Usually during the week leading up to The Game Awards, all of our attention is typically pointed at the biggest AAA studios in the world of video games as we wonder “what’s next?” for the biggest franchises in the world. This has never been truer than this year, as we move closer and closer to next-gen experiences from PlayStation and Xbox.
However, one console manufacturer started their next generation early —and as the Nintendo Switch moves from strength to strength, it’s nice to take a step back and look at what smaller developers are doing on the system.
Without further build up, here are what we consider to be the highlights of Nintendo’s December 2019 Indie World software showcase:
Perhaps the most exciting announcement of the entire showcase, this sequel to the beloved 2017 indie surprise Golf Story looks to be arriving sooner than fans expected. An adventure said to feature golf, tennis, fishing, dungeons and espionage —as well as mini-games and a hunt for treasure, this game looks to be bigger and better than its prequel in every way.
When Shuntaro Furukawa became Nintendo’s CEO, he went on record saying that the original game was his favourite release for the Nintendo Switch, so Sidebar Games are probably feeling a lot of pressure to deliver something special.
From the trailer it looks like another hole-in-one from the studio and we’re eager to get our hands on it as soon as we can, but as of yet the game has no release date.
Streets of Rage 4
Next up was the trailer for Streets of Rage 4, a retro revival beat ‘em up project watched avidly by Mega Drive (Genesis) fans from around the globe. The trailer revealed both that Adam Hunter was a playable brawler for the first time since the original Streets of Rage back in 1991 and that the game would release on Nintendo Switch in the first half of 2020.
Hidekazu Nakajima’s Hollow Knight inspired platformer Gleamlight will apparently release in Early 2020. Interestingly, the game will feature no UI or text of any sort and the voice-over on the presentation said that “the game knows how players like you think’ and will “guide you through without anything unnecessary like words”. How odd.
Talos Principle Deluxe
First released back in 2014 to a positive reception, this first-person puzzler has been released on just about everything, including smartphones. With a strong narrative that leans heavily on mythology and philosophy —and gameplay that can be played in long stretches or just one puzzle at a time, this one feels like a good fit for the Switch. It’s out on the eShop today.
Bake ‘N Switch
This upcoming multi-platform release from Streamline Games looks like it fits into the frantic party genre that has been steadily gaining in popularity since the release of Overcooked! all the way back in 2016.
In Bake ‘N Switch, you can team up with or go against up to 4 players as your group punches, combines and bakes as much dough as it can for the guardians of dough, before the timer runs out. Looks hectic.
The Survivalists is a procedurally generated survival game set in the world and ever-familiar art style of The Escapists. In this new release, you and up to three friends make the most of living on a deserted island and exploring long-abandoned ancient temples.
We didn’t get to see very many gameplay mechanics in the trailer, but we did get to see that you can pay off monkeys with bananas, so the familiar humor from Mouldy Toof Studios is probably still there.
Axiom Verge 2
It wasn’t too long ago that it seemed like Nintendo wasn’t really planning on making Metroid titles anymore. Thankfully, a fan took it into his own hands and along came Axiom Verge.
Axiom Verge is a tense, atmospheric, moody sci-fi Metroid-like, with interesting abilities and weapons. The game took five years to make, but was a hit with fans. No one knew what would come next from Thomas Happ, the solo developer behind the project.
Turns out, he’s working on a sequel. Details are a bit thin on the ground at present, but just knowing it’s on the way is exciting. We can’t wait to see what it’s like.
This wasn’t the best Nindie Showcase that Nintendo has done, but as you can see above, there were still a handful of interesting titles that were announced. Switch has had a phenomenal year and the upcoming line-up of games remains strong regardless of the showing today.
We’ll probably hear about upcoming AAA Nintendo releases at The Game Awards on Friday, so be sure to check in on that later in the week.