Touhou Spell Bubble (Switch eShop)

Touhou Spell Bubble (Switch eShop)Touhou Spell Bubble (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Taito / Developer: Taito
Release Date: 29th Oct 2020 (USA) / 29th Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

Touhou Spell Bubble is a top-notch puzzler with a ton of content to enjoy. The wonky localisation is a little disappointing, especially from a well-established company like Taito, but ultimately it doesn’t hurt the experience to a significant degree – the mechanics are the real star here; a thoroughly enjoyable, very modern and hugely stylish take on Puzzle Bobble’s base formula.

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Grindstone (Switch eShop)

Grindstone (Switch eShop)Grindstone (Switch eShop)
Publisher: CAPY / Developer: Capybara Games
Release Date: 15th Dec 2020 (USA) / 15th Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

Compelling to a fault, with a hypnotic and exhilarating central conceit, Grindstone is a tiny bit special. Hopefully, it won't be dismissed by players for being a mobile port, or being mistaken for a "match-three" game akin to Candy Crush – it's not. A full-featured, elegantly designed experience, Capybara's action-puzzle-tactics game is a tiny marvel and we'd strongly recommend it to any and all Switch owners. Ever-so-slight resource exhaustion is the only thing letting it down, but it's easily forgiven when smashing seven shades of shawarma out of creeps is so flipping fun. We say it's time to reverse that well-worn idiom and put your yes to the Grindstone.

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon (Switch eShop)

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon (Switch eShop)Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Yacht Club Games / Developer: Yacht Club Games
Release Date: 13th Dec 2021 (USA) / 13th Dec 2021 (UK/EU)

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon is a smartly designed and truly delightful revitalization of the falling block puzzle genre. High intensity, combat-driven gameplay, oodles of replayability, a cute art style, and a surprising amount of depth make this one a ridiculously easy recommendation. If you’re at all a fan of Shovel Knight or falling block puzzlers, you owe it to yourself to give this a shot; even if you don’t fall neatly into either of those camps, we’d still very much suggest you give this one a look.

Tetris Effect: Connected (Switch eShop)

Tetris Effect: Connected (Switch eShop)Tetris Effect: Connected (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Enhance Games / Developer: Resonair
Release Date: 8th Oct 2021 (USA) / 8th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)

Tetris is one of the greatest video games of all time, and Tetris Effect: Connected is perhaps the best iteration of the classic puzzler yet. While this Switch port doesn't offer a great deal over existing versions in terms of features, it delivers the one key ingredient that its rivals cannot: portability. Sure, some will argue that Tetris Effect: Connected's unique brand of synesthesia only really comes alive when played on PSVR or an Oculus Quest headset, but we'd argue passionately that this game benefits far more from the ability to pick it up and play whenever, wherever. Just as the Game Boy and Tetris combined to create an irresistible, world-conquering fusion back in 1989, Tetris Effect: Connected has finally found the hardware that allows it to truly shine, making this an utterly essential purchase for all Nintendo Switch owners. Just don't forget those headphones.

So that’s our list of Switch mind-bending essentials. Puzzled by our choices and think we’ve overlooked something? Which ones have sucked hours of your life away? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.

Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!

If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.