A much-anticipated new Nintendo Direct finally provided us with some updates, along with some pleasant surprises, regarding the Switch’s 2019 lineup. We’ve decided to highlight the best upcoming releases as well as some games that may not be on your radar just yet. Make sure to check back as we’ll be updating this list should there be any new announcements.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order – July 19, 2019
It’s been a decade since the last Ultimate Alliance game and fans are excited to once again assemble a squad of their favorite Marvel characters. Toting a roster of 34 playable characters, upgraded visuals, and a retelling of the most iconic MCU storyline, Ultimate Alliance 3 is the biggest entry in the series to date.
The game has you using your team’s special abilities in tandem with one another in order to pull off powerful combos and take out waves of enemies as you explore familiar Marvel locations, including The Avengers Tower and The X-Mansion. Ultimate Alliance 3 supports co-op for up to four friends locally and online, giving you plenty of ways to team-up and prevent Thanos and his Black Order from collecting the six infinity stones.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses – July 26, 2019
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the next major entry in the long-running strategy-RPG series from Nintendo. Launching on the Switch, the game features improved graphics with much higher visual fidelity compared to previous Fire Emblem games released on handheld. At the same time, Three Houses looks to be a return to form for the series, with gameplay features like weapon durability and Combat Arms returning.
You play as Byleth, a teacher at the prestigious academy located in the heart of Fódlan, a massive continent comprised of three rivaling nations. Your main objective is to train students in the ways of war and prepare them for an imminent battle. With the fates of your pupils resting on your hands and the game’s default permadeath turned on, every decision will feel like a matter of life and death.
RAD – Aug 20, 2019
RAD comes from well-known indie developer and publisher Double Fine Productions, best known for creating Broken Age and Psychonauts. The game is a 3D action rogue-like set in a twice-irradiated, post-apocalyptic world inspired by 80s pop culture.
You play as a teenager looking to take on any challenge the wasteland has to offer and explore a variety of mutated environments brimming with exotic and deadly creatures. Defeating enemies rewards you with different mutations that affect gameplay, including a pair of wings that allow you to glide and a detachable boomerang arm that can be used as a projectile.
Oninaki – Aug 22, 2019
Coming from developer Tokyo RPG Factory, creators of I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear, Oninaki is a new action-RPG that tells the story of Kagachi, a “Watcher” with the ability to move between the Living World and the Beyond. As a Watcher, Kagachi must seek out the souls of those that have died, known as the Lost, and help them sever ties with the world and move on to the next.
While the game seems to maintain the core JRPG elements that the studio is known for, Oninaki’s more action-focused combat and unique art style makes the game look and feel more vibrant than other JRPGs. Based on the trailer, it seems like the game will attempt to balance both an emotionally gripping story, and flashy gameplay.
Astral Chain – Aug 30, 2019
Astral Chain is a new IP from Platinum Games and directed by Takahisa Taura, one of the key designers on Nier-Automata, along with help from Hideki Kamiya, director of Bayonetta. That all sounds like a recipe for a stylish action game with fast-paced combat and dramatic boss battles.
The game takes place in the Ark, a massive and prosperous city that’s hit by disaster when mysterious dimensional gates start appearing. As a rookie officer for the Neuron special task force, you and your “Legion”, a living weapon you have control over, will have to work together to save humanity and take back control of the Ark.
Bloodroots – Summer, 2019
Bloodroots is a new indie action game that has players embarking on a Western journey for revenge. You play as Mr. Wolf, a deadly outdoorsman that can turn nearly any object into a lethal weapon, including carrots.
The game has you fighting your way through a variety of levels ranging from forests to mountaintops, using random objects along your path to take out enemies and put the odds in your favor. What has us most excited for Bloodroots is its fluid combat and traversal systems which allow Mr. Wolf to seamlessly transition from point to point, leaving behind a trail of destruction and chaos.
Creature in the Well – Summer, 2019
It’s not every day that we get an announcement for a new dungeon crawler pinball game, or ever for that matter. Creature in the Well looks like it’ll be a mash-up of both genres while also drawing inspiration from indie titles like Hyper Light Drifter.
Your goal in the game will be to restore power to an ancient facility that houses a massive and formidable creature. In order to survive each of the game’s eight dungeons, you’ll have to become a master swordsman, utilizing your weapon to charge up and send balls of energy towards dormant machines and bring them back to life.
Neo Cab – Summer, 2019
A game where you play as an Uber driver in a futuristic dystopia that’s become obsessed with automation seems very appropriate in 2019. Launching alongside a plethora of action games, Neo Cab’s more slow-paced, dialogue-heavy gameplay feels like it’ll serve as a great palette cleanser on the Switch.
You play as Lina, the last human cab driver in the city of Los Ojos. Following the disappearance of your best friend, you’re tasked with uncovering the truth while keeping your emotions in check and your bank account in order.
Double Kick Heroes – Summer, 2019
Double Kick Heroes is a rhythm game set in an apocalyptic world. The game’s soundtrack is filled with explosive licensed Metal tracks that play while you and your band take a road trip through the wasteland.
Gameplay has you shooting zombies and other monsters by timing button pressing in tune with the music. There are a number of different weapons like shotguns, hand pistols, and cannons, which each have unique patterns and attacks. Double Kick Heroes features five difficulties and a diverse cast of rock stars you can learn more about during your adventure.
Daemon X Machina – Sep 13, 2019
Serving as a spiritual successor to the Armored Core series, Daemon X Machina is a thrilling, cel-shaded anime mech-fighting adventure that has caught our eye ever since it was first revealed at E3 2018. With some of the Armored Core team working on the game, we can expect flashy, Gundam-style combat.
The story has you play as a customizable member of The Outers, a group of pilots who command mechs and gain superpowers after a planetary collision causes radiated energy to spread, making all artificial intelligence hostile against humans. You’ll be able to customize your mech and pilot it during missions where you’ll use a wide-array of weapons, abilities, and environmental objects to defeat enemies.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Sep 20, 2019
Link’s Awakening is a remake of the 1993 Game Boy title of the same name that’s slated to release on the Switch later this fall. The game sees series protagonist Link shipwrecked Koholint Island, where he learns that in order to leave he’ll have to awaken the island’s guardian, the Wind Fish, by retrieving eight magical instruments scattered across multiple dungeons.
While the remake retains the top-down perspective of the original, it features completely remade HD assets. The game is unique in that it is one of the few Zelda titles not set in Hyrule and doesn’t feature Princess Zelda or the Triforce.
Pokémon Sword & Shield – Nov 15, 2019
Pokémon Sword & Shield takes place in the UK-inspired Galar region, which is comprised of multiple environments ranging from small rural villages, bustling urban cities, icy mountains, mineral-rich caves, and massive stadiums. Along with the new region comes a new cel-shaded visual style that maintains the 3D-perspective of recent titles, including the ability to rotate the player camera freely.
It seems like developer Game Freak is aiming to bring some key new features to the series without disrupting too much of the core Pokémon experience. For one, the games will feature a new “Wild Area” that stretches between cities and spawns different wild Pokémon depending on the weather and the player’s current location. Additionally, a new kind of Pokémon transformation called “Dynamaxing” will cause Pokémon to become massive in size and boost their attacks for three turns.
Overland – Fall, 2019
Overland is a squad-based survival strategy game set in post-apocalyptic North America. It features procedurally generated levels, meaning players will have to prepare themselves for anything and carefully plan their every move.
Managing and scavenging for supplies is an absolute must in order to survive in this harsh new world. The game will force you to make some tough moral decisions and coming from developer Finji, is sure to have an introspective story with great dialogue.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 – TBA, 2019
While Nintendo still hasn’t confirmed the release date for Luigi’s Mansion 3, we’re still hopeful it’ll be out before the year is done. The game has Luigi going on a new spooky adventure, this time inside a much larger mansion hotel whose ghostly guests have become aggressive.
Equipped with his new Poltergust-G00, Luigi will have to rescue his friends and uncover the source of all the supernatural activity. Luigi’s Mansion 3 supports both local and online co-op and introduces a new “ScareScraper” multiplayer mode where up to 8-players work together to catch ghosts and locate all the Toads.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Mar 20, 2020
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the long-awaited new entry in the social sim series from Nintendo. The game sees you playing as a new character whose traveling to a tropical island as part of business-savvy tanuki Tom Nook’s “deserted island getaway package.”
No longer held back by the limitations of the 3DS, New Horizons supports online multiplayer for up to 8-players inhabiting the same island. The game also introduces a plethora of new features including the ability to create paths, place furniture outside of homes, craft items, and an expanded character customization tool.
Radical Rabbit Stew – TBA, 2020
Radical Rabbit Stew is an upcoming action-puzzle title that has you playing as a space chef whose world has been invaded by rabbits. You’ll have to use your trusty wooden cooking spoon to wrangle up these furry abominations and send them flying across the galaxy in cooking pots.
The 2D pixel art game has a certain charm that evokes memories of retro, 16-bit games like LoZ: A Link to the Past. On the gameplay front, a lot of RRS’s puzzles seem to draw inspiration from Bomberman’s lane-based, explosive combat.
Town – TBA
Game Freak likes to branch out from time to time and put out new games outside of the Pokémon series. Town looks to be their latest project and so far it looks promising. The game was revealed during a Nintendo Direct and seems to maintain the turn-based combat the studio is known for.
From the brief trailer it does look like there will be a lot of layers to the game’s combat system. In terms of story, Town will take place as its name suggests, in one singular town that has been invaded by monsters. You and the rest of the villagers will need to team up and defend your home from enemy threats.
Whether its PC or console, AAA or Indie, New-York born and raised Justin has a natural curiosity to seek out hidden gems and share them with other gamers. He also maintains his own YouTube channel in addition to writing and managing the social media profiles for GamingScan.