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Jack Gardner

Gaming News:Nintendo's Indie Gaming Event Debuts Numerous Exclusives for the Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo held an event today to show off upcoming indie games headed for the Nintendo Switch. The digital broadcast comes amid concerns that there aren’t enough games on the upcoming console to satisfy those who pick it up at launch. While some of the games announced had been talked about and revealed before, a number of indie games made their debut appearance. Nintendo has opted to title this indie highlight event as the Nindies (a name which I can't think of without a comparison to the Dundy awards from The Office). Many of the titles have been billed as either exclusive to the Nintendo Switch or exclusive for a limited time.


The broadcast kicked off with the world premiere of SteamWorld Dig 2 from Image & Form, which has players delving into the underground depths to uncover secrets in a Metroid-inspired 2D world full of danger, enemies, and steam-punk technology. Players take on the role of a steambot and her strange companion as they search the caverns of their world for her lost friend and riches galore. It launches sometime this summer with an ambiguous release window that quickly became the norm for all the titles announced today.  



To set some rumors to rest, Yooka-Laylee has been confirmed for the Switch. There had been some speculation that the game might not come to the Switch at all, bypassing Nintendo entirely. That is definitively not the case and the game will be released on the Switch with multiplayer sometime "very soon" this year. 


The popular local multiplayer game Overcooked! has also been confirmed to be coming to the Switch. It will be packaged as Overcooked! Special Edition. This new version of the game will include all the content from the base game and the DLC in one bundle. It releases later this year. 


The Escapists 2 features prison escape action and planning that will be available for local and online co-op with friends. Expect to see it release sometime during 2017.


A creepy-cute platformer called GoNNER has been slated for release on the Nintendo Switch. The endearing indie follows a skull-headed protagonist named Ikk. Ikk must use the powers of death to embark on a shifting journey to find a gift for his whale friend, Sally. GoNNER will be a timed exclusive when it hits the Nintendo Switch later this year.



One of the more interesting games shown during the Nindies was titled Dandara. The title has players exploring a sprawling 2D world by latching onto various surfaces and using a spreading, plasma gun weapon to defend yourself. It looks equal parts Super Meat Boy and Mega Man with a really unique core gameplay mechanic. Expect to see Dandara hitting the Switch this summer alongside a PC and mobile release.


Another really intriguing title, Kingdom: Two Crowns, sports gorgeous pixel art and allows players to make complex moral choices to build a world as they see fit. Those choices will have consequences and can lead to building a kingdom of glory or of ruin. Players will be able to tackle the game solo or grab a friend for local co-op with the Switch's Joy-Con controllers. Kingdom: Two Crowns will release later this year for PC and Switch. 



It has been a while since we had heard anything of the follow up to Bit.Trip Runner2, but CommanderVideo is back in another colorful running adventure. Runner3 seems to keep true to the series' roots of running, jumping, and having an adorably quirky sense of humor. You can expect to see it release sometime this year.


One of the most interesting reveals of the day was the sequel to the classic Master Blaster. Master Blaster Zero has been developed by the capable hands of Inti Creates and Sunsoft. The retro aesthetic, bumpin' old-school soundtrack, and the original feel of Master Blaster is sure to rope in nostalgic fans and newcomers alike. Master Blaster Zero releases as an exclusive on Nintendo Switch and 3DS on March 9th.



Flipping Death takes a flippant and irreverent approach toward death in a wacky adventure game that has players becoming the recently deceased Penny Doewood who's on a mission to help the ghosts of her home town solve their problems. Players are able to possess the residents in the world of the living to help solve puzzles in a story with a tone reminiscent of Grim Fandango.  


Nintendo used this portion of their broadcast to really push the feedback sensors and features of the Switch. They're keen on selling the Switch's less obvious abilities like its improved rumble capabilities. Graceful Explosion Machine was the first title they used to make their case. A side-scrolling shooter in the vein of a colorful, welcoming Ikaruga. Supposedly players will be able to feel each ship they destroy vibrating through their joy-cons. Graceful Explosion Machine releases in April as a timed exclusive for the Switch.



Mr. Shifty, a game we covered last year at E3, will also be making its way to the Switch. Part Hotline Miami and part super powered adventure, Mr. Shifty puts players in the role of a man with the ability to teleport on a mission to infiltrate the world's most secure facility. It comes to the Nintendo Switch this April as a timed exclusive.


TumbleSeed was another interesting game to make an appearance during the Nindies. Developed by aeiowu, TumbleSeed is one of the first video games to come out of Cards Against Humanity's incubator program. The concept is to roll a seed up a procedurally generated mountain while avoiding hazards and gaining upgrades. It's certainly one of the more unique gaming projects coming out this spring for PS4, PC, and Switch. 



The creators of Retro City Rampage have returned in glorious style with a spiritual successor. Vblank's Shakedown: Hawaii features an open world with gorgeous 2D pixel art and fluid action as players run around causing chaos and destruction. At one point in the trailer the player sets an entire forest on fire! This time the devs aim to lampoon big business and white collar crime with as many explosions as they can pack into one game. Players will be able to build their business and take down the competition in fully destructible environments. Shakedown: Hawaii releases this April as a timed exclusive for the Switch.



Pocket Rumble appears to be a really solid 2D fighter with competitive aspirations and a minimalist, washed out aesthetic that sets it apart from anything else I've seen released lately. The game features a simple control scheme that belies its deep gameplay. It supports local and online multiplayer. Pocket Rumble will release as a console exclusive for the Nintendo Switch later this March.


WarGroove certainly looks like it might hook the urn-based strategy crowd. If you've chewed your way through the recent Fire Emblem releases and have fond memories of Advanced Wars, WarGroove looks like it will be seamlessly combining the two into something special. Players can participate in twelve campaigns that have fantasy armies clashing against each other. on top of that, the title allows up to four people to play locally or online. WarGroove releases later this year for the Xbox One, PC, and Switch. 



Stardew Valley, the final game featured on the Nindie broadcast, was also confirmed to be heading to the Switch. While the farming/life simulator has been out on PC and consoles for some time, the Switch will have a timed exclusive of a sort: The multiplayer update will only be available on the Switch for an unspecified period of time. 


A number of other indie games have been announced as well and you can see them all in the image below. Nintendo stated that each week new titles would be releasing on the console's eShop and that releases would begin hitting the system on day one. 




Below you can find a full list of the games shown in the video and the full announcement.


SteamWorld Dig 2 - Summer release


Yooka-Laylee - Coming this year


Overcooked! Special Edition - Coming this year


The Escapists 2 - Coming this year


GoNNER - Coming this year - Timed exclusive


Dandara – Summer release


Kingdom: Two Crowns - Coming later this year


Runner3 - Fall release


Blaster Master Zero - March 9th - Exclusive to Switch and 3DS

Flipping Death - Coming this year

Graceful Explosion Machine - April release - Timed exclusive


Mr. Shifty - April release - Timed exclusive


TumbleSeed - Spring release


Shakedown: Hawaii - April release - Timed exclusive


Pocket Rumble - March release -  Exclusive


WarGroove - Coming this year 


Stardew Valley – Summer release - Timed exclusive features




The Nintendo Switch launches this Friday, March 3. For more info on the console and its upcoming games, head over to our hub of Nintendo Switch knowledge!

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In spite of mixed reviews I have read through this morning, I am still pretty excited about the system (though some trepidation has snuck in, we'll see post patch if there are improvements). Mostly due to this indie game announcement. 

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My main concern is how wishy-washy the release dates for a lot of these games still are. Give us actual dates! Some of these games are less than a month out, but we still don't have a concrete release on the calendar. 

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