Summer Game Fest is over for another year, and it was a pretty jam-packed event. There are still plenty of stuff to come out of the show over the coming weeks, but what did we get up to while we were in Downtown Los Angeles for a week?

Well, we'll spare you the details of the refreshing drinks and poolside antics — it wasn't really that glamourous — but we're ready to talk about most of the games we played.

As expected, offerings for Nintendo Switch (given the Big N's absence from the showcase) were relatively light in comparison to other platforms, but we managed to get our hands on some of the biggest titles of the show, alongside some smaller indies and other games that may be coming to Switch in the future. No promises! Some have gotten their own write-ups already (you'll find links below), and you'll find our thoughts on all the others right here.

Note: We'll be updating this with all our coverage from Summer Game Fest 2024 as it's published, so keep your eyes peeled.

Every Nintendo Switch game we played at Summer Game Fest 2024

Here's a list of every Switch game we played, in alphabetical order.

Afterlove EP (October)

Afterlove EP is the passion project of a group of developers brought together by the late Mohammad Fahmi, who also created the concept of this and Coffee Talk. Music, art, and Jakarta are the very heart of this game, which sees a young boy struggle to get over the death of his girlfriend. Part visual novel, part rhythm game, we played through the opening minutes of this lovely adventure, and we came very close to sobbing.

The beautiful hand-drawn art style mixes sparse colours, sketchy lines, and splashes of detail. And with Fahmi's love of Jakarta, the developers have done the city justice. Afterlove EP is aiming for an October 2024 release. Is this why they call it the Blues?

Arranger: A Role-Puzzling Adventure (25th July)

Coming early on this list, this was our final appointment at Summer Game Fest Play Days, and boy, what a way to cap off the long weekend. Arranger is full-to-bursting with charm, wit, and brain teasers, taking the RPG genre and turning it into one big grid-based puzzler. It's got a bit of Zelda, a bit of Carto, and a very big dollop of its own identity.

Check out our thoughts on the first 45 minutes of the game below.

Critter Café (2024)

Announced during the Wholesome Direct, Critter Café is an adorable life sim all about creating the perfect cafe for you and your little creatures.

Developed by Sumo Digital in Newcastle, Critter Café actually started out as a Game Jam project led by Sumo's Eleanor Gregory. But everyone loved it so much that the team decided to throw its weight behind it and develop a full-fledged adventure.

For one, there's very little limit to how much you can decorate your café. You can change the wallpaper and put as many tables and chairs down as you want. Gregory told us that it's all about player expression, right down to the character creator, where nothing is gender-locked.

While managing your café and serving your customers is part of the process, you also need to save animals by rescuing them from rifts. This involves solving light puzzles. The one we got to try involved us breaking crystals and pushing blocks around, and apparently, this is what most rescue missions will be like. Kid-friendly, accessible, and rewarding.

The only other aspect to note is that your critter options in the café are crucial. Some patrons like certain types of critters, while other times, you'll get a request to host an event, and the host will request specific critters.

Secret Mode is publishing Critter Café, and the game is due to launch sometime in 2024 on Switch and Steam.

Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake (14th November)

When Square Enix invited us to check out a "highly-anticipated" remake, our hearts were aflutter. But it couldn't prepare us for the joy we'd feel walking into the room and seeing the updated art and beautiful HD-2D visuals of the Dragon Quest II HD-2D Remake. We actually got to play this both in London and at Summer Game Fest, so make sure you see what a relative newcomer and a Dragon Quest fan thinks of the remake:

Fear the Spotlight (2024)

Blumhouse Games showed off multiple titles at Summer Game Fest, but only one of them was actually playable — Fear the Spotlight. Cozy Game Pals' debut PS1-style horror is the flagship title for the new publisher, and it's coming to all consoles and PC later this year. It knows what it's doing, and it's doing it confidently. Check out our thoughts on the 20-minute demo below:

Hello Kitty Island Adventure (2025)

Hello Kitty Island Adventure is one of the most successful games on the Apple Arcade surface, and in 2025, the adorable life sim will be coming to Switch. It's not just about Hello Kitty either — multiple Sanrio characters are available for you to interact with, and there are tons of things to do at Big Adventures Park. We played this one at Summer Game Fest ahead of its Nintendo Direct announcement. Spoilers — we were really impressed with the scope of this one.

LEGO Horizon Adventures (Holiday 2024)

Okay, who had this on their bingo card, then? LEGO Horizon Adventures was heavily rumoured, but a Switch port was never even part of that debate. Then bam, Summer Game Fest Live 2024 kicked off and minifig Aloy's brick adventure is first up, looking to be a much more lighthearted take on Guerrilla Games' series. This means that yes, the Horizon series is coming Switch.

We spent time playing on PS5 at Summer Game Fest, and we're hugely impressed.

Neva (2024)

Nomada Studios' highly-anticipated follow-up to GRIS made its playable debut at this year's Summer Game Fest. Apart from making us cry during the live show, Neva is absolutely nailing everything we expect from this beautifully individualistic indie studio. And, after spending an hour playing the game (in a cosy little booth complete with tree trunk tables), we think you'll need the tissues ready.

SteamWorld Heist II (8th August)

Image & Form's strategy sequel is looking extremely good. We spent around an hour on the high seas, playing around on the world map and getting to grips with the combat and the new characters and classes.

That's all we can say for now, but check back here at Nintendo Life soon for more of our thoughts on SteamWorld Heist II.

Sonic X Shadow Generations (25th October)

Sonic X Shadow Generations was one of the biggest titles at Summer Game Fest, certainly for us. This updated version of Sonic Generations on PS3, Xbox 360, and 3DS brings beautifully updated visuals and a whole new campaign featuring Shadow the Hedgehog.

We've got concerns about how the game will run on Switch, but you can check out our detailed thoughts on what we've managed to play so far.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble (25th June)

We're only weeks away from the first brand-new (non-mobile) Super Monkey Ball game in over ten years, and Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble is looking... pretty good. With plenty of cutscenes with the adorable new monkey, tons of new stages, and a bunch of multiplayer modes, this will likely be a hit with families over the summer.

Otherwise... this is Super Monkey Ball as you know it. We're excited to dig into the single-player levels, but we're a little sad that fan-favourite minigames aren't making a return. It's also bringing back the challenge, too, and we struggled to get some of the little "achievements".

Fun fact, readers — this is the only Nintendo exclusive we got to play at the show. Everything else is coming to Switch and something else.

Tales of the Shire: A "The Lord of the Rings" Game (Winter 2024)

A cosy Lord of the Rings game isn't the first thing that comes to mind, but Weta Workshop is taking us to Hobbiton with Tales of the Shire. This is a little more than just a life/farm-sim — it's all about food and cooking. The game really nails the feeling of a Hobbit-starring game, and in-motion, it looks and feels pretty great.

The Plucky Squire (2024)

We don't want to pick a favourite, but The Plucky Squire might actually take the cake out of all the games we played at Summer Game Fest. This delightful action platformer from All Possible Futures is bursting with joy, creativity, and fun. We hope this looks and runs well on Switch, because we think this could be a special game. For more detailed thoughts, have a read of our hands-on impressions.

While Waiting (TBA)

What about a WarioWare that's all about waiting for things to happen?

We think that's a pretty good summary of what While Waiting is. It's a collection of 'minigames' where you have to wait for things to happen. Wait for the bus. Wait for the rain to stop. Wait for the traffic to clear. But you don't have to just sit there and wait. You can accomplish hilarious tasks along the way like collecting ducks and getting run over. Ah yes, that lovely, harmless task of being hit by a car...

The game is coming to PC first, with Switch a priority after that, according to the developers. Touch control isn't planned, and the movement feels a little slow, but this drew a chuckle out of us during our short 10 minutes with the game.

Yars Rising (2024)

WayForward and Atari have teamed up to take an iconic Atari series (Yars) and spin it in an entirely different direction. Pepper in hundreds of nods to Atari's history — such as power-ups based on arcade cabinets and bosses entirely framed around an Atari game, and you get Yars Rising.

It's part Metroidvania, part stealth game, and part hacking game. You can hack terminals to get new abilities for Emi, and one ability we got taallowed Emi to shoot enemies. Another saw her using a jetpack-like jump. The game also has that classic WayForward sense of style and humour; it's extremely loud and colourful.

2024 has been a banner year for Metroidvanias already, and there are still plenty more to come, but will Yars Rising be able to stand out? We're not too sure this early on, but we'll find out later in 2024 if WayForward has the magic once again.

We recently spoke to WayForward and Atari about this new collaboration, so check out that interview for more:

Games we expect/hope come to Switch (or its successor)

Here are games which haven't been officially announced for Switch yet, but which seem like safe bets if you ask us.

The Rogue Prince of Persia (2025)

Evil Empire is already an expert in the roguelike genre, and Prince of Persia's acrobatic movements are a perfect fit. The Rogue Prince of Persia is a no-brainer, then, and we're surprised it hasn't been done before now.

The game is actually already out in Early Access on Steam, but we got to play it at Summer Game Fest and get a sneak peek of the latest update which dropped on 10th June, The Temple of Fire. The game combines the Prince's sleek movements with the try-and-try-again mentality of a roguelike, and with each run, you'll get new weapons, new power-ups, and new bonuses.

The Prince does feel a little floaty, but we got used to it, making our way to the first major boss during our 45 minutes with the game. Of course, we'd depleted our health and healing so we didn't quite make it, but what was clear was that The Rogue Prince of Persia is great at teaching you how to improve.

A Switch release for The Rogue Prince of Persia isn't confirmed, but Evil Empire's Dead Cells is on consoles. We're fairly confident we'll see this one on Nintendo systems once 2025 rolls around.

UFO50 (18th September)

Mossmouth has been quite working away at UFO50, an absolutely mammoth game that consists of 50 separate video games all developed by a fictional video game company for a fictional video game system. The game got a launch date during Day of the Devs — 18th September — but it's PC-only for now. At the event, the team did indicate they wanted to bring the game to consoles, and with Spelunky already sitting cosy on Switch, it's surely just a matter of time.

Anyway, we tried out a few of the co-op games. One was like a mix of Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands where you kick soccer balls to hit enemies and progress. Another used taiyaki — fish-shaped cakes from Japan — instead of spaceships, and we flew through sweet-themed levels. And another was a take on Pocky & Rocky, a delightfully cartoon NES-style shooter.

UFO50 feels like a huge achievement, and Mossmouth has been working with other developers to create a range of experiences, from short arcade games to longer platformers. We can't wait to check this out on Steam later this year, and hopefully, the wait for console versions isn't much longer.

All Summer Game Fest 2024 Showcase Round-Ups

If you're looking for an overview of the games shown off during the many showcases of Summer Game Fest 2024, we have a compilation of several for you below:

What have you thought of this year's Summer Game Fest? We'll have more previews to share over the coming days and weeks, so keep Nintendo Life bookmarked - and let us know your hot takes and impressions in the comments.