Nintendo Directs are never not rad. They’re a place for red-hot announcements like Breath of the Wild 2 and Project Triangle Strategy (look, I don’t name Square Enix games, I just play them). They invite speculation for months at a time. People on the internet spend hours guessing when the next one will arrive. And while Indie World Directs — fittingly in favor of upcoming indie studio games — don’t bring out the “big guns,” they can be a delightful time of their own accord. Today’s Indie Direct, with news of several Nintendo Switch indie games releasing today, is a great example of how The Big N loves nothing more than to surprise us all.
Necrobarista: Final Pour
Picture this. You’re dead. But thanks to the questionably ethical power of necromancy, you’ve been given one final chance to mingle among the living. At a coffee shop, no less, and in an anime-inspired world. That’s Necrobarista in a nutshell. It’s a visual novel that’s as spunky as you’d suspect, with a lot of heart despite the whole… being dead… thing.
In Necrobarista: Final Pour, a timed-exclusive Switch indie game that is indeed releasing today, returning patrons and newly-deceased players alike can enjoy a cold brew in something of a “Director’s Cut” to the original game. One of the perks is the Studio Mode, an intriguing addition that allows us to write our own dialogue, effectively turning one aspect of the game into some kind of Necrobarista RPG Maker. Groovy.
Garden Story is a cute one. Worth noting: it’s also launching today on Steam. But news of a surprise drop for the Switch version of this indie gardening game is rather unexpected.
You’ve been elected Guardian of The Grove. Congrats! Three problems. First, the town you live in is broken in every sense. People just aren’t interested in talking to each other much anymore, and in this case, we don’t even have smartphones to blame. Next, there’s an invasive species called the Rot and it’s up to you to kill it or die trying. Finally, you’ll be aided by a bunch of fruit-like people who are all named after… fruit. I guess this is supposed to be a good thing? Call me paranoid, but I just don’t know how I feel about partnering up with Plum.
Well, now. It’s a romance game and a dungeon-crawler, all in one. It’s got a hot guy named Sunder whose jacket fits him about as well as Gladio’s. It’s got a bunch of other romance interests, too, and they’re all named after their weapons. Or maybe they are their weapons. I’m not entirely certain based on the launch trailer, but I’m reasonably sure that the cat who fights with brass knuckles is not romanceable, if only because nothing else in Boyfriend Dungeon looks utterly tasteless.
If you aren’t feeling the heat for this as a Switch indie game releasing today, maybe you’re in the mood for it as a Windows or Xbox game that also happens to be releasing today. It’s even on Game Pass! We all have our kinks, and Game Pass is great, so I wouldn’t even question yours.
Axiom Verge 2
Whoa, whoa, whoa. What? If there’s one truly colossal surprise Switch indie drop today, it’s got to be Axiom Verge 2, right? The first game may not be a perfect substitute for 2D Metroid (which we can now look forward to in abundance) but it was the closest thing we had for years. It’s got a soul to it, so to speak, which separates it from many cheap would-be emulators.
Axiom Verge 2 has been delayed twice; first from Fall 2020 to the first half of 2021, then from the first half of 2021 to Q3 2021. At this point, any news of a nearby release would have been welcome, but to discover that this heavily-anticipated Switch indie game is releasing today? That is the sort of news that just can’t be expected from folks save for Nintendo. Truly, the company beats to its own drum, and doubtless, Axiom Verge fans will need to clear out their evening schedules for an unexpected bit of bliss.
In Case You Missed It
Here’s the full Nintendo Indie World Direct for your viewing pleasure. In addition to these abrupt launches, there are several more cool-looking games to dive into when they arrive later this year or in 2022!