Nintendo’s ‘Nindie’ Games Take Center Stage
Nintendo just announced that it will host a Nintendo Direct focusing on upcoming indie titles for the Nintendo Switch. Broadcasting Wednesday at 10am PT and 1pm ET, this marks the first ‘Nindie Showcase’ since Nintendo’s initial presentation back in February.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) August 28, 2017
Nintendo’s AAA lineup has been impressive this year, with Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, Splatoon 2, and Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle all releasing within the console’s first six months. When it comes to their indie library, however, Nintendo has been particularly mum.
One would assume that Nintendo has been refraining from talking too much about their indie game support with this Direct in mind, so expect big announcements for some heavy hitters that’re sure to be launching this Fall and Holiday season.
With the Direct on the horizon, here are five predictions for what we can expect from Nintendo come Wednesday:
1) Hollow Knight Gets October Release Date
This one’s a slam dunk. Team Cherry has been slaving away on the Switch port to their well-received Metroidvania-meets-Dark Souls 2D platformer since the game launched on PC in February. The studio has confirmed that the Switch version is now “feature complete” in a June blog post, emphasizing that “things are really rolling now!”
Earlier this year, the studio also brought on an external development team to help speed up the development process. With any luck, the Hollow Knight team will be in attendance during Nintendo’s conference with the announcement of a Fall release for the game.
Why October? Well, given the game’s spooky, haunting characters and atmosphere, it would only be fitting for the game to launch in time for Halloween. Or perhaps I should say this Holloween?
I’ll stop now.
2) Golf Story Receives New Trailer, Pushed to Holiday 2017
Next to Hollow Knight, Golf Story is likely my most anticipated Nindie title to date. The game oozes style, with crisp pixel art and beautiful orchestral music. Rocking a classic Pokémon vibe, combined with a unique take on the sport of golf, this is one game worth watching.
Golf Story’s official site has been silent since the game was announced in May. Hopefully that’s a good sign and not a bad one. For what it’s worth, the site still shows Summer 2017 as the game’s release window.
That being said, I know better than to get my hopes up in the absence of new information. Final Fantasy Versus XIII and The Last Guardian taught me this the hard, painful, crying-in-a-fetal-position-on-my-bed way. While I do think Golf Story has been pushed past its summer release, I’d like to think it’s still coming this year. I’d wager we get a long, meaty trailer for the game, along with a new Holiday 2017 window.
3) Stardew Valley Releasing in September
Stardew Valley is currently set for a Summer 2017 release, and yet the summer is rapidly coming to a close. While it’s possible that the port needed more time in the oven, I wouldn’t count out an impending release of the farming-dating megahit just yet.
Inspired by games like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, Stardew Valley burst on the scene when it released on PC in February 2016. Since then, it has sold over 3 million copies on Steam alone, been released on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, and even saw a physical release.
With this in mind, it seems like a no-brainer that Nintendo would want to cash in on Stardew Valley’s success as soon as possible. Heck, I bought the game on PC, and will almost certainly be double-dipping to get the game in portable form. And with Super Mario Odyssey, Skyrim, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 crowding up the Fall and Holiday release windows, I’m willing to bet that Stardew Valley will launch in early September, before things get too heated on Switch.
4) Yooka-Laylee Finally Gets Release Date
Like a Hollow Knight release date, this one just seems obvious. Yooka-Laylee released on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 back in April, and Playtonic has been tight-lipped about the game’s upcoming Nintendo port.
Aside from the fact that it’s been four months since the game released on all other intended platforms, we have additional reason to believe that Yooka-Laylee will make an appearance on Wednesday.
Something for the weekend, Nintendo Switch fans? The team continues to work hard and we hope to have more news soon! Thanks for your support pic.twitter.com/kcSup6lodt
— Playtonic (@PlaytonicGames) August 4, 2017
Clearly, the game is coming along. Otherwise, why bother showing it?
Yooka-Laylee was notably featured during Nintendo’s initial Nindie Direct. It serves to reason that they wouldn’t announce a follow-up presentation without including news on one of the year’s biggest indies. Here’s hoping we hear more on Yooka-Laylee soon, and get to play it even sooner.
5) Undertale Announced for the Switch
Since all my previous predictions have been on the safer side, let’s end with a shakier one. Undertale is an amazing game that developed a cult following when it released on PC in 2015. At E3 2017, Sony announced that the game was coming to Playstation 4 and Vita. Oddly enough, the game didn’t seem to be coming to any other platforms.
With the PS4 and Vita versions of the game out the door, what’s to stop Undertale from being ported to the Switch? Nintendo’s handheld may not have the install base of Sony’s console, but if Toby Fox was willing to bring the game to the Vita, he must be willing to port just about anywhere.
Sure, Sony’s support from a publishing standpoint was probably a huge reason behind them getting the game. However, Nintendo’s been doing a great job so far of attracting indie content to the Switch. If they can get Stardew Valley and Yooka-Laylee, what’s one more high-profile Nindie in their hat?
While these are just five of my predictions for Wednesday’s conference, hopefully the fun won’t stop there. Expect big reveals and hopefully a few surprises before the morning is over.
Author: David Silbert
David is the creator and editor of The Punished Backlog. A recent Penn graduate, David enjoys gaming and writing. Now, he’s combining his passions and doing both at the same time, all from the comfort of his French apartment!
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