Dandy Dungeon: The Legend of Brave Yamada was the best mobile game released in 2017. It was created by Yoshiro Kimura, the auteur behind PlayStation 2, kiss adventure, Chulip. The effortlessly charming and dangerously addictive Dandy Dungeon confirmed something I had believed but never had a clear example to demonstrate; an excellent mobile game can be indistinguishable from a fantastic indie title.
Seeing a title I love so dearly come to the Switch got me thinking about a few other games I’d love to see Nintendo scoop up. Here are five of them.
Advertised as “a game of making terrible mistakes and thinking ways out of them,” Heat Signature is basically a Hitman outer space sandbox game. It takes very measured steps to make you feel cool. Accepting missions which range in difficulty from easy to “this was a mistake,” Heat Signature is part Mr. Shifty part turn-based Hotline Miami.
Every ship you break into can be tackled in a variety of ways. Strange gadgets are always on the table, as is throwing someone out a window and into the expansive void of space. The real gem is that there’s no time limit in the combat sections. This means you can really take your time and plan out how you’ll John Woo your way through some dudes and complete your mission.
Heat Signature is available for $14.99 on Steam
Ultraman, ultrafan? Sun Vulcan, weirdo? Chroma Squad is the game for you. Part tactics game, part sentai studio manager, Chroma Squad is a sweet little game that kept me in high spirits. While this isn’t the deepest entry in the tactical RPG genre, it more than makes up for it with charm and an outstanding sense of fun.
Chroma Squad puts you in charge of a renegade team of stuntmen who seek to create their own tokusatsu studio. Also, possibly save the world. The dialogue is punchy, and seeing your goofy team yell their signature catchphrases before striking a pose and annihilating some mobs never gets old. It’s a short, joyous romp through the niche world of super sentai, a genre ripe for more tributes.
Chroma Squad is available for $14.99 on Steam
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game
Here’s one of the more improbable entries on this list. Due to a combination of the game flopping on release and the license then expiring, the chance of this title seeing the light of day in the near future is slim to none. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is an unfortunately forgotten indie darling. It’s a title I could absolutely see ad-hoc and online multiplayer treating incredibly well in 2019.
The satisfying hits and the RPG lite upgrade system kept this brawler from getting stale. I can’t think of a better console for it to make a grand comeback on than the Switch.
One of the best modern beat ’em ups ever, Scott Pilgrim is a complete blast, even by yourself. With three friends it’s a multiplayer classic up there with Chu Chu Rocket.
Featuring the brilliant art of Paul Robertson and the infectious tunes of Anamanaguchi, this is an indie tour de force that still feels just as fresh today as its release nine years ago. Come on, Ubisoft. Help us out.
A game jam baby, VA-11 HALL-A is a bartender simulator with roots in 80’s/90’s anime OVAs and old Japanese personal computers. A stylish visual novel in the potentially trite cyberpunk genre, VA-11 HALL-A is a very cool game that gives you an intimate look into life after the nukes.
Staying true to the subtitle of cyberpunk bartender action, there are no dialogue trees to click on. Instead, your sole interactions with the world are the drinks you make. The cast is perfectly unremarkable. Just the kind of people who you might actually meet in a post-dystopian, future bar. Even so, VA-11 HALL-A makes the ordinary extraordinary. There have actually been some rumors of an impending Switch release, but I’m still waiting for that final confirmation.
VA-11 HALL-A is available for $14.99 on Steam
It won’t happen, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. The untouchable grand master of RPG maker games and true heir to the LSD: Dream Emulator throne, Yume Nikki should be played by as many people as possible.
RPG in game engine name only, the shut-in Madotsuki refuses to leave her home except in her dreams. After hitting the sack Mado is transported to a way station full of doors. Each one leading to increasingly surreal worlds that can be further spelunked.
Mado is aided by a bizarre array of tools she discovers in each new world that the game calls “effects.” Some “effects” are joyous, some are grim, some are places no one would ever want to be. It’s the OG absurdist walking simulator. No one should be deprived of the chance to play it while hiding under a blanket in the middle of the night.
Play Yume Nikki free on Steam