Yoku's Island Express is a genuine breath of fresh air, combining pinball and Metroidvania mechanics in a way that feels truly inspired. Add in one of the most appealing fantasy worlds you'll find on the eShop, and you have yourself an instant left-field classic.
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If you haven’t played Cave Story yet, you need to; it’s an essential title for any fan of Metroidvania style games. Its wonderful pacing, fantastic controls and charming visuals make it a must-have for fans of the genre, especially those that have yet to play it. If there was the equivalent of a required reading list for games, Cave Story+ would be on it.
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.
Monster Boy is a tremendous accomplishment. It’s a gorgeous looking game with a fantastic soundtrack and does its spiritual predecessors proud by nailing the Wonder Boy mechanics while still offering something that will appeal to modern audiences. As long as you can appreciate that it’s still very much an old-school game at heart and you’re going to get some 8-bit era platforming trickiness as a result, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy playing through this adventure for the 12-15 hours it’ll take you to beat it. It may not be Wonder Boy by name, but it’s definitely wonderful by nature.
Owlboy is a three-pronged attack of success: the gameplay is tight, satisfying, and remains fresh throughout; the game’s world is visually stunning thanks to some truly masterful pixel art and you’ll find yourself really caring about the cast of characters and the world surrounding them thanks to a compelling storyline and background lore. This is a game that is absolutely worth your time; if anything we’ve mentioned above has you even remotely intrigued by this game, we urge you to consider giving it a go.
This cat knows where it's at. With tight controls, retro-styled minimal art style and a superb sense of progression, Gato Roboto is the perfect Metroidvania (or Meowtroidvania) to play whilst you’re waiting for an actual Metroid or appropriate Castlevania game. Only its difficulty leaves a bit to be desired at times - anybody with a lick of experience will likely breeze through it in no time, and we wish it lasted a little longer. Nevertheless, some people may well see its brevity as a plus point and the game is chock full of meaningful upgrades, secrets and spectacular boss battles to keep you busy, if only for a few hours.
Gorgeous to behold and equally delightful to play, Timespinner is yet another top-notch Metroidvania on Switch. A lack of tough exploration challenges and an under-utilised time-freeze gimmick aside, it succeeds in using the popular genre as a vehicle for a genuinely intriguing science-fantasy tale that will motivate players to explore every inch of its fantastic pixel-art world.
Blasphemous is a beautifully crafted Soulslike/Metroidvania action game set in a delightfully unhinged, deliriously gory world filled with well-designed enemies, satisfyingly meaty combat and some truly memorable and grotesque boss battles. Platforming sections are uniformly well-crafted and the whole thing comes together to create one of the most visually arresting and solidly enjoyable action titles currently available on Switch. Spanish developers The Game Kitchen have created a nightmare world in Cvstodia, one that will truly test your combat and platforming skills and leave you begging for more come that final bloody battle.
What we have here is a flawless port of a game which nobody expected to see on Switch, and it absolutely deserves all of the praise it has received. From start to finish, Ori and the Blind Forest is a real joy to play. Challenging yet never feeling unfair or discouraging, and almost relaxing to control, the mesmerising art style and musical score are the icing on the cake that makes the player actually care about the protagonist and want to keep playing to the game’s conclusion. It is a surprise to see this game make its way to the Nintendo Switch, but we’re very glad that it has - it's an unmissable experience.