When The Past Was Around (Switch eShop)

When The Past Was Around (Switch eShop)When The Past Was Around (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games / Developer: Mojiken Studio
Release Date: 15th Dec 2020 (USA) / 15th Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

Concise, carefully crafted and beautifully malleable in its meaning, When The Past Was Around is a rather gorgeous little art game that remembers it needs to be interesting in its puzzles as well as its narrative. Taking the principles of escape room-style gameplay and fitting them around its theme lends them a gravitas that belies their simplicity and elevates this game into more than just the indie flavour of the month. Sure, you're not likely to play it twice, but you'd be hard-pressed to forget about it.

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption (Switch eShop)

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption (Switch eShop)Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Silesia Games / Developer: Silesia Games
Release Date: 9th Feb 2021 (USA) / 9th Feb 2021 (UK/EU)

An engaging blend of fantasy RPG and point-and-click adventure, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a successful return to the Quest for Glory universe as well as a clever, addictive and highly replayable adventure game in its own right. Fans of the franchise will find lots of little references and in-jokes to revel in as they make their way through the substantial campaign, and newcomers should enjoy the well-written, smartly balanced mix of point-and-click puzzling, time/relationship management and turn-based combat on offer.

Sam & Max Save the World (Switch eShop)

Sam & Max Save the World (Switch eShop)Sam & Max Save the World (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Skunkape Games / Developer: Skunkape Games
Release Date: 2nd Dec 2020 (USA) / 2nd Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

This six-episode compilation remains just as entertaining as it ever was, and the remaster means Sam & Max Save the World feels far more stable than before. It's not the truly jaw-dropping complete makeover some may have been hoping for, but the former Telltale staff behind this remaster have clearly decided that they shouldn't fix what wasn't broken. Except the broken bits. But they've been fixed.

The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark (Switch eShop)

The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark (Switch eShop)The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Akupara Games / Developer: Spooky Doorway
Release Date: 15th Apr 2021 (USA) / 15th Apr 2021 (UK/EU)

By cutting back on the pop culture references and focusing more on unique characters and situations, The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark is a strong follow-up to Spooky Doorway’s point-and-click adventure. The game is certainly lengthier and grander in scope, and while it occasionally feels a tad bloated with unnecessary tasks, it’s largely an immensely fun ride with the same excellent visuals from the first game. If you enjoyed The Darkside Detective, then its sequel is an absolute no-brainer; for newcomers, you might want to consider checking out the first game before diving into this one.

Tales from the Borderlands (Switch eShop)

Tales from the Borderlands (Switch eShop)Tales from the Borderlands (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Take-Two Interactive / Developer: Take-Two Interactive
Release Date: 23rd Mar 2021 (USA) / 24th Mar 2021 (UK/EU)

Tales from the Borderlands is arguably Telltale Games' finest hour and easily one of the very best choice-driven narrative adventures available on any system. This is ten glorious hours' worth of top-notch entertainment with a world-class cast, consistently excellent writing that manages to perfectly balance comedy and drama, non-stop twisted action and a cast of kooky characters that are a joy to spend time with. This really is the best the Borderlands universe has ever been, and a game that everyone should experience at least once.

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Switch eShop)

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Switch eShop)There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Draw Me A Pixel / Developer: Draw Me A Pixel
Release Date: 14th Apr 2021 (USA)

When it comes down to it, There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is a bit of a misnomer. There is certainly a game to be found here, and it’s a ruddy good one. If you’re not a fan of point-and-click style adventure games, then you may want to look elsewhere, but with an experience packed with ingenious puzzles and excellent self-aware jokes, this is one of the strongest examples of the genre in recent years. It’s right up there with the best; don’t miss out.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (Switch eShop)

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (Switch eShop)Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Frogwares / Developer: Frogwares
Release Date: 3rd Feb 2022 (USA) / 3rd Feb 2022 (UK/EU)

A detective adventure with added minigames, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is the best Sherlock Holmes game we've encountered and a very auspicious debut for the consulting detective on Switch. This is far from a lazy downgrade, with developer Frogwares presenting a full-featured and compelling experience from start to perhaps-too-soon finish. It looks great and plays brilliantly, with only occasional annoyances and some weak (though thankfully skippable) puzzles to knock it down a peg. The fact that the game is willing to allow you to get it wrong means it feels less prescribed and inevitable as other titles in the detective genre, and that's quite refreshing. A little ironic that it took one of the form's oldest characters to finally land such a novel approach.

Here are a few more games bubbling under which didn't quite make the list, but may be worth checking out if you just can't stop pointing and/or clicking:

Think there's something missing from our list? Incandescent with rage at the inclusion of games that aren't pure point-and-click adventures? If it's the latter, perhaps go and open a window and have a little walk to cool off — if you think something brilliant is missing, though, point us in the right direction and we may add it.

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.