The Nintendo Switch has made some serious inroads into being the dream machine for the indie developer. The company revealed the top ten best-selling indie titles for the Switch at a GDC panel today, though they neglected to give the order in which they sold. It's easy to make a few educated guesses, based on the Switch's own internal charts for best-selling games.
The undisputed king of indie games on the Nintendo Switch has to be Stardew Valley. This is one of the few titles that has challenged the reigns of Minecraft, Rocket League, and the big first-party Nintendo titles on the eShop's chart list. Stardew Valley and the Switch seem tailor-made for each other and the portable nature of the console allows everyone who is addicted to farming to get a fix whenever they need one.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove was one of the first games available on the eShop and has likely accrued a lot of sales since the debut of the Nintendo Switch. The Shovel Knight expansions are immensely popular games, especially in Japan, so it should come as no surprise that Treasure Trove is such a big hit.
Steam World Dig 2 managed to be one of the most acclaimed games of 2017, which is no small feat, considering how many incredible games were released that year. Steam World Dig 2 is the continuation of the popular robot/steampunk platforming series, which combines elements of mining in order to discover new areas. Steam World Dig 2 might be the best platformer on the system, which is immense praise when the Switch also holds Super Mario Odyssey.
Celeste is a relative newcomer to the list but it has been highly praised by all corners of the industry. Celeste is an incredibly tricky platformer that relies on mastering its double jump/climbing mechanics in order to complete each stage. The deep and engaging story is what will keep you fighting through each spike-filled landscape.
Golf Story is a Nintendo Switch exclusive title that combines RPG elements and a story mode with... well... golf. Even if you don't like golf, then you owe it yourself to overlook your prejudices and give this game a try, as there is far more to this game than what you see on the surface.
Fast RMX is a sequel to Fast Racing Neo for the Wii U. Shigeru Miyamoto loves nothing more than to laugh at F-Zero fans and steadfastly refuses to OK another game in the series, so it is up to indie developers to fill the void and release their own amazing F-Zero style games for Nintendo systems.
The remaining games on the list are Enter the Gungeon (an exciting roguelike shooter,) Kamiko (an entertaining but brief Zelda clone,) Overcooked: Special Edition (a co-op cooking game,) and NBA Playground (a cartoonish basketball game.) The only real surprise among those games is NBA Playground, due to the fact that sports games tend to sell poorly on the system.
The ability to take your console on the go and have two ready-made controllers at all times has helped make the Switch the console that people want to buy indie games on. The performance problems of triple A games are not a factor here, and the ability to play the games on a home/portable hybrid means that players are more likely to buy their indie games on the Switch over the Ps4/Xbox One, should they have the choice.
With the Nintendo Switch entering its second year and with many of the technical issues with the console ironed out, the system is likely to see many more amazing indie games in the future.