If it’s indies you want, you’re in luck (as long as you’re specifically wanting them on Switch); Nintendo has aired another instalment of its Indie World showcase, this time bringing news of a canceled Shantae revival, plague-themed turn-based tactics, a launch date for developer Inkle’s gorgeous hiking adventure A Highland Song, news of Outer Wilds’ long-awaited Switch release, and more. If you’re looking to catch up on the excitement, or simply need a reminder, you’ll find a full breakdown of everything featured during the show below.
Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution
Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution sees developer WayForward reviving the cancelled Game Boy Advance instalment of its acclaimed platform series nearly two decades on. To progress through its challenges, players will need to take advantage of Shantae’s animal transformation abilities, as well as her newfoud power to rearrange stages by switching the foreground and background, and it’ll also feature a 4-player local battle mode when it launches next year.
Developer Pugstorm’s Core Keeper is a “mining sandbox adventure” for up to eight players set in an “endless” procedurally generated cave system. There’s an ancient mystery to be solved, but doing so requires players to hone their survival skills by mining for relics and resources, building bases, growing crops, and hatching pets, as they push further into the subtarrenean world and take on its monsters. This one’s due to release for Switch in summer 2024.
On Your Tail
On Your Tail, developer Memorable Games’ “sleuthy story-driven life sim”, whisks players away to the sunkissed Italian seaside town of Borgo Marina where – as protagonist Diana – they’ll need to befriend the locals and search for clues in order to uncover the indentity of a masked menace. There’s a card-based element to investigations, but that’s paired with more traditional life sim elements like cooking and fishing as players attempt to enjoy their summer at the same time. On Your Tail hits Switch next year and will be a timed console exclusive.
If life sims aren’t your thing, there’s always Howl, a “turn-based tactical folk tale” set in medieval times from developer Mi’pu’mi Games. A sinister plague is sweeping across the land, passing from person to person through sound. Enter our deaf protagonist, who’ll need to battle the infected – now turned into feral beasts – by predicting enemy actions and planning their attacks up to six steps in advance, utilising the likes of vaulting abilities, piercing shots, and smoke bombs. Howl is out today on Switch, and there’s also a demo available on eShop.
The Star Named EOS
Silver Lining Studio’s The Star Named EOS is an “intimate and heartfelt” first-person narrative adventure telling the story of Dei, a young photographer investigating his mother’s disappearance. That involves solving puzzles and taking pictures of the hand-drawn world, with Dei able to step back in time and witness his mother’s past using the polaroids he uncovers of her travels. This one’s due to launch in spring 2024.
Basically Inventory Management: The Video Game, Backpack Hero from developer Jaspel is a roguelike adventure in which players delve deep into randomly generated dungeons to scavenge the resources needed to rebuild and expand the sleepy hamlet of Haversack Hill. The twist is that how you organise weapons and items in your backpack matters, with adjacent items creating unusual synergies that’ll help defeat foes. Backpack Hero – which features five distinct heroes to experiment with across standalone runs and a story mode – is out today on eShop.
Welcome to Osaka in a cyberpunk future overrun by demons! Here, as a member of the Missa Association, players embark on an exploration-heavy 2D adventure that sees them wielding the mysterious demon-infused Lumina Sword. It does more than make holes in monsters, however, and can control time itself, giving players the means to restores once-destroyed stairs, bridges, platforms, and more so they can journey deeper into the city. And if that has you intrigued, Team Ladybug’s Blade Chimera comes to Switch in spring next year.
A Highland Song
Inkle, the developer behind the acclaimed likes of 80 Days and Heaven’s Vault, is back next month with the gorgeous narrative-focused platformer A Highland Song. It sees teenage protagonist Moira hiking across the Highlands, scaling cliffs and spelunking caves along the way, as she attempts to reach her uncle’s lighthouse on the coast. It promises multiple criss-crossing routes, each with different stories and secrets to find, as well as musical sections and more. Inkle has made some incredible games in its time, so A Highland Song’s arrival on 5th December is something worth getting excited about.
Moonstone Island is an open-world life-sim from Studio Supersoft that aims to set itself apart by pairing familiar crop growing, crafting, and NPCs romancing with Pokemon-style creature collecting and card-based combat. The world itself is procedurally generated, split across 100 islands, and promises “ancient temples, dangerous dungeons, and hostile biomes” to explore between all the fishing and kissing. Moonstone Island launches on Switch in spring 2024 as a timed console exclusive.
Death Trick: Double Blind
Misty Mountain Studio’s Death Trick is a “non-linear detective visual novel” that challenges players to solve the mystery of a magician who’s gone missing from Morgan’s Traveling Circus. Cracking the case involves unearthing the stories – and secrets – of the circus’ performers, with the adventure unfolding from two different perspectives. One is that of a fellow magician and colleague of the victim, and the other a private eye suffering from amnesia, both with their own unique skills. Death Trick launches next year – debuting “first for consoles” on Switch – and there’s a demo out on eShop today.
Outer Wilds: Archaeologist Edition
It’s been a long time coming but developer Mobius Digital’s astonishing Outer Wilds – Eurogamer’s Game of the Year 2019 – is finally making its way to Switch on 7th December. It’s hard to say too much about this one without inadvertently spoiling some of its many, many surprises and secrets, but the gist is that there’s a mystery to be solved by exploring its intricately interconnected solar system, perpetually caught in 20-minute time loop. Outer Wilds hits Switch in the form of the Archaeologist Edition, which includes the game’s Echoes of the Eye expansion. A physical release is coming next year.
And that still isn’t quite everything! Nintendo’s usual pre-one-more-thing montage (which, regrettably for Silksong fans, didn’t have a one more thing after it this time) also spluttered up the briefest glimpses of cinematic sci-fi puzzle adventure Planet of Lana, coming to Switch in spring 2024, as well as brisk point-and-click-style narrative game Enjoy the Diner, which is out on eShop today. There’s also physics-based space oddity Heavenly Bodies, out February 2024, and reptile-themed exploration adventure The Gecko Gods, coming spring next year.
And wrapping thing up, painting adventure Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist is out today on eShop, paranormal mystery game Urban Myth Dissolution Center arrives on Switch next year, and Braid, Anniversary Edition – which conspicuously omitted Switch from its release date announcement last week – hits Nintendo’s platform on 30th April 2024.