PAX West 2018 kicked off with a one-of-a-kind event at the Nintendo of America HQ in Redmond, WA. While naturally there were delightful displays of Super Mario Bros. and other Nintendo mainstays in the building, the real stars of this show were the Nindie titles on display for PAX West.
You may have caught the Nindies Showcase a few days ago: a concise video highlight of some of the fantastic titles from small developers and studios in development for the Nintendo Switch. At PAX, we were thrilled to get a chance to get our hands on some of these titles for a few tantalizing minutes. Here are just a few Nindie standouts coming soon to Nintendo Switch.
Zarvot (snowhydra games)
Zarvot is described most simply as "a game about cubes," but this delightful, all-ages arcade shooter is both cute and competitive. In the single-player campaign, you're a cube on the hunt for the perfect birthday present for a good friend. Your quest takes you into nine dangerous worlds where you'll use the intuitive controls to jump, shoot, and blast your way through obstacles and enemies.
In the campaign, it's not possible to fall off the edges, a forgiving feature that will keep kids from getting frustrated. In Zarvot's competitive multiplayer mode, however, designer Sam Eng told us that knocking your friends off the edges is the name of the game.
Zarvot will be released first on the Nintendo Switch in October 2018.
Transistor (Supergiant Games)
This ethereal isometric action role-playing game, originally released on 2014, makes its Switch debut in November 2018. Fight your way through the glowing, sci-fi streets of Cloudbank with the enigmatic weapon known only as Transistor in your hands.
Combat is both real-time and turn-based, adding a level of strategy that you'll need to master to survive. In between the action beats, you'll be treated to gorgeous 2D animated cut-scenes as the mystery unfolds.
Levelhead (Butterscotch Shenanigans)
It's impossible to avoid comparisons to Super Mario Maker with this colorful level builder, but the team doesn't view that soon-to-be-classic as a competitor, said programmer Seth Coster. "Our goal is to differentiate ourselves."
Levelhead is a cartoony and colorful 2D platformer that begins with a story mode to help train the players (up to four in co-op). Levels have a puzzle component to them as players work together to get delivery robots to their goal.
Once people get the hang of building levels, they can share them with the community. To support creators and weed out inappropriate designs, Coster said, the developer plans on allowing players to curate their own lists of designers and place tags on their creations to make searching as painless as possible.
Levelhead is planned for release on the Nintendo Switch and other platforms at the end of 2018.
Untitled Goose Game (House House)
Untitled Goose Game looks like an irreverent, unique game that's a honking good time. (Sorry, we had to do it.) In this sandbox title, you're a goose with a to-do list. On the list you'll find objectives that basically involve messing with the inhabitants of a quiet town. The more you accomplish, the more areas become available to you. But these NPCs are surprisingly smart, and you might find all of your hard work quickly undone by a wily gardener or a broom-wielding shopkeeper.
"[The game] captures the nuances of a goose: cute and annoying," said publisher Cabel Sasser.
Untitled Goose Game comes to the Switch and mobile in 2019.
The World Next Door (Rose City Games)
The World Next Door was featured in the Nindies Showcase video in August, and as a part of the always amazing Indie Megabooth on the show floor, this adventure game with visual novel elements was available for an intriguing hands-on demo. The story follows Jun, a human who is allowed into the monster world but finds herself unable to return to Earth.
Combat is uniquely puzzle-based. Connect runes in series of three or more to cast a spell and unleash an attack on spirits and creatures. You'll also find yourself immersed in the story with different dialogue options that affect your relationship with each character.
The World Next Door is planned for release on the Nintendo Switch and Steam in early 2019.
What Nindies are you looking forward to the most? Tell us why in the comments.
Featured Image: Untitled Goose Game, House House