The upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2017 (and beyond)

**Update: The Nintendo Switch has been out for a few weeks now, so we've cleaned up the list a bit, updated a few release dates, and added Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap.**

The Nintendo Switch is out in the wild, and slowly but surely, the library continues to grow. Many of you are probably nearing the end of your adventures in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and are looking for something new to play. While you wait for the big guns like Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey, there are a ton of other games coming out in the meantime from a variety of genres. Peruse our handy guide of upcoming Switch games - complete with release dates and descriptions - and plan out your purchases accordingly.

Has-Been Heroes 

Release date: March 28, 2017
Genre: RPG

What is it? An intriguing blend of fast arcade gameplay with strategic RPG combat (plus a pinch of tower defense), where hordes of enemies march towards your three-person party, with each hero occupying and defending their own little lane.

Why is it so interesting? Made by Frozenbyte, the studio behind the beloved Trine series, Has-Been Heroes is shaping up to be a pretty nifty take on roguelike RPG action. There's a surprising amount of tactical depth, where you constantly need your heroes to swap lanes and combine spells to wipe out the incoming waves of baddies. And of course, every bit of damage you deal or life you heal is accompanied by a intoxicating swarm of big HP numbers hovering over heads, which is always satisfying.

Snake Pass

Release date: March 28, 2017
Genre: Platformer

What is it? A 3D platformer in the vein of old platformer classics, but you're a snake

Why is it so interesting? There are few things in gaming better than a good platformer, especially when you're given a load of challenges and items to collect. But running and jumping… it's played out. Snake Pass puts you in the skin of a slithery reptile and forces you to actually think like a snake. In order to even move forward, you have to wind your body back and forth in a steady rhythm, and to solve its trickier sections, you'll need to wrap yourself around bamboo poles and use your special snakey powers to climb towers and other obstacles. It's got a lot of the same core ideas as games like Mario 64, but by making you a snake, everything feels wildly different.

Pocket Rumble

Release date: March 2017
Genre: Fighting

What is it? A fighting game that simplifies controls without sacrificing depth

Why is it so interesting? That sound you hear is our own Anthony John Agnello yelling furiously about the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Pocket Rumble is so evocative of a specific platform - right on down to the scanlines - that anyone who owned a Pocket Color is likely overloading with nostalgia right now. But Pocket Rumble doesn't seem to simply lean on its roots. By stripping down to a two-button control scheme, Pocket Rumble aims to streamline fighting game controls without sacrificing depth. It'll arrive on Switch as a console exclusive sometime in March.

Lego City Undercover

Release date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Open-world

What is it? A port of the surprisingly delightful open-world Wii U game.

Why it's so interesting? So no-one bought the Wii U, and WB has this really great Lego game that basically ten people played. Rather than let it languish in obscurity, Lego City Undercover is getting ported to Nintendo's new system, and you really shouldn't let it pass you by this time. It's an open-world game in the vein of Grand Theft Auto, only featuring kid-friendly Lego. You'll explore a sprawling metropolis made out of plastic bricks, take on missions for people, solve puzzles, and much more. It's also legitimately hilarious, sending up cop dramas and general pop culture in equal fashion. It's the rare kind of family game that is actually just as fun for the kids as it is with the parents, and it's finally getting the second-chance it deserves.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap

Release date: April 18, 2017
Genre: Metroidvania

What is it? One of the progenitors of the Metroidvania-style platformer is getting a full remake with gorgeous graphics and all-new features

Why is it so interesting? Cult-favorite Wonder Boy is getting a lot of love this year as the first of two remakes/reboots arrives on Switch in a couple weeks. The Dragon's Trap is a complete overhaul of the original Sega Master System game, reverse engineered from the 1989 code (your old passwords will even work!) and then rebuilt with modern music and hand-drawn animation, along with a variety of enhancements like instant weapon-switching and an all-new hard mode. Whether this is a trip down memory lane or the first time you've heard of the series, Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap looks like an absolute delight.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 

Release date: April 25, 2017 (US), April 28, 2017 (EU)
Genre: Puzzle

What is it? Two of puzzle gaming's greatest giants, blended into one brilliant mash-up that's all about quick, careful block- or blob-dropping.

Why it's so interesting? Everybody knows the line-clearing glory of Tetris, but you might be unfamiliar with Sega's Puyo Puyo, which covertly snuck into the Western market way back when with Kirby's Avalanche and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. Like Tetris, Puyo gameplay is all about quick thinking and smart planning, but winning its competitive face-offs revolves around setting up deeply satisfying chain-reaction combos. Puyo Puyo Tetris incorporates both styles of play - sometimes asking you to switch between them on the fly - in a bevy of single-player and multiplayer modes, the latter of which can be habit forming if you find a group of equally skilled puzzle adepts to challenge (with support for up to four players locally and online).  

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Release date: April 28, 2017
Genre: Racing

What is it? An enhanced version of the exceptional Wii U racer, complete with new characters and the return of fan-favorite modes.

Why it's so interesting? Another time-tested Nintendo mainstay, an intense round of Mario Kart is guaranteed to deliver the elation of victory to one racer, leaving their competitors with a burning will to win after bitter defeat. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe wraps up all the existing DLC characters and tracks into one enhanced package, and invites additional characters like the Splatoon Inkling squid-kids, King Boo, and Dry Bones. But best of all might be the revamped Battle Mode, which includes more courses and brings back those classic Balloon Battles (with support for up to 8 players via local wireless multiplayer).   

Mr. Shifty 

Release date: April 2017
Genre: Action

What is it? A teleportation heist game in the key of Hotline Miami

Why is it so interesting? Mr. Shifty looks relentless - one-hit kills, waves of enemies, and a top-down control scheme all but conspire to make death come swiftly. Luckily, you have a trick up your sleeve: you can teleport. Shift through walls, dance around bad guys, and use your environment to break into dozens of levels, steal what you came for, and get out.

Shakedown Hawaii

Release date: April 2017
Genre: Action

What is it? A 16-bit-style open-world game from the guy behind Retro City Rampage

Why is it so interesting? Retro City Rampage packed an entire GTA-sized world to explore inside a game that feels like it belongs on an NES cart. Now, VBlank is doing the same to the SNES world with Shakedown Hawaii. With more freedom of movement, more detailed sprites, more missions to complete, and an entire property management economy to take part in (or blow up), Shakedown Hawaii looks to improve on its predecessor in nearly every way. 

Graceful Explosion Machine

Release date: April 2017
Genre: Shmup

What is it? A brightly-colored side-scrolling shmup with as many explosions as its name implies

Why is it so interesting? The Switch is going to be a great place to snag games like Mario and Zelda, of course, but games like Graceful Explosion Machine show that it has the potential for being a major destination for your next favorite indie darling. Maneuver your ship through a variety of colorful locations and blow up enemies with four unique weapons, all while enjoying an eye-popping art style that seems right at home on the Switch's impressive portable screen.

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