Ready to invest in a turn-based strategy on your Nintendo Switch? Finished The Witcher 3 and want something else with a long runtime that’s turn-based? Here’s a list.
I’m a real-time strategy fan as I like to move on the fly, but my ability is probably best suited to something that takes its time and allows me to digest whether I should block that incoming meteor with a fist, cast a holy spell, or drop down like Neymar Jr. and pretend I’m already hurt.
These games aren’t for everyone, but if they’re for you, here’s a list of 10 that I find are some of the better titles on the Nintendo Switch. Links to the reviews will be in the description if I’ve done the review already.
I’m a patient guy, really, I am. But let’s get to the content for this random feature: the turn-based strategy.
One of the earlier games that I bought on the Switch having played the demo on the Nintendo eShop, which was around launch time. Not that time when you eat sandwiches.
You get to play eight different characters, each with their own storyline and abilities. As you progress and unlock abilities and level up, you’ll find yourself switching out an unbeatable team. Once you get the hang of it.
Octopath Traveler is a difficult game, but not unreasonable and will have you involved for hours as you unlock each story arc, perks and loot. The graphics are very unique too, opting for a 16-bit top-down aesthetic, but mixed up with 3D backgrounds and oversized characters that make some of the enemies in Fist of the North Star look miniature.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered
From the title alone, you would be right in thinking this was a remaster. It is. While the visuals are a little dated in some areas, the game is pretty absorbing, and while it isn’t on the epic scale, it isn’t that far off with plenty to see and do.
Initially released on the handhelds, naturally, it was ported to the Nintendo Switch, and it’s a great job. With an engaging story, and arguably a little easier compared to most JRPG’s, do your homework on The Alliance Alive HD Remastered. I haven’t played this in ages, but it’s a decent game and fans of the genre who have the time to play will enjoy it.
Final Fantasy VII
Really? You don’t already have this? Final Fantasy VII was the game that got me into JRPG’s in the first place following a chance encounter on the PlayStation. Infamously (in my world), I got to the final battle and somehow corrupted my data so to this day, never finished it myself, but have since seen the ending. Naturally.
The PlayStation version felt timeless with its superb storytelling, renaming the female characters to ex-girlfriends and changing Cloud’s name to my own. Still, more importantly, those FMV cutscenes were insane. Unfortunately, it isn’t as timeless as it once was and despite deeming the game a masterpiece, playing on the Switch the cutscenes look a bit ropey (think about how old it is) and the 3D characters sometimes merge with the very flat backgrounds. It can be a little frustrating to move when getting random encounters at low levels.
Nevertheless, you must experience this game. If you can’t tolerate the visuals and don’t have that nostalgic link to the title, considering Final Fantasy VII Remake on the PS4. I have finished that, and very close to the platinum, thank you very much.
South Park The Fractured But Whole
Whether you’re a fan of South Park or not, South Park The Fractured But Whole is brilliant for lovers of juvenile humour, who find pinching a loaf on a strangers toilet to be a satisfying activity that utilises their time on this planet.
The customisation in the game is brilliant and the protagonist, you, can actually look like you. Well, mine did, until I added some pigtails and make-up. Hey, I can feel pretty too.
I was into South Park when it first came out, having the desktop wallpaper and screensaver on my Windows 95 machine and the first two seasons on VHS. It became popular, and I lost interest. Revisiting it again in the game is pretty funny, and the way you’re addressed by the kids as asshole and can pick up an endless supply of tat throughout the town is entertaining. I’ll have to post a review at some stage.
Taking control of the Chief of the hunters, you soon lose him only for him to reappear with his eyes removed from some evil force. Reluctant to return, but kinda his job, he and a bunch of hunters look to eradicate evil while managing food resources, sanity levels and crafting enough equipment to survive.
I really liked this when I first got it. It has a strong scent of the occult and shady goings-on, and has a ruthless difficulty curve to it as well. The visuals and animation won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I picked up a Ralph Bakshi vibe, and the storytelling was very dark and atmospheric.
Speaking of scent, instead of the classic ‘make a sound and the baddies will get you’, the evil in Alder’s Blood rely on smell, and as the wind changes, they may pick up on you. And no, using Lynx does not work, you’ve been misled by marketing.
How can I not include a variant of Team17’s classic? This should be put on a pedestal as one of the ultimate multiplayer games. A fan since the days of the Amiga when you could hardly see the worms, the feel of the game has remained over time with a much more polished aesthetic but the same undeniably genius gameplay of geometry.
Battle it out in a single-player campaign, or friends soon to be foes with a plethora of new and classic weapons, crafting items, customisations that include how your gravestone will appear, plus vehicles. Yes, vehicles.
Does anyone remember QBasic Gorillas? Just me again? Moving on…
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
I don’t why I haven’t given this much love as it’s an excellent game. It’s quite simple in its approach, but Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was one of those games that showcased how excellent Switch titles can be in terms of visuals. You don’t need dynamic lighting and realistic water effects for everything.
The game was on the easier side and not one for die-hards so much, but more so for fans of that plumber chap and maybe the Rabbids – vile little creatures that they are.
Whenever I’d go to the local toy shop, for my kids, of course, it would always be on sale and I never fully understood why as it’s not a bad game and Switch titles keep their price. If you haven’t played it, do a bit more research on it as it’s worth the price (about £17.99 on the last check for the physical release with all the bonus content).
This isn’t one of the best games out there, but well worth the look nevertheless as it was pretty understated at the time and seemed to pass most by pretty darn quick.
Overland is a lovely looking game with controls that are easy enough to grasp, but it’s on the difficult side. The creatures in the game that you can either attack or avoid (I recommend the latter) are sensitive to sound so make enough noise, and you’re done for.
It’s also a rogue-like, so you’ll lose your team each playthrough, plus it’s procedurally generated, and one playthrough ever feels the same. If you’re lucky, you might unlock the dog as a playable character. If it could drive the getaway car, I’d opt to save it every time and leave the people behind.
If you’re a fan of Pokémon, you’ll be familiar with this title and how it plays. It’s more or less a clone of the series, but if it ain’t broke… The visuals in the game are marvellous, and I’ve never seen so much colour since that Skittles party back in the 90s.
It does feel a bit like a mobile game, but that doesn’t mean it’s short-lived. With over 381 Nexomon to choose and dialogue which I think is way better than Pokémon Sword, have a look for this title on the eShop as it’s a fraction of the price of the franchise mentioned above.
For a review of the PlayStation 4 version of Nexomon Extinction, click this underlined word.
Last but not least, I highly recommend this little indie gem, initially seen on Steam. You play one of several real-life explorers (if you’re including King Dong himself, Rasputin) in their adventure to claim treasures for themselves or the public, but gaining a world-renowned reputation and getting one up over their fellow explorer’s.
Curious Expedition 2 is out on Steam now and just won the Best Indie Game at Gamescom 2020. This prequel is equally of a high calibre, and as long as visuals aren’t your reasoning behind trying a game, this could be a diamond in the rough for you.
Again, read the Curious Expedition review here.
This isn’t the definitive list on the best games, just a list of some turn-based games you can play on the Switch right now. You’ll most likely find your favourites omitted from the list. That’s either because I haven’t played them or wanted to include something else.
Have any recommendations for me? Maybe I’ve played it already, but drop me a message and I’ll check it out.