The upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2017 (and beyond)

Yooka-Laylee 

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Platformers

Why it's so interesting? Without the N64 and games like Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Donkey Kong 64, the 'collectathon' genre of 3D platformers wouldn't be the beloved nostalgia trip it is today. So it's only fitting that Switch will be getting Yooka-Laylee, the modernized successor to those classic run-'n'-jump adventures, from many of the ex-Rare developers who helped make them in the first place. The Switch port starring our chameleon and bat heroes may not be ready in time for Yooka-Laylee's April 11, 2017 release date on other platforms, but it'll certainly feel at home on a Nintendo console.

Kingdom: Two Crowns

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Strategy

Why is it so interesting? Don't be fooled by its retro-inspired graphics - Kingdom is tough. It's hard because it's cryptic; this fusion of kingdom building and side-scrolling survival tells you basically nothing overtly, forcing you to figure out how all of its pieces fit together by paying attention to animation and audio cues and learning through repeated deaths and restarts. Whether that sounds frustrating as hell or an enigmatic delight is down to personal taste, but if that sounds like something you're into, Kingdom is an intriguing and beguiling way to spend your time - and the new Two Crowns update will add co-op.

Super Meat Boy

(Image: © BlitWorks)

Release date: TBC 2017
Genre: Platformer

Why is it so interesting? Everyone loves Super Meat Boy because it's so darn difficult. This is an indie game that prides itself on fine controls, split-second timing and precision jumping. Oh and blood. Lots and lots of blood. 

Each of the 300 odd levels are littered with hazards, from buzz saws to  crumbling rocks and various other perilous obstacles. All you've got to do is reach the end of the level and get Meat Boy one step closer to rescuing his girlfriend, Bandage Girl. But every time you die – and you will, a lot – you'll have to retry the level, wading through the meat juices/blood you've left behind. 

Lost Sphear

Release date:  January 23, 2018
Genre: JRPG

Why is it so interesting? I Am Setsuna wasn't… great, but it showed a lot of potential for the fledgling studio, and I'm not writing The Lost Sphear off just yet. Trading the bleak, snow-capped environments of Setsuna for a far more colorful and inventive-looking world seemingly inspired by Victorian sci-fi, Lost Sphear aims to recapture the feel of classic JRPGs while forging a new path towards the future. Hopefully it spends less time trying to copy those old games and instead seeks out its own identity.

Yoku's Island Express

Release date: TBC 2018
Genre: Pinball metroidvania (?????)

Why is it so interesting? I love pinball, and I love games that take the concepts of pinball and fit them into other genres, like Sonic Spinball's platforming, Odama's military strategy/yelling sim, or Rollers of the Realm's fantasy RPG framework. Now Yoku's Island Express is taking pinball and turning it into a sprawling, side-scrolling open-world adventure. Explore a wild jungle frontier as a tiny dung beetle rolling a tiny, uh, ball (we'll go with ball), hunt for treasure, and interact with big turtle creatures whose heads are pinball flippers. It's the kind of weird pinball genre mash-up I can get behind.

Penny-Punching Princess

Release date: Spring 2018
Genre: Action-RPG

It's as the saying goes: cash rules everything around me. Might as well use it to vanquish evil. In Penny-Punching Princess, you'll need to beat up waves of foes, pick up the oodles of coins they drop, and use that cash to bribe enemies, activate abilities, and set off devious traps. It looks like a strange and inventive take on the action-RPG/brawler, and probably the only one that forces you to use an on-screen four-function calculator to mete out justice.

The Longest Five Minutes

Release date: TBC 2018
Genre: RPG

Amnesia is a time-worn JRPG trope; a way to give a protagonist with a haunted past a chance to experience the world with fresh eyes. It's typically something that happens at the beginning of the adventure, not the end - but that's what happens in The Longest Five Minutes. You've finally made it to the big bad boss battle, and you only have five minutes to defeat them, but you've forgotten literally everything: where you're from, all of your special moves, hell, even why you're fighting the boss in the first place. The choices you make during this ultimate battle will send you barrelling into your subconscious, relearning your past through flashbacks, and ultimately reclaiming the power you need to defeat evil once and for all.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Release date: TBC 2018
Genre: FPS

Why is it so interesting? Another major Bethesda game hitting the Switch along with Doom and Skyrim is Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. It might not be coming until 2018, but it’s a major AAA play for Ninty’s latest venture, that looks to be very good indeed. It features series’ hero BJ Blazkowicz making a return and fighting off the Nazis once more. He’s joining up with some brand new, colourful characters as part of the Militant American Resistance as they try to set up a Second American Revolution against the Nazi Regime. 

2064: Read Only Memories Integral

Release date: TBC 2018
Genre: Adventure

Why is it so interesting? Read Only Memories is a narrative adventure game heavily inspired by Hideo Kojima's '90s cult-classic Snatcher, putting players in the shoes of a down-on-their-luck reporter who joins forces with a sentient robot named Turing. The two set out to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Turing's creator; what follows is a cyber-noir detective thriller through the futuristic world of Neo-San Francisco. With the Integral edition, the Kojima references come right on the box, and it'll include exclusive Nintendo Switch content as well as a bunch of quality-of-life improvements (including auto-saving!).

Indivisible

Release date: TBC 2018
Genre: RPG

Why is it so interesting? Describing Indivisble's features reads like a wishlist written by a super-fan of '90s-era JRPGs. Developed by the team behind the cult favorite fighting game Skullgirls, Indivisible showcases the studio's trademark hand-drawn animation, along with design that marries the exploration of Metroid and the 2D, combo-based combat of Valkyrie Profile. The soundtrack is even being made by Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta. A free prototype released on PS4 a while back showed immense promise, and the Switch's beautiful screen is sure to make the game pop.

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