This game, Blanc, is probably gonna mess me up emotionally.Image: Casus Ludi
Nintendo wrapped up its Indie World Showcase today, highlighting a ton of upcoming and just-launched games for the Switch. There’s a little bit of everything here, from a cute puzzler with a mischievous cat to a Fox and the Hound-like adventure game. This indie presentation was pretty big, so let’s get into everything that was shown:
A wholesome narrative cooking game about an Indian mother who recently immigrated to Canada, developer Visai Games’ Venba sounds like it’ll tug on all the heart strings. Telling a story of reconnecting with one’s heritage, you’ll whip up a variety of saliva-inducing South Indian dishes while using branching conversations to uncover this tale of love and loss. Venba hits Nintendo Switch sometime this spring.
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Goodbye World, developed by YO FUJII, is another one of those games about games. Specifically, this pixelated narrative adventure is about two friends looking for the perfect idea for their next game. So you’ll play through various puzzle-platforming levels as the protagonists fine-tune their ideas and face the strain game development can put on a friendship. Evocative stuff. Goodbye World lands on Switch this month.
Have A Nice Death
Developer Magic Design Studios’ Have A Nice Death has been out for six months now, and the 2D action roguelike is finally making its way to Nintendo Switch. You play as Death Inc. CEO Death as he reaps his way through the corporate underworld to “restore work-death balance” with 70 different weapons and spells at your disposal. And, of course, you’re Death! You can’t die, so you can use what you’ve earned and learned to get better with each run. Have A Nice Death drops on March 22, 2023.
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Aka by developer Cosmo Gatto is a lowkey “small open-world game” with a singular goal: Help the retired warrior Aka find inner peace on an isolated island paradise. You’ll explore hand-crafted environments, like tropical forests and steamy hot springs, while performing tasks such as building shelters and feeding adorable baby dragons. It kinda gives me A Short Hike vibes. Aka lands on Nintendo Switch on December 15.
A fast-paced 2D action-adventure game, developer Ahr Ech’s Pepper Grinder puts you in the treasure hunting shoes of Pepper, who’s been shipwrecked and robbed. Now, with your trusty drill in tow, you must reclaim what was stolen from you by digging through the terrain, solving tricky puzzles, and grinding bosses to a pulp. There’s no definitive launch date yet, but Pepper Grinder is slated for a 2023 release.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly
Toge Productions is back with the sequel to one of my fave narrative barista games, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. With an expanded drink menu and an even more robust cast of characters, this looks to be a relaxing visual novel with a vibin’ lofi soundtrack. Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly arrives this spring.
Oni: Road To Be The Mightiest Oni
Coming from tag-team developers Kenei Design and Shueisha Games, Oni: Road To Be The Mightiest Oni is about a demon warrior who, after getting his ass whooped by a Japanese folktale hero, joins forces with a spirit to become stronger than before. You control both the demon warrior Kuuta and the spirit Kazemaru simultaneously, using Kuuta’s club to bludgeon enemies so that Kazemaru can suck up their souls for power. Oni: Road To Be The Mightiest Oni launches on March 9, 2023 for Nintendo Switch.
Desta: The Memories Between
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure and Monument Valley creators ustwo games is back with another character-driven narrative adventure that has some roguelite elements to it in Desta: The Memories Between. You play as the eponymous character who enters a mysterious dream world filled with scattered memories every time they fall asleep. These memories, of forgotten spots and old faces, also contain orbs for Desta to play a surreal turn-based ball game as you perform perfect throws and trick shots while changing the course of character interactions. Desta: The Memories Between sounds like an amalgam of Dodgeball Academia and Pyre, and drops in early 2023.
A Space For The Unbound
A Space For The Unbound, developed by Mojiken, is a slice-of-life adventure set in late ‘90s rural Indonesia. Following high school sweethearts Atma and Raya, the game shows the two navigating their way through feelings of anxiety and depression while using newly discovered supernatural powers to prevent the end of the world. Very cute, very cataclysmic. A Space For The Unbound lands on January 19, 2023.
Dordogne by collaborating studios Un Je Ne Sais Quoi and Umanimation is an adventure game about Mimi, a young woman searching for her mysteriously forgotten childhood memories. You play Mimi in the past and present to reconnect her to herself, as she returns to her grandma’s home only to find a series of letters constructing a facsimile of Mimi’s past. It sounds incredibly touching as the story seeks to establish the bond between grandmother and granddaughter, something I feel rather acutely as someone who lost their grandmother early this year. Dordogne comes out this spring.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a master gardener, developer Balloon Studios has you covered with Botany Manor. An exploration adventure-puzzler, Botany Manor puts you in control of Arabella Greene, a retired botanist with a massive estate all to herself. As the name suggests, this game is all about taking care of a huge garden, tending to the leaves, propagating seedlings, solving plant-based puzzles—that sorta thing. Though there’s no release date yet, Botany Manor does hit Nintendo Switch next year.
Once Upon a Jester
From developers Bonte Avond, Once Upon a Jester is a casual adventure game about improvising a theater show to get invited to the Royal Theatrical Spectacle in the Royal Palace. But of course, protagonists Sok and Jester have a mischievous ulterior motive: Steal the Royal Diamond, which is in the company of the King. So, to get close enough to the diamond, you must put on the best theatrical plays and sock-puppet shows the kingdom has ever seen by using your exceptional—or terrible—improv skills to get that coveted invitation. Once Upon a Jester will be available later today.
Rogue Legacy 2
Launching on Steam earlier this year, developer Cellar Door Games’ Rogue Legacy 2 is a roguelike Metroidvania where every run is different from the last. While you could be a dwarf with vertigo one minute or a giant who can’t jump the next, the goal is always the same: collect riches, fortify your castle, and establish your legacy, with all your upgrades transferring between runs. Rogue Legacy 2 will also be available later today, and the Nintendo Switch release comes with tons of new items and subclasses.
A monochromatic adventure game about a wolf cub and a fawn, Casus Ludi’s Blanc tells the story of the two animals who must rely on each other to navigate a vast, snowy wilderness. You’ll follow both creatures’ family tracks, solving environmental puzzles along the way, all in an attempt to lead them back home. Blanc, with its Fox and the Hound vibes, launches on February 14, 2023 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.
A Little to the Left
A cute and cozy puzzler, Max Inferno Games’ A Little to the Left is about finding satisfying puzzles hidden among household objects. If you can imagine Marie Kondo making a game, this would be it as you tidy up around various disparate environments, organizing things just so. A Little to the Left also has a mischievous, pettable cat that’ll mess up your perfect arrangements when it drops later today.
Closing the Nindies Showcase was an update for Sidebar Games’ Sports Story, an adventure RPG about…sports. Now, instead of just golf and soccer and other expected sports, there are newly-added activities including BMX and cricket. You can quest, kickback at the mall, and explore dungeons in a narrative that’s about more than just sports—though sports are the focal point here. Sports Story comes out next month.