13 Best Indie Games on Nintendo Switch You Need to Play Right Away

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There is nothing better than playing the best indie games on Nintendo Switch. It’s like a match made in heaven. 

The Nintendo Switch is lightweight, and you can carry it anywhere. Also, Switch hardware is good enough to run most indie games at smooth framerates while consuming minimal battery.

Nintendo Switch is one of the finest consoles if you want to play amazing Nintendo-exclusive games such as Mario, Zelda, or Animal Crossing. 

However, Switch is also known for its vast indie games. And that’s where we come in. We’ll help you choose the best Indie games on Switch.

Before listing them, let’s discuss the rise of Indie game development, its impact on the gaming industry, and player appeal.

Rise of Indie Game Development, Its Impact, and Player Appeal

In recent years, you’ll find indie game development as a significant player in the game industry. Irrespective of whether you follow AAA developers and their attempt at making the best games out there, you’ll always notice a few indie games that break the barrier to become super hits in their genre.

Take Celeste, for example. It is made by two people, Maddy Thorson and Noel Berry. And its initial version was made for the PICO-8 game console. Players loved its simple yet challenging platformer, and thus Noel and Maddy thought, why not make it a slightly “larger” game in the next three months? Next, they collaborated with many games to manage different aspects of Celeste, such as sound, music, arts, etc. It is an exciting development story where they find what they need to do as they continue development. In the end, they created a masterpiece.

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The story of Celeste is reminiscent of other indie games that offer excellent experiences without spending millions of dollars to create a good game that millions of players will love.

And the Nintendo Switch is a perfect platform for indie game development. It allowed indie game developers to showcase their work to a wide audience. The Switch is the home to most indie games, available via Nintendo’s eShop.

All of these led to a positive impact on the game industry. The rise of digital distributions means anyone can create and sell a game. Platforms such as Switch also welcomed innovative indie game developers. Innovation is the primary factor that made indie games so popular. Most indie games are fun and engage players differently than AAA games.

Indie game development positively impacted the industry, including diversification, inspiration to innovate, the rise of new talents, artistic expression, and overall a bed for experiments.

Indie games’ biggest beneficiaries are the players, who can experience unique settings, gameplay, art style, and storytelling. Moreover, indie games are cheap and easily accessible through digital stores.

Now, let’s take a look at a few indie gems that you need to have in your Switch library.

Celeste

Celeste is a popular Nintendo Switch Indie game. It is a hand-crafted platformer that shows care by its developers, Noel and Maddy. In the Celeste world, you play Madeline and help her reach the Celeste Mountain top. 

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Everything about the game is fantastic, be it music, story-telling, or the challenges you must overcome to reach the mountaintop. The progression is also carefully crafted as difficulty increases with each completed chapter. However, this doesn’t mean it is only for players who seek challenge — as Celeste welcomes new players thanks to its accessible controls for beginners.

Preview Product Rating Price
Celeste - Nintendo Switch (Alternate Cover Art) Celeste - Nintendo Switch (Alternate Cover Art) No ratings yet $99.95

With over 700+ hardcore stylistic screens, you’ll find yourself coming back to this fantastic indie game on Switch. Also, it runs smoothly with no performance drops and quick load times.

  • Developer: Extremely OK Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 8 for the main story, 37 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance
  • Release Date: January 25, 2018

Cuphead

Cuhead is one of the challenging indie games on Nintendo Switch. It is a classic run-and-gun action game where you run through a course. At the end of the course, you’ll need to defeat bosses. It is a fun and exciting game as it borrows its visuals and audio from 1930s cartoons.

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Similar to Celeste, Cuphead is easy to pick up and play. It offers simple controls for beginners with the potential to master them. In this cartoonish world, you play as Mugman or Cuphead. And, if you have an extra controller, you can also try out a local co-op.

Preview Product Rating Price
Cuphead - Nintendo Switch Cuphead - Nintendo Switch No ratings yet $26.57Amazon Prime

Each boss is unique and poses a different threat. This means you’ll need to adapt every time you progress, making it challenging and fun!

  • Developer: Studio MDHR
  • Estimated time to complete: 11 for the main story, 25 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance
  • Release Date: April 18, 2019

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the work of Larian Studios — the same team behind the groundbreaking Baldur’s Gate III. But does that mean Larian Studios is an indie game developer? Well, there is a conflict between internet users. Still, we included them here — as they’re not backed by any publisher (an essential classification for an indie game development company).

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Coming to the Divinity: Original Sin 2, it is your closest experience to Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) games. It is a masterpiece that takes you hundreds of hours of role-playing experience. Its turn-based combat is satisfying, and you can play solo or with 4 players through seamless cooperative play.

The story is on another level, with extreme freedom at your disposal. You’re free to talk to any NPCs or kill them as you like. You also get access to 200+ skills in 12 skill schools.

  • Developer: Larian Studios
  • Estimated time to complete: 41 for the main story, 350 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance at dynamic 720p resolution when docked and 648p in portable mode.
  • Release Date: September 4, 2019

Hades

Hades 2 will soon be released, but until then, you can play Hades — a brilliant Supergiant Games unique rogue-like dungeon crawler. Its fast-paced action, coupled with its excellent story and vivid Greek Underworld, makes you come back to it again and again (after all, it’s rouge-like ;)).

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The game inspires heavily from Supergiant’s previous games, including Transistor, Bastion, and Pyre, as you drive through the Underworld with mythic weapons and powers from Olympus. During your journey, you meet the mighty gods, including Poseidon, Athena, Zeus, and others, giving yourself access to powerful Boons necessary to defeat the ghosts and monsters and befriend gods.

Preview Product Rating Price
Hades - Nintendo Switch Hades - Nintendo Switch No ratings yet $38.95

With varied outcomes and randomly generated dungeons, you’ll never get bored of it. Moreover, you can create various builds to destroy anyone on your path.

  • Developer: Supergiant Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 23 for the main story, 96 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance 
  • Release Date: September 17, 2020

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is the epitome of a souls-like Metroidvania game. It’ll crush you as you try to find your way through the dark souls of a 2D platformer.

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This action-adventure game takes you to the Forgotten Kingdom’s depths, where you come across twisting caverns, deadly waters, and ancient cities. The game’s controls are easy, but the environments need you to use them in complex ways to survive! On top of that, you’ll gain access to abilities to fight against challenging enemies.

Preview Product Rating Price
Hollow Knight (Nintendo Switch) Hollow Knight (Nintendo Switch) 3,028 Reviews $35.79Amazon Prime

The classic side-scrolling experience is amplified with the addition of soul-touching music.

  • Developer: Team Cherry
  • Estimated time to complete: 23 for the main story, 96 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance at 60fps
  • Release Date: June 12, 2018

I am Dead

Enough of these challenging indie games! What if you want a more relaxing adventure where you explore the world and use your cleverness to solve puzzles? If you do, check out “I am Dead,” an Annapurna Interactive game offering humor, puzzle adventure, and unique mechanics.

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In this island of Shelmerston, you play as a dead version of Morris Lupton, a music creator. Soon after you die, you get reunited with your dog Sparky, and it is up to you to save the beloved island from disaster by finding scattered and lost ghosts.

Preview Product Rating Price
I Am Dead Standard - Nintendo Switch [Digital Code] I Am Dead Standard - Nintendo Switch [Digital Code] No ratings yet $19.99

It is a slow-paced game emphasizing story-telling and a creative way to see the world around you. The sense of discovery ensures you’ll never feel bored, especially if you must dive into people’s memories!

  • Developer: Annapurna Interactive and Hollow Ponds
  • Estimated time to complete: 4 for the main story, 7 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance at 60fps
  • Release Date: October 8, 2020

Little Nightmares II

Horror, suspense, adventure — Little Nightmares II is a perfect mix of all these as you try to find the source of evil Transmission in a trapped world. You play as Mono, a young boy, and your friend in your adventure is Six, who acts as your guide throughout the journey.

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It is a 6-hour game that you can finish in one sitting. However, don’t get fooled by its low playtime hours, as it’ll keep you hooked from start to end as you run from monsters, solve puzzles, and perform parkour in the dark world.

Preview Product Rating Price
Little Nightmares 2 (Nintendo Switch) Little Nightmares 2 (Nintendo Switch) No ratings yet $32.11Amazon Prime
  • Developer: Tarsier Studios, Supermassive Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 6 for the main story, 9 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance at 30fps with no frame drops
  • Release Date: February 11, 2021

Ori And the Will of The Wisps

Ori games from Moon Game Studios are always a sight to behold. Their take on Metriodavnia captured players worldwide, including tech giant Microsoft, which bought Moon Studios in 2015.

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The Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a sequel to the critically acclaimed The Ori And The Blind Forest. The sequel carries the same soul as the first game while improving almost every aspect, including the music, gameplay, puzzles, and story!

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Ori and the Will of The Wisps - Nintendo Switch Ori and the Will of The Wisps - Nintendo Switch No ratings yet $30.79

During your journey, you’ll explore a beautifully crafted world with tons of challenging enemies to defeat with your newly acquired spells, attacks, and spirit weapons. And the best part is that you can enjoy the action-adventure game at 60FPS!

  • Developer: Moon Game Studios
  • Estimated time to complete: 12 for the main story, 18 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance at 60fps
  • Release Date: September 17, 2020

InnerSpace

If you love platformer games, InnerSpace is one that you should probably check out. The game was developed by indie developer PolyKnight Games and published by Aspyr. Releasing in 2018, it didn’t receive much traction at first.

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However, it’s one of the most relaxing games you can play on your Nintendo console. If you’re looking for cozy games on Nintendo Switch, InnerSpace has to be on your radar. You’ll mostly have to complete platforming sequences and solve puzzles to find the secrets of the game’s world.

You won’t have to put in more than 6 hours to complete the main story. Nonetheless, you’ll want to extend this time for as long as possible, simply to explore the stunning universe that the developers have created.

  • Developer: PolyKnight Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 5.5 hours for the main story, 8 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, smooth performance at 60fps
  • Release Date: January 16, 2018

➡️ Check it out on the Nintendo Store.

Risk of Rain 2

Risk of Rain 2 is a fast-paced action rogue-like game. This action platformer takes you to new planets where you fight off random bosses and enemies. The best part is that you can play it with three friends.

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As the game is rouge-like, once you die, it’s permanent. You then start again with upgraded stats and items, giving you a head-start in your next run and then AGAIN in the next run! On top of that, Risk of Rain is procedurally generated, giving you something new to explore every time.

Preview Product Rating Price
Risk of Rain 2 - Nintendo Switch Risk of Rain 2 - Nintendo Switch No ratings yet $19.99
  • Developer: Hopoo Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 5 for the main story, 54 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Loads fast, performs well at 60FPS, but performance drops in the late game.
  • Release Date: August 11, 2020

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a beat’em up game, reminiscing from old beat’em games. To feel similar to cult classics beat’em games, it uses pixel graphics with a 2.5D world.

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The gameplay is fun as you get access to classic brawling mechanics. You can break foes into the ground and the surrounding breakable environment as you gang up with 6 players simultaneously against Shredder and his Foot Clan.

The visual design is met with retro-style music as you play with TMNT characters in a radical new story mode.

  • Developer: Tribute Games
  • Estimated time to complete: 3 for the main story, 20 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Performance issues hinder smooth gameplay
  • Release Date: June 16, 2022

Undertale

Undertale takes you on an epic 2D RPG journey of a human that threads through an underground world full of monsters. It’s fun, witty, and always keeps you on your toes.

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You don’t know whom to trust as you interact with countless friendly and unfriendly monsters. But, it is vital to use your wits to make choices as they matter in the outcome. And the best part is that killing is optional, as you can always negotiate yourself out of danger.

Preview Product Rating Price
Undertale Nintendo Switch Standard Edition [Physical] Undertale Nintendo Switch Standard Edition [Physical] No ratings yet $42.70Amazon Prime

If you wish to feel alive (or dead), pick up Undertale, which lets you date a skeleton, or find infinite dogs that keep you busy.

  • Developer: Toby Fox
  • Estimated time to complete: 7 for the main story, 21 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Runs super smooth
  • Release Date: September 18, 2018

Death’s Door

Death’s Door is one of the best indie games on Nintendo Switch. It’s unique, and it’s fun. You play as a crow who has lost his soul and is now on the path to track down the thief.

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The crow has access to a plethora of combat where he can use weapons, arrows, and even magic to defeat the wild beast of hell and the demigods. The soundtrack fits the gameplay, whereas the beautiful world ensures complete immersion in a unique RPG journey.

Preview Product Rating Price
Death's Door Death's Door No ratings yet $39.99Amazon Prime
  • Developer: Acid Nerve
  • Estimated time to complete: 9 for the main story, 16 hours for the completionist
  • Performance: Runs super smooth
  • Release Date: November 23, 2021

Conclusion

Indie games showcase innovation, creativity, and prove that there can be excellent games that don’t require big teams or big budgets to capture audience attention. Due to friendly Switch development, almost all popular indie games will inevitably be released on Nintendo Switch. The audience also loves indie games as they’re perfect to play in hand-held mode.

So, what’re you waiting for? Pick the one indie game on Nintendo Switch and start playing!

And, if you want more of the Nintendo Switch, don’t forget to check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives!

Nitish Singh
Nitish Singhhttp://www.techaltair.com
For the past 20 years, Nitish has been an avid gamer. His primary focus is on PC games, but he also enjoys exploring the worlds of Nintendo, XBOX, and PlayStation. Nitish is always looking for new games to try out and is particularly fascinated with emulation.

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