It seems as if every week the Nintendo Switch indie library grows bigger and better than ever. Now known as the premiere console for the indie experience, Nintendo’s flagship device has seen many of the major indie players appear on its eShop, from Game of the Year contenders like Hollow Knight and Celeste, to fan favorites such as Stardew Valley and Into the Breach.
Next up is indie darling Abzû, an immersive adventure game set under the sea that has seen successful sales and critical praise in its release across multiple platforms. Though much like other existing indie games given a new lease on life with the Switch, Abzû should see a substantial jump in sales once more.
Abzû was one of the memorable titles to come out in 2016, as Developer Giant Squid Studios crafted a compelling exploration game with jaw-dropping visuals and a chill, laidback vibe, similar to the PS3’s standout hit Journey back in 2012. The game isn’t too plot-driven, but that wasn’t really the point in the first place. Drawing on the myths of certain cultures, the awe-inspiring act of oceanic scuba diving, and the experience of several team members that have worked on Journey, the team forged a visual-based game with narration driven by gameplay and cutscenes as opposed to dialogue.
The whole project rests on players exploring the gorgeous underwater world as opposed to simply simulating the role of an unnamed diver. And in that sense, it succeeded in giving players the ability to get lost in a beautifully generated world of vibrant colors and interesting sea creatures, where distractions common in modern video games are an afterthought, and simple, frustration-free mechanics help to ease the players into the world.
Some developers have recognized the influential power of the Switch in regard to the independent game platform, opting to develop for it from the start instead of waiting to port their titles, including the upcoming eye-catching platformer Gris and Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained, among others. However, it’s evident now that releasing past indie titles on the Nintendo Switch also allows both a farther reach in audience engagement and the opportunity for returning players to experience the game in a different way.
Abzû for the Nintendo Switch will arrive November 29, 2018.