The upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2017 (and beyond)

**Update: The Nintendo Switch is out, and that means a bunch of games are, too! We've updated the list to remove launch games, and added a few more indies confirmed to arrive sometime this year.**

The Nintendo Switch is officially here, and while many of you will likely be ensconced within the majestic world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there are plenty of other games coming out between now and whenever Super Mario Odyssey comes out. Mario Kart in April, Splatoon in the summer, Fire Emblem Warriors in the fall, and a ton of great-looking indies and third-party games to fill in the gaps. Our handy guide to every upcoming Switch game contains release dates and details about why you'd want to check them out, so glance through the next few pages and plan your coming obsessions accordingly.

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+

Release date: March 17, 2017
Genre: Roguelike

What is it? A grotesque-yet-cute, relentlessly tough, top-down dungeon crawler that's still fun and challenging after hundreds of hours. 

Why it's so interesting? You're probably familiar with the sad, sacrilegious story of Isaac, a naked tot thrown into the randomized, Zelda-dungeon-esque confines of his basement with only his weaponized tears to fight back against legions of feces-themed horrors. And though you might have braved these dark depths on Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS before, Afterbirth+ adds even more content to the staggeringly extensive item, enemy, and room variations, ensuring that no two permadeath runs are the same. We're talking years of incremental updates and new twists crammed into one deluxe, diabolically difficult, darkly humorous package. 

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 it's 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.

World of Goo

Release date: March 2017
Genre: Puzzle

What is it? The classic Wiiware goo-and-physics-based puzzler makes its way to Switch

Why is it so interesting? In World of Goo, you have to build towers out of little black slime balls to get as many of them as you can into a pipe at the end. Sounds simple, but gravity and physics matter. As you're building these structures up and around walls, spikes, and other obstacles, you'll have to remember to reinforce them so they don't flop and buckle under the weight of your goo, and fall right into a buzz saw. Or an open pit. Or etc. It was great when it was on Wiiware and mobile, and it'll probably just as good on Switch. If you missed it the first time, don't pass it up now.

Little Inferno

Release date: March 2017
Genre: Puzzle

What is it? Burn stuff. Burn everything. Burn it all down.

Why is it so interesting? After making World of Goo, one of its developers left 2D Boy to form a new studio called Tomorrow Corporation, and its first title was Little Inferno for the Wii U. As the new owner of the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace, you'll be able to while away the hours buying items from the included catalog and setting them on fire… which gets you more coins… which lets you buy more items to set them on fire. Burning specific combinations of items will unlock additional pages in the catalog and progress the story to its surprising conclusion. It's a neat little game, and hey, who doesn't like burning stuff?

Human Resource Machine

Release date: March 2017
Genre: Puzzle

What is it? Take the logical progression of programming, turn it into a puzzle game, and cover it in Tomorrow Corporation's signature darkly comic art style

Why is it so interesting? Computer programming is basically the work version of puzzle solving, so Human Resource Machine takes many of the concepts - if/then statements, functions, etc. - and puts them all on little signs that you can shift around with ease. Your job is to move these signs around to perform increasingly more complex tasks in order to to automate your office for maximum efficiency. And this being the third game from the team behind World of Goo and Little Inferno, expect a subversive send-up of corporate culture and capitalism to go along with some excellent puzzles.

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.

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).   

Click 'Next Page' below to see more great upcoming springtime Nintendo Switch games!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Roberts lives in Everett, WA with his wife and two kids. He once had to sell his full copy of EarthBound (complete with box and guide) to some dude in Austria for rent money. And no, he doesn't have an amiibo 'problem', thank you very much.
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