The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake sets sail for the Switch

Nintendo has announced today that a remake of the classic Game Boy title The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will be coming to the Nintendo Switch console sometime in 2019.

The news came as a surprise at the end of today’s Nintendo Direct event as an unnamed trailer opened on a boat alone in a stormy ocean. Moments later the titular hero’s iconic green garbs were spotted and Koholint Island came into full view. The remake’s logo is a playful take on Breath of the Wild’s, with a pair of palm trees growing from the side of it.

The remake looks to be a complete rebuild of the 1993 title featuring a brand new art style in a 3D engine. The remake maintains the original game’s slanted, top-down perspective but pairs it with the new 3D engine creating a unique visual identity for the game. Fans of the 3DS game A Link Between Worlds will find the style familiar, however, this new remake looks to have adopted a softer aesthetic.

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Switch Remake

Character designs are most notably drawn in a child-friendly style with expressive features and cartoonish movements. Textures have a certain sheen as the light hits them, giving a somewhat plastic feel to much of the world. The overall look and feel of the short gameplay trailer is that of a toybox come to life, a far cry from the Studio Ghibli inspired feel of Breath of the Wild. 

The gameplay looks to feature an assortment of classic Legend of Zelda tropes such as puzzles and grass cutting to collect rupees. While the original Link’s Awakening unabashedly referenced elements of the Super Mario franchise, this new remake looks to be directly riffing from it. A short sequence is shown to be played in a 2D-esque perspective featuring Link side-scrolling through an underground area and jumping on Goombas to dispatch them. Elsewhere in the trailer, a Chainchomp snaps at Link’s heels, a one to one moment from the original game.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Switch remake will be available in 2019.