Biggest Upcoming Switch Exclusives Of 2022 And Beyond
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The Nintendo Switch has already had a great year for exclusive games, but the console will soon hit terminal velocity with even more exciting titles that are Switch console exclusives. From Splatoon 3 and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet to Loco Motive and Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, the rest of 2022 isn't short on blockbuster titles and charming indies. We've rounded up the biggest upcoming Switch exclusives in 2022 and beyond.
The "beyond" aspect of this list contains some of the most highly anticipated games, period, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (2023) and Metroid Prime 4 (no release window, sadly). But rest assured, there are plenty of interesting Switch games to play in the near future.
No Place for Bravery - September 22
How far would you go to hold onto that which you find most precious in life? That's the question you'll have to answer by dodging and cleaving your way through hordes of foes in this dark fantasy epic. It might play as a 2D action-RPG, but No Place for Bravery uses its design to create a bone-chilling tale of family and violence that looks epic and has a spooky atmosphere to become immersed in.
Front Mission 1st: Remake - Summer 2022
It's a scientific fact that giant robots make everything better, and in Front Mission 1st: Remake, you'll have plenty of mechanized war machines to gaze at. A remake of the first Front Mission tactical-RPG, Front Mission 1st is set in 2090 in a world where giant warsuits called Wanzers are used to wage battles. The Switch version is being handled by developer Forever Entertainment and is a full remake, and will be followed by the second game, Front Mission 2 in the future.
Like the original games, expect to interact with dozens of characters, become tangled up in a global conspiracy, and attempt to survive future warfare against legions of Wanzer battalions.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope - October 20
Nintendo and Ubisoft's tactical crossover with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle surprised even the most rusted-on genre veterans with its whimsical setting and clever gameplay, so we're thrilled a sequel, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, is incoming.
This time around, Mario and his Rabbid friends venture forth to save the galaxy alongside Rabbid Rosalina and Rabbid-Luma hybrids known as "Sparks." Not content to rest on the same grid-based combat of its predecessor, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope includes more real-time combat elements in addition to an increased focus on overworld exploration. Beloved video game composer Grant Kirkhope is returning to score this one, too, so there will be plenty of wonderful music to listen to while you take on the freshened-up combat encounters. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope will bring its quirky genre hybrid action to Nintendo Switch on October 20.
Bayonetta 3 - October 28
It's been a long eight years since Bayonetta's last appearance, and finally, the umbral witch is ready to make a grand return in October. If you're new to the series, Bayonetta 3 is the third installment in the series that began in 2009 and starred the titular witch as she found herself caught in the middle of a war waged between heaven and hell. High on action, thrills, and epic boss fights, the previous Bayonetta games have set a high bennchmark for the threequel to follow, but if anyone can rise to the challenge, it's a dark sorceress who wields terrifying magic, firearms, and flowing locks of hair that would make Rapunzel jealous. Plus, you'll be able to play the game with a new filter applied that tones down some of the more risque elements.
Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends - October 2022
For fans of adventuring with a dreamy twist, try to keep your eyes open for Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. A unique journey through Slumberland, you'll have four characters to guide--brave Nemo, the magic-wielding Princess, the mischievous clown Flip, and the agile royal guard Peony--as you explore a world based on Winsor McCay's landmark 1905 comic strip. The dreamscape is surreal, the waking world hides secrets of its own, and each character will bring a unique way to play the game thanks to their inherent traits and skills. With a soundtrack by Wayne Strange, Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends is shaping up to be an enticing all-nighter of a game when it releases in October.
Harvestella - November 4
Square Enix has been busy as of late, and between high-profile releases and original titles, it's also rolling out a game that combines RPG adventuring with cozy life simulation. A relaxing excuse to fish, farm, and tend to livestock during the day, Harvestella changes gears to give you a world to explore and fight for with its RPG elements. Featuring a rich job system, powerful comrades, and deadly seasons to overcome, Harvestella is aiming to be an all-in-one game with its ambitious spread of genres.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - November 18
2022 is a huge year for Pokemon games on Switch: The year started with Legends Arceus, and will close with the launch of the new ninth-generation Pokemon games, Scarlet and Violet.
Scarlet and Violet are set in an all-new region of the Pokemon world, seemingly inspired by Spain and Portugal. Game Freak’s version of the Iberian Peninsula will feature the series’ first truly open world, with towns seamlessly blending in with the surrounding environments. Wild Pokemon will freely roam the landscape, much like in the recent Pokemon Legends: Arceus and the wild areas of Sword and Shield. However, it’s unclear whether the traditional catching and combat mechanics will return in Scarlet and Violet, or if it will double-down on the new systems introduced in Legends Arceus. What we do know, however, is the three new starter Pokemon: the grass-type Sprigatito, fire-type Fuecoco, and water-type Quaxley. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will launch on November 18.
Dragon Quest Treasures - December 9
Dragon Quest returns exclusively on Nintendo Switch with a brand-new game in what could be a new sub-series. Dragon Quest Treasures follow siblings Erik and Mia on an adventure in a strange place called Draconia. As the title suggests, Draconia is filled with treasure to uncover. The siblings will recruit monster companions to fight in battles against enemies who stand in their way to secure precious treasures. Dragon Quest Treasures is an action-RPG, as all of the combat takes place in real-time. The visuals are colorful and the collecting loop sounds promising, so hopefully Treasures turns out to be as good as the Dragon Quest Builders sub-series.
Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp - TBA
The Advance Wars series brought some of the best tactical gameplay of the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS era. Now we get to revisit it with a fresh new look in the form of Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp, a Nintendo Switch remake of the first two games. Featuring turn-based gameplay on a grid, the Advance Wars games see you assume the role of one of various Commanding Officers directing troops to victory, with each military group capable of using game-changing special abilities, such as unit repairs or power boosts. Developer WayForward (Shantae, River City Girls) has got the job with the remake, breathing new life into the series that will now feature online multiplayer in addition to the campaigns and local play included in the original release.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp was scheduled to release on April 8, but Nintendo indefinitely delayed the remake due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. There's still no word on when it will arrive.
Return to Monkey Island - TBA 2022
At long last, the Monkey Island series is making a comeback in 2022. A successor to the classic point-and-click games from a bygone age, Return to Monkey Island features an expressive style and creator Ron Gilbert leading the charge in this direct sequel to LeChuck's Revenge. While Gilbert and his crew are buckling down on the game and avoiding the internet--thanks, terrible toxic trolls--expect Guybrush Threepwood to set sail and become mixed up in a new high-seas adventure and peril that'll have to talk his way out of.
Loco Motive - TBA 2022
What is it about trains that make them the perfect vehicles for murder most foul? You'll have to discover the answer to that question yourself, as Loco Motive puts you in the gumshoes of a rookie detective, lawyer, and an undercover spy as they race to prove their innocence before the real killer strikes again. While the setup is grim, the rest of the game plays out like a slapstick whodunnit as you interact with fellow passengers. Loco Motive has a delightful pixel art aesthetic, a moody soundtrack by Space Haven's Paul Zimmerman, and plenty of puzzles that'll likely leave you scratching your head. Oh and just one more thing, you can expect it to reach its final destination later this year.
The Spirit and the Mouse - TBA 2022
Are you a fan of Pixar's culinary classic Ratatouille? Then you'll be wanting to add The Spirit and the Mouse to your wishlist, as this little adventure game from the two-person Canadian developer Alblune Games looks delightful and inspired by that wonderful film. You'll be busy exploring a quaint French village, helping people in need, and making new friends in this heartwarming adventure game.
The Garden Path - TBA 2022
The gaming calendar is usually full of intense action games, but for a change of pace, make friends with a talking onion in this relaxing gardening game. The Garden Path doesn't just sound like a cathartic reason to sit back and tend to a patch of ground that needs a green thumb touch, it's also a slice-of-life simulator that looks fantastic with its painterly aesthetic.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk - TBA 2022
A very funky expression of personal style, graffiti, and crisp cel-shaded visuals, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is shaping up to be the Jet Set Radio spiritual successor that fans have been waiting for. It's all about increasing your rep in every neighborhood, tagging walls with a can of spray-paint, and challenging other crews for local supremacy in a tricky showdown. Beyond that urban jungle appeal, expect to master your tricks of the trade with environments that are just begging for you to perform grinding, sliding, wall-running, and air maneuvers.
Mineko's Night Market - TBA 2022
Another narrative-driven and social simulation adventure game for the pile, Mineko's Night Market is also a celebration of Japanese culture and a story about friendship. Intertwined with themes of tradition--and a whole lot of cats--you'll guide Mineko as she solves puzzles, takes part in market games, and sneaks past government agents with the use of clever disguises. Boasting hours of exploration through its many environments and four seasons to experience, don't be too surprised to find yourself engaging in some wheeling and dealing with locals to help progress the story when this game lands later in 2022.
Rune Fencer Illyia - TBA 2022
An action-packed platformer that's focused on both exploration and combat, you'll play as a young Runist named Illyia of Moonstone who is on a journey to find her missing twin sister and a way home. There's plenty of danger along the path though, but Illyia quickly picks up some sharp sword skills and powerful runic magic that'll help her survive in a hostile land.
Fire Emblem Engage - January 20, 2023
Fire Emblem continues to be one of Nintendo's biggest and most prolific franchises in recent years, and the Nintendo Switch is getting a brand-new mainline entry with Fire Emblem Engage. Set 1,000 years after four kingdoms sealed away the powerful Fell Dragon, Fire Emblem Engage sees that creature returning, and it's up to the humanoid Divine Dragon to save the world. This hero won't be able to do so alone, however, as past Fire Emblem characters like Marth will be available via summons and the tag-team "Engage" system to inherit their weapons and deal devastating attacks. It looks to be a classic turn-based tactical Fire Emblem experience that should be perfect for both new and old players.
Fire Emblem Engage releases for Nintendo Switch on January 20, 2023.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - May 12, 2023
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not only one of the greatest Zelda games ever, but one of the greatest video games of all time. How do you follow something like that up? We'll have to wait for the sequel's launch to know for sure, but that game--titled The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom--is going to be here sooner rather than later. The game's release date and title-reveal trailer showed that we'll be heading into the skies for some of Link's adventure, with enormous boulders soaring up against gravity and a giant glider providing a lighter path down to Hyrule's surface. The game is still explicitly referred to as a sequel by Nintendo, so just what that means for the eternal struggle between Link and Ganon remains to be seen.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches for Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.
Sports Story - TBA
From small indie team Sidebar Games, Sports Story is the follow-up to charming RPG-sport hybrid Golf Story, with the addition of several more sports, including tennis and soccer. Similar to the Mario Golf and Mario Tennis games on Game Boy Color, Golf Story combined satisfying sports gameplay with RPG elements, such as leveling up stats and acquiring better equipment, alongside a humorous story where every problem could be solved by hitting a golf ball at it. Sports Story was initially slated for a 2020 release but was delayed indefinitely due to its increasing development scope. At this point, we're not sure when Sports Story is going to bounce onto Nintendo Switch.
Star Wars: Hunters - TBA 2023
Star Wars: Hunters is a team-based action game that may primarily be thought of as an iOS and Android game, but it's also coming to Nintendo Switch. Hunters features 4v4 combat in maps based on iconic locales from the Star Wars universe. There will be a ton of playable characters, including Jedi, Stormtroopers, Mandalorian, and more.
Metal Slug Tactics - TBA
Metal Slug has long been one of the best run-and-gun action game franchises out there, but for a change of pace, the series is swapping its blitzkrieg design for a more measured tactical-RPG format. A combination of gorgeous pixel art and fluid animation, Metal Slug Tactics features series powerhouses Marco, Eri, Fio, and Tarma and their over-the-top arsenal in an isometric tactics format that looks fun, clever, and explosive ahead of its eventual release.
Metroid Prime 4 - TBA
Metroid Prime 4 has been in development for many years at this point, and development even restarted in 2019 when Retro Studios took over. There's still no word on a release window, and no one really knows how far along in development it actually is. That said, with Retro Studios at the helm and the sheer brilliance of the trilogy before it, we imagine Metroid Prime 4 will be worth the wait... however long that winds up being.
In the meantime, you can check out (or replay) Metroid Dread, which brought side-scrolling Metroid back in style last year. Based on a recent report from Jeff Grubb of GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb, you might be able to return to the Prime series earlier than expected, though, in Metroid Prime Remastered. Metroid Prime Remastered, according to the report, is coming to Switch later this year, which would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the iconic GameCube game.
Pikmin 4 - TBA 2023
Shigeru Miyamoto does what he wants. He has earned that right, and what he wants to do is make a new Pikmin game. Confirmed for Nintendo Switch, Pikmin 4 is the next adventure featuring the adorable helpful critters, and the Switch's control scheme means gameplay will be more intuitive. According to Miyamoto, this will allow you to spend more time focusing on strategic gameplay decisions and less on just placing your Pikmin in particular locations. Additionally, there will be a new perspective that is closer to the Pikmins' own height, though it's unclear if this will be one option or the new standard.
Pikmin 4 hits Nintendo Switch in 2023.