All The Nintendo Switch Game Demos Available Now
Nintendo Switch is a wonderful system with more quality games than you might realize. But there are numerous ways in which Switch could improve, and that's especially true of the Eshop. A recent update finally introduced a way to see what's on sale--on the rare occasion that something is discounted--but the Switch's online store still needs work.
Among other things, it could use a way to look at all of the demos that are available for download. Nintendo has relied on its News channel to convey certain Eshop information, but that's just not ideal; if you're picking up a system late or haven't checked in recently, there's no easy way to jump on the store and start downloading demos. There aren't a ton yet, but unless you know exactly which games have a demo and head directly to their Eshop page, you'll have to blindly look for them.
In lieu of an official solution, we've rounded up every game with a demo on the Switch Eshop, along with details on what to expect from each (and how to get them, in a few specific cases). We'll continue to update this as more are released, but hopefully Nintendo has a fix on the way--particularly as the store continues to get crowded with more and more game releases. For a look at what Nintendo has improved about the system, check out the details of the latest big Switch system update.
Recently added games: Piczle Lines DX, Sonic Forces, Just Dance 2018, Dragon Quest Heroes I & II
Disgaea 5 Complete
Disgaea 5's demo on Switch allows you to get a good taste of the full game's early portion, even allowing you to save your progress and return to it later. However, it's important to be aware that you can't transfer that save data to the full game--you'll be starting over from scratch if you decide to purchase it.
Dragon Quest Heroes I & II
A bundle with Dragon Quest Heroes I & II has been available on Nintendo Switch in Japan since around the time of the console's launch, but an international release has not yet been dated. The Japanese version is accompanied by a demo on the Eshop, but you'll need to go through the process of creating a Japanese account in order to download it.
Just Dance 2017
Just Dance 2017 features a demo that supports play with the Joy-Cons or mobile devices. If you opt for the latter option, you'll also need to download the Just Dance Controller app (which you can easily grab by scanning a QR code the demo presents) and connect your phone and Switch to the same Wi-Fi network.
Just Dance 2018
With Just Dance 2018 out now, you can finally download its demo straight from the Eshop. It was released in advance of the full game's launch, but--in a perfect example of why we made this list--it couldn't actually be obtained through the Eshop. Instead, you had to go to Amazon, "buy" the demo, and redeem a code on the Eshop. Like the demo of 2017, you can play with the Joy-Cons or mobile devices; in this case, you can dance along to Bruno Mars' "24K Magic."
Monster Hunter XX
Monster Hunter XX is the enhanced Switch version of 3DS game Monster Hunter Generations. With Monster Hunter World on the way to the West, Capcom hasn't announced official plans to bring XX out of Japan--and that means its Eshop demo is Japan-only. Fortunately, with the Switch not being region locked, the process of creating a Japanese Eshop account and grabbing the demo is quite straightforward. Just be prepared for a lot of Japanese text.
The Zelda-like Oceanhorn's Switch demo allows you to play through the game's first full chapter and get a taste of combat and its world.
Piczle Lines DX
Piczle Lines DX is a puzzle game where you draw lines between two matching dots to create a larger picture. It's not quite as simple as it sounds, and the demo offers a chance to see so for yourself. It can be played with a controller or touch controls (with the Switch in handheld mode); the demo includes a taste of Story mode for one player.
Pokken Tournament DX
Like Nintendo demos in the past, there are some restrictions on how much you're able to play the demo of Pokken Tournament DX. You're limited to a total of 15 matches, which can be played against the computer or a second player locally. The demo also features a tutorial to help you make the most of those matches.
Project Octopath Traveler
Despite being early enough that it doesn't even have a final title, a demo is out for Square Enix RPG Project Octopath Traveler. You can check out the first chapter of two different characters' stories.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
Puyo Puyo Tetris includes a fairly generous demo, with a tutorial, single-player, and multiplayer components, as well as a manual. Just be aware that the single-player mode is incredibly challenging.
The demo for Rayman Legends provides a selection of levels from the very beginning of the game. You can play it on your own or with a co-op companion locally using a pair of Joy-Cons.
Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together
Perhaps the single best co-op game on the platform, Snipperclips features a small demo with a few levels from the full game. As it's critical to the experience, you can play multiplayer locally, with each player using a single Joy-Con.
Switch owners can give Sonic Forces a try with its demo, although--as with Monster Hunter XX--you'll need to create a Japanese Eshop account to download it. That's an easy process, but once you get into the demo, there's a curious limitation: each of the three stages can only be played for one minute each, at which point you're booted out. It's not ideal, but it's (just barely) better than nothing.
Spelunker Party's demo provides limited access to the full game's features, allowing you to dive into a cave with up to four players locally. There are some restrictions on local multiplayer, however, such as only the first player's gear accumulating experience. This is another game where you're able to play with another Joy-Con, making two-player co-op very easy.
Voez is a rhythm game where you play using the Switch's touchscreen. This makes it the rare title that can only be played in handheld mode, a limitation that extends to the demo. When first starting out, you'll be presented with a tutorial that helps to explain the controls.
You may have heard references to ways to try Arms and Splatoon 2 previously, but neither of these games offers a traditional demo. Instead, they have Global Testpunch and Testfire versions, respectively, which allow you to play a limited amount of each game online during very specific periods of time. There's been no word from Nintendo on when or if we will see either of these trial versions made playable again.