Switch Indie Games 2020

Switch Indie Games 2020

A grab bag of Nindies

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

With an eShop full of indies, it's often hard to know what's worth playing so here are my thoughts on 8 recent indie games for Switch.

Good Job! Review Switch ★★★★☆

Do you have what it takes to perform menial tasks in a massive corporate tower full of silly situations and lazy employees? Let's find out!

Good Job! screenshot
Fun fact: employees will sit whenever presented with the opportunity

Good Job! has you play as a shadowy goofball whose job it is to make things run smoother within a corporation. This could mean setting up a projector, plugging the internet in, or moving crates in a warehouse. Each stage tasks you with accomplishing a goal yet how to achieve that goal is rarely clear so you'll end up experimenting with your environment while gradually piecing together what you're capable of. Meanwhile, you'll accidentally cause a lot of damage as you bump into breakable objects and slingshot printers through walls but that's all part of the fun. The resulting formula of figuring out what to do and trying to execute a solution is a great dynamic that rewards cleverness, thinking outside the box, and plenty of experimentation. In the end, it's one of my favourite indies on Switch so far.

The wacky corporate world of Good Job! is so much fun to play around within that I highly recommend it to any sandbox puzzler fan.

Good Job! gameplay video →

Shinsekai Into the Depths Review Switch ★★★★☆

Few know what lurks in the depths of the sea but Shinsekai Into the Depths is here to show how grueling surviving underwater can be.

Shinsekai Into the Depths screenshot
Surviving underwater is a perilous undertaking

Shinsekai Into the Depths takes place in the (hopefully) distant future where Earth enters a new Ice Age so mankind survives undersea. After your character's underwater home freezes over, you go on an adventure to navigate submerged caverns while dealing with dastardly creatures and discovering remarkable sights such as ancient technology and hidden treasures. The core gameplay is similar to a 2D platformer although you can leap to great heights and distances due to being underwater. There are plenty of survival elements as well such as a constantly depleting oxygen supply and the ability to craft upgrades and weapons from found materials. That being said, the checkpoints are frequent enough that you'll never feel overwhelmed by the survival aspect. Last but not least, the visuals, music, and sound effects lend themselves to create a wonderfully mysterious atmosphere throughout. It's quite the game to take in.

Surviving underwater sure is a grueling affair and Shinsekai Into the Depths portrays it in a thoroughly immersive and enjoyable way.

Shinsekai Into the Depths gameplay video →

Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Boulder Dash has been around for a long time and its clever gameplay holds up decades later so let's check out this latest installment.

Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary screenshot
Mastering some of these levels can be super-tricky stuff!

Boulder Dash actually debuted in 1984 and this 30th Anniversary game initially released on PC a few years back. I have plenty of fond memories of the franchise and own the very fun Boulder Dash-XL 3D for 3DS as well as Boulder Dash: The Full Collection for Ouya so I was looking forward to playing this. Now that I have, I'm both very happy and a bit disappointed with the package. On the plus side, it carries over the classic gameplay quite well while introducing fun new gimmicks. Plus, there are a ton of levels to master which will take a very long time to do so. For the unfamiliar, you basically dig through levels as loosened rocks fall and enemies freely roam around. The goal is to gather gems which opens the exit then you're awarded up to 3 stars. Unfortunately, the visuals and sound are very cheesy and it's clear that this port was rushed with its mobile-style power-up and lives structure and it even tells you to push the space bar at one point.

If more time was poured into Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary's aesthetics and polish then it would be an excellent old-school experience.

Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary gameplay video →

Grimvalor Review Switch ★★★☆☆

There seems to be more 2D Souls-like games than 3D ones nowadays and the latest entry in the genre is the fairly nifty Grimvalor.

Grimvalor screenshot
Grimvalor may not be the toughest 2D Souls-like but it's still fun

Grimvalor is an interesting take on the 2D Souls-like. For starters, there is no stamina meter so you can feel free to hack and slash all you want. That being said, if you want to perform a more powerful attack then you have to wait for that to charge. The combat relies on your ability to dodge incoming enemy blows while unleashing a fury of attacks. Although this may sound tricky, it's incredibly easy to do as long as you consistently tap the dash button whenever you notice an enemy is about to attack which is usually well-telegraphed. On top of combat, there's a satisfying exploration element as you try and uncover each area's treasure caches and thankfully, your character is quite agile with the ability to double-jump, scale walls, etc. It's all just a bit too unchallenging to thoroughly enjoy.

In short, Grimvalor would have been a great 2D Souls-like if it featured a steeper level of challenge and more visceral combat.

Grimvalor gameplay video → Similar game: Salt and Sanctuary

Galaxy Warfighter Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Shoot 'em ups come in all sorts of varieties and here's one that takes a more back-to-basics approach but is Galaxy Warfighter any fun?

Galaxy Warfighter screenshot
How the heck do I shoot this boss?!

Galaxy Warfighter has you automatically shoot and all you do is steer your ship out of harm's way. If you're a shmup enthusiast like me then that sentence probably made you not want to play Galaxy Warfighter and if that's the case, you're completely correct. However, if you're a more casual arcade shooter fan then Galaxy Warfighter offers some simple and enjoyable gameplay. The stages merely consist of an onslaught of enemies that are generally easy to take down then you fight a boss. Many of the bosses are tricky albeit not too difficult yet with some, I still haven't quite figured out how to take them down. Anyway, as you play, you'll earn credits that you can redeem for permanent upgrades which are very overpriced so you'll have to play a lot if you want even a slight enhancement.

If you want to enjoy a laidback shoot 'em up without all the stress usually involved in the genre then you'll surely have some fun here.

Galaxy Warfighter gameplay video → More Indie Shoot 'em Ups

Kawaii Deathu Desu Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Kawaii Deathu Desu is a weird game where death is some sort of pop idol. The question is; will you sacrifice your life to be her fan?

Kawaii Deathu Desu screenshot
I'm glad I'm not a fan; I quite enjoy my life

Having just enjoyed the super-fun One Finger Death Punch 2, Kawaii Deathu Desu definitely pales in comparison. It's clearly inspired by Silver Dollar Games' indie hit and although it isn't as fun, it's still a fairly enjoyable game. If you're not familiar with the core gameplay, you basically tap buttons that correspond to each direction in order to attack incoming enemies. The primary difference between the 2 games is that in Kawaii Deathu Desu, you can miss attacks without any sort of penalty so you can just mash the buttons with no need to worry if your attacks are landing or not. As long as you fend off enemies (or, your fans; I guess) and don't get hurt, you're golden. On the plus side, there are a lot of unlockables and the music and visuals are charming and provide a fun-filled game world.

Despite its crazy premise, Kawaii Deathu Desu is a simple game that's a fun distraction between more substantial gaming sessions.

Kawaii Deathu Desu gameplay video →

Dogurai Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Retro-inspired 2D action games are a dime a dozen yet few emulate the original Game Boy's aesthetic so here's the delightful Dogurai.

Dogurai screenshot
Dogurai certainly looks and plays like a Game Boy game...

Dogurai has you control a canine ninja through various stages. The core gameplay involves jumping and double-jumping, slashing, and sliding which makes it feel like a combination of Mega Man and Ninja Gaiden although, of course, not as enjoyable as those classics. It's a very simple and fun game and I would imagine that if it released for Game Boy back in the day, it would have seen a cult following. With that being said, the visuals become ambiguous with sprites blending into the backgrounds at times and the music isn't all that memorable or catchy. On the plus side, there are 8 stages to master and the array of bosses are rather challenging and rewarding to fight.

If you have a fondness for classic Game Boy games then you'll have a nostalgia-fueled good time with the fun yet simplistic Dogurai.

Dogurai gameplay video →

WordHerd Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Finding words on a grid filled with letter tiles is a classic puzzle formula but putting animals into the mix is almost unHerd of.

WordHerd screenshot
Finding words to retrieve animals is more satisfying than it sounds

I'm a big fan of the classic puzzler Bookworm from PopCap Games and have great memories of playing it a lot so I purchased WordHerd in the hopes that it would fill the void of no new Bookworm games coming out lately. For the most part, it's a solid and cute little game that certainly does the job. You play by finding words within the playfield and once you get enough points, you earn an animal. As soon as you gather 5 animals, you move on to the next level. Meanwhile, Mia will help you at the beginning of each level by telling you a few long words that she can see in the puzzle. Although all of this is cool, there isn't much of a challenge because you can take your time finding words although later on, you must fulfill certain conditions which adds a bit of a challenge but not quite enough.

Even though it's been done better in the past, WordHerd is a cute and fun word-based puzzler that's enjoyable to wind down with.

WordHerd gameplay video → Similar game: Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey Remastered
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