Unpacking the Reveals From Nintendo’s Latest Indie World Showcase

Fantasy crawlers and open world exploration take center stage

Unpacking the reveals from Nintendo’s latest Indie World Showcase

Nintendo’s latest online Indie World update for March 2020 gave the spotlight to various upcoming games from independent developers around the world. 

Through a brief 20 minutes, the showcase revealed almost every title was a timed console exclusive coming to Nintendo Switch owners this year. The games also put a focus on 3D-based experiences, open world exploration and genre-bending puzzlers. A select few surprised-released just hours after their reveal, becoming downloadable on the Switch Eshop today.

Here are all the games revealed by their respective developers:

Blue Fire

Developer: Robi Studios

Publisher: Graffiti Games

Genre: Action Adventure, 3D Platformer

Release: Summer 2020

The show kicks off with a fast-paced traversal platformer set in the land of Penumbra. Players navigate through varying levels of environments filled with large enemies and strategic boss battles. Its gameplay also showed its sword-wielding hero uncover mysteries behind the kingdom’s curse along his journey into “The Void.” 

Blue Fire encourages players to dash, dodge and hack their way through a complex narrative created by Argentina-based developers Robi Studios. The game also features large environments that can be scaled by players and used in different advantages to defeat bosses.

The game releases as a timed console exclusive for the Nintendo Switch.

Baldo

Developer: NAPS Team

Publisher: NAPS Team

Genre: Open World Action Adventure RPG, Top Down Puzzle Platformer

Release: Summer 2020

Originally shown in June 2019, the Studio Ghibli-inspired Baldo is an action adventure RPG that throws players into the world of Rodia. A cast of unique characters are rendered in the styles of leading Japanese animation movies and guide players through a variety of magical dungeons. Its open world is also filled with side quests which deepen the lore behind Rodia and earn customizable loot. 

The updated trailer also shows a blend of forest and steampunk environments, with an added touch of tiny creatures players can interact with. Players also take their sword and shield against challenging enemies (some to confront and others to stealthily navigate through). Weapons gained throughout the game also become tools in solving navigational puzzles in strange places.

Baldo is developed by Italy’s oldest game studios, NAPS Team and is set as a timed console exclusive for Nintendo Switch owners in summer 2020.

I Am Dead

Developers: Hollow Ponds, Richard Hogg

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive

Genre: Cross section puzzler, Narrative-driven adventure

Release: TBA in 2020

The title speaks for itself in this vibrant adventure set in the snug harbour island of Shelmerston. You become the spirit of museum curator Morris Lupton as he sets out to save the townspeople from an erupting volcano. Along the tightly-knit narrative, players will also discover clues behind Lupton’s mysterious passing and other island histories through the town’s museum.

I Am Dead features a cross-section scavenger hunt and players look past the walls of Shelmerston’s houses, public buildings and even bags to collect items. Its approach also relies on resourcefulness and players must unlock their way through challenges which bring them closer to keeping Shelmerston’s beauty alive.

No release date has been announced for I Am Dead, on its way to the Nintendo Switch later this year.

B.ARK (Bio-Interstellar Ark)

Developer: Tic Toc Games

Publisher: Tic Toc Games

Genre: Side-scrolling 2D shooter, Couch co-op, family party game

Release: TBA in Late 2020

Kawaii-levels overload with charged cannons in a space shooter by indie studio Tic Toc Games. Up to four players can become a pug, cat, bear or bunny and pilot a mech to take out overwhelming waves of intergalactic invaders. Its score mechanic also encourages friends and family to rack up the most points for power-ups and eternal bragging rights.

In true co-op fashion, the Switch’s Joy Cons can also be shared for instant multiplayer over tabletop mode or docked mode. Friends and family can also add two more controllers for an all-out 

Competition aside, the team will also face less-adorable bosses in a bullet-hell-based frenzy while rescuing other animals stuck in space. This is where its coop mechanics encourage players to focus their fire on enemies harder to take down. Pets/players will also navigate through different colour palettes across space stations, asteroid fields, zero-g battlefields and other galactic horizons.

Players can fight over who becomes the pug when B.ARK releases as a timed exclusive for the Nintendo Switch in late 2020.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIedjxqe8i4

Cyanide & Happiness Freakpocalypse

Developer: Explosm Games

Publisher: Serenity Forge

Genre: Side-scrolling 2D RPG, click-based puzzle adventure

Release: Summer 2020

Backed as a Kickstarter project in 2018, Freakpocalypse is a spin on classic PC click-based games in which players survive in a zombie-ridden town based on the Cyanide & Happiness universe. Players will also bask in the tongue-in-cheek to chaotic humor from a cast of unique characters (and for some reason inanimate objects). 

Comic creator Kris Wilson appeared in a news update to deliver details on the game’s release on Switch before being mauled by an animated mutant (who breathes through its tear ducts). He also painted Freakpocalyse’s open world in a town surviving from a mysterious event which turned people into flesh-eating (but witty) monsters.

Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse is due out in summer 2020 as a timed exclusive on the Nintendo Switch.

Summer in Mara

Developer: Chibig

Publisher: Chibig

Genre: 3D Open world adventure RPG, farming and life simulator

Release: Spring 2020

Spanish-based indie studio Chibig were backed by Kickstarter to create a tropical adventure game set in a custom island players can thrive in. Koa, an eleven-year-old girl growing up with other characters on the island while helping to build its natural resources to survive. She also manages various challenges through the island’s unique weather system and a day/night cycle, forcing her to adapt. Koa also has to protect her island and its resources from the Elit corporation who arrive with a goal of profiting.

Inspired with the aesthetic of Japanese animation, Summer in Mara features over 100 main story quests which help Koa uncover the island’s past and her own place within the world. She can also take on side quests given by characters scattered across the map, all explorable by foot or boat. Koa’s discoveries will also lead her behind a large mysterious door which has existed on the island for centuries. 

The game releases as a timed exclusive for the Nintendo Switch later this spring.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiBCxkuhQWQ

Quantum League

Developer: Nimble Giant Entertainment

Publisher: Nimble Giant Entertainment

Genre: Competitive Arena First-person Shooter

Release: Spring 2020

This Overwatch-esque multiplayer shooter comes with a time travel twist, encouraging players to telegraph their moves in order to win.

Players become their own teams in a 3v3 setting. While the player moves around the arena, they’re joined by two clones of themselves. These “past selves” help out and copy the moves made by players in previous rounds. This also becomes a challenge for enemies as they work to eliminate the real player and win.

Quantum League also includes a variety of weapons players can customize for close quarters or ranged game styles while using their time to anticipate or plan attacks.

The game will require a paid Nintendo Online subscription and is set to go live later this spring.

The Good Life

Developer: White Owls

Publisher: White Owls

Genre: Open World RPG, life simulator

Release: TBA 2020

The Good Life takes its premise into the town of Rainy Woods, a highly-detailed British town filled with mysteries for players to solve.

They also step into the shows and paws of Naomi, a reporter who moves into Rainy Woods in hopes of paying off a large debt. She takes jobs from the game’s various (bizzare) characters to earn money while learning more about them. Things get interesting as Naomi and other townspeople change into cats and dogs at night. A few murder cases will also prompt her to use her investigative skills and build clues into finding the killer.

The Good Life gives players special abilities that let them use their heightened animal senses to smell, dig and chase after clues in its open world. A variety of side quests also allow Naomi to earn money faster in order to reach her financial goals. To help navigate the world as a human, she can also ride sheep.

No release date has been announced while its developers stated The Good Life will come out to the Nintendo Switch later this year.

The Last Campfire

Developer: Hello Games

Publisher: Hello Games

Genre: Adventure platformer, 3D puzzle platformer

Release: Summer  2020

The British developers of No Man’s Sky and Joe Danger take a simplistic approach in their next game about a lost ember finding belonging in a lonely realm. Players take on a variety of challenging puzzles blended in with a lush environment. The unnamed ember also discovers what happened to its own kin while working to restore them.

Strange creatures also meet players as they go deeper into The Last Campfire’s desolate but illuminating ruins.

Players can help the ember find its home later this summer on the Nintendo Switch.

Other titles briefly teased in the showcase included:

PixelJunk Eden 2

Developer: Q-Games

Publisher: Q-Games

Genre: Rhythm puzzler, trajectory platformer

Release: Summer 2020

Faeria

Developer: Abrakam SA

Publisher: Versus Evil

Genre: Strategic action card game, turn-based strategy

Release: March 2020

Eldest Souls

Developer: Fallen Flag Studio

Publisher: United Label

Genre: Top-down dungeon crawler, hack-and-slash, boss rush

Release: Summer 2020

Blair Witch (Switch port)

Developer: Bloober Team NA

Publisher: Lionsgate Games

Genre: First-person survival horror

Release: Summer 2020

Ghost of a Tale

Developer: SeithCG

Publisher: Plug In Digital

Genre: Action Adventure Platformer, Stealth Platformer, Dungeon Crawler

Release: Summer 2020

Sky: Children of the Light (Switch port)

Developer: thatgamecompany, Inc

Publisher: thatgamecompany, Inc

Genre: Multiplayer social simulator, flight adventure, RPG

Release: Summer 2020

Sky Racket (Switch port)

Developer: Double Dash Studios

Publisher: Double Dash Studios

Genre: 2D side-scrolling shooter

Release: Now

Superliminal (Switch port)

Developer: Pillow Castle

Publisher: Pillow Castle

Genre: First-person puzzle game, optical illusion experience

Release: Summer 2020

Wingspan (Switch version)

Developer: Monster Couch

Publisher: Monster Couch

Genre: Educational, bird-watching simulator

Release: Summer 2020

Dicey Dungeons (Switch version)

Developer: Distractionware Limited

Publisher: Distractionware Limited

Genre: Turn-based board game RPG, strategy adventure

Release: TBA 2020

Bounty Battle (Switch version)

Developer: Dark Screen Games

Publisher: Merge Games Limited

Genre: Crossover 2D fighting game

Release: Summer 2020

Moving Out

Developer: SMG Studio/DevM Games

Publisher: Team 17

Genre: Cooperative puzzle game, physics simulator

Release: April 28, 2020

Exit the Gungeon (Switch version)

Developer: Devolver Digital

Publisher: Devolver Digital

Genre: 2D side scrolling shooter, cooperative bullet hell

Release: Now

Devolver Digital ended the Indie World stream with a surprise release to its sequel of Enter the Gungeon. Players band together in a platformer which combines crumbling ruins and an onslaught of pixelated enemies. As players explored the first game’s setting, the mission changes to escaping a variety of new dungeons with a modular weapon. 

Exit the Gungeon now includes a larger list of power ups and abilities to help players clear the screen while surviving its claustrophobic vertical-scrolling levels.

The game also dropped on the Nintendo Switch shortly after its announcement.