It’s probably safe to say the beginning of the Nintendo Switch’s life cycle had an identity crisis. What was marketed as a hybrid console/handheld gaming device turned out to hold greater potential than to be believed. The Switch did not have the power of the PS4 or Xbox One. The Switch, when it came out in 2017, led the gaming market to show that the machine had more power then the predecessors, but Nintendo has never followed the mainstream. This did not stop developers from bringing their games to the device. Games like Doom 2016, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and Skyrim are given new lives on the Switch for portable play. Players are not forced to leave the open world of Skrim when they are on-the-go, which is awesome when the Switch's portability is put in perspective. 

Looking away from the triple A titles, the Switch is a benchmark home for independent games. Smaller games with a tight scope, addictive gameplay or want to present a smaller package are found right at home on the Switch. 

Nintendo released what were the top-10 selling indie games of its lifecycle so far and this is what they had to say. SteamWorld Dig 2, Stardew Valley, Celeste and Overcooked Special Edition to name a few. The games all came out on different platforms to with a larger player base. The majority would think that a game like Celeste would sell more on PC or PS4, but it sold best on the Switch. The reason behind it was because of the mobility of the device. The best that indie games have to offer is replayability. Because the Switch is a console on the go, the gaming doesn’t have to stop. The nature of a game like Celeste where constant trial and error is part of the experience and that each section can be beat in short bursts, it makes complete sense that its player base is on the Switch. 

Nostalgia plays a deep role into why gamers are picking up the indie classics on the Switch. There’s a certain finesse when it comes to Nintendo-style games and the indie space is filled with additions to the vibe. The thought of playing an indie game that reminds players of classics will automatically make a person interested in playing the game on the Switch.

The Messenger by Sabotage takes pride in its nostalgic roots. Finding inspiration from games like Castlevania brings old Nintendo players back for another round. The game shows promise with a squeeze of Nintendo magic that can’t be found anywhere else. 

The methods used with the Switch make sure that Nintendo knows more about their indie developers more than the previous consoles have. Nintendo has now closed the gates of what they allow onto their platform. It makes sure that the flow of content that’s being put on the Switch is quality content. Also, having a showcase presenting the best indie games that Nintendo has to offer is a great way for gamers to know what’s coming on the digital store. 

If Nintendo keeps this momentum, there third-party support won’t end in the short term like it did on the Wii U. Nintendo is listening to developers that want to join the family, listening to fans and not closing the doors on truly talented developers. The Switch’s hardware was made perfect for indie games and it doesn’t look like the flow of games isn’t going to stop anytime soon. 

@ritchey_grant  

gr619615@ohio.edu 

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