SteamWorld Dig 2 is another confident effort from Image & Form, and a worthy successor to a game that's a treasured part of many eShop collections. Stylish and good-looking, it also has the series' trademark humour and, yes, a pretty good soundtrack. It refines and expands upon the qualities of the original and hits some delicious high points, albeit some of the smartest segments and ideas appear only briefly. It sets the scene for more content and games, too, which is pleasing to see.
For fans of SteamWorld Dig we suspect the recommendation isn't needed as they'll buy this anyway. For those that skipped the first game, however, Dig 2 is a must-have - its charming aesthetic and cast set the scene for a tightly designed and clever exploration game. Now the wait begins for SteamWorld Dig 3, although there's always Steamworld Quest to tide you over if you can't get enough of Image & Form's steamy world.
19. DOOM (Switch)
DOOM is one of the best first-person shooters we've ever played - an incredible game, flaws and all - and it's certainly the best in its class on Switch. There's a certain magical quality about having a game this good on the go. Its brilliant campaign is reason enough to pick it up, but DOOM's multiplayer will keep you coming back for more for months to come. Developer Panic Button had the good sense to build an invitation system into the game that is both functional and easy to use, and we love it. Because of the small arenas, matches feel reminiscent of the halcyon days of first-person shooters, when Unreal Tournament reigned supreme. While it's perhaps not as polished as it is on other formats, having DOOM in portable form is a revelation, and Panic Button deserves high praise for porting over id Software's classic title so brilliantly.
There's no doubt about it, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is one of the most refined and enjoyable platformers money can buy. The levels are all beautiful, the characters move with fluidity and brilliant responsiveness, and the inclusion of Funky Kong brings balance for those who have less experience with brutally tough platformers. It’s so well-made that it’s almost toowell-made; there's an absence of a certain 'rough-and-ready' charm found in the original DKC trilogy. This is, however, a complaint so minor it's practically insignificant. Donkey Kong’s first appearance on Switch is streamlined, rewarding, and immensely good fun; any fan of 2D platformers simply has to get this game.
The Switch isn’t short of games that have already taken a bow, or several, on other hardware, but Skyrim might be the one that most deserves another look from both hardy Elder Scrolls adventurers and absolute beginners alike. Despite its age showing, with countless little cracks in its already fractured façade, it still delivers a palpable sense of space that few games before or since have managed. May its dancing northern lights never dim.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection is a lovely port of a classic RPG loot-a-thon that keeps its feet firmly in the past. The execution is wonderful, but its gameplay is not something that will appeal to everyone due to the high level of repetition. Its visuals are clear and functional if not especially interesting, but performance is top notch to make up for it. It's one of those games which is best played with friends, too, and while you can play online, couch co-op offers a rich experience as you battle demons and collect loot together - three local players can drop-in and join you on your quest. If you’re looking for a loot-driven grind-a-thon with more explosions of viscera than you can comfortably discuss with your mother, this is the game for you.
While we’ve had to wait a little longer than those playing on PS4 and Xbox One, the wait has been more than worth it. Dark Souls: Remastered is a faithful remaster of a touchstone in video game design that improves overall performance while preserving all of the character traits that made the original such a memorable experience. While it’s no less forgiving - and its menus are a little fiddly - this slick Nintendo Switch iteration offers the only way to experience Lordran’s ultra-challenging odyssey in true handheld form. Praise the Sun, indeed.
Shovel Knight has always been excellent, but bundling these three chapters together and including new functionality increases the attractiveness of an already incredibly compelling package. These games are fantastic, and having the complete Shovel Knight experience in one spot, clocking in at around 15 hours of gameplay in our case, makes this a must-have for Switch owners - especially those that have so far failed to dig into this game and its add-ons.
Stardew Valley offers its players a chance to live a second life – one where you can forget the troubles of the real world and get excited over finding a particularly rare carrot. It is a truly magical experience; games can often be enjoyable but they don’t all manage to be as captivating as this. This is the sort of game that ideally requires a significant amount of time to be invested; the enjoyment doesn’t necessarily come from the day-to-day actions you perform, but rather from the general growth of pride, satisfaction, and sense of security as the days go by. Fans of games such as Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing will be right at home here and, for those who aren’t, there is a decent chance this game might just surprise you.
Despite coming from the previous generation, Bayonetta 2 shines brightest on Nintendo Switch. It runs without a hitch at 60fps, looks incredible in both TV and tabletop modes and offers an addictive free-flowing combat formula that sprinkles in platforming, light exploration and a ridiculous story to create something that you simply need to experience. If you’ve never played it for before, you’re in for a treat. If you’ve already played it, it’s even more bewitching as a handheld gem.
If you haven’t already gathered, Okami HD is an utterly fantastic piece of software, and we feel you’d be doing yourself a disservice to pass on it. For a mere twenty bucks, you can have access to a 40-hour adventure that emulates Zelda wonderfully, adds in plenty of memorable mechanics, features one of the most memorable art styles in gaming, and is completely playable on the go, to boot. Though it may be showing its age a bit visually and its combat is sometimes a little on the easy side, Okami is an important, fun, and notable landmark in gaming history — and one of the easiest recommendations we can make for your Switch library.