Just four months into 2023, and well, it's been a bit of a banger year for games so far, hasn't it? So Nintendo has been a little bit quiet in the run-up to a certain Zelda game launching in May, but in terms of indie titles and smaller games, we've barely been able to keep up.
So, it's about that time of the year when we ask for your help, lovely readers. The last time we reached out for suggestions was in October 2022, and we had so many outstanding-looking suggestions that we expanded our selection to 24 hidden gems that slipped through the cracks. But another six months have gone by, and it's time to stuff ourselves silly with titles that you think deserve some extra love.
It's the same deal as before — we want you all to send us your thoughts (under 100 words) on Switch games that flew under the Nintendo Life radar. We'll then go through all of your responses and choose the ones that stand out to us the most. Then we'll feature your lovely comments and the games in an article along with a trailer and a brief summary.
If you want to know how you can participate, read the guidelines on how to send your recommendations to us below — make sure you go through them carefully if you want to see your entries included in the feature:
- 100-word limit - Keep it brief! A history of the genre and deep-dive into every mechanic is unnecessary. Concentrate on what the game is about, what sets it apart from other games and why you enjoyed it.
- One entry per game - Feel free to send your thoughts on multiple games, but there's no need to duplicate.
- Choose only games that we haven't reviewed on the site - To check if a Nintendo Life review exists, simply type the name of the game into the search box at the very top of the page (look for the magnifying glass icon in the top left corner) and click on the game page that appears. If there's no review, you're good to go!
How to send a recommendation
- Head to Nintendo Life's Contact page and select the subject "Switch eShop Hidden Gems" from the drop-down menu (it's already done for you in the link above). Type your name, email and beautifully-crafted message into the appropriate box, hit send and Bob's your uncle!
If you've got any questions on the format, feel free to ask in the comments section below. And if you don't feel comfortable sending a full-blown recommendation, you can drop suggestions for games you'd like to see highlighted, too.
Remember, we won't be reviewing these games, but we're still eager to shine a light on some gems we've missed. We look forward to seeing what games you recommend.
I don't think you guys reviewed Transiruby, but I don't have the focus atm to tackle the requirements. ^_^;
Is there a single switch game you guys haven't reviewed?
Cattails is a great game and worth to try out for those who like Stardew Valley type of games.
@Caolan114 of course. Hundreds of them.
DUCK GAME!!! IT IS AN AMAZING MULTIPLAYER GAME!!! IT IS ABOUT 15 DOLLARS!!! YOU NEED IT!!!
FORGOTTEN ANNE!!! IT'S AMAZING!!!
Crawl - is a game that comes to mind, which totally went under the radar. Funny thing is that Nintendolife is actually one of the few sites that mentioned it. And you gave it a 9/10. Good on you!
Moon Dancer deserves a review. It's a fantastic little shmup from the same developer that made Raging Blasters and Missile Dancer, both of which were reviewed on here and scored an 8/10.
You guys forgot about Aeterna Noctis. It is a challenging, metroidvania game that I've been following for some time now.
For anyone on NL staff in the mood for a shmup, NeverAwake gave a good first impression. But I haven't played enough of the game myself to pass judgement yet.
I was surprised to find Touhou Luna Nights never got a review, it's easily the best Touhou game on the console in my opinion, official or fanmade. It's a gorgeous time-stopping knife-throwing metroidvania by the Deedlit In Wonder Labyrinth (8/10) devs that I'd recommend to any fan of the genre regardless if you're familiar with the source material or not.
Thanks for doing this, guys! One thing that attracted me to Nintendo Life in the early days of the 3DS was that your site had reviews of super obscure DSiware games when nobody else had them.
So I know it doesn't always bring in the clicks, but please try to review no-name games when you can!
I’ve been waiting for this! Donut Dodo it’s an amazing gem for any fans of ‘80s arcades!
It came out back in 2020 but I have been replaying it again on Nintendo Switch lately and I have to say I really enjoy 'Ary and the Secret of Seasons' and there are some glitches in the game and it wasn't perfect but I find it a lot of fun to play and it kinda looks like a Disney movie made into a video game and is similar to the 3D 'Legend of Zelda' games and 3D platformers of the past. I read it won awards so I wasn't the only person that liked it and I would love a sequel that improved on the first game.
Anodyne 2 y’all
Belle Boomerang. It came to Switch Saturday and I’m enjoying it so far, but I want to see a @SwitchVogel review. The man is an indie game sage!
The game is essentially a classic NES/Gameboy title in every capacity of the term. If you want challenging platforming, it’s there. A unique character model that absolutely looks like a mascot, it’s there. If you want a frustrating gameplay mechanic pushed to the front, but in a creative way that forces you to learn the game and enjoy that mechanic, it’s there. It’s such a cheap game too. The value is absolutely there. Each level adds something new to the gameplay. And yeah, it’s frustrating, but it’s a good frustrating. Your skill grows with every failed attempt until you master the game. Who took the time capsule from 1990 to bring us this gem?
@TobiasAmaranth agree am curious about this as well
Not sure if you reviewed The Wild at Heart. It’s a super cute Pikmin X Link to the Past type indie game. Heard about it via Arlo and absolutely loved playing it.
Looking at my backloggery, the only game I have played that doesn't have a review on the site is "KUUKIYOMI: Consider It!".
Kuukiyomi: Consider It - similar to WarioWare, in that you play a (fixed) series of microgames, but they're focused on Japanese social etiquette. You take control of a person or, sometimes, inanimate object in a specific situation, and are tasked with manipulating them to create an outcome that is either considerate, or inconsiderate.
Some of the minigames rely on knowledge of Japanese etiquette (something that isn't neccesarily universal), and after completing all 100 minigames, you are ranked on how considerate you are.
There are two other games in the series, offering more scenarios - I think it's a fun budget game.
(Edited to fall under 100 words, and include the game title in the body)
There is no page up for Lovekami -Healing Harem- . Which isn't really a good game at all but I have OCD about not being able to rate it.
I recommended Slap City. An SSB Melee-style brawler with really really silly characters and a surprisingly fun adventure mode campaign.
You didn't miss it, I bought Yoku's Island Express off the back of your review. It is such a great game but I think it doesn't get the love it deserves.
@somnambulance Just wanted you to know that I ran this suggestion up the flagpole, but editorial decided to pass on us covering it. I think I might scoop it up myself though, this looks like a cool platformer! Kinda gives me Alwa's Awakening vibes.
@SwitchVogel Ah, editorial, hear my pleas! Lol.
This is a game that could seriously use some exposure though. It has one review on Opencritic! A bit of coverage in the form of a review could help this game get somewhere, I believe.
I think I prefer the Alwa titles to Belle Boomerang personally, but I loved both of those titles too. Alwa’s Legacy is a serious contender for “Most Underrated Game of 2020” or “Most Underrated Indie on Switch.”
Belle is a different beast from Alwa though. Belle is a platformer plain and simple, but it’s got a lot of charm. It immediately reminded me more of Celeste or Cuphead for some reason too. It doesn’t play or look like Celeste or Cuphead (well, perhaps a bit more like Celeste, but you know what I mean), but it has that, “I failed… I’m frustrated… But I can’t give up! I must master this!” feeling to it.
I've already sent you guys a few last time so I'm not going to send it again as you still haven't reviewed it.
Skul: The Hero Slayer
A great Dead Cells game that even has the Beheaded from Dead Cells in it as a playable character!
Seriously good game.
There is a page on Pico Park but no review
i'd rate it a 7/10
I din’t think you did the punching pinguinngame yet which is nice ouzzle game..
Oh and more recent.. squad 51,
Squad 51 is a horizontal shmup in the style of the black and white movie. In a way it is to horizon shmups what cuphead is to run and gun games, a bit more b-movie though. And 12 gb. 8/10
Oh and you never did botvice.
Botvice is operation wolf for the 80s in a lovely pixel art style with you being a robocop like lady out for revenge. Lots of levels nd challenges keep this hard game replayable. 8/10
When a witch loses her breakfast, shet gets nasty. In this shmup with fantasy zone colours, but effective mechanics you’ll eo everything for your hazelnut. Hex is dutch for witch btw. But with an X (Heks)
Technically I haven't mentioned Risk of Rain 2 on this site today. Buuuuut it's still better on PC, at least for some of the survivors. Huntress, one of the ones that's available from the jump, is great for stick aiming.
Risk of Rain Returns still gonna be great on console as a 2D platform based game.
I don’t recall seeing a review, heck barely a mention, for Remnant: From the Ashes or Little Witch Nobeta. Both are great games.
@Owl1 NintendoLife did review forgotton anne with 8/10.
@Freek They do say above 'Remember, we won't be reviewing these games'. If they like your mini-review and there hasn't already been one for the game, they sometimes post it in a later article so effectively you are the reviewer. If they didn't post yours before, make sure it is written in a way they could post it. I forget whether skul has been in one of these articles before, but I agree it's a good game.
I like this article series, but I do wish they would link the user mini-reviews articles to the games so that people can actually find them in the future.
@SwitchVogel Dev here, that breaks my heart to hear! I'm glad to hear the review code at least reached the team. Have fun trying it out on your own!
@somnambulance I am very glad to hear you liked it! I've been on a huge NES kick the past few years and it was a bit of a passion project of mine. I hope you enjoy the rest of the game!
@FishyS okay... I'll go read that lol
why make it sound like a contest?
@Lady_Galadhiel They already reviewed cattails, and the sequels not out on switch yet.
@DavidMac That was my favorite game that I played last year. The artwork, story, and gameplay were great! Also, good god the music that played before it got dark would give me a panic attack & send me running to a campsite!
@Narwhalnut To my knowledge, we didn't receive a review code, but I'm not usually the contact who receives them direct from publishers or developers. All the same, I just bought it myself, it looks pretty cool to me!
@SwitchVogel @Narwhalnut @dartmonkey
Oh my gosh, Narwhalnut joined NLife like an hour ago to respond to me directly and to have his heart broken all in the same digital breath. My goodness! But I also feel incredibly honored, sort of like a celebrity said, “Hi” to me.
Hey, I don’t know if you guys would be into the idea, but I’d write the review totally for free to help get the word out on the game if you want. I’d be more than happy to do it (although I might be sort of biased because I sort of wish I could get a t-shirt to support the game too). I’d be as scathing as a guy who wants merch from a game can be. Let me know. I do have writing samples if need be!
@SwitchVogel Ah, that makes sense. Well, either way, I appreciate you bringing it up!
@somnambulance I've been reading Nintendo Life for a while and your comment made my day! I just wanted say "thank you" for the kind words!
Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi still has no review on here and its pretty great.
@Narwhalnut Hey, the thank you is all mine. I’m absolutely loving the game so far. Belle Boomerang is the most I’ve enjoyed an indie game in a while. I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it. I’m totally serious about writing the review if NLife’ll let me (and also totally serious about getting merch if you make any). Thank you for making such a wonderful little gem of a title. And for having the idea to bring us back boomerang gameplay! I feel like I haven’t used a boomerang in a game since the Adventure Island series fizzled out. Seriously, great job on the game!
I had been playing Foregone and Shaolin vs. Wutang for a while now. Both interesting games. Definitely should do a review on em.
Love it when developers get in on the comment section. I do a daily scanning on Deku Deals of recently released games, and Belle Boomerang definitely caught my eye, as well. Glad to hear a couple positive takes on it.
Here was what I submitted:
1. Vengeful Heart - It's a cyberpunk visual novel. It's basically kinetic, with only one choice. But the story is absolutely amazing. It's not a romance, but a political sci-fi story with action centred around a group of 4 characters where water is privatized. It's a good length too, at about 10 hrs of reading.
2. Cleo - A Pirate's Tale: I picked this one up on a whim, as I liked the design. It's a point and click, with great voice acting, an engaging (and funny story) and puzzles that perfectly skirt the line of challenging without being obscure. Only complaint was the length at about 3 hrs, but it was a really fun 3 hrs.
@mattesdude I concur about Donut Dodo! Amazing how well they captured that 80s arcade style and it's modernized just enough.
I will probably re-recommend Pipe Push Paradise. Great mellow brain teaser for any puzzle fan. :v
You guys should review Breath of the Wild. It's a pretty good game i think you'd like it.
Thanks for letting me know, I must have missed that one.
@somnambulance @Narwhalnut @SwitchVogel
We review a huge number of games every year, but with so many releasing we're not able to cover everything we'd like to, unfortunately! That's the primary reason we started this series, to showcase gems our readers have enjoyed that we weren't able to highlight with a review.
@FishyS I've tweaked the tags on all the past 'Games We Missed' articles in the series, so now the relevant one will appear on the relevant game page. That should make finding the specific recommendation easier!
MetaCritic page for every new Switch game:
@dartmonkey I gotcha on that. I was happy I got some people to play Momodora after the last posting of this series. I chose to become a supporter largely because I love that you and your team focus on a lot of games that honestly wouldn’t see much daylight from other large-scale Nintendo sites. You guys have got a good balance on the indie coverage and do put out an insane amount of reviews, which I appreciate immensely. I’ve been sold on many games that have been reviewed by the staff here! There’s no doubt about that.
I am earnest in that I would write a review for the game for free for you all (therefore, no effort on your part), but I understand if that is not permissible as well. Sort of a dream and bucket list item for me to get published for a video game review, so my apologies if I became a bit overzealous and overstepped my bounds in requesting to write one. Thanks anyway for your response!
@dartmonkey Of course! That is completely understandable. I appreciate you all's consideration and appreciate this hidden gems series. You guys do a great job here at NintendoLife!
PLEASE do a review on Beeny by Siactro. He's the Toree 3D dev, and it has immaculate DKC vibes!
Umurangi Generation - Special Edition could definitely use some love! (Neither original or SE got an NL review)
Really unique and fantastic photography game, developed by a Maori fella, taking photos of odd things in post-Kaiju apocalyptic New Zealand. Special Ed includes gyro which is perfect for holding the camera and the neon artstyle rocks.
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