Nintendo was back at it again today with a fresh Indie World event that highlighted some of the most enticing indie games coming to the Switch this year and beyond. Though there were admittedly fewer game reveals this time around compared to past Indie Worlds, there were still some hype-inducing moments worth discussing. Without further ado, here are the top five best announcements from today’s lineup.
5. Untitled Goose Game Co-op Update
Untitled Goose Game was such a smash hit last fall that it only made sense that some form of DLC would come eventually; it was more a question of “when” than “if.” While this co-op update is certainly welcome and sure to delight fans of the base game, it falls to the bottom of this list for one main reason: as a “one more thing,” it fell flat because it was solely a multiplayer update. For a game as short as this, coupling that additional functionality with new areas to explore or even new lists of challenges to tackle would’ve gone a long way in making this announcement more exciting. As it stands, it only struck a chord for fans with friends and family in arm’s reach.
4. The Great Apple Arcade Migration
Though they created an all-star lineup when the service first launched, the exclusivity agreements indies had with Apple Arcade are finally starting to run out. As a result, Switch owners are finally getting some of the best gems the service has to offer. Not only did Takeshi & Hiroshi and Manifold Garden get dedicated sections of the show, but they were both some of the most impressive titles of the bunch. Throw in a surprise Grindstone port announcement and a sudden Inmost release date and it’s clear that the Switch is starting to become a natural second home for many of these top-tier mobile-first titles.
3. Card Shark Reveal
While this Indie World was certainly short on all-new game announcements, that doesn’t mean it was completely devoid of them. The award-winning team behind the Reigns series is back with yet another card game–though this one is quite unique. For once the goal is to not play by the rules, and to instead use every trick in your arsenal to cheat your way up the ladder of 18th century French society. Players will learn real card manipulation techniques to deceive commonfolk and noblemen alike as they invest in games with increasingly high stakes. With an utterly unique concept and strong one of the best publishers in the business behind them (Devolver Digital), Card Shark should definitely one to look out for going into next year.
2. It’s Raining Dates
When it rains, it pours, and during this month’s Indie World showcase it poured release dates/windows. Not only was it immensely refreshing following a slew of AAA showcases where dates seemed like an afterthought, but many of the timeframes given are actually quite close. Subnautica, its sequel, and She Dreams Elsewhere got a window of early 2021, while The Red Lantern, Gonner 2, Grindstone, and the previously Epic-exclusive Hades are all pegged to release this fall. We even got concrete dates for titles coming within the next month or so like Inmost, Hypnospace Outlaw, and Going Under coming August 21st, August 27th and September 24th, respectively.
1. Shadow Drops Galore
One of the most exciting moments of any game presentation–be it an E3 press conference, Nintendo Direct, or even a Stadia Connect–is when a title is suddenly dropped in the store for all to enjoy. In all my time following the games industry, I can’t recall an event where there were six shadow drops on the same day. Be they highly anticipated projects like Spiritfarer or established indie darlings like A Short Hike and Manifold Garden, Nintendo masterfully used these to slap a Band-Aid on their “the Switch has no games for the rest of the year” issue.* Will this be enough to satiate those hungry for more big budget blockbusters on the console? Definitely not. But for players invested in the indie scene or willing to give smaller experiences a try, this presentation was like Christmas in August.
*(Note: The other three shadowdropped titles were Raji: An Ancient Epic, Takeshi & Hiroshi, and Evergate).