Nintendo has stated that they would like to see 20-30 games released on the Switch EVERY WEEK. Fans are concerned as these games will be mostly filled with shovelware, but deep within that shovelware there will be some hidden gems on Nintendo Switch.
This list is not to list the best indie games on the system, and if that’s what you were hoping for then you can click the link right here. No, this list is to highlight those games that you may just scroll past as you’re searching for that one big title; titles that we believe deserve their chance in the spotlight.
Disclaimer: We will only list hidden gems on Nintendo Switch that we have personally played ourselves, so please feel free to list any suggestions in the Comments section below and we’ll be sure to consider it when we update this list. Also, all prices listed are in USD.
These hidden gems on Nintendo Switch are in no particular order as they are so unique that it is difficult to rank them. That being said, let’s get to it…
Horizon Shift ’81
Developed By Flump Studios
Published By Funbox Media
Genre Arcade / Shooter / Action
Horizon Shift ‘81 is a love letter to classic arcade shoot ‘em ups, recreating that feeling of walking up to an arcade machine for the very first time, but with modern twists to pull it into the 21st century. It may not look like much at first, but Horizon Shift ‘81 is a breath of fresh air to a genre that can often grow stale.
If you’d like to learn more about Horizon Shift ’81, click here to check out our review.
Developed By Sometimes You
Published By Sometimes You
Genre Adventure / Platformer / Puzzle / Education
The Mooseman is a 2D puzzle adventure game that has you solving riddles in order to pass through planes of existence and make your way to The Upper World. Inspired by pagan myths of the Chud’ and Finno-Urgic tribes, encounter forgotten gods and unlock new abilities as you make your way through the layers of creation. For what this game may lack in challenge, it makes up for in its setting, presentation and education. The Mooseman offers memorable picturesque moments that you wouldn’t normally find in most mainstream games.
If you’d like to learn more about The Mooseman, click here to read our review.
Jotun: Valhalla Edition
Developed By Thunder Lotus Games
Published By Thunder Lotus Games
Genre Action / Adventure
Jotun: Valhalla Edition is a beautifully hand-drawn action game that immerses you in Norse mythology. Thora, a female viking warrior who has suffered an inglorious death, must prove herself to the Gods in order to enter Valhalla. Featuring nine levels filled to the brim with Viking mythology, take down ferocious Jotuns (giant Norse elementals) with Thora’s two-handed axe and powers bestowed upon her by the gods. While the game has been on many consoles (including Wii U), the game’s polish and unique premise is certainly cause for more notoriety. Jotun: Valhalla Edition is a beautifully rendered action game that is as challenging as it is beautiful.
Gyro Boss DX
Developed By Chequered Ink
Published By Chequered Ink
Genre Action / Arcade / Party
Players 1 – 4
Gyro Boss DX is a fantastic example of how a game can have such a lasting impact with such simple graphics and controls. This hidden gem is a retro inspired bullet-hell arcade game that has you circling an invading alien and dodging the projectiles that come your way. The game also comes complete with a Party Mode that pits you against your friends and family in a last man standing deathmatch.
If you’d like to learn more about Gyro Boss DX, click here to read our review.
Developed By Parallel Circles
Published By Deck 13
Genre Action / Arcade / Party / Platformer
Flat Heroes is a platformer with a minimalistic art style, but the game packs in so much more than what you’d initially think. Packed with more than 300 bite-sized levels, as well as daily challenges, unlimited survival levels and online leaderboards, this game is packed with content for such a low price. The gameplay is smooth and refined, requiring you to avoid oncoming hazards from multiple directions and survive until they stop. It starts off easy, but you’ll soon find yourself dying multiple times in a single levels. Flat Heroes is certainly a game to challenge any seasoned platforming fan.
If you’d like to learn more about Flat Heroes, click here to read our review.
Developed By GalaxyTrail
Published By Marvelous (XSEED)
Genre Action / Adventure / Platformer
On its initial release in 2014, 2D Sonic fans rejoiced as Freedom Planet represented a lot of what fans of the blue hedgehog were missing. However now that we’re living in a post-Sonic Mania world, that doesn’t take away everything that is unique about this hidden gem. Play as the dragon Lilac, the feline Carol and Milla the shy puppy on a quest to restore power to the Kingdom Stone that emits energy to the three kingdoms, but is beginning to weaken. The combat takes a more action/platformer approach, with a variety of attacks to dish out to your enemies. The story is deeper than you’d expect, with every single line of dialogue delivered with quality voice acting. Definitely not one to skip for Sonic fans, or simply fans of the 2D platformer genre.
Developed By Rainbow Train
Published By Rainbow Train
Hook is a very simple puzzle game that requires you to retract all of the lines to complete a level. However, this is easier said than done. The lines must be retracted in specific orders as one line’s path may be blocked by another. The game starts off easy, but quickly becomes a head-scratching brain-twister as the levels become more complex.
If you’d like to learn more about Hook, click here to read our review.
The Low Road
Developed By XGen Studios
Published By XGen Studios
Genre Adventure / Puzzle
Spy agencies in the 1970s were filled with danger and mystery, but when Noomi Kovaks is fresh out of spy school and lands a job at a spy agency that won’t let her out to the field, she takes matters into her own hands. Featuring over 32,000 words of fully voice-acted dialogue, The Low Road is filled with interesting characters and fantastic plot development. Use your wit to solve some branching dialogue puzzles in order to get the truth out of some wacky characters.
If you’d like to learn more about The Low Road, click here to read our review.
Published By Plug In Digital
Genre Platformer / Arcade / Action
Ever wanted to spray colored ink out of your gun and use that ink to reach certain areas. No we’re not talking about Splatoon; we’re talking about Splasher! This game takes place in a paint factory, and you are a worker that must stand up and fight back against Le Docteur in order to save the Splashers. With challenging platforming that forces you to utilize the game’s unique mechanics, Splasher is a one-of-a-kind 2D platformer that hasn’t had enough time in the spotlight.
If you’d like to learn more about Splasher, click here to read our Quick Review.
Developed By MixedBag Srl
Published By MixedBag Srl
Genre Action / Adventure / Arcade
Being the only Metroidvania on the list, Forma.8 is a unique take on the genre. Play as Forma.8, the little exploration probe tasked with the mission to recover a powerful energy source on an alien planet. With a colorful art style and a clean presentation, Forma.8 is a rich adventure that thrives in its simplistic graphics and surprisingly deep gameplay. Forma.8 is often on sale so it’s definitely a fantastic game to consider for a steal.
Poi: Explorer Edition
Developed By PolyKid, LLC
Published By PolyKid
Genre Platformer / Adventure
For those who grew up in the golden age of 3D platformers, Poi will surely tickle that nostalgia bone. Poi is an ambitious title that takes inspiration from classic Super Mario and Banjo-Kazooie games on the Nintendo 64. Embark on a grand adventure across many worlds, and don’t forget to pick up many collectibles along the way! If you’ve played Super Mario Odyssey and Yooka-Laylee and are still looking for more 3D platforming fun, then Poi should be your next choice.
If you’d like to know more about this game, then click here to read our review of Poi.
The Bug Butcher
Published By 2Awesome Studio
Genre Action / Arcade
Players 1 – 2
The Bug Butcher is a beautifully crafted arcade shooter that requires you to take down the bugs across 30 stages, picking up power-ups along the way to increase your chances. Whether you play in solo or co-op mode, this game is sure to bring a challenge to any skilled veteran, whilst never seeming impossible. The Bug Butcher has colorful graphics and fantastic humor to really bring so much personality in this simple but engaging arcade-inspired gem.