Brace Yourself Games has crafted a unique Zelda game which fits in perfectly with the rest of the family. A transfusion from Crypt of the NecroDancer gives the old top-down template a fresh spin but it still manages to feel like Zelda. By allowing a talented indie developer to play in the universe, Nintendo has gained a fantastic entry in the franchise that feels like a celebration – specifically of its music, a part of the series destined to take a back seat as the majesty of Hyrule is increasingly conveyed through the scale of its world rather than melodies from the days when the 'kingdom' was really a walled garden. Cadence of Hyrule is not just a brilliant game, it's a brilliant Zelda game - one that you won't want to miss.
As far as strategy games are concerned on the Switch, Wargroove is one of the best titles you can find on the eShop. Extremely deep and diverse strategy gameplay, ridiculous amounts of replayability, and charming presentation all combine to make this one an easy recommendation to anybody looking for a deep and cerebral experience for their Switch. Advance Wars may only exist nowadays in our memories, but Wargroove stands as a worthy successor to the franchise; if Intelligent Systems does ever decide to revive its cult classic series, it’s going to have some stiff competition to contend with thanks to Chucklefish's efforts.
Golf Story is a Switch exclusive RPG that borrows liberally from Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color. It's absolutely bonkers and you should be prepared to put your golf skills to use in a variety of contexts, including feeding hungry alligators and knocking things off high surfaces, plus winning the occasional round of pitch 'n' putt.
With a hilarious script and a wide variety of activities, it remains fresh throughout and will have you coming back for many hours in the Story mode alone; the multiplayer offers decent replayability, too. We would highly recommend Golf Story to anyone looking for something a little different. There’s a whole lot to love here, and if you’re a fan of RPGs or golf games, this is a must buy.
With fun, fast-paced combat, likable characters, and an enjoyable story that takes full advantage of its beautiful shipwrecked setting, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a top-shelf action RPG. Exploring the Isle of Seiren is as rewarding as mastering the character-swapping, hack-and-slash battle system, and both fit into an addictive feedback loop of adventuring that keeps everything moving at a quick clip. Editing issues and inconsistent image quality in handheld mode are small blemishes on an otherwise polished production, but don’t let them deter you; Ys VIII is a true gem.
Sonic Mania is a true return to form for the mascot, in his 2D 'Classic' guise at least, and celebrates the glory days of the original games while also enhancing their qualities and taking on new ideas. From new areas, imaginative second acts and some delightful boss encounters, the development team poured a lot of passion and talent into the project. With new characters and modes added in the 'Plus' retail version (also available as DLC), some neat tweaks iron out some of the kinks present in the original release, but regardless of the version you pick up, it's of the best 2D platformers of recent memory.
SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition is a fantastic port of a fantastic game, and it fits perfectly on the Switch. Deep, engaging gameplay and stylish presentation combine to make this one of the standout indie releases of the year; this is a great example of a well put-together title. If you are at all a fan of strategy games, or are just looking for a fun diversion to occupy your time for a couple of weeks, pick this up. It puts a neat twist on standard turn-based strategy gameplay, and stands as another fantastic entry in the SteamWorld series.
While Wolfenstein II's graphical downgrade is hard to miss, that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is one of the best single-player FPS experience you can have on Switch right now. The lack of a multiplayer mode (the versions on other consoles didn’t have one either, so don’t worry about being short-changed) still grates, but with its brilliantly-written story and intense action, not even 2017’s excellent DOOM port can stand up to B.J.’s latest war on the Reich.
Dead Cells is a masterclass in excellent roguelike design, mixing together nonstop intense action sequences, gorgeous vistas, and an addictive loop of unlocks and rewards into a beautiful experience that no Switch owner will want to go without. There’s dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of content available here, and though some sense of repetition can creep in every now and then, it’s remarkable how fresh Dead Cells can stay through all those hours. This game is a blast to play, full of visual splendor, and packed with things to do; don’t miss out on this one, it’s a must-buy.
Axiom Verge on Switch is truly an outstanding port of an outstanding game, no more and no less. We would strongly urge those of you that missed this game on other platforms to pick it up here; this is the full Axiom Verge experience and it's available in a format that supports both handheld and home play. For those of you who have played it before on other platforms, it’s ultimately a question of just how much you love this game. This is the exact same, excellent game that you’ve played before, so whether or not you want to buy it again is personal choice. Regardless of which side you fall on, Axiom Verge is a fantastic example of how to do a Metroidvania right, and we couldn’t be more pleased with it.
After almost a decade Bayonetta is starting to show her age, but that doesn’t stop this hyperactive melee/shooter action mashup from being one of the most rewarding and memorable cult hits of the previous generation. Retooled for Nintendo Switch, one of Platinum Games’ most accomplished titles feels revitalised in both handheld and tabletop modes, serving up a meaty first course in the full witchy buffet to come.