The Nintendo Switch blurs the lines between gaming tablet, portable system, and console. Those last two things are already kind of blurry as handheld hardware has gotten more powerful. And, while handheld games have always been seen as the younger sibling to console games (who themselves are seen as inferior to the PC gaming ubermensch), mobile has always been the red-headed stepchild. Yet, with the Switch being basically a tablet with built-in controllers, there’s room for some great mobile games to shine on a ‘serious’ gaming system. There’s some underappreciated gems by talented developers that don’t get enough love, and I’ve collected ten great games that would make for fine Switch titles.
Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous, $2.99 The reason for including this is obvious: the Joy-Con’s tilt functionality. This could certainly be playable in portable mode with Joy-Con attached, but imagine being able to play the game while docked to the TV, using a Joy-Con remotely. Or enjoying cooperative tilting action with two Joy-Con. These games are fun, and excellent examples of strong mobile titles whose unique elements could translate to the Switch, and wouldn’t necessarily work as well on other platforms. Plus, the Tilt to Live franchise has had some of the strongest entries in the tilting and arena survival genre on mobile.
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL, $2.99 It just came out, but it’s obvious to see how well Riverman Media’s latest game would work on the Switch, and that’s not just because it has MFi controller support already. It’s also because Riverman is a talented developer that could use some greater exposure among the gaming community, and if not MUL.MASH, then games like Pizza vs. Skeletons ($2.99) and The Executive ($2.99) would also work quite well on the Switch and expose a new audience to the brilliance of this developer.
Super QuickHook, $2.99 I could put literally any Rocketcat title here, and something like Wayward Souls ($6.99) would work brilliantly. But the reason why I pick Super QuickHook is because it’s a brilliant game unlike few other, with its grappling hook action working brilliantly in both the context of designed levels and procedurally-made endless levels. Getting it exposed to a new audience, and on a system where it could live forever, would be amazing.
Star Warsâ„¢: Force Arena, Free The thing that would be really fascinating about this one is that you could theoretically use the Joy-Con to utilize movement and other character actions, while having the touchscreen free entirely for unit summoning. Ergonomics of the system would be key here, but it would be a rather intriguing idea for a game that tasks players with a lot of responsibilities. Also intriguing: how well would a mobile free-to-play game work on a system like the Switch that is intended to also have $60 games?
Super Stickman Golf 3, Free This 2D physics golfing game is fun as it is, sure. And on the Switch, it would provide lots more hours of golfing fun. But imagine local multiplayer race matches with the Joy-Con on here, or on the big screen. The potential for immense party fun could be realized with a Switch version of this game.
Leap Day, Free Daily modes in games are genius ideas, because there’s something pleasing about having a new challenge to take on every time you pick up a game, that everyone else in the world can also take on. Nitrome has delivered one of the finest games centered around this idea, for sure. Why not bring it to the people on the Switch? This would be perfect for commutes or for relaxing in front of the TV after a long day. Plus, considering one of Nitrome’s artists has been mocking up a Mario Leap Day for a while now, why not make that happen for real, eh?
868-HACK, $4.99 One of the disappointing things about mobile gaming benig seen as such an inferior form of gaming is that there are some talented designers and developers whose work has gone underappreciated. Michael Brough’s work is definitely included in that list. He has some amazing games, and the seminal classic 868-HACK would do well with a new audience on the Switch, though Imbroglio ($3.99) and Glitch Tank ($1.99) would also make for great entries on a new platform.
Sage Solitaire, Free Another designer who’s perhaps unappreciated, though he’s seen more mainstream success is Zach Gage. SpellTower ($2.99) is a great game, but that and some of his other titles deserve recognition on this new mobile-esque system. One of those is Sage Solitaire, an incredibly fun card game that brings its own spin to Klondike solitaire. And hey, another cool game from Gage that would belong on the Switch: bring back Bit Pilot ($1.99)!
Mikey Hooks, $1.99 Mobile has had a strong tradition of trial and speedrun platformers, in part because they make a perfect fit for the form factor. But with the Switch transcending form factors, some of these games would be a perfect fit for the platform. While there’s plenty of great examples – Mos Speedrun 2 ($1.99) is a great example, too – the Mikey games are ones I’ve been fans of since seeing the first one in early form at GDC 2012. All 3 entries in the Mikey series are great, but Hooks gets the win for having grappling hooks.
Smooth Operator!, $0.99 Pretty much any local multiplayer party game on mobile could translate well to the Switch. But the problem with iPad locla multiplayer games is that they’re always kind of awkard to play. With the Switch and two Joy-Con, there’s far less issue. Smooth Operator could be adapted to Joy-Con play, and this wacky kissing game would be great, goofy, fun to have at parties.