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Blake Cram

(he/him/his). Recovering English graduate. Avid gamer, reader, and basic nerd.

If you aren’t into Mario Party, Wario Ware, Metroid or Monster Hunter, 2021 probably felt like a dud for exclusives in case you are a Nintendo Switch proprietor.

You might end up asking, “what the heck do I play in the meantime?”

To be honest, the Nintendo eShop doesn’t make it simple to seek out one thing new to play, it’s an unorganized mess in comparison with different discoverability experiences on different platforms.

Never worry! I’ve rounded up an inventory of severely underrated Nintendo Switch video games you will have missed in 2021, that supply actually cool, distinctive experiences that can satiate your need for one thing new to play.

Let’s get into it.

List of Underrated Nintendo Switch Games

  1. Dodgeball Academia
  2. Eastward
  3. Unpacking
  4. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
  5. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
  6. Tails of Iron
  7. Cyber Shadow
  8. Overboard!
  9. Dreamscaper
  10. Everhood

1. Dodgeball Academia

I don’t know who sanctioned all of the dodgeball video games in 2021, however I’m right here for it.

Dodgeball Academia matches someplace between Scott Pilgrim VS the Universe, Golf Story, and Knockout City. Despite the mash-up of hits, this sport successfully carves out its personal area of interest by bringing rock-solid RPG parts to its whimsical tongue-in-cheek gameplay.

It’s story-mode in all probability received’t blow you away, but it surely’s charming sufficient to maintain you entertained. Gameplay is easy in the way in which a easy arcade sport needs to be. However, Dodgeball Academia manages to flesh out a number of attention-grabbing mechanics–reminiscent of particular talents and power-ups–to maintain issues attention-grabbing for the long term. Best of all, Dodgeball Academia helps native play on Nintendo Switch with two Joy-cons, which is at all times an enormous plus for me.

2. Eastward

Eastward manages to nail a contemporary SNES type motion RPG that’s as entertaining to take a look at as it’s to play.

Invoking themes of Earthbound, Stranger Things and the Goonies, Eastward tells a compelling story of a mysterious woman with Psychic powers discovering the darkish truths concerning the sheltered lifetime of an underground post-apocalyptic mining neighborhood. The story is creepy, characters are memorable and charming, whereas the fascinating 16-bit artwork type entices gamers into its intriguing narrative.

The moment-to-moment gameplay can also be stable. Eastward makes use of distinctive psychic powers, weapons and puzzle mechanics that really feel properly thought out. Enemies might be surprisingly punishing, so mastering fight turns into a worthy problem as the sport progresses.

Eastward feels proper at dwelling on the console, making it some of the underrated video games on Nintendo Switch.

3. Unpacking

Perhaps one of many greatest surprises on this checklist is a sport about…unpacking containers?

Unpacking is strictly that, however manages to really feel like a lot extra.

A calming puzzle sport in observe, Unpacking is an unimaginable stress reliever at coronary heart. Putting home goods of their correct locations has all of the serotonin launch as organizing your personal dwelling area. Hmmm, possibly I ought to really arrange my precise home?

Unpacking has a deceivingly candy story to inform beneath its easy gameplay that explores each the fun and hardships of transferring on and beginning a brand new leg of life’s journey.

4. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

The darkish post-apocalyptic detective RPG lastly involves Nintendo Switch.

Despite being thought of for Game of the Year when it was launched on Steam in 2019, this sport manages to make my checklist for probably the most underrated Nintendo Switch video games in 2021 as it’s nonetheless criminally underplayed by Nintendo followers.

Disco Elysium fleshes out intricate mechanics worthy of a pen-and-paper RPG. Robust talent bushes drastically change the talents of your detective protagonist and the way he reacts to the world round him. The sport skillfully marries these mechanics with a brooding existentialism that elevates online game storytelling. With a number of endings, branching dialogue paths and various character builds to experiment with, Disco Elysium is value digging into for a number of play-throughs.

5. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!

Another Steam transplant making its approach onto Nintendo Switch, Doki Doki is probably probably the most stunning sport on this checklist.

Don’t be fooled by Doki Doki’s cutesy facade, this visible novel is genuinely scary. It claims to be the #1 psychological horror expertise, and that isn’t an excessive amount of of a stretch. While you spend the vast majority of the sport attending to know charming characters, writing poems, flirting and fascinating in all of the mundanity of highschool, Doki Doki takes some alarmingly darkish turns once you least count on it.

Doki Doki has been a cult basic since releasing on Steam and is a pure match on the Switch. However, this sport is well missed if this enigmatic sport wasn’t already in your radar. To be honest, it’s a tough promote as a result of the sport’s exterior says nothing about what horrors lurk below its veneer, and sustaining the shock is crucial to enjoyment.

The creativity and distinctive gameplay of Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! are value experiencing should you can hold with the scares.

6. Tails of Iron

Tails of Iron takes inspiration from a grab-bag of sources to create one thing refreshing on Nintendo Switch.

The cut-out animation artwork type was closely impressed by Eastern European wooden block carvings, and looks like a sibling to different stunning RPG’s like Octopath Traveller and Darkest Dungeon. Tails of Iron’s daring black outlines and fairy-tale esthetic provoke it’s personal distinctive tone as the sport explores the darkish underbelly of the forest the place rats, frogs and bugs struggle for domination.

Reminiscent of the world of Redwall created by Brian Jacques, or Game of Thrones, Tails of Iron oozes good fantasy vibes in it’s storytelling, themes and characters.

The fight is straightforward, but punishing. Obviously impressed by the Souls collection, Tails of Iron makes use of timing, parries and counter-attack mechanics in tandem with a wide range of weapons with completely different strengths and weaknesses to fight hordes of vermin.

While maybe not a master-of-one high quality, Tails of Iron does loads of various things properly sufficient.

7. Cyber Shadow

Cyber Shadow is revealed by Yacht Club, and is a observe as much as their smash-hit Shovel Knight.

This time round they’ve labored with Machine Head Studios to launch a sport that’s unashamedly an homage to the beloved Ninja Gaiden collection. It offers you all of the feels from the 8-bit golden age of gaming, however with all the fashionable bells-and-whistles that enhance the standard of life.

Cyber Shadow challenges gamers with tactical platforming and fight you’d count on from the style. Katanas, ninja devices and platforming means don’t really feel new essentially, however the place Cyber Shadow leans on familiarity they execute with a pristine degree of polish.

Yacht Club’s talent in degree design, pacing and problem current in Shovel Knight is on full show right here that assist it stand out from different fashionable “retro” video video games.

8. Overboard!

“It’s like Clue on a boat” may very well be the only elevator pitch for Overboard!, however the sport manages to be a lot extra.

Overboard appears to lean into all of the tropes of a basic detective visible novel with puzzle parts and dialogue decisions, but diverts from the norm in an attention-grabbing approach–you’re the assassin.

Set aboard the SS Hook, the sport tells a narrative of a spouse who pushes her husband into the ocean. The subsequent morning your eclectic co-passengers search to unravel the who-done-it thriller within the 8 hours it takes to get to shore. Where most video games within the style would have you ever dig round for clues to seek out the killer, your function in Overboard! is to cover clues, deceive involved events and even shift the blame to a poor, harmless, sufferer.

The story is fluid, in a position to be influenced by branching dialogue paths, narrative decisions and timing occasions. How you handle to flee undetected is as much as you on this interactive story that feels contemporary in it’s style.

Overboard! is value trying out as some of the underrated Nintendo Switch video games because it distinctively riffs on a basic narrative with intelligent gameplay and a good-enough story that’s extremely replayable.

9. Dreamscaper

Dreamscaper is a stunning isometric hack-and-slash roguelike that explores the hostile dreamworld of protagonist Cassidy scuffling with melancholy and discovering her place in a brand new city.

This dreamworld serves as an exploration of Cassidy’s previous in her effort to seek out herself and cope with her anxieties. The moody lighting and dreamy artwork type, mixed with the melancholy marionette character designs of Cassidy and her neighbors, assist to create a visually beautiful online game.

Dreamscaper makes use of a number of gameplay mechanics. It is basically a roguelike with RPG parts and various weapon and talent varieties. This motion and puzzle heavy gameplay takes place in Cassidy’s dream world. However, when she is awake, gamers discover Cassidy’s city and work together with characters that can enhance your talents in the true and dream worlds. Dreamscaper makes use of properly written dialogue to work together with these actual world characters that assist inform a grounded story that feels pure.

Much like video video games that discover psychological well being like Celeste and Hellblade, Dreamscaper is a sport that has an necessary message to share within the midst of its stellar online game design.

10. Everhood

Everhood breaks the mildew for what a online game might be on this belovedly odd expertise.

Part RPG, half rhythm sport, half motion sport, Everhood covers a wealth of genres and artwork types. With the acid journey allure of Undertale, Everhood takes you on a radical journey to battle with music. Everhood can have you dungeon crawling, escaping bullet-hell encounters and preventing bosses on psychedelic Guitar Hero/DDR screens.

The music is expectedly the star right here, particularly should you constantly get pleasure from 8-bit soundtracks. Along with the eye to element in music, there’s a permeating thoughtfulness in Everhood’s writing and character design. It is each zany and heartfelt in a approach that feels intentional and earned.

Everhood is a kind of video games that come round to remind us how particular of an artwork type video video games might be.

11. Unsighted

Unsighted is one other retro-style popping out in 2021 the place android-like characters known as Automatons attempt to defend their sentience with a cloth known as Anima. If an automaton runs out of Anima, they flip into senseless machines known as Unsighted.

Unsighted is a race in opposition to time, the place you will need to navigate an isometric motion RPG world the place your decisions decide which of your pals are saved from changing into unsighted. The sport is fast, snappy and makes heavy use of puzzles to make the time crunch all of the extra traumatic. The gameplay is difficult in a approach {that a} retro-style motion sport needs to be, and the sport equips you with various weaponry and skills to sort out its many obstacles.

Your decisions and gameplay affect the story in main methods, resulting in a number of potential endings. Unsighted encourages additional playthroughs with full Co-op, dungeon raid and Boss rush modes.

The consideration to element is clear in all phases of Unsighted, which properly rounds out this checklist of underrated Nintendo Switch video games.

Final Thoughts on these 11 Underrated Nintendo Switch Games

The Nintendo Switch is creating a various library of video games to select from in all genres. Of course you’ve the no-brainer video games to play in 2021 like Metroid Dread and Marioparty Superstars, however its the underdogs which might be actually giving the Switch its character.

Plenty of bizarre and unsuspecting indie titles are releasing with a excessive degree of high quality which might be deserving of consideration. What’s even higher is that many of those video games on this checklist are properly beneath the usual retail online game worth of $50-$60.

Especially as 2021 and 2022 proceed to be slower years for AAA video games, these smaller titles needs to be in your radar.

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