Bought yourself a Switch? You'll be wanting something to play on it, then.
Luckily, Nintendo's portable/console hybrid has dramatically exceeded our expectations, becoming a rapidly essential device with brilliant exclusives like Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe.
And there's plenty more beyond the expected crop of first-party fare. The Switch's success has pulled scads of developers back into the Nintendo fray, and we've seen a deluge of worthwhile titles of late, including exclusive indie fare and some of the best multiplatform games seen on other platforms in recent years.
We have a list of our 15 favourite Switch games to date, and that's a good starting point – but it's heavy on expected picks, with a lot of Nintendo's own releases and other games you'll find on store shelves. Looking for a sampling of what else is out there, especially on the eShop? Keep reading for a mixed batch of mini-reviews and see if something else catches your eye.
Rocket League is one of the most endlessly enjoyable games you'll find on any platform, and millions still play it avidly after a couple years of release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And now you can play it on Switch too, as Psyonix's joyous cars-playing-football game makes the handheld leap in the process.
Not only do you have rocket-powered, high-flying cars knocking in epic goals from above the net, but you can also play basketball and hockey variants, or toss in goofy weapons for good measure. The Switch version delivers the complete experience seen elsewhere, with hundreds of car customisation items and even sweet exclusive Mario/Luigi and Metroid cars.
The Switch version takes a slight performance hit from other devices: the frame rate is a bit choppier, there's less detail, and everything looks a bit jagged at times. That does make it tougher to see far-off action on the Switch's handheld screen, which might throw you for a loop here and there, but the fun doesn't suffer at all on your TV. It's right up there with Mario Kart 8: Deluxe in terms of raucous multiplayer amusement, and a total steal for just £15 (S$30).
It's football with cars, and every bit as amazing as that sounds
Overcooked: Special Edition
Overcooked was a revelation when it first launched on PlayStation and Xbox last year. A hilariously frenetic affair where you and your friends have to churn out culinary delights at a rate of knots, it’s one of best cooperative games we've played in yonks. Now having arrived on Switch, we’re gutted to report it doesn't have the same spark on Nintendo’s new console.
Why? That most frustrating shortcoming of all: technical issues. While the same joyous cartoonish character and level design is very much in place, frantically dashing a soup order around a pirate ship is much less fun when you're having to deal with an unstable frame rate and noticeable juddering. So long as developer Ghost Town Games can fix these problems, Overcooked should prove a delight once again. Especially since it serves up all the game’s previous DLC alongside exclusive support for the Switch’s HD Rumble.
A half-baked Special Edition that should be so much better
The Switch’s greatest hidden gem, Thumper is a genius on-rails rhythm game with a whole load of horror trappings. Imagine Donkey Konga with industrial techno and some terrifying space demons, and that still doesn’t do justice to a subtly inventive slice of brilliance.
Originally released for PlayStation VR, Thumper makes a surprisingly awesome transition to portable form. What’s lost in sheer immersion is made up for in the ability to complete a fiendish course on the train to work. Make no mistake, this is a tough old cookie but it never feels unfair. Each level is perfectly paced to its delirious soundtrack, while the game’s macabre aesthetic only helps it stand out further from the cutesy likes of Mario Kart and Splatoon.
A proper must-have for Nintendo’s new console
Following hot on the heels of Street Fighter II and a host of arcade Neo Geo classics, Namco’s greatest retro hits compilation is another warm dose of nostalgia for Switch. Featuring Pac-Man, Galaga ‘88, Dig Dug and several other less cherished offerings, Namco Museum might be a bit tad pricey but delivers on its familiar promise.
As a load of old favourites repackaged on a new console, there’s not much in the way of surprise here. Splatterhouse remains really quite disgusting at times and Rolling Thunder is decent side-scrolling fare, but anyone who’s going to be buying Namco Museum likely knows this already. This means it’s up to Pac-Man Vs. to prove the compendium’s worth, and the forgotten GameCube gem duly obliges. Allowing you and the friends to flit between the roles of Pac-Man and the ghosts that chase him, it’s simple, addictive and the kind of multiplayer game you can happily waste an afternoon with.
A solid fix for former arcade gaming addicts