While we on the PT crew love a big release game as much as the next person, but there’s something truly special about indie games. Luckily, this year has seen some brilliant entries into the hall of the best indie games on Switch, full of stunning artwork, thoughtful stories, moving characters, and boundary-pushing gameplay.
Dealing with heavy themes like loss, fear, environmental issues, and identity, these games not only prove that you don’t need a big label attached to you to show your worth, but you can resonate with people from all walks of life, regardless of whether you’re a tiny mouse, a green-thumbed witch, or a possessed lamb.
The best indie games on Switch 2022
ValiDate: Struggling Singles in your Area is a romantic visual novel about 13 struggling singles navigating their way through modern life. Facing the trudge through the dregs of capitalism, soul-sucking nine-to-five jobs, the transition into the uncertainty of mid-adulthood, and the harsh realities of hitting your 20’s in the current day, ValiDate sees our roster of plucky playable characters find romance and embrace their individuality in this hectic world.
With over 30 routes to choose from and plenty of stories to explore, it’s a truly heart-warming experience full of inclusivity and universally relatable themes.
Cult of The Lamb
Dubbed affectionately by James Stephanie Sterling as ‘a world of sh*t’, Cult of the Lamb is an adorably monstrous roguelike slash colony sim. You take the role of the cutest little possessed lamb in town, who was saved from annihilation by an ominous stranger.
It’s now up to you to repay the debt by building a loyal following in his name – that’s right, you start your own cult, venture out into mysterious and monstrous regions, and build a loyal community of woodland worshippers as you spread your Word in pursuit of becoming the one true cult. Build your (very literal) flock, destroy the non-believers, and get your colony working like a well-oiled, poop-fuelled machine. Delightful! Check out our full thoughts in our Cult of the Lamb review.
The Spirit and the Mouse
The Spirit and the Mouse is a beautiful, emotive, narrative-driven adventure game that proves the best things really do come in small packages. Step into the tiny paws of a sweet little mouse, who only wishes to bring happiness to the humans around her.
After accidentally absorbing the power of an electric spirit called Lumion, she’s tasked with helping the human inhabitants of her cosy, Parisian town, until she can collect enough happiness to send Lumion home. With thoughtful puzzles, heart-warming stories, and oodles of charm, it’s hard not to fall in love with this little gem. Check out our The Spirit and the Mouse review here!
Ooblets is a delightful farming, creature, and collection life sim that offers oodles of joy, all year round. With its vibrant colours, stylised art, silly-sounding words, and epic critter dance battles, it’s a truly wholesome, light-hearted experience that offers a whole heap of fun for anyone looking for some chill vibes after a hectic day. Ooble over to our Ooblets review to find out more.
Opus: Echo of Starsong
Opus: Echo of Starsong is a beautiful text-driven, visual novel style side-scrolling adventure game that revolves around Eda, a girl who can hear mysterious sound waves known as starsong. She crosses paths with a young man called Jun in search of their source and, together, they venture out to the heart of space to unravel the ancient myths that surround them.
Embark on a stunning, intergalactic journey that transcends through time and love – just make sure you have a box of tissue to hand, this one is sure to pull on your heartstrings.
A massively multiplayer online RPG, Temtem is a vibrant creature collection bonanza that sends you off in search of adventure in the lovely Airborne Archipelago. Catch those terrific Temtems, battle other tamers, customise your home, and explore a dynamic online world full of fresh species and fun friends at every turn. If you need more convincing, check out our Temtem review where we refer to it as a ‘new monster-taming titan’.
Wylde Flowers is a wonderfully witchy farming and life sim full of charismatic characters, chill vibes, and magic at every turn. You take the role of Tara, who moves to the countryside to help her grandma manage the farm in her old age. But grandma has some secrets that affect you too – you guessed it, you’re a witch! Tend to crops and animals, build friendships with the townsfolk, and cultivate your magic in this enchanting experience. To find out more, check out our Wylde Flowers interview and Wylde Flowers review.
Permit yourself to enjoy a perfectly potent brew in Potion Permit, a brilliant blend of old-school JRPG topped with a sprinkling of intriguing puzzles and minigames to keep it fresh. Grab your briefcase as you move to Moonbury to take the role of their new chemist, tending to the townsfolk and nursing them back to health. In our Potion Permit review we describe it as carrying a ‘surprisingly poignant message about discrimination, generalisation, and fear of change’ despite its cute and cosy exterior.
Cat Cafe Manager
Cat Cafe Manager is a super chill business sim, in which you travel to the sleepy village of Caterwaul Way to rebuild your grandmother’s cat cafe. Adopt stray cats, decorate and expand your cafe to your liking, serve your customers with tasty treats, and build up relationships with your regulars. It’s cute, it’s wholesome, and its relaxing vibes are just purr-fect for unwinding with. Check out our Cat Cafe Manager review to read more.
We Are OFK
A musical origin and interactive E.P., We Are OFK is a unique and experimental title about four friends dreaming, dating, and trying to scrape together enough to pay rent in Los Angeles. Describing itself as ‘a story of making art, what we risk, and what thrives for it’, We Are OFK is a visually beautiful, heartfelt, and relatable experience grounded in real life, and revolving around a truly loveable queer cast.
The indie scene, as always, has has offered up some masterpieces in 2022, and it’s been truly cathartic to go back over these beauties as we reflect on the past year. Whether handling themes of death, love, loss, self-destruction, or self-acceptance, these titles prove that videogames are, undeniably, art, and should always be respected as such. Now, dry your eyes and look to the horizon, as there’s plenty more to look forward to next year.