, and playing as a trash-seeking racoon is rare, so RedDeerGames, you’ve done it again! And at only a couple of dollar-buck-quids for almost another month, don’t even hesitate to pick this up!

Well, that’s the end of another unexpectedly busy week. Hopefully, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve also compiled my entire Best Of Switch indies as a Wishlist on Deku Deals. So if you want to take a look at everything I’ve thought is worth owning since 2017, you can and can even filter and organise the list how you wish: by Metacritic score, sale price and much, much more. Thanks for the excellent service, Deku Deals!

Anyway, if you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a good one and that the gaming elves treat you well, and I sincerely hope I’m not back here writing another instalment on Boxing Day! You never know, I might write a Best Of 2021 round-up instead, but don’t hold me to that! 👀

Read last week’s round-up

product review

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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