The latest Nintendo Direct for indie games has been full of surprises, with Nuclear Throne out today and a new Double Fine game.
Nintendo’s dedication to indie gaming (or Nindies as they call them) seems as strong as ever, after another jam-packed showcase.
For some reason it was only broadcast on the American Nintendo site, so some of these dates might not be the same for Europe, but the headline news is that Cuphead is coming to Switch on April 18.
The critically-acclaimed 2D shooter had been an Xbox and PC exclusive but in the direct Nintendo specifically thanked their ‘friends at Microsoft’ for allowing the Switch version. Which is certainly going to send tongues wagging given previous rumours about the two console manufacturers getting very pally.
Whether that means Game Pass on Switch is still up in the air, but it certainly does add credence to rumours that Ori, and perhaps other Microsoft indie titles, will be coming to Nintendo’s console in the future.
The other shock reveal was Cadence Of Huyrle, a crossover between The Legend Of Zelda and roguelike rhythm action game Crypt Of The NecroDancer. Nintendo are usually ultra-protective of their properties even when dealing with major companies, so to see them lend out Zelda like this is a real surprise.
It does look good though, with both Link and Zelda playable and some great-looking 2D visuals. It’s billed as being out this spring too, so there’s not long to wait.
There’s even less time to wait for Nuclear Throne though, which is out today from Vlambeer. Or at least it is in America. We don’t see it in the UK eshop as we type this, but hopefully it’s just a minor delay.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3fiwIdKhZw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=640&h=360]
Vlambeer are also bringing Super Crate Box to Switch in April and have announced a new line of mini-arcade games called Vlambeer Arcade. The first of these is something called Ultra Bugs and will be out later this year.
Also out today, allegedly, is Blaster Master Zero II, a sequel to the surprisingly good prequel that was one of our favourite faux-retro games of recent years. Like the NES original it’s a Metroidvania with a few interesting twists, such as being able to control your car and get out and shoot in a top-down view.
We advise watching the whole of the Nindies showcase below, as it also features a new game from Psychonauts creators Double Fine called RAD. It’s a top-down hack ‘n’ slash but with a fun ‘90s atmosphere and the ability for the main character to suffer all sorts of helpful mutations, such as his head turning into a snake and the ability to lay eggs. It’s out the summer.
The one game that really caught our attention though is Overland, from the creator of Canabalt. It’s an isometric post-apocalyptic survival game with turn-based combat, where the randomly-generated world gets weirder and weirder the more you travel west. Unfortunately, it’s not out till the autumn though.
Other games featured include 2D action game My Friend Pedro (where Pedro is a talking banana), post-apocalyptic cab-driving sim Neo Cab, dog-sledging roguelike The Red Lantern, top-down survival horror Darkwood, time-travelling action game Katana Zero, pinball action adventure Creature In The Well, top-down brawler Blood Roots, open world adventure Pine, four-player shmup Swimsanity, and Stranger Things 3: The Game.
Which is exactly the sort of diverse line-up you would never dream of seeing amongst bigger budget game.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUnpK23g4FY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=640&h=360]