It's hard to believe the Switch is already a year old. Many of us here at Nintendo Life fondly remember queuing up for our first look at the console that would capture the hearts of millions worldwide and garner both critical acclaim and massive support from developers large and small. It's no secret that games like The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey have helped drive the platform's success, but the Switch has also received unprecedented support from indies as well.
To celebrate the Switch's success with indies, we polled our staff to bring you our top ten eShop titles from the Switch's first year.
10. Stardew Valley
As soon as Nintendo Switch was properly announced, fans began clamouring for a port of Eric Barone's Harvest Moon-alike, Stardew Valley Its charming visuals and relaxed, but intricate gameplay drew in millions of gamers worldwide. In fact, the game was such a hit that it was the most downloaded eShop title in all of 2017, despite being released in October.
9. Floor Kids
While Floor Kids hasn't enjoyed the same mainstream popularity as its predecessor on our list, its charming art style, catchy beats and slick dance moves have won us over. The multiplayer is addictive and the story mode is a delight, which is a rarity in the rhythm game genre. With some killer tracks on its soundtrack and a look and feel unlike anything else on the eShop, it's a curio that's absolutely worth your time, despite the strangeness of its concept. If you haven't yet played Floor Kids, we highly recommend it.
8. FAST RMX
If you've been reading Nintendo Life over the past few years, you know we love the FAST series. Though Nintendo doesn't seem to have plans for the long-dormant F-Zero franchise at this time, Shin'en has dutifully stepped up to fill that void in our souls. FAST RMX takes everything we loved about Fast Racing NEO on Wii U and turns it up. RMX was the first Nindie to show off what the newborn handheld was truly capable of, and we were blown away. To date it stands as one of the best racers on Switch (bar a certain Mario-related one, that is).
Even after several console generations, this is still a bit odd, but one of the best Nindie titles is... a SEGA game? Yes, we can hardly believe it either. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a wonderful throwback to the days of the 8-bit console wars. SEGA's ill-fated precursor to the Mega Drive, or the Genesis as it's called in the States was the Master System. Master System ended up as little more than a footnote in gaming history thanks to the unstoppable might of the NES, but it was home to some truly classic games. Not content to let Dragon's Trap be forgotten, Lizardcube swooped up the rights to the title and faithfully remade for a new generation, then added a layer of gorgeous hand-drawn HD art on top. It really must be played to be believed.
The original SteamWorld Dig is a much-beloved indie on its own, but its sequel improves on the original in nearly every way. Okay, technically, it's the fourth game in the series, but who's counting? Image & Form's mainline sequel ditched the procedurally-generated levels in favour of hand-made ones that showcased the talent for world design at the Swedish studio. You can still mine away to your heart's content, but now there's now a great focus on platforming, combat and good old-fashioned exploration. An absolute gem you really should own already.
Snipperclips is in a way the original Switch Nindie. In the weeks preceding the Switch's worldwide launch, it was heavily marketed by Nintendo, and it's easy to see why. SFB Games, a small UK-based developer worked closely with Nintendo on the title, creating something so intrinsically linked to the motion-control/HD Rumble features of Switch you'd think it came straight from the Big N intself. The papercraft-style art and simple play style make for a party game that is deceptively tricky.
4. Sonic Mania
Another SEGA game on a Nintendo list? SEGA isn't indie you say? Well, you'd be right on both counts. Thing is, Sonic Mania wasn't developed by SEGA. Instead, Headcannon and PagodaWest Games - led by longtime Sonic enthusiast and programmer Christian Whitehead - crafted the best Sonic game in many years. SEGA's beleaguered blue mascot has had a rough decade or so, but the back-to-basics platformer took the world by storm and reminded players of the blue blur's halcyon days. We liked it a lot.
It's hard to believe that a few years ago, Shovel Knight didn't exist. The series is beloved by many the world over, became a poster child for the success that can be had on Kickstarter and is to date the only eShop title to have its very own amiibos. Amid all its success, Yacht Club Games managed to get Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove - a title containing the original Shovel Knight as well as its two excellent add-ons - all into one Switch eShop-bound package. The Shovel Knight series is a loving homage to the 8-bit days and is a must-have for any Switch owner.
Celeste is one of the freshest additions to this list, but it's newcomer status doesn't retract from the sheer magnificence of its mountainous splendor. Mixing pixel art visuals with twitch-style platforming, this indie hit also weaved in a storyline that's as gripping as the long ascent to the top of the titular land mass. It might seem one of those games that everyone is fawning over, but don't let that put you off. This is one the best games we've played in a long while, so you absolutely need to pick this up if you haven't already.
Rocket League is quite possibly one of the most popular games on the planet right now, and its appearance on Nintendo Switch marked the first time the wildly popular rocket-car-football game has appeared on a Nintendo platform. Its short matches and cross-platform play make it a great fit for the Switch eShop, and developer Psyonix's constant stream of updates keep players playing to unlock the latest loot, even if it is behind random crates. Who knew a football game with cars could be so acrobatic and so deep? An instant classic.
What is your favourite Switch eShop game from year one? (381 votes)
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap
SteamWorld Dig 2
Snipperclips - Cut it out, together!
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
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And there you have it, Nintendo Life's top 10 eShop games of year one. What's your favourite indie? Is there something we missed that we absolutely should check out? Let us know with a comment.