The Nintendo Switch may be a sexy and capable console, but it’s also one that is filled with a plethora of amazing retro experiences. In this exclusive Old School Gamer Magazine list, we count down 10 awesome retro experiences you may have missed or skipped past on your way to Smash Bros. Ultimate.
10: Venture Kid: The Mega Man-inspired action, a killer soundtrack and old-school difficulty are enough to keep you occupied- both on the bus and the train and even better for nights on the couch. While it’s not as beefy an experience as their previous titles, FDG has another winner in Venture Kid.
9: Fallout Shelter: At its heart, it’s a fun little sim, but ultimately Fallout Shelter creates a nifty little niche for itself on the Switch as a sim that you play for a few minutes a day for a few weeks until it becomes either a massive undertaking you’re obsessed with or still a passing fancy worthy of indulging some of your spare time in. Either way, it’s a delight.
8: Horizon Shift ’81: Packed fun of style and challenge, this is a nifty and deep shooter that will break your thumbs, in the best way possible.
7: Super Blood Hockey: The Franchise mode alone makes the game worth every penny and adds a layer of strategy to the hockey fun. With a separate challenge mode and an easy to jump in and out Exhibition mode, Super Blood Hockey is the best Sports title on the system next to Rocket League.
6: R-Type Dimensions EX: New graphics and new visuals aside, R-Type Dimensions Ex thrives the most because you’re able to play the game in its original form, on the go. The functionality of the Nintendo Switch and the speed and challenge of the series are definitely a match made in shooter heaven. Get ready to work those thumbs.
5: West of Loathing: If you’re an indie gamer, West of Loathing was the game that stole your Fall last year. If you’re more retro and mainstream; your first encounter with it is the Switch version. While not much has changed in the port, it’s a wonderful experience on the go and ultimately one of the best RPG experiences on the console. Away from the remastered Skyrim, West of Loathing is the most enjoyable RPG on the Nintendo Switch. Void of bells and whistles, it’s powered by wonderful writing and solid gameplay, creating an experience that’s all killer and no filler.
4: Wasteland II: Director’s Cut: Although Wasteland II is a throwback RPG with its originals in the Table-top realm, but that doesn’t mean the experience isn’t tangible today. Thanks to the ongoing success of the Fallout franchise and shows that borrow from the tabletop genre such as Stranger Things- and The Wasteland has never been a cooler place to be.
3: Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom: If you’re hungry for an Old School Action/RPG, Monster Boy’s take on the Wonder Boy World is dead on. Beautifully scored, expertly crafted combat and difficulty, it’s one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 this year.
2: Thimbleweed Park: There isn’t a more fun and challenging point and click adventure on any system right now. And it plays great on the Switch.
1: Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap: Dragon’s Trap may not entice as many new players as it should, it’s a wonderful addition to the series and a game hardcore gamers will smile about. A ton of tender love and care went into this title and it’s obvious from the first second you fire it up.
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the author of the book, “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” from McFarland And Company. Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, NHLPA 93, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.