Moonstone Island

10+ Best Indie World Showcase Game

Still no Silksong, but there were plenty of other great-looking games.

Even as sales slow and fans eagerly await its successor, the Nintendo Switch has had a surprisingly strong year, and the company today promoted a slew of indie games that will fill out the console’s release calendar through 2024, ranging from a new Shantae action-platformer to a port of beloved cult-hit sci-fi mystery game Outer Wilds. Silksong, everyone’s favorite Hollow Knight sequel, is still missing.

Last month’s Super Mario Bros. Wonder was the fastest-selling game in the franchise’s history, and a remake of the legendary SNES classic Super Mario RPG is set to arrive later this month, capping off another successful year for the Switch. However, many smaller titles are coming to the device this Christmas season and beyond, and Nintendo has highlighted some of the 10+ Best Indie World Showcase Game as follows:

Shantae: Risky Revolution (WayForward)

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The 2D half-genie is getting another vintage sequel to the original 2002 Game Boy Color adventure (which sells for four figures on eBay and is still not in the Switch Online catalog). Risky Revolution will feature creature transformations and large boss encounters, as well as a four-player co-op mode with the ability to jump between the backdrop and foreground. It will be released sometime next year.

Outer Wilds: Archaeologist Edition (Mobius Digital/Annapurna Interactive)

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Outer Wilds was a fantastic space exploration puzzler that was also one of the finest games of 2019. It will finally be available on Switch on December 7th. If the performance and visuals are still intact on Switch, the Archaeologist Edition will include the Echoes of the Eye expansion and will be a must-play for everyone who hasn’t already experienced its captivating mysteries, deep secrets, and fantastic ending.

On Your Tail (Memorable Games/Humble Games)

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This is a new one about touring the beach community of Borgo Marina while gathering clues in the form of trading cards to figure out who’s been terrorizing the place. In this detective life sim mix, you play as the teenage detective Diana, who can chill, fish, and make new acquaintances. In 2024, it will be a limited-time Switch exclusive.

A Highland Song (Inkle)

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Another 2.5D story-driven platformer? Please sign me up. A Highland Song tells the story of Moira, a woman who embarks on a journey through the Scottish Highlands. There are rhythm-action components, with music determining how quickly you can progress and bad weather causing you to modify your strategy. Switch will release A Highland Song on December 5.

Backpack Hero (Jaspel/Different Tales)

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Another roguelike deck-building game? Sign me up for that as well! Backpack Hero appears to be a Dungeons & Dragons campaign reimagined as a Magic: The Gathering deck builder, however your arsenal is limited by how you organize the limited space in your backpack. Loot from dungeons is returned to help repair your village, which you can expand and decorate as you see fit. The game is now available.

Howl (Mi’pu’mi Games/Astragon Entertainment)

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Howl is a turn-based tactics game with a “living ink” graphic style that allows you to preview impending enemy attacks and plan multiple turns ahead of time, turning every encounter into a puzzle box. A plague is sweeping the planet, and the only way to combat it is to gather resources and improve your skills. You know, the routine. Howl is available now with a free demo.

Blade Chimera (Team Ladybug/WSS playground/Playism)

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Blade Chimera is a cyberpunk take on Castlevania. In recent years, there have been a lot of these throwback 2D action-platformers, but Blade Chimera’s art and skills make it feel like it could stand out. A Lumina Sword assists the hero in cutting down adversaries as well as restoring old areas of the environment to open up new paths forward. It will be a Switch-exclusive in the spring of 2024.

Death Trick: Double Blind (Misty Mountain Studio/Neon Doctrine)

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The circus has arrived in town, and someone has died…probably. Death Trick is a visual novel in which you play a detective who interviews acrobats and fire-breathers to discover what happened to a missing performer. It will be available on Switch in 2024, with a free demo available now.

The Star Named EOS (Silver Lining Studio/Playism)

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Consider a storybook in which you can delve into the pages and learn about your past experiences. That’s how The Star Called EOS appears. This cross-curricular activity “explores photography and the ways we can capture the fleeting moments that shape our lives.” It will almost certainly make you cry. The EOS Star will arrive on Switch in the spring of 2024.

Moonstone Island (Studio Supersoft/Raw Fury)

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Moonstone Island might just have it all: creature collecting, dungeon crawling, deck building, card-based combat, and life sim farming. Hopefully the adorable and colorful-looking mashup of Pokémon, Stardew Valley, and Slay the Spire is half as good as the recipe suggests. The initial reviews on PC have been great. It will be a Switch timed exclusive launching in spring 2024.

Core Keeper (Pugstorm/Fireshine Games)

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You probably know this one already. If you don’t, Core Keeper is kind of like Minecraft meets Zelda. Another way of saying that is it’s like crafting sim Terraria if it were top-down instead of a side-scroller. You dig tunnels to collect materials, items, and treasure that can be used to make a home-turned-factory deep underground while you search for an ancient relic. It features up to eight player co-op, lots of RPG elements, and some neat environments. The Switch port of the Steam hit is coming in summer 2024.

But wait, there’s more!

A sizzle reel near the end of the livestream also teased a bunch of other games coming to Nintendo Switch at the end of 2023 and in the year ahead. Here’s the PR:

While most of these games are still a couple of seasons away, Backpack Hero, Enjoy the Diner, and Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist are all out today. Howl and Death Trick: Double Blind also have free demos out today. The heavily rumored “Switch 2” could get revealed any day now, but there’s still a ton of games coming to the existing hardware. Hopefully all of them will be backward compatible on whatever new console Nintendo is currently cooking up.