In 2018, Nintendo continued to build upon the success they had had the previous year, releasing an assortment of new first-party exclusives and third-party games, including a growing list of “Nindie” titles. With a bunch of games scheduled to release in 2019, the company has been slowly doling out new information regarding the Switch’s upcoming titles.

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.

Cuphead

Release Date: April 18th

It’s been interesting to see Microsoft and Nintendo’s partnership blossom to where it currently stands. Bringing the previously Xbox-exclusive Cuphead to the Switch is a smart idea and will allow Nintendo fans to finally experience all the game’s charm and headache inducing gameplay. What immediately stands out about Cuphead is its art style, which is inspired by 1930s cartoons and features hand-drawn animations as well as watercolor painted backgrounds.

https://youtu.be/XwF67xkNSn8

The game’s mechanics are inspired by retro run-and-gun games and requires precise platforming and dodging. Most of Cuphead’s gameplay revolves around continual boss fights, with bosses entering different phases during the course of battle. While the game is challenging, recognizing enemy attack patterns and coming up with different approaches can lead you to victory.

Mortal Kombat 11

Release Date: April 23rd

It’s been more than a decade since a MK game appeared on a Nintendo console so it’s great to see the fighting game series make a return for Switch. While the Switch version won’t look as graphically impressive, we’re sure MK 11’s new fatalities will look just as gory and brutal on the console.

https://youtu.be/7S7KosZq0sQ

You can expect series staples like Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and Raiden to make an appearance in addition to some newcomers like the Kronika, who has the ability to manipulate time, and her minion Geras, who can use sand to create a number of deadly weapons. Furthermore, MK 11’s story plans to have huge implications for the series going forward and will further explain events from previous games.

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech

Release Date: April 25th

SteamWorld Quest is an upcoming strategy RPG developed and published by Swedish video game developer Image & Form, creators of the SteamWorld series. The game has you guiding a party of courageous heroes through a hand-drawn world where you’ll encounter fierce enemies.

https://youtu.be/HDA5FuOnsfA

Along the way you’ll build a deck from over 100 unique cards that can be used to deal damage, perform spells, and affect the flow of battle. The turn-based game looks to blend Image & Form’s usual steampunk aesthetic with traditional fantasy elements, which will be interesting to see. Given the studio’s track record, we can expect a well-polished game filled with robot dragons and steam-powered suits of armor.

Little Friends Dogs and Cats

Release Date: May 28th

Little Friends is an upcoming pet simulator that’s sure to melt even the coldest of hearts. The game allows you to choose from a variety of puppy and kitten breeds to raise and care for, with activities like grooming, feeding, and playing all essential to maintaining your pet’s happiness and strengthening your bond with one another.

https://youtu.be/ssl4s8Xkz1o

Aside from different kinds of animal breeds, the game comes packed with hundreds of different accessories and pieces of clothing for your pet to show off while going for walks or participating in pet competitions. Little Friends seems perfect for anyone who has nostalgia for the Nintendogs games or wants a furry pal without any of the real world mess.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled

Release Date: June 21st

Since the original Crash Team Racing debuted on the PlayStation back in 1999, we haven’t seen another kart racer that could go toe-to-toe, or rather tire-to-tire, with Nintendo’s very own Mario Kart. The beloved racing game will be making its first appearance on a Nintendo console when CTR: Nitro-Fueled releases later this summer.

https://youtu.be/3JlIboaQ7to

While the remake will still use the original game’s story and five game modes: Adventure, Time Trial, Arcade, VS and Battle, players can expect new tracks, vehicles, and racers to be added. The game will also include online multiplayer for the first time ever, in addition to local 4-player splitscreen.

Super Mario Maker 2

Release Date: June 2019

Nintendo Switch Games

Super Mario Maker first appeared on the Wii U back in 2015, and was later ported to the 3DS. Since then, fans have been wondering when and if Nintendo would announce a sequel for the Switch. Now we know Super Mario Maker 2 will be coming to the console and will bring a ton of new features along with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjJWzJC8Kfk

The game will include the ability to build slopes in levels, allowing Mario Makers to craft authentic Super Mario Bros. 3-style levels for the first time. Next, new themes such as Desert, Snow, Jungle, and Forest have been added and will provide more variety for designing stages. Lastly, new types of blocks and enemies have been added, giving players the opportunity to design more challenging levels for their friends to try.

My Friend Pedro

Release Date: June 2019

Name a better duo than guns and slo-mo? We’ll wait. My Friend Pedro feels like a culmination of The Matrix and Max Payne with a certain potassium-rich fruit sprinkled on top. The 2D action game has you taking down bad guys by performing deadly acrobatic feats while time is slowed down.

https://youtu.be/r3lgXFZCQ48

Combat in My Friend Pedro looks like a bloody ballet, where bullets can ricochet off of walls and blow the back of an enemy’s head wide-open. We’re hoping the game doesn’t end up feeling like a one trick pony and finds new uses for the ‘bullet time’ mechanic than previous games.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

Release Date: July 12th

Best Switch Games

While Dragon Quest Builders 2 was released in Japan back in December 2018, fans have been waiting for an announcement of a Western release. The latest Direct confirmed that the sandbox title will be dropping later this summer, and is much bigger and more ambitious than the first Builders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDJgGE1Jkcs

Just like the first game, which provided an alternate version of the events from the original Dragon Quest, the sequel will be using the events from Dragon Quest II to tell a new story. Dragon Quest Builders 2 features a larger world size as well as more natural landscapes, the ability to glide, dive underwater, character customization, and online multiplayer.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Release Date: July 26th

Nintendo Switch Games 2019

February’s Direct gave us an update on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, currently being developed by series veteran Intelligent Systems. The next major entry in the long-running strategy-RPG series, and first Fire Emblem game to appear on the Switch, is slated to release later this year. Three Houses will no doubt be a huge exclusive for the Switch and breathe new life into the series both visually and gameplay-wise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OwUB8gf5Ac

The game takes place on the continent of Fódlan, which is divided into three nations with a central area that’s home to a monastery and academy. Three Houses has you play as Byleth, a teacher at the academy who begins having visions of a mysterious girl only they can see. Combat has you training students out in the field, where life and death are determined by your abilities as a leader.

Astral Chain

Release Date: August 30th

Upcoming 3ds Games 2019

Astral Chain is a new action game from Platinum Games and is being directed by Takahisa Taura, designer for Nier-Automata. Additionally, Hideki Kamiya, director of Bayonetta, is supervising the game’s development. This means we can expect fast-paced combat and plenty of large-scale enemy encounters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfYwF1V9OsM

The game takes place in the Ark, a massive and prosperous city that’s hit by disaster when mysterious dimensional gates start appearing.  Dangerous creatures begin invading the Ark, attacking its citizens and taking over the city. 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.

Bloodroots

Release Date: 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.

https://youtu.be/M-UVpRfXfEU

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

Release Date: 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.

https://youtu.be/iqQCIZv_3fY

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

Release Date: 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.

https://youtu.be/Fw8sDXEW854

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.

RAD

Release Date: Summer 2019

RAD is set in a twice irradiated 80s-inspired post-apocalyptic world. The 3D action rogue-like has you controlling a teenager who must brave the forces of the Fallow wasteland and venture into caves brimming with exotic and deadly creatures.

https://youtu.be/jTvxhA84lS8

The further you explore, the more likely you are to experience mutations that range from growing a pair of wings that allow your character to fly or a detachable boomerang arm that can be used as a projectile weapon. RAD will feature daily challenges and leaderboards for confident players that want to see how their skills matchup against others’.

Double Kick Heroes

Release Date: Summer 2019

Nintendo Switch 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1D5tJU3CUo

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.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Release Date: Summer 2019

Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games 2019

It’s been a decade since the last Ultimate Alliance game and we’re stoked to get to form bands of heroes from across the MCU roster. First revealed at the Video Game Awards 2018, the latest Nintendo Direct trailer for Ultimate Alliance 3 revealed that Captain Marvel would be joining the game as a playable character.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLyg7Cp7lfs

Other playable superheroes include members from the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Defenders, Inhumans, and X-Men. With both local and online multiplayer support, Ultimate Alliance 3 will be great to play with friends, teaming up to pull off powerful Ultimate Alliance Extreme attacks.

Oninaki

Release Date: Summer 2019

Animal Crossing Switch

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eiw5zQ4hX10

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.

Daemon X Machina

Release Date: Summer 2019

Nintendo Switch Games Coming Soon

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxPlBdk4HXY

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.

Overland

Release Date: 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.

https://youtu.be/CTq6Wglx6Pg

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.

Town (Working Title)

Release Date: TBA 2019

New Switch Games

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9pjcDKvE-Y

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.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Release Date: TBA 2019

Upcoming Switch Exclusives

During a recent Direct, Nintendo revealed a trailer for a remake of Link’s Awakening, which originally released on the Game Boy in 1993 and was later rereleased with color graphics for the Game Boy Color in 1998. Link’s Awakening stands out as one of the few Zelda games to not take place in Hyrule, and does not feature Princess Zelda or the Triforce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ijQJIMc_P4

The game’s story sees Link washed ashore Koholint Island after being shipwrecked. In order to leave the island, Link has to awaken its guardian, a giant whale-like creature named the Wind Fish, by retrieving eight magical instruments. While the remake will retain the top-down perspective of the original, visuals have been updated for the Switch version and now feature beautiful HD textures.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Working Title)

Release Date: TBA 2019

Upcoming Ps4 Games

While Nintendo still hasn’t confirmed a release date for Luigi’s Mansion 3, we’re still hopeful it’ll be out before the year is through. The game has Luigi going on a new spooky adventure, this time inside a much larger mansion that contains multiple floors to explore.  Parts of the game’s trailer suggest that Luigi will have to rescue more characters this time around, as framed portraits of Mario, Toad, Princess Peach, and Luigi himself, are shown with “X” marks over their faces.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w9-31FrjU8

Gameplay seems like a return to the first Luigi’s Mansion formula, allowing you to explore the mansion freely instead of selecting specific missions. Luigi’s gadgets have been upgraded since Dark Moon, as we can see the green plumber wielding the new and improved Poltergust G-00. The powerful vacuum cleaner used to suck up ghosts comes with some new abilities like the Strobulb, which stuns enemy ghosts, and can fire toilet plungers at enemies.

Animal Crossing

Release Date: TBA 2019

Nintendo Switch

While we did get confirmation that a new Animal Crossing game is coming in 2019 during a Nintendo Direct, there hasn’t been any news since. However, the reveal teaser that was shown featured Tom Nook in all his raccoon glory looking as crisp as ever. We can no doubt expect the new Animal Crossing to look and feel as polished as ever, with updated graphics for the Switch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEJXS0MiKOA

Many were hoping to see Isabelle become mayor in the next title but with her busy fighting in Smash Ultimate, we’ll most likely be taking on the mantle of mayor once again with a new character. We’re hoping the new Animal Crossing offers a bigger world with more areas to explore and travel to as well as more options for decorating our homes and a diverse cast of animals.

Pokémon Sword & Shield

Release Date: TBA 2019

We now know that the new Pokémon games will take place in the UK-inspired Galar region, and will feature a variety of locales that includes small rural villages, bustling urban cities, icy mountains, mineral-rich caves, and huge arenas. The game will also mark a shift in art style for the series, with the new games taking on a cel-shaded look while maintaining the 3D perspective present in more recent entries.

https://youtu.be/M3LsQYENpGg

Like every other mainline Pokémon game, Sword & Shield will feature new creatures to catch, including some that are exclusive to each version. With rumors circulating that Game Freak may be looking to make some drastic changes to how combat and catching is performed, we’re excited to learn more about these upcoming games.

Radical Rabbit Stew

Release Date: 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.

https://youtu.be/LLI0KqkkfRg

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.

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