The upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2017 (and beyond)

Pocket Rumble

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Fighting

Why is it so interesting? 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.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Platformer

Why is it so interesting? So, thanks to the weirdness surrounding the license for cult classic Sega series Wonder Boy, there are three of these games in development now, all from different studios and with varying degrees of involvement from the original creator, Ryuichi Nishizawa. Originally Kickstarted as a totally different game by French studio Game Atelier, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom features the same colorful, cartoony designs and weighty, retro metroidvania feel of Wonder Boy 3, but with a modern, crisp, high-definition look.

Celeste

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Platformer

Why is it so interesting? If you've ever played TowerFall, you know its controls just feel good. Walking, jumping, attacking - everything feels so precisely tuned to just work without much thought. Now, take that expert platforming action and chunky pixel art and turn it into a tightly-crafted single-player challenge. Explore caves, buildings, and other mysterious rooms as you climb a mountain, double-jumping from wall to wall, avoiding spikes, and solving puzzles along the way.

Shakedown Hawaii

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Action

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. 

The End is Nigh

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Platformer

Why is it so interesting? The next game from Super Meat Boy/Binding of Isaac artist and designer Edmund McMillen is on its way much sooner than you think. It looks to be a tough-as-nails platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy, but with a much greater emphasis on exploration and discovery. And since Nicalis is handling the publishing duties of the Switch version, you can probably expect a bunch of neat goodies packed in with the physical edition, just like it did with Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+ and Cave Story+.

Hollow Knight

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Metroidvania

Why is it so interesting? Hollow Knight has quietly taken the PC world by storm, enrapturing players with its cartoony hand-drawn graphics, tight sidescrolling platformer action, and sprawling, interconnected worlds. Its dark caverns and evil, googley-eyed bugs evoke strains of Dark Souls as if imagined by Disney animators. Team Cherry is bringing their indie darling to consoles, and it'll arrive first on Nintendo Switch - probably sooner than we think, now that the studio has hired an external team to help port it over ASAP. Hollow Knight's deep gameplay seems perfect for portable play as much any TV or PC monitor, and I'm sure its fluid animations and vivid colors will pop on the Switch's screen.

Flipping Death

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Puzzle platformer

Why is it so interesting? Stick It to the Man was weird as hell - a puzzle platformer with a Tim Burton-esque flavor that allowed you to read minds and use stickers to change the world around you. Now, Zoink Games returns with Flipping Death, a game about a recently deceased girl who can move through the worlds of the living and the dead, possessing humans to use their bodies to solve puzzles for you. It looks just as strange - and just a fun - as Stick It to the Man. Look for it later this year.

The Escapists 2

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Sim

Why is it so interesting? The Escapists gets a whole raft of improvements in the upcoming sequel. Improved graphics, local split-screen and online multiplayer in co-op and competitive varieties, enhanced controls, more combat and crafting options, and more ways to escape. Gather your friends and bust out of the joint on the TV or in Tabletop mode sometime this year.

Wargroove

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Strategy

Why is it so interesting? Intelligent Systems is off cranking out Fire Emblem games for Nintendo, meaning that its Advance Wars series has been left to languish in obscurity over the past few years. That doesn't mean people have forgotten about it though, as Chucklefish games has taken the framework - cutesy sprites on big maps fighting in simple-but-deep turn-based battles - and applied it to their own fantasy world. With up to four player local and online multiplayer and over a dozen different campaigns, maybe we won't need Advance Wars after all.

Farming Simulator 

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Simulation

Why it's so interesting? Rather than the light-hearted stylings of Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, or Stardew Valley, Farming Simulator aims for realism, where your trusty tractors (replicated from real-life brands) drive at exactly the speed you'd think they would. These sorts of sim games certainly aren't for everyone, but for Switch owners who want to build a farm up to prosperity without actually getting their hands dirty, Farming Simulator should be just the thing. 

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