The Nintendo Switch has got a lot going for it at the moment. Its recent Nindies showcase proved that some of the industry’s most beloved developers are eager to port their games over to the unique hybrid console including free-to-play titles like Warframe, Paladins, and the immensely popular Fortnite. With the option to pick up and play a game without purchase always a strong incentive among consumers, here’s a list of other gems that should be ported over as free-to-play Switch games.
Free-To-Play Switch Games: World of Tanks
It’s hard to believe that World of Tanks has been around for nearly a decade now. The game has seen a steady evolution since its inception in 2010, introducing to players a slew of improvements including better sound design, better graphics, and better accessibility for newcomers, all after listening to fan feedback along the way.
The premise of the title is quite simple: players are tasked with hopping into their own customizable tanks built especially for the battlefield terrain presented before them in an effort to destroy enemy combatants. The game has been meticulously refurbished to run on virtually any PC build and it even came to the Xbox 360 back in 2014, meaning it definitely has potential to work on the Switch.
Free-To-Play Switch Games: Hearthstone
Hearthstone is a massively popular card game that, in some ways, has matched or surpassed the popularity of the mainline World of Warcraft series it’s based on. Blizzard designed the free-to-play title with accessibility in mind, making sure that newcomers to the genre could easily grasp the game’s mechanics right away and lose themselves to the title’s generous economy.
It doesn’t overtly push players to purchase new cards, and instead always puts priority upon the next match players are about to face. Given how Hearthstone works seamlessly between tablet and PC devices, the Switch could serve as the perfect amalgamation of the two. The game’s simple drag-and-drop interface could even eliminate the need for peripherals almost entirely.
Free-To-Play Switch Games: Gwent
Gwent began as a compelling card-based minigame found within The Witcher 3, drawing interest from players for its surprising amount of strategy and addictive nature. To no one’s surprise, the game is set to release as a standalone free-to-play title sometime this year on other platforms.
Though some may be quick to assume that the game lacks proper depth to compete with popular titles such as Hearthstone already on the market, Gwent‘s developers have worked diligently to consistently introduce balance fixes and UI tweaks. There’s even a 15-hour single-player has already been promised for whenever the title properly launches, making it the perfect go-to card game for Switch users to sink into in between meetings or on the train ride home from work.
Free-To-Play Switch Games: Smite
Released back in 2014, Smite still offers a unique take on the MOBA genre by placing players right in the heart of the action through an up-close third-person perspective. Though it retains the fundamentals of games like Dota 2 and League of Legends before it, its attention to detail and careful consideration of microtransactions also help set it apart from the crowd.
Gods are rotated for free every week, giving users an opportunity to try out different characters without having to shell out any cash. Fighters are unlocked at a surprisingly fast rate, too, continuously rewarding players for the amount of time they pour into the game. Smite has already made the transition to the PS4 and Xbox One, making Switch its obvious next step.
Free-To-Play Switch Games: Trove
Trove is the perfect free-to-play game for children looking for their first MMO experience or who just want to enjoy a game world with their friends. Largely grounded in creation tools reminiscent of Minecraft, the game tasks players with collecting blocks of various colors in order to build houses that can later be transplanted into virtually any location they see fit. There’s a main narrative to complete and a myriad of jobs and classes to explore, too, each offering their own unique benefits.
The game is especially fun to play with others once players earn the ability to join clubs: social hubs each comprised of their own customizable worlds. Perhaps the best part of Trove is that its in-game purchases are almost entirely cosmetic, meaning kids could play through the game in its entirely without begging their parents for a single dime. Judging from this alone, the game is practically begging for a port on Nintendo’s family-friendly hybrid console.
Free-To-Play Switch Games: Shadowverse
The fantasy card gaming phenomenon that is Shadowverse is deeply ingrained into mobile platforms for good reason. The title is heavily reliant on touch commands in the midst of battle. Traditional controllers won’t do justice to a game that is meant to simulate the sensation of drawing cards and placing them onto a field of play.
This doesn’t apply to the Switch, however, as Shadowverse can seamlessly make the transition to Nintendo’s latest console and keep most of its touchscreen concepts intact. With consistent free card packs, a helpful, robust single-player mode, constant balance adjustments, and four million total daily battles, the game is a gateway to a massive community waiting for more competitors to join in on through the Switch.
Free-To-Play Switch Games: Doki Doki Literature Club
Doki Doki Literature Club is a dating simulator built with the genre’s tropes in mind. It simultaneously serves as an homage to anime and as a disruption to the space, as its twists are incredibly memorable, to say the very least. To say more about the game’s romance options and branching pathways would be a disservice to those who have yet had the opportunity to try it. Doki Doki Literature Club on the Switch could serve as an example of Nintendo’s recommitment to mature games and as a means of satiating internet fandom even further.
Be it games with previously established communities of millions or titles that provide short, memorable single-player experiences, the Nintendo Switch’s foray into the free-to-play market has just begun. With more Directs undoubtedly arriving in time for the holiday season, here’s hoping some of the games on this list make the leap their playerbases deserve.