Nintendo’s latest Indie World Showcase, aired on August 10th, 2023, brought with it a wave of exciting announcements for some of the most anticipated indie games coming to the Nintendo Switch. From release dates to new reveals, there was plenty for Nintendo fans to get hyped about.
In this post, we’ll be highlighting some of the showcase’s biggest game announcements and giving an overview of what players can expect from these creative and unique indie experiences. Whether you’re a fan of cozy life sims, action-packed RPGs, or puzzle-platformers, the Indie World Showcase had something for all tastes and preferences. Read on for highlights and details on some of the most notable games covered during the show.
Mineko’s Night Market
Kicking off the showcase was the long-awaited Mineko’s Night Market. This charming 2D adventure game draws heavy inspiration from Japanese culture and aesthetics with its hand-illustrated visuals and zen soundtrack.
Players take control of Mineko, a curious girl who has returned to her seaside village to prepare for the annual Night Market festival. However, she soon discovers that the village has fallen into disrepair and that the market is in danger of being cancelled. Determined to save the tradition, it’s up to the player to gather resources, rebuild shops, make new furry and human friends, and ultimately ensure that the Night Market opens on time.
From planting crops and crafting items to making mochi and hosting a cat café, Mineko’s Night Market promises a relaxing yet engaging experience filled with colourful characters. As the game’s trailer showcased during the presentation, players can look forward to spending cozy evenings fishing, stargazing and exploring the village when the game launches on Nintendo Switch and PC later this year.
My Time at Sandrock
For fans of the hit 2018 game My Time at Portia, this year’s Indie Showcase brought an exciting announcement – a sequel called My Time at Sandrock is on the way in May 2023.
Like its predecessor, My Time at Sandrock is a charming mix of RPG, simulation and crafting, set in a post-apocalyptic desert town. Players step into the shoes of a fledgling Builder who has come to Sandrock with hopes of restoring the broken-down settlement to its former glory.
As the newest Builder on the block, you’ll gather resources from the desert, befriend the town’s quirky residents, take on commissions to design items and structures, and even find love along the way. The vibrant trailer gave viewers a taste of the game’s expansive crafting system and teased some of the activities players can engage in, like mining ruins, customizing your workshop and relaxing at the local saloon after a long day.
With My Time at Sandrock promising even more depth and content than the original, fans of the cosy life-sim/RPG genre will find plenty sink their teeth into when the game launches on Switch and PC later this year.
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own restaurant, then PlateUp! lets you live out that fantasy in the most chaotic way possible. This frantic, co-op cooking game puts you and up to three other players in charge of a ever-expanding, multi-storey kitchen that’s constantly bombarded by orders from hungry customers.
As orders come flooding in, you’ll need to master coordination with your teammates to prep ingredients, cook meals, combine plates and get them served – all while the kitchen grows more and more crammed. It’s controlled chaos in the best possible way.
The game’s trailer gave viewers a taste of just how frenzied the cooking can get, with chefs scrambling up and down floors to gather ingredients and get orders out. Players can also fully customize their restaurant with a variety of appliances, décor and upgrades to deal with the endless orders.
If you and your friends crave a real cooperative challenge, be sure to add PlateUp! to your wishlist when it hits Switch and PC later this year.
Quilts and Cats of Calico
Of all the indie games featured during the presentation, Quilts and Cats of Calico is undoubtedly the most adorable and wholesome of the bunch. As the name suggests, this cozy life and crafting sim lets you run your very own quilt shop while surrounded by the finest felines in the whimsical town of Calico.
The story kicks off with you inheriting your late grandmother’s quilt shop, where you’ll get to know the locals, decorate with an abundance of cute cat trinkets, and create a wide array of colorful quilts for townsfolk while befriending every cat you meet along the way.
The trailer gave viewers a delightful glimpse of the pastel-hued world of Calico and teased some of the activities you’ll get up to, like exploring enchanting forests, personalizing the shop’s layout, planting gardens, participating in craft fairs and fostering friendships with your new furry companions.
Quilts and Cats promises a heartwarming and therapeutic retreat from everyday stresses, and is slated to launch on Switch and PC later this year – perfect for snuggling up during cozy autumn and winter days.
For those who enjoy enchanting worlds and magical characters, Animal Well brought something truly unique and special to the Indie Showcase. Described as a “fantasy pinball adventure”, Animal Well tells the story of a small creature named Pillow who finds itself trapped at the bottom of a vast, mysterious well.
Determined to escape and reunite with loved ones, players control Pillow and must use pinball-esque mechanics to traverse up the sides of the well, avoiding dangers and overcoming challenges along the way. The well is filled with strange architecture, portals to lush forests, and remnants of long-lost civilizations – all brought to life through stunning hand-drawn visuals.
The gameplay trailer gave viewers a captivating first look at Pillow navigating the well’s obstacles and showcased an emotional story filled with themes of perseverance, sacrifice and companionship. With its fairytale feel and innovative fusion of pinball and platforming, Animal Well should delight players when it launches on Switch and PC later this year.
Fans of supernatural mysteries and time-bending gameplay were treated to an exciting reveal of Crime O’Clock during Nintendo’s showcase. As a detective with the ability to rewind time, players are tasked with investigating a series of crimes and conspiracies taking place in a city where the clock is broken and time is constantly turning back.
The trailer depicts the game’s gorgeous, noir-inspired pixel art style and teases complex puzzles where players will need to utilize the rewind mechanic to gather clues, talk to witnesses during different time periods, retrace steps and manipulate scenarios to solve each case.
But supernatural forces seem to be interfering with your abilities and the city’s timeline to conceal an even bigger conspiracy tied to your own family’s hidden past. With a strong emphasis on logic, deception and manipulating the passage of time, Crime O’Clock looks to deliver a unique and cerebral take on detective stories when it comes to Switch and PC later this year.
Since captivating players with its hand-drawn Steampunk world in 2013, indie developer Rain Games finally announced a full sequel to their praised puzzle-platformer – Teslagrad 2. Once again set in the Teslagrad universe, the story follows a new protagonist discovering the secrets of an ancient technological marvel that may hold the key to stopping powerful destructive forces.
Just like with the original, Teslagrad 2 promises a marriage of creative abilities, intuitive magnet-based puzzles and dynamic platforming challenges in an ever-evolving world brimming with magic and mechanical mystery. The lively trailer also confirmed that the first Teslagrad game will be getting a modern remaster makeover when it launches alongside the sequel on Switch and PC next year.
Shadows Over Loathing
Transporting the madcap stick-figure world of Kingdom of Loathing to a more sinister, Lovecraftian setting, Shadows Over Loathing captured attention with its reveal during the showcase. As a comedic take on tabletop and horror RPGs, players will get to create their own customizable character before being let loose in the dark and humourous world brought to life through simple yet effective hand-drawn visuals.
The reveal trailer depicted shadowy forests, cobblestone streets and a city brimming with strange NPCs based on classes like Wizards, Warriors, Cultists and everyday townsfolk. Beyond whimsical characters, the game promises addictive turn-based combat against otherworldly beasts, side quests for equipment and abilities as well as statistics and gameplay features tailored to each class.
While an exact release date wasn’t specified, RPG fans eager for both laughs and eldritch adventure can anticipate confronting the horrors of Shadows Over Loathing on Switch and PC when it launches in 2024.
After the immense success of the original Blasphemous in 2019, developers The Game Kitchen had exciting news to share regarding a sequel. Set once again in the disturbingly beautiful land of Orthodoxia, Blasphemous 2 continues the story of the Penitent One – a tormented warrior on a quest for redemption and sacrifice to break a terrible curse upon the land and its people.
This time however, the Penitent One has regained their memory and speech, allowing for richer characterization and storytelling this time around. The macabre trailer treated viewers to gory execution moves, disturbing enemy designs and teased titanic boss encounters on par with Shadow of the Colossus.
With the core intense hack-and-slash combat and immersive Metroidvania level designs already winning praise the first time around, Blasphemous 2 is shaping up to be a must-play for fans of Souls-like extreme difficulty and dark religious horror when it comes to PC and consoles (including Switch) next year.
For those seeking a classic sci-fi action-adventure reminiscent of Metroid and Ratchet & Clank, Oxidean Prime instantly stood out as a vibrant retro-futuristic treat during its Indie Showcase reveal. The game puts players in the rocket boots of Juanita, a sassy yet tough space explorer investigating the mysterious robotic inhabitants populating the planet Oxide.
The reveal trailer demonstrated rich, colourful alien vistas ripe for exploration, intense gunplay and gadget-based combat against armies of quirky machines as Juanita unravels the secrets behind Oxide’s cryptic robotic overlords. Coming from the lead artist and developers behind the striking Hyper Light Drifter, Oxidean Prime absolutely nails its anime-inspired aesthetic.
With responsive exploration and combat at the game’s heart, plenty of weapon and skill variety as Juanita gains abilities, Oxidean Prime has all the hallmarks of a stellar Metroidvania adventure. Sci-fi fans eager to blast robots and uncover galactic mysteries can jet over to Oxide Prime when it lands on Switch and PC sometime next year.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals
Five years after the acclaimed original, fans were ecstatic to finally get concrete details regarding Oxenfree II: Lost Signals – the next spooky, narrative-driven adventure from Night School Studio. Set five years after the supernatural events of Oxenfree, former protagonist Riley returns to her hometown after picking up mysterious radio signals originating from the caves near Camena where she and friends once unwittingly opened a ghostly rift.
Now accompanied by newcomer Jacob, players must navigate tense conversations, environmental puzzles and thrilling stakes as they investigate the source of the signals. All while confronting past demons along the way. The ominous trailer captured Oxenfree’s signature artistic realism and teased reality-bending scenarios players will experience across the 10+ hour adventure.
With Oxenfree lauded for its complex characters, dynamic dialogue systems and eerie atmosphere upon launch, Lost Signals looks to recreate everything fans loved about the original when it launches on Switch and PC sometime next year.
Obsidian Entertainment captivated gamers by transporting players to the late 16th Century in Bavaria with the reveal of Pentiment – a gorgeous narrative adventure set in the final years of the middle ages. The story puts players in control of Andreas Maler, a journeyman artist investigating a murder within an abbey in the fictional Alpine town of Tassing.
Over the course of 25 years across five distinct chapters, Andreas must gather clues and testimonies from an eclectic cast of townsfolk, journeymen and nobility to unravel a conspiracy threatening the future of Bavaria itself. The Age of Enlightenment looms on the horizon, but dark secrets still haunt towns and abbeys, mired in backward superstitions and religious paranoia. It’s up to Andreas to determine who the true enemy is before calamity ensues.
While Pentiment promises a slower burn, choice-driven story compared to Obsidian’s fantasy RPGs, the game still reflects the studio’s strengths in narrative complexity, worldbuilding and moral ambiguity across engrossing stories etched in ink and parchment. For those seeking a medieval murder mystery, Pentiment will provide a rich, authentic world filled with dark secrets when it releases on Xbox and PC in November this year.
Angelic assassins competing for a chance at heaven through speedrunning levels may sound like an absurd concept on paper, but Neon White from developer Ben Esposito absolutely nails it with style and finesse. After giving a brief story trailer during a previous Nintendo Direct, Neon White returned to give viewers a more extensive look at its slick movement mechanics and kinetic energy during the latest showcase.
Players control the Neon White, an assassin plucked from hell and tasked with impressing other rival angels/assassins to secure a coveted spot in paradise by speedrunning various heavens. To dispatch enemies and traverse obstacles, Neon White uses a deck of cards that activate weapons and mobility skills like dashing, wall running and launching over gaps at blinding speeds.
Think Slay the Spire meets Mirror’s Edge set in a slick cyberpunk heaven and you get a feel for Neon White’s infectious sense of style and speed. If you crave intense platforming and a competitive edge, be sure to add this stellar card-based FPS to your wishlist before it launches on Switch and PC this December.
Cult of the Lamb
Of all the wonderfully deranged and creative games revealed during the Indie Showcase event, Cult of the Lamb stands out as potentially the most addictively unhinged mashup of genres imaginable. As an adorable lamb saved from annihilation, your fate is to build a loyal following of woodland creatures and establish your own religion. Whether by generosity or intimidation, you play as a charming leader…who also hides a ferocious inner darkness.
Once you establish your cult’s camp hub, you’ll ventured into procedurally generated landscapes to gather resources, spread influence and conduct rituals to maintain dominance and loyalty. Journeys into the wilderness pits your cult against hostile enemy encampments and eldritch dungeons to test combat prowess as you craft new weapons and abilities for you and your followers.
Back at the home base, daily activities involve teaching classes, performing sermons and conducting dark rituals to cement power over your growing flock of devotees. Inspired by roguelikes and occult themes, Cult of the Lamb marches to the beat of its own drum when it launches next month on August 11 for PC and all major consoles, including Switch.
While many exciting indie titles were featured throughout the showcase, Citizen Sleeper from developer Jump Over The Age stood out as a uniquely profound, philosophical and emotive experience. Set on the fringes of a dystopian cyberpunk future, the story has you assuming control of a newly “awakened” Sleeper – an indentured digital consciousness downloaded into a surrogate android body.
Severed from your past identity, you awake on a decaying space station called the Flotilla, escaping detection from authorities and trying to prolong functionality of your fragile mechanical body. Presented using rich textual narrative and 2D roleplaying exploration, the game has you balancing needs like hunger, exhaustion, social interaction and health as you eke out an existence avoiding police patrols.
Integral to progress is building relationships with the station’s misfit residents through meaningful dialog exchanges that shape the story and outcomes while letting you maintain your newfound autonomy. Promising compelling characters and questions on existential themes, Citizen Sleeper will resonate with fans of interactive fiction when it comes to Nintendo Switch on June 9th, 2023.
Indie Showcase Overview
While we highlighted some of our favourite game reveals and announcements, the entirety of Nintendo’s Indie Showcase August presentation brought stellar reveals across practically every genre imaginable. From enchanting cat crafting sims and meditative desert town builders, to sinister psychological thrillers and kinetic FPS deckbuilders – the indie sphere continues to impress with both cosy and provocative experiences.
With so many unique digital adventures on offer, Nintendo Switch owners will be spoiled for choice over the coming year thanks to another sensational showing by creative developers and publishers during the latest Indie World showcase extravaganza. Mark your calendars and get those wishlists updated – as early 2023 is shaping up to deliver some of the most imaginative and evocative worlds in recent memory straight from the passionate indie gaming scene.