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Five Must-Have Indie Games on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo recently treated us to another
Nindies Showcase, highlighting some of the most exciting upcoming Switch eShop games from independent developers. When these titles hit Nintendo’s online store, they’ll be joining an already robust arsenal of top-notch games from talented developers. You may have bought your Switch for first-party Nintendo masterpieces like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, but there has been a steady flow of incredible games from smaller teams in between the AAA releases, and some of them are simply too good to pass up. Here’s five must-have indie games on Nintendo Switch!

Axiom Verge

If you’re a
Metroid fan and you haven’t picked up Axiom Verge yet, what are you doing with your life? Axiom Verge hits you right out of the gate with an eerily compelling sci-fi soundtrack and a retro-styled cutscene that would feel right at home on Super Nintendo or SEGA Genesis. Then it quickly drops you into a massive, alien overworld, and your adventure begins.

Axiom Verge combines the incredible explorability of a game like Super Metroid with an intriguing narrative told partially through cutscenes and partially by the ancient writings you find hidden throughout the land of Sudra. Each of the game’s nine sprawling regions has its own unique flora and fauna, color scheme, background design, and music that perfectly sets the tone for what lies within. You’ll want to explore every inch and uncover every secret.

On top of excellent level design,
Axiom Verge features a wide variety of upgrades, items, and weapons. Some are needed to progress through the game, but many are optional rewards gifted to the player for diligent exploration. With dozens of guns to choose from, there’s a weapon for every scenario and play style. You’ll want to grab as many as you can, because boss fights are intense, heart-pounding endurance matches with massive monsters.

Axiom Verge was crafted virtually singlehandedly by developer Tom Happ, making its high quality even more astounding. It’s not only one of my favorite indies on Switch, but one of my favorite games of all time. If you want to know even more about this impressive Metroidvania adventure, you can check out a full review here.

Current price: $20

Ittle Dew 2

The award-winning Breath of the Wild should be enough to scratch your itch for massive 3D Zelda games for awhile, but what about a more traditional top-down experience? That’s where Ittle Dew 2 comes in. Battle monsters, explore an exotic island, and tackle eight main dungeons (with just as many secret dungeons and special dungeons) in any order you want, all on a quest for loot and a magic raft.

Puzzles are where Ittle Dew 2 truly shines. Each dungeon is filled with a variety of imaginative puzzles that will challenge your brain. Protagonist Ittle is armed with four tools for puzzle-solving: a melee weapon for smackin’ stuff, a ring that creates blocks of ice and freezes enemies, a wand that can be used to move blocks from a distance, and good ol’ handy dynamite.These same items are used for bashing baddies as well. Ittle Dew 2‘s combat isn’t as polished as Zelda‘s, but it’s serviceable for a game that’s more focused on challenging your mind.

Exploring the island is an absolute joy in Ittle Dew 2. Each dungeon is part of its own unique, themed region, like the candy-coated shores of Sweetwater Coast or the Old West Pepperpain Prairie with its rivers of hot sauce. Each region also has its own distinct music, and every track is terribly catchy. The inhabitants of the island are all amusing, with Ittle Dew and her companion Tippsie often bantering with them in a way that reminds me of Banjo and Kazooie. It all combines for a charming atmosphere.

On Nintendo Switch you’ll even get some extra content in the form of the Dream World. This new region contains five exclusive dungeons that each present a unique challenge by only allowing you to use certain items. As you progress through these new challenges, you’ll collect cards that give you background info on the various characters and NPCs in the game, adding to the lore. If you want to know more about this Zelda-inspired island adventure, you can check out a full review here.

Current price: $30

Mighty Gunvolt Burst

Mighty No. 9, how you failed us. What was supposed to be a beautiful spiritual successor to Mega Man felt like a sloppy and soulless knock-off, but thankfully something good came out of all that bad. Mighty Gunvolt Burst is something of a de-make of Mighty No. 9 crossed over with Inti Creates’ Azure Striker Gunvolt series. Mighty No. 9‘s levels have been redesigned in an 8-bit style, and they can be traversed as either Beck or Gunvolt, with Ekoro joining after launch as DLC.

The run and gun gameplay feels much closer to
Mega Man right out of the gate, but the game’s real hook is its weapon system. Rather than following the typical formula of “beat a boss and steal its weapon,” Mighty Gunvolt Burst unlocks all the different weapon types from the beginning, but they’re all fairly puny to start out. As you progress through the game, you unlock upgrades that can be equipped to your gun by spending cost points. You can make your shots bigger, faster, dissipating, homing, and so much more.

Mighty Gunvolt Burst is an addicting action-platformer with the right blend of that classic feel and new features. It’s a little on the short side, but unlocking new weapon upgrades, experimenting with customization, and replaying levels for high scores will keep you engaged.

Current price: $10

Golf Story

I picked up Golf Story on a whim a few days ago, and I haven’t been able to put it down since. I’ve never been a huge fan of golf sims, but I remember having some fun with some of the simpler ones like Mario Golf: Advance Tour years ago on Game Boy Advance. After hearing some good things from friends and colleagues, I decided to give Golf Story a shot, and I got a lot more than just a golf game!

The story follows a former golfer returning to the sport for the first time in 20 years. You’re determined to make it big, but right now you can’t even get the coach at the dumpiest course around to train you! By engaging with the local inhabitants of Wellworn Grove and taking on their quests and golfing challenges, you’ll make connections, level up (increasing stats like power and accuracy), and make a name for yourself in the world of golf.

Quests range from battling an army of evil skeletons to tracking bothersome moles back to their hideout to smashing pumpkins because a possessed, talking stone said you should. The game has an off-beat sense of humor that, at its best times, reminds me of a tamer
EarthBound. Early in the game, challenges are just tutorials to teach you the basics and some useful techniques, but as you progress, NPCs will come up with progressively harder shots for you to tackle.

Golf Story is also much larger than I expected, as you’ll eventually leave Wellworn Grove to travel to other themed locations, such as the sunny Bermuda Isles or the frozen Coldwind Wastes. There are eight total areas, and each one is packed with a variety of colorful characters, side quests, challenges, and collectibles. Each area also has an official golf course (which you can replay as many times as you’d like to try to improve your score), as well as some smaller courses and a “secret course” provided by an NPC. There’s tons to do from start to finish, and you’ll be having fun the whole way.

Current price: $15


I’ve always been a fan of action-platformers like Mega Man X and Metroid, but I’m a lot more hesitant to pick up a game where the platforming itself is the game’s greatest antagonist. Tough-as-nails platformers that require precisely timed jumps through never-ending death traps have always been frustrating to me, but something about Celeste caught my eye during the January Nintendo Direct. I decided to give it a try a few weeks later, and it quickly became one of my favorite Switch games.

Celeste drew me in with a beautiful pixel art style and an engrossing soundtrack that’s equal parts soothing and haunting. Unlike many platformers, it also features a fairly impactful story. You play as a young woman named Madeline on a journey of self-discovery, and more literally, on a journey up a treacherous mountain. Madeline’s frustration and determination matches your own as you take on progressively harder challenges that will test your wits, your timing, and your sanity.

Thankfully, the game isn’t unfairly punishing. Levels are lengthy and comprised of multiple challenges, but each challenge is short, usually spanning only a screen or two. Much like
Super Meat Boy, you’ll instantly respawn at the start of a challenge after death. This means there’s no frustrating wait times between deaths, which is important due to the fact that you’re going to be dying a lot. If you find yourself too stumped to go on, the game’s Assist Mode allows you to allows you to modify the rules to reduce its difficulty. This includes options such as slowing the game speed, granting yourself invincibility or infinite stamina, and skipping chapters entirely. I never used this mode on my original playthrough, which means I died over 2,000 times reaching the mountain’s summit. I’m glad I toughed it out, because the feeling of conquering a brutal challenge after numerous failures is exhilarating.

Celeste also excels in the area of content, as every single level has an alternate, harder version called a B-Side that you can unlock. I’ve already put around 15 hours into the game, and I’ve only beaten half of the total levels. Throw in the challenge of getting a 100% rate for collectibles, and you’ve got a game that will keep challenging you long after the credit roll. If you want to find out more about this beautiful, brutal mountain-climbing adventure, you can check out a full review here.

Current price: $20

Our Verdict

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Ittle Dew 2 on Nintendo Switch is a Must-Have for Zelda Fans

It’s been a great year for Zelda thanks to the monumental success of Breath of the Wild, and there’s more content on the way in the form of a DLC pack next month. As great as Link’s latest adventure in Hyrule was, there are still plenty of longtime fans itching for another classic, top-down entry in the franchise. Nintendo hasn’t announced anything on this front for Switch, but thankfully Ittle Dew 2 launches today.

The latest addition to Switch’s impressive lineup of top-notch indie titles is a top-down island adventure filled with clever puzzles, diverse regions and dungeons, witty banter, and a fantastic soundtrack. Right from the start players are free to explore the entire island, tackling the dungeons in any order they please.

I’ve already given the Steam version of the game a full review, but there are some extra goodies on Nintendo Switch. One of the big draws is being able to play the game on the go in portable mode, and Ittle Dew 2 looks and plays fantastic as a handheld title. Switch owners are also treated to exclusive content in the form of the Dream World. This new region contains five exclusive dungeons that each present a unique challenge by only allowing you to use certain items. As you progress through these new challenges, you’ll collect cards that give you background info on the various characters and NPCs in the game, adding to the lore.

If you love exploring and solving puzzles, you won’t want to sleep on this indie gem. It may not be an official Zelda game, but it’ll do.

Our Verdict


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Ittle Dew 2 is a Puzzle-Filled Adventure That Zelda Fans Will Love

Back in 2013, Swedish indie developer Ludosity released a charming little game called
Ittle Dew. Drawing heavy inspiration from Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda franchise, Ittle Dew was a fun, puzzle-filled experience, but it left something to be desired in terms of game length, exploration, and combat. Ludosity promised a bigger, better sequel with improved combat and an increased focus on adventure, and Ittle Dew 2 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. Does it live up to those promises and improve on the strengths of the first game? Ludosity provided me with a review copy of the game, so I dug in to find out!

Ittle Dew 2 starts with the adventurous Ittle Dew and her magical flying fox Tippsie crashing onto an island ripe with treasure and danger. In order to leave the island (after acquiring all of its loot, of course), they need to conquer eight dungeons to collect eight pieces of a raft. Seems legit. For most of the game, there isn’t much to the story. It’s a simple tale of adventuring with little depth of plot (although the plot picks up a bit near the end), but there’s a healthy amount of NPCs scattered around the island to give it some personality. Ittle Dew and Tippsie are always good for some witty banter, giving off a vibe that reminds me a little of classic Banjo-Kazooie fun.

While the first game was largely linear and only featured four main dungeons,
Ittle Dew 2 offers eight main dungeons (with several more secret ones to be found) and players can tackle the first seven in any order they want. The map points you in the direction of the first dungeon (and subsequent dungeons each time you complete one), but you’re totally free to ignore that marker and explore virtually the entire island right from the start.

That said, the areas meant to be played later on in the game (both overworld regions and dungeons) will prove quite challenging if you don’t have enough health or if you’re missing some helpful items. Every secret in the game’s overworld can be discovered with only your basic melee weapon, and dungeons that require a specific item to complete always house that item itself. There are duplicates of some items, allowing for different methods of progression through the game, and collecting a duplicate will upgrade any weapons you’ve already collected.

With this increased focus on exploration, Ittle Dew 2 needs an exciting and interesting overworld, and it delivers. The island is divided up into eight different regions (each with its own dungeon), and the environments are diverse and imaginative. Whether it’s the candy-coated shores of Sweetwater Coast or the Old West Pepperpain Prairie with its rivers of hot sauce, the island is full of strange and wonderful places, and there are secrets to be discovered everywhere. Each region feels and looks unique and has its own catchy tune (I’ve had the Star Woods music stuck in my head for about a week straight now), making them all a joy to explore.

As I’m writing this, I’ve put about 14 hours into the game (taking my time to look for secrets), and I’ve beaten the main quest and several optional dungeons. It’s a pretty healthy game length (much more so than the original), and Ludosity assures me that there are secrets I have yet to uncover. If sprinting through games is more your style, the game’s open world nature lends itself well to speedrunning, and there are even shortcuts that reward you for playing dungeons out of order.

The dungeons themselves are varied and imaginative as well, ranging from a pillow fort to an art gallery for monsters to a pirate stronghold in a flooded basement. Each dungeon is filled with clever and challenging puzzles, and I found most of them to be quite satisfying. Puzzle-solving and combat are both performed using four items: a stick (that is eventually upgraded into a sword), a ring that creates blocks of ice and freezes enemies, a wand that can be used to move blocks from a distance, and good ol’ handy dynamite. You’ll have to think outside of the box, experiment, and find creative ways to use your items together in order to solve all of the puzzles.

As promised, the game has an increased focus on combat, and there’s plenty of baddies crawling all over the overworld and inside dungeons. The biggest change from the last game is the addition of a roll button. Rolling helps you get around the map faster and dodge attacks, and it also gives you a brief moment of invulnerability. This is an extremely welcome addition, and you’ll have to master this technique to conquer some of the harder dungeons and boss fights.

While combat is improved from the first game, it still feels a bit clumsy, and items still feel like they’re puzzle-solving tools first and combat tools as a distant second. This leads to somewhat underwhelming boss fights, and that shortcoming is amplified by the fact that you fight the same few bosses several times over, each time with slight changes or upgrades.

Ludosity set out to make
Ittle Dew 2 a more fleshed out adventure than its predecessor, and overall, they’ve succeeded. Ittle Dew 2 brings back that fantastic puzzles and charm of the original, but adds a large, robust overworld that does non-linearity better than most of the Zelda games from which it draws inspiration. The leap in combat quality is not nearly as substantial (although the added ability to roll is a big improvement), but it’s not a deal-breaker by any means. Once I started playing, I had a hard time stopping, and I imagine many other Zelda fans (and fans of adventure games and puzzle games in general) will feel the same way.

Our Verdict
Ittle Dew 2
Clever puzzles, charming visuals, catchy music, and a big, exciting world to explore
Combat can be clumsy and boss fights are underwhelming

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The Zelda-Inspired Indie Game Ittle Dew 2 Launches on November 15th

Back in 2013, Swedish indie developer Ludosity released a charming little game called Ittle Dew. The puzzle-heavy island adventure drew most of its inspiration from Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda franchise, and its sequel looks to be a little closer to the real thing thanks to an increased focus on combat, exploration, and dungeons. If you’re looking forward Tippsie and Ittle’s next adventure, you’ll be happy to know that it’s coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam on November 15th. You can check out a short announcement trailer by clicking above.

Our Verdict


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Zelda-Inspired Indie Game Ittle Dew 2 Adds More Combat, Exploration, and Dungeons

The Legend of Zelda series has been a major influence in the video game industry for decades, inspiring countless developers. Among them is Ludosity, the Swedish indie developer behind Ittle Dew. The game stars the titular adventurer Ittle Dew and her magical fox Tippsie on an adventure filled with zany enemies, clever puzzles, and lots of loot, and Ludosity recently revealed that a sequel is on the way. Since then, they’ve revealed more details about the game in a devblog hosted by publisher Nicalis.

Ittle Dew 2 will stick to its formula of having four weapons that are heavily utilized as puzzle-solving tools, but there will be more robust gameplay behind the puzzles. Due to overwhelming demand from fans, combat is a bigger part of the experience. Exploration will play a bigger role too, as there will now be seven dungeons that players can explore in any order. If these improvements shape up the way they sound, Ittle Dew 2 is poised to be a must-have for Zelda fans. Unfortunately for Wii U owners, the game is currently only slated to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Source: Nicalis

Our Verdict

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Zelda-Inspired Indie Puzzle Game Ittle Dew is Getting a Sequel

Back in 2013, Swedish indie developer Ludosity launched a charming puzzle game called Ittle Dew that drew its inspiration from The Legend of Zelda. The game stars the titular Ittle Dew and her magical fox Tippsie on an adventure filled with zany enemies, clever puzzles, and lots of loot. Three years later, Ludosity has just announced that Ittle Dew 2 is on the way!

Just like the first game, you’ll be exploring an island and solving puzzles with the items you collect.
Ittle Dew 2 will be bigger and more content-filled than its predecessor, and players will be able to tackle its dungeons in any order. Ittle Dew 2 will launch sometime this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. You can check out the announcement trailer by clicking above!

Our Verdict