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Best Nintendo Switch Indie Games to Play in 2022

Best Nintendo Switch Indie Games to Play in 2022
Photo Credit: Zoink Games

Indie games are currently picking up pace and filling the gap for some visually pleasing and mind-tickling goodness in our lives. If you feel like something’s missing, why not pick up an indie game to play? With that in mind, we put together a list of the best Nintendo Switch indie games you can play in 2022.

We hope to have something that might interest you. Anyways, have fun!

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro
Photo Credit: DeadToast Entertainment

Starting off the list with a bang with My Friend Pedro, a bullet-time hell game. As a nameless character, you take guidance from a talking banana named Pedro as you rain down hell on some bad guys. 

The story is outright ridiculous, of course, but if you’re craving for some action, then this is the game to try out. There are side-scrolling levels where you can jump, dodge and shoot around with the ability to slow down time. Not to mention the number of high-powered weapons available for you to rampage! You’re in for a treat.

Tetris Effect: Connected

nintendo switch indie games
Photo Credit: Monstarts Inc.

Tetris is a game that needs no introduction at this point. The game has been around forever in some form or another but this latest iteration is something truly special. Launched back in October of 2021 for the Nintendo Switch, Tetris Effect: Connected is a multiplayer-focused version of the timeless title. The game also features a variety of enhancements that will forever change the way you see Tetris moving forward.

Tetris Effect: Connected was designed to be much more than just the old school puzzle game we all know and love. The visuals can best be described as psychedelic while the soundtrack is comprised primarily of awesome EDM music. It’s essentially like playing Tetris inside a retro music visualizer. But mere words can’t really do it justice. You’ll have to experience this one for yourself to see what all the fuss is about.

In addition to being one of the best Nintendo Switch indie games, Tetris Effect: Connected is also one of the most interesting crossplay games available on the console.

Celeste

Celeste
Photo Credit: Extremely OK Games

If you want to take it down a notch, perhaps we started with too much of a bang? Here’s Celeste. An indie platformer where its main protagonist, Madeline attempts to climb Mount Celeste while facing all of her inner demons to get to the top.

It’s an emotional story that strikes a chord for those with mental health issues, but its gameplay is a typical platformer where you have to jump, dash and climb through obstacles to reach your end goal. There are also puzzles for you to solve as you attempt to survive the harsh terrain of the mountain.

Spelunky 2

best nintendo switch games spelunky 2
Photo Credit: Mossmouth

This one is best played after experiencing the original, which is available on the Nintendo Switch as well. However, you can start off with the second entry if you want to. The game shares a similar setting as its predecessor but it doesn’t necessarily continue the story.

Spelunky 2 is a side-scrolling platformer that looks a bit like Terraria at first glance. Instead of being a sandbox crafting game, though, Spelunky 2 is a roguelike that puts heavy emphasis on combat and exploration. The game world is absolutely massive and constantly changing so expect new surprises around every corner. You can play the entire game solo but Spelunky 2 is best experienced alongside a buddy or two.

Raji: An Ancient Epic

Raji: An Ancient Epic
Photo Credit: Nodding Heads Games

An action-adventure game with a female protagonist that pulls from historical texts of the Hindu culture and mythology. It is a beautifully made Indian game from the people over at Nodding Heads Games. Raji is on a journey to save her brother who was abducted by demons during a carnival show. 

As the one entrusted by the gods, she fights against the many demons that have decided to invade the Earth, all in her quest to get her brother back. She is the chosen one to defeat the demon lord Mahabalasura in this epic tale of heroism.

It’s a great addition to all of the amazing indie games available for the Nintendo Switch.

Subnautica

best nintendo switch exploration games Subnautica
Photo Credit: Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Next up on our list of best Nintendo Switch indie games we have one of my favorite titles of all time. Subnautica is an immersive open-world survival game that takes place entirely underwater, just as its name suggests. Now, this is probably one of the worst open-world games to play if you have thalassophobia, but if you don’t, prepare yourself for an incredible adventure.

Subnautica starts off simple enough – gather some resources, build some structures and items, explore around and maybe fight off a sea monster or two. Pretty standard for a survival game. The truly exciting part begins once you start exploring the depths. The world of Subnautica becomes increasingly more fascinating and awe-inspiring the deeper you go. But also more terrifying.

Subnautica is certainly not for the feint of heart, but you can always stay close to the surface if you don’t want to run into any deep sea monsters. For a slightly less scary experience, we recommend checking out the standalone expansion, Subnautica: Below Zero.

Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight
Photo Credit: Yacht Club Games

Oddly enough, a shovel and a knight would be a weird thing to come across, so we applaud the developers for thinking of this idea. Shovel Knight started as a small-time game that evolved into a multitude of sequels and campaigns. 

Like its namesake, you play as a shovel wielding knight out to fight against the Order of No Quarter throughout the country. The game has inspired mechanics from several famous games like Zelda and DuckTales incorporated into its gameplay, so you might find some familiarity in the game.

Among Us

best nintendo switch indie games Among Us
Photo Credit: Innersloth

If you haven’t a chance to play this smash-hit social deduction game yet you’ve been missing out. Among Us is one of those games that’s tons of fun but also has the potential to ruin friendships. The only way to be truly successful at it is to be as dishonest and deceitful as possible. In other words, it’s a great party game.

Of course, you can just as easily play it with strangers and not have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. But Among Us is definitely best when played with friends. Among Us has great crossplay support, allowing you to team up (or against) players on PC, consoles, and even mobile devices. Make sure to check it out if you haven’t already.

The Long Dark

The Long Dark
Photo Credit: Hinterland Games

A first-person survival game about a pilot that crash-landed in the Canadian wilderness during a storm. Now, you have to find your way home, or at the very least somewhere warmer or you’ll be dead. The game features an open world with various interconnected regions for you to explore.

There are two modes to choose from – Survival and Story, so you can choose to further unravel the story of your character and journey through episodes or you can choose to survive for as long as possible in your chosen region. Either way, it’s all about survival out here in the wilderness!

Cozy Grove

nintendo switch indies Cozy Grove
Photo Credit: Spry Fox LLC

Want to kick back and relax after a hard day at work? Cozy Grove might be exactly what you need. This charming indie game has you exploring a mysterious island haunted by all manner of ghosts and spirits. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Quite the opposite. The spirits are benevolent and constantly in need of help so prepare to spend a good chunk of your time completing quests for them as you wander around the island.

Cozy Grove has some interesting features that help it stand out from a lot of other Nintendo Switch indie games. The developers designed the title to be played in one or two hour-long sessions each day. There’s nothing stopping it from playing more, but only between 30 and 60 minutes of new quest content is unlocked each day and you can spend additional time crafting and doing side activities.

Once you’re done with that, you’ll want to log in the next day for a new set of adventures. It’s an unusual system but you’ll come to love it in time. We sure do!

Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium
Photo Credit: ZA/UM

Well if you’re a fan of neo-noir and isometric RPGs, then look no further than this indie game for Nintendo Switch. In Disco Elysium you take up the role of an amnesiac detective trying to solve a murder mystery in a world that was ravaged by an apocalypse. The oil painting art style of the game is what gives it a unique spin, partnered with some interesting dialogue with fleshed-out characters.

You’re in for a treat with this one, but if you’re here for some action or combat, then you might want to walk away. Disco Elysium is combat-free, you solve the case and mysteries through skill checks and intricate dialogue trees. Hey, it is after all designed and written by a novelist!

Hades

Hades
Photo Credit: Supergiant Games

This game had such a grip on the masses when it was released, even dubbed as a AAA-rated indie game (and honestly, they’re not wrong). For a roguelike, it’s stupidly addictive to play. The one thing that we all hate: dying, seems to be a reward in this game. Mainly because every time you die, you get to progress the storyline. 

No worries, you won’t have to try hard to die in this game. It’s as challenging as it is rewarding, so remember that before you start playing it. You’ll find yourself at the break of dawn still trying to get through a level having started playing the night before!

Lost in Random

nintendo switch action games Lost in Random
Photo Credit: Zoink Games

Lost in Random is the video game equivalent of a gothic fairy tale. Aesthetically, Lost in Random is very reminiscent of American McGee’s Alice and Tim Burton movies. If you’re a fan of that sort of art style and love twisted versions of children’s fairy tales, you won’t be disappointed by what Lost in Random has to offer. It’s easily one of the most original Nintendo Switch indie games you can play right now.

The game takes place in Random, a dark kingdom ruled by a wicked Queen. The fate of every person in this kingdom is dictated by the Queen’s cursed black die, including that of protagonist Even. However, things change when Even discovers a living die of her own and teams up with it with to try and take down the Queen’s regime. Dice and randomness, in general, play a big part in every aspect of the game, including the combat. As you would expect from a game called Lost in Random.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight
Photo Credit: Team Cherry

Somehow, Hollow Knight has managed to incorporate dark elements with cuteness, and it… works? You play as a bug in this Metroidvania platformer traversing through the various tunnels, caverns and ancient cities. You’ll come across all sorts of friendly and hostile bugs as well as giant bosses to defeat. 

There are multiple endings for you to uncover, as well as special abilities to unlock as you go along. With the usual Metroidvania concept, you’ll be solving some puzzles to unlock your paths and progress to new areas in the game. It’s a beautifully challenging game, and you’ll find yourself dead more times than you can count, but that’s what makes you want to finish it.

Dead Cells

best Nintendo Switch indie games Dead Cells
Photo Credit: Motion Twin

Dead Cells is easy to recommend if you’re looking to get into soulslike games, but don’t want to deal with the extremely challenging boss fights typically associated with the genre. Don’t get me wrong, the game is difficult in its own right but it is more forgiving than traditional soulslikes in many ways. The developers themselves label it as a ‘souls-lite’ combined with roguelike and metroidvania elements.

If you’re not familiar with gaming terminology, that last sentence probably sounded like gibberish. I get it. All you really have to know about Dead Cells is that it’s a side-scrolling action-adventure game with procedurally generated maps and retro pixelated graphics. The game is generally fast-paced and puts heavy emphasis on action and exploration. The narrative takes a back seat to the combat, which is the bread and butter of this wonderful game.

Undertale

Undertale
Photo Credit: Toby Fox

The game that started it all for Toby Fox and launched him into perpetual stardom amongst indie fans, Undertale should not be an unfamiliar title in your gaming library. It’s a clever game and you can play it however you like. 

Aside from its puns, dad jokes, adorable dog sprites, quirky characters, bullet hell attacks and interesting puzzles (phew that was a lot to get through); one of the main features of the game is that your choices affect everything.

You can choose to be a pacifist or to be a killer who heads in the genocide route. The game remembers you, even when you’ve ended it so make sure to choose wisely or your next run will not be as pleasant.

Cuphead

most difficult Nintendo Switch games Cuphead
Photo Credit: Studio MDHR Entertainment Inc.

To say that Cuphead is one of the best Nintendo Switch indie games ever would be an understatement. Cuphead is one of the best games ever made in general. Everything from the 1930-inspired visuals to the platforming and boss fights is just simply jaw-dropping. What’s even more impressive is that Cuphead is the debut project of Studio MDHR, a two-man team of developers who made the game mostly by themselves.

Despite wholeheartedly recommending Cuphead, we also have to give a little warning to those thinking about trying it for the first time. Cuphead may look cartoony but it’s one of the most difficult games out there. If you’re looking to challenge yourself against some of the hardest video game bosses of all time you’ll definitely love this one. If you’re looking for a simple and relaxing game, on the other hand, you’ll want to try some of our other picks instead.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley
Photo Credit: ConcernedApe

The zen game that has built a home in all of our hearts, it seems that Stardew Valley has now reached every single platform out there so of course, you should have it on the Switch as well! It’s a great company to have when you’re tired after a long day. You could relax by farming, fishing, tending to your cows or even talking to your neighbours.

And if being relaxed isn’t your thing, you could always head to the mines and fight some monsters and slimes. There are many ways to play Stardew Valley, and that’s what makes it a great game for any season.

Axiom Verge 2

best Nintendo Switch indie games Axiom Verge 2
Photo Credit: Thomas Happ Games LLC

Axiom Verge 2 is one of the most recent Nintendo Switch indie games as of this writing. The game launched on August 11th, 2021 and fell a bit under the radar unfortunately. Just like its predecessor, Axiom Verge 2 is a pretty niche action-adventure platformer that looks like it was made back in the 90s. Don’t let the old school aesthetic fool you, though, because this title incorporates all the best elements of both old and new metroidvania games.

Axiom Verge 2 picks up where its predecessor left off in terms of story but improves upon the original in pretty much every way gameplaywise. The game takes place in an alternate Earth-like world inhabited by strange creatures and machines seemingly left behind by an ancient civilization. Exploring this bizarre world where danger lurks around every corner isn’t easy, but it is highly satisfying once you manage to make heads or tails out of it.

Neon Abyss

Neon Abyss
Photo Credit: Team17

So if you’re looking for a game that goes fast, with flashes of color, Neon Abyss should satisfy. It’s a roguelike action platformer that lets you run wild and free, guns ablaze in a brightly coloured neon abyss. The game is an interesting mix of mini-games, action platforming, and Pokemon-like evolution.

It’s weird, but it works. After all, you are part of the task force set up by Hades himself to enter the Abyss and defeat the New Gods. Possibly the best part is that every time you die, you get slightly more powerful for your next run.

Spiritfarer

Spiritfarer
Photo Credit: Thunder Lotus Games

Ferrying the dead is not a wholesome look, but trust me when I say that Spiritfarer is one of the more wholesome games on this list and available on the Switch. Don’t believe me? Try hugging the spirits on your ship. If your heart doesn’t tingle then you truly have nothing within.

Overall, Spiritfarer is a management sim where you care for the spirits of the dead, helping them fulfill their last wishes before sending them off for good. It does get emotional, especially after bonding with the characters and having to send them off. Spiritfarer helps you understand grief and beautifully cope with the idea of death.

Gris 

Gris
Photo Credit: Nomada Studio

If Disco Elysium was heralded for its oil painting style visuals, Gris brings the watercolour visual style to the masses. A platform adventure about a girl dealing with a painful moment in her life, Gris is her journey to find healing in a most abstract yet beautiful adventure. 

The great thing about this game is that you can’t fail. If you are stumped with a puzzle or how to move on, the game will help you through like a guide. This also means that this game is not a competition, the end game is to help the character get through her loss.

Katana Zero

Katana Zero
Photo Credit: Askiisoft

A neo-noir action platformer where you play as a katana-wielding assassin known as Subject Zero. The entire world of Katana Zero is blaring with neon lights and bass-thumping music, evoking a very strong cyberpunk vibe. The one unique feature that draws players to this game is the fact that one hit could kill you.

The tension rises when you’re faced with enemies that let their bullets loose, but don’t worry! You can deflect the bullets with a slash of your katana, slow down time and dodge attacks by rolling. Your task is to kill all your enemies with your katana and environmental traps laid out throughout the levels. Good luck!

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose Game
Photo Credit: House House

Ever wanted to just be a menace to society and get away with it? Well, that’s what Untitled Goose Game is made for! Run around town as a goose wrecking havoc and stealing stuff as you go along. There’s no motive to this game besides making everyone’s life extra miserable.

The goose is kind of cute, so I suppose that’s a plus point to the game. Now, if you are tired of causing misery, you could solve puzzles and even co-op with a friend to bring havoc to everyone you come across. It’s a soothing game with a cool soundtrack, especially if you’re looking to let go of some steam.

Check out this list for more video games where you get to play as an animal.

As you can see, Nintendo Switch indie games span the gamut of gameplay and visual types! Hopefully, you find this article useful and the games interesting enough to pick up. Remember, when it comes to gaming, the most important part is that you have fun!

Sarah Paul

Written by Sarah Paul

I dip my toes in all things nerdy. I started writing and never looked back! I'll write about anything under the sun if you give me the chance, but my loyalty currently lies with nerd culture.

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