Nintendo livestreamed one of its Indie World Showcase presentations to Twitch and YouTube this morning. This comes as fans continue to harbor anxiety about the future of the Nintendo Switch’s lineup. So far, the publisher has only revealed Pikmin 3 Deluxe for the fall, and that game is due out October 30. But while Nintendo should have more to announce soon — like the 3D Mario remasters — indie games are doing an admirable job keeping the Switch feeling fresh.
The Indie World had a number of standout announcements. Supergiant Games is releasing Hades on Switch this fall. Untitled Goose Game is getting a cooperative mode in September. And the survival game Subnautica is hitting Nintendo’s platform in 2021.
But the most exciting reveals were the multiple games that “shadow dropped” on the eShop today. Shadow drop is a colloquial term that fans use when a company announces a game and then releases it on the same day. And Nintendo packed its Indie World with shadow drops. Here are all of them:
Raji: an Ancient Epic
Raji is an action adventure game that puts players in control of a young girl who must stand up against mythological creatures in ancient India.
It is available now for $25 — although it is temporarily discounted to $22.50.
In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella. Her job is to ferry the deceased to the land of the dead. While that might sound intense, the game’s vibe is going for something closer to chill management sim.
A Short Hike
A Short Hike was one of my favorite games of 2019. It’s a concise 3D platformer that looks like Animal Crossing or lo-fi Banjo-Kazooie. But it feels great to play and explore, and I’ve since played through it at least three times. And I’m gonna do a fourth on Switch.
It’s available now for $8 on Nintendo eShop — although it’s temporarily discounted to $7.20.
Takeshi and Hiroshi
Takeshi and Hiroshi is a claymation-style game where an older brother must build games for his younger sibling. The idea is that you must make tweaks to simple games to fit your brother’s mood. Charming is an overused descriptor, but this game deserves it.
It’s available now for $9 on the eShop — but you can get it at a temporary discounted price of $8.09.
Manifold Garden is one of them non-Euclidean situations. Geometry and gravity follow their own rules, and you must manipulate them to navigate the environment.
It’s available now on the eShop for $20 (temporarily $18). But you can also get it on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Epic Games Store on PC.
Evergate is a 2D puzzle platformer. The key mechanics involve slowing down time to aim your character’s soulflame at crystals around the world. Successfully striking these crystals gives you more energy to perform jumps and other maneuvers.
It’s available now on the eShop for $20 (temporarily $17).
What about a big Nintendo Direct?
Nintendo hasn’t had a substantial Direct video presentation since March nor a large general Direct all year. And the company is definitely working on one. It’s going to announce the aforementioned 3D Mario remasters, but it’s also lining up partners.
Unlike Xbox or PlayStation events, third-party developers and publishers are desperate for a Nintendo Direct. Most companies know how to get the attention of audiences on Xbox or PlayStation. But Nintendo’s audience is a bit more difficult to rally.
And where there is a will to put together a Direct, Nintendo will find a way — soon.
Author: Jeff Grubb.