There are plenty of fantastic Nintendo Switch games out there, but it’s fair to say that some titles hog the limelight more than others. (That’s right, Mario and Zelda, we’re talking about you.) This sometimes means that wonderful (but smaller) Switch games get lost in the Nintendo eShop and never truly get the recognition they deserve.
Well, here at TechRadar, we’ve decided to shine a light on these games. We’ve put together a list of great Switch games that you may never have heard of – but that you definitely should play.
So get your wishlist ready, as these are the top Nintendo Switch hidden gems (AKA the most underrated Switch games) available right now.
1. Dungeon of the Endless
This recent port of a six-year-old rogue-like game, technically set in the same universe as PC strategy game Endless Space, is a perfect multiplayer dungeon crawler with gorgeous 2D visuals. You pick a character with a specialty, descend ever deeper into the dungeon and fend off waves of enemies. An unexpected good action game that’s well worth checking out on Switch.
Overland is a curious Nintendo Switch game, if just for its unrelenting bleakness – as you attempt to travel across post-apocalyptic America in search of some remnants of civilization, with plenty of pitfalls, monsters, and permadeath getting in your way. But beneath the dour setting is also a smart and varied strategy game, with procedurally generated levels (and characters) that feel eerily familiar each time over, and the confidence to take its narrative to the only possible conclusion.
3. Bad North
Sure, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla may be close to launching, but why go big when you can go North? This beautifully-animated Switch game puts you in charge of an army of Viking warriors, beset on all sides – and we mean all sides – by invaders you have to deflect from your island home. The real-time strategy is based on simple mechanics, but which can quickly get taxing if you aren’t paying close attention to the layout of the islands themselves, which are effectively 3D puzzles for you to figure out how best to defend.
Watching approaching boats from the mist, with the slow thud of drums in the distance, is as satisfying no matter how many times you experience it too.
4. Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition
Do the words Lovecraftian-seafaring-text-adventure-roguelike take your fancy? If your answer is “no” then you’re going to have to walk the plank, as you’ll be missing out on one of the Nintendo Switch’s most unique games.
Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition is an excellent port of the hit indie PC game, which casts you as the captain of a steampunk ship amidst in the gothic tides of a collapsed London, now submerged in a cavernous, waterlogged underworld.
You’ll take part in ship-to-ship combat, exploring a randomised map while evading sea monsters and the ever-increasing demands of your loot-hungry, easily terrified crewmates. The real joy here though is in the first-class writing
This download-only Nintendo Switch title also includes the Zubmariner DLC pack, which lets you dive the depths of the game’s murky waters. A game to truly lose yourself in.
5. Ape Out
Enjoy frenetic jazz, bright colors and rhythm-based violence? The Ape Out may be for you. This top-down, single-player beat-em-up is sure to be unlike anything else you’ve ever played. Players take on the role of a gorilla frantically trying to escape from gun-wielding humans through a series of mazes – each one different than the last.
Kill the humans in your way, and use others as shields, as you make your way through the labyrinths to victory. Oh, and the whole thing is scored by chaotic, all-percussion jazz music. The further you get, the more chaotic the music becomes. Ape Out is truly a feast for the eyes and ears.
Oxenfree is a great Switch choice for those who love classic point-and-click adventures. You play as Alex, an angsty teenager who goes on a weekend trip to a military island with her friends and step-brother. But, unwittingly, the teens open up a supernatural rift on the island, causing things to go a bit awry.
Oxenfree is largely choice-based, with players being presented with a variety of dialogue options that range from classic-teenage moody to optimistic, while bigger choices impact how the game plays out. What results is a supernatural thriller combined with a coming-of-age tale – and a Switch game you absolutely have to play.