Indies stood tall in 2021 on the Nintendo Switch and thankfully made up for a somewhat lackluster first-party lineup from Nintendo, Metroid Dread aside. These five great Nintendo indies were part of that and should be played on our hybrid systems!
For those interested, here are some great Nintendo indies that you may have missed out on in 2021:
Who knew that a visual novel would be one of the best indies to show up on the Nintendo Switch in 2021? With its great blend of dating elements mixed with dungeon crawling, the gameplay loop works phenomenally. The characters, ranging in LGBTQ+ identities and genders, are powerfully written, and you’ll grow attached just like the successful Persona series.
The twist in Boyfriend Dungeon is that these datable characters are also weapons that can be used in the dunj (dungeons). As you grow your bond with them, they’ll become more powerful in battle. The combat is somewhat repetitive, in all honesty, but it’s just good enough to keep you going. In our experience, we played this game in one sitting for around six hours. It was that good, and the game’s soundtrack is still in on our Spotify rotation. More DLC is also on the way!
Lost Words: Beyond The Page
Losing someone you love is one of the most devastating things that can happen, let alone as a child. Lost Words: Beyond The Page beautifully shows the emotions that the protagonist goes through as she struggles with the loss of her grandmother.
The game plays in two parts. The first has the character platforming through the words of her diary. The hand-drawn illustrations are absolutely beautiful, and the game shows these scenes in creative ways. The second part is the imaginative levels set within the character’s written fantasy story. The puzzles are fun to figure out, despite these sections of the game feeling long in the tooth at certain points. Throughout the adventure, you’ll certainly get emotional and teary-eyed as the actress performs the role wonderfully.
Check out Jason Capp’s review for even more.
Hitchhiking can be a scary, yet freeing situation you can put yourself in, especially in an oppressive country like in Road 96. In this procedurally generated adventure, you’ll be put in various memorable circumstances that will leave you in suspense or in bliss.
As you hitchhike, you’ll meet robbers, TV personalities, and a whiz kid game developer among other characters that all have an intriguing story to tell. The developer claims on its Steam page there are “a thousand routes through the game” and “each player can create their own unique stories on Road 96.” We’ve played through Road 96 once, and it felt impactful.
Tetris Effect: Connected
Tetris can be experienced in multiple ways on the Nintendo Switch. You can have a somewhat traditional experience in Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 or contend against others in the battle royale Tetris 99, but Tetris Effect: Connected is so much more.
This take on the popular game is more atmospheric and artistic than others. The engrossing music and glorious visuals pull you into Tetris Effect: Connected. The challenge is still there, but your gameplay changes the visuals and sound design dramatically. It feels incredibly zen, and with players online, you can work together to complete challenges in a meaningful fashion.
Just like Tetris Effect Connected, Team17 took the Worms formula we know and love and created a compelling battle royale twist. On a large 2.5D map in Worms Rumble, you must survive against many other players, using the familiar weapons that the Worms series is known for.
It’s fast-paced, engaging, and strategic as you try to achieve supremacy on the battlefield with your friends. Each map also features a twist; for example, on Spaceport Showdown, you have to consider zero gravity into the action as the Worms are outer space. Thankfully, this game is cross-play, so you can check out Worms Rumble with your pals on PS4, PS5, Xbox, and PC.
There you have it! Five great Nintendo indies that you may have missed out on in 2021. Sure, there were loads more, like some of the best-selling Indie World titles and one of our GOTY2021 nominees, but these are five that deserve a bit more attention. Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link! Let us know what indies surprised you the most in 2021 in the comments.
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An experienced freelance writer, Chris has a vast knowledge of the gaming medium. With a Bachelor of Communications degree, he hopes to elevate his writing further. His favorite games are Kingdom Hearts, Beyond Good & Evil, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.