The Nintendo Switch is a surprisingly great platform for indie games, much more so than previous Nintendo consoles, which generally featured mostly bigger releases from larger game companies. Fortunately, this is changing and with the advent of Kickstarter, anybody can get a potentially great game funded through crowdfunding.
While this happens with a wide variety of games, there are certain types that end up on the Nintendo Switch more often than not, especially in genres like dungeon crawlers and visual novels, which are still taking off in popularity. Kickstarter isn’t a guaranteed shot for every potential game that deserves one, but it is a great way to put an idea out into the world and see if it can connect with the public.6 Fatal Twelve
After being partly funded through Kickstarter and made through Ren’py, Fatal Twelve was released in 2018 and later came out for the Nintendo Switch. Featuring a classic visual novel style and beautiful art, Fatal Twelve told the story of a high-school girl who was caught in an explosion on a train one day while returning home.
Fatal Twelve is a strange tale about Rinka and the competition she was forced into, competing against eleven other lost souls in order to see which one of them would get to return to their life after death. Uncovering constant twists and turns and trying to discredit other lost souls, Rinka faces the reality that maybe she isn’t the one who deserves to be saved.5 Chasm
Another game that fits one of the more classic structures for a Kickstarter idea, Chasm is a Metroidvania game that has been called similar to classic games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Chasm was initially conceived in 2012, crowdfunded through Kickstarter successfully in 2013, and released at last in 2018.
The game focuses on a knight who seeks to prove their heroic nature with a supply run to a desperate mining town. Procedurally generated maps and a classic dungeon-crawler aesthetic made Chasm hugely pleasing to fans of similar, classic games. Critics loved Chasm, putting emphasis on the plot and new ideas, though they admitted the randomized maps don’t provide as much replayability as other similar games.4 Nefarious
Indie games often have the opportunity to take a bold new stance that mainstream games haven’t managed to succeed with to date. Nefarious was an example of a game whose premise sold it to a Kickstarter audience and led to its successful release in 2018. Nefarious takes a complete turn from what gamers expect as it puts them in the role of the villain.
Players control Crow, a villain who wants to power a Doomsday device via captured princesses. This leads to a reversal of the situation players are used to in classic games like Sonic the Hedgehog or the Mario franchise, as players control the evil entity in the boss fights. This thrilling and unique 2D adventure provided a hilariously fun experience and even spawned a sequel webcomic.3 Ultimate Chicken Horse
Despite the unique name, players shouldn’t sleep on Ultimate Chicken Horse. This multiplayer platformer involves players attempting to build their way to a goal faster than other players, all the while attempting to distract or block the other players as everybody competes for points over a set number of rounds.
Being a competitive multiplayer platformer is unique in itself, and was part of what helped Ultimate Chicken Horse get the funding needed through production. Praised as a great party game to play with friends, Ultimate Chicken Horse is a perfect release for the Nintendo Switch, and it eventually managed to make its way onto that platform.2 Risk Of Rain
One of the few Kickstarter projects that became so successful it spawned a sequel, Risk of Rain puts players in the role of a survivor from a crash that strands the player character on a foreign planet. Players have to survive by fighting off monsters and finding enough upgrades to help them tackle the difficulties of surviving in this new environment.
There are a number of unique points about Risk of Rain, like the difficulty increasing based on a timer throughout the game. There are a huge number of items that players can acquire, and various other playable characters to unlock with different advantages in combat. Risk of Rain was an ingenious 2D adventure that resonated with fans enough to produce a huge fan base eager for both the sequel and the upcoming remaster, Risk of Rain Returns.1 Hollow Knight
One of the best-received projects ever to come through Kickstarter, Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania game that was partly funded through Kickstarter in 2014 before its release in 2017. Featuring a 2D side-scrolling style that upped the difficulty players were used to in similar games, Hollow Knight pit an unnamed warrior against the dark forces of Hallownest.
The world, aesthetics, and music were just some of the amazing aspects of Hollow Knight that helped it stick in the minds of gamers. The difficulty would prove to frustrate some, particularly the challenging Pantheon of Gods run. Hollow Knight was met with universal acclaim, particularly the Nintendo Switch version, which led to a sequel being announced in Hollow Knight: Silksong. As such, it is easy to say that Hollow Knight retains its place as one of the greatest Kickstarter successes to date.