Merry Christmas! And for the lucky few of you, you got a Nintendo Switch for Christmas! Or are waiting in line to buy it in the boxing day sales. Either way, you must be pretty excited about your new console and the first thing on the agenda. Get a case for that because you’re probably going to drop it at some point. I recommend the silicone grip one. Now the second thing is what games are you going to get? The Switch has been out for two years with a slew of games to choose from. No doubt you’ve been reading the reviews and have your own ideas but here are some that are worth getting.
Untitled Goose Game
Who knew that causing havoc as a goose would be so much fun? You’ve probably never dreamed of being a goose. But there’s a good chance you’ve wondered what it would be like to cause havoc, free of consequences. In this way, the Untitled Goose Game is a kind of wish fulfilment. Set in a village in the English countryside, you play as the titular goose. Your goal is to create trouble for the bewildered residents of a small village. It’s cute and charming, and has a dedicated button for letting out a “honk!”. You can terrorize your human neighbours: steal their crops, lock them in closets, honking all the way through. Inspired by the stealth-action genre, Untitled Goose Game is a must-play game in 2019. You’ll zip through the game in a handful of hours, but it’s very much worth the journey.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Link’s Awakening isn’t technically a new game. Instead, it’s a remake of a classic adventure from the original Game Boy. But the remake is so extensive that it feels new. Link’s Awakening might just be the most adorable game on the Switch, thanks to its tiny, diorama-like world.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a masterful reimagining of the 1993 Game Boy classic. Preserving the original game’s clever dungeons and puzzles while wrapping it in a gorgeously vibrant new art style (seriously, has Link ever looked more adorable?). While Link’s Awakening is pretty close to the original game’s overall structure, it does spice things up with the ability to create your own dungeons. If you’re craving some old-school 2D Zelda action or just need something to hold you over until Breath of the Wild 2, Link’s Awakening is yet another great Zelda adventure for your Switch.
My Friend Pedro
What do you get when you combine the precision-shot action of Hotline Miami, the acrobatics of Trials, and slow-motion bullet-time effect? If that formula also includes one sentient banana, then you are either tripping on acid or playing My Friend Pedro. Split across several creative and perplexing levels, your goal is simple: Kill everyone and reach the exit. That’s easier said than done, especially when turrets are locking onto your position to deliver a torrential downpour of bullets.
My Friend Pedro is the perfect game to play in the Switch’s handheld mode. Because a level typically only takes a few minutes to complete. A surreal story gradually unravels as you progress, and special vehicular sections offer a nice burst of all-out action that differs from the methodical play of the rest of the game.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
No no, it’s not green Mario it’s Luigi! And in Luigi’s Mansion 3 you’ll need to rescue your friends in a, not at all scary horror game. The game is a hilarious, charming adventure, filled with inventive levels and creative bosses. Along with a very satisfying vacuum for sucking up your ghostly enemies. You’ll have a toybox of new spectre-slaying tools to play with as you explore a labyrinth hotel that becomes King Boo’s latest haunted mansion.
With the addition of Gooigi, Luigi’s gooey spectral doppelganger, you’ll control two characters at once, as you work your way through some of the most satisfying environmental puzzles the series has delivered yet. With new combat moves such as a satisfying ground slam and no shortage of memorable and challenging boss fights. The actual ghostbusting is a blast, too. If you’re looking for a breezy adventure game that’s as clever as it is charming, Luigi’s Mansion 3 delivers big.
Astral Chain is one of the most unique and satisfying action games you can find on the Switch. Or any platform, for that matter. This futuristic anime adventure puts a unique twist on Platinum Games’ signature brand of stylish combat. Allowing you to create all kinds of crazy combos by controlling both your main character and Legion companions in tandem with one another. Astral Chain‘s supremely satisfying fighting is complemented by detective missions, fun environmental puzzles, and a vibrant sci-fi world that comes alive with a thumping techno-meets-metal soundtrack and some of the best visuals of any Switch game.
Astral Chain is set in a bustling city that is under attack by mysterious interdimensional forces. You won’t work alone, however, as Astral Chain pairs the protagonist with several “Legion” characters who can attack in unison. This mix of direct and indirect combat is at the heart of the game, but you will also investigate mysteries and solve puzzles along the way.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U was already one of the best entries in the franchise, and the Nintendo Switch version is no different. At its core, the game offers the same excellent racing as the Wii U original, but there are also a number of new additions for this version of the arcade racer. You’ve got the return of battle mode, new characters, all the previously released DLC tracks, and the ability to hold two special items at a time to add an extra layer of strategy to your racing. The new game is also a great way of playing the game in multiplayer. You can play online, in split-screen with up to four players. Or link up to eight consoles together to play multiplayer wirelessly. It’s well worth picking up for anyone who missed out on Mario Kart 8 the first time around.
The Switch is really a console that’s made for platformers. It feels great in play and as such, all the ports are working out great. In a sea of excellent indie platformers on Switch, Celeste stands out as something truly special. This pixelated, ultra-tight 2D sidescroller is simple yet immensely satisfying. Featuring incredible level design and flawlessly tuned precision platforming. It’s smart, charming and dense with content. Celeste‘s action is complemented by a touching and cleverly told story about dealing with mental illness. And the whole package is wrapped up in an unforgettable synth soundtrack that alternates between serene and haunting. If you own a Switch, you need Celeste.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
Sword and Shield represent the best Pokémon adventures in years! The new games benefit from the dual nature of the Switch. You can catch monsters on the go and simultaneously enjoy the wonderful new visuals on a big-screen TV — as well as a handful of very welcome changes to the formula. These include new multiplayer raid battles, an open-ended “Wild Area” to explore and a host of quality-of-life changes that make the quest much more streamlined. Plus, thanks to the new Dynamax feature, you can blow your favourite monsters up to absurd proportions. It’s a gorgeous game that like the previous Pokémon games, you’re going to spend many happy days in.