The 8 Best Nintendo Switch Digital Download Games to Buy in 2018

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Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
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A nice addition to the Nintendo Switch is that a lot of its gaming library can be downloaded in the comfort of your own home. Many independent developers have published their games on Nintendo’s eShop, with a lot of them offering a fun and enjoyable gaming experience. We’ve made a list of the best digital download games you can get on the Nintendo Switch that you can start playing in less than an hour or so, depending on your Internet connection.

Best for Platforming: Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Similar to 2D retro games of the past, Shovel Knight is a challenging action adventure side-scrolling game with an 8-bit aesthetic. Despite being modern, Shovel Knight feels like a 1990s Mega Man game and is a fun and delightful platformer in its own right and experience.

As the name suggests, Shovel Knight has you playing as a knight who uses a shovel as a weapon called the “Shovel Blade.” Like a traditional platformer game, you’ll run, jump and battle for your lost beloved as you take down a menacing faction of evil knights lead by a wicked enchantress. Players will get that authentic feeling of the notorious difficulties of old school games with Shovel Knight, facing unforgiving obstacles such as spike pitfalls and enemies with vicious attack patterns. It’s a beautiful little ode to the throwbacks.

Best for Fighting: Pokken Tournament DX

Take the classic fighting game Tekken and combine it with Pokemon and you have Pokken Tournament DX for the Nintendo Switch. The fun stylized fighting game allows you to control over 20 different Pokemon fighters to defeat other Pokemon in cinematic arena fights. Any fan of Pokemon and fighting games will love it.

Ever wonder what it’d be like to fight Mewtwo as Pikachu? Pokken Tournament DX opens up that world for you as you battle and move freely around an arena utilizing its intuitive fighting system. You’ll perform various combo attacks and use special elemental powers such as whirlwind and lightning bolts. The game is multiplayer, too, so you and a friend can duke it out with your favorite Pokemon at home, online or on the go with other Nintendo Switch players who own the game as well.

Best for Relaxation: Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley does what most games don’t do: calm you. The serene 16-bit graphics farming simulator game has you living off your grandfather’s old farm plot, and it’s your life’s duty to cultivate and live off the land.

Stardew Valley has players manage their character’s time and energy in order to clear up land, plant and tend to crops, craft goods, raise livestock, mine ore and engage in social activities. The open-ended game allows you to play how you want with no obligations, as you’ll always have something to do without a confined path towards level progression. Stardew Valley is inspired by the classic Harvest Moon series that older players may be familiar with.

Best Multiplayer: Super Bomberman R

With up to eight players, Super Bomberman R is the best multiplayer game you can get right now for the Nintendo Switch. The action game has players move through a 2D maze grid system where they must explode their enemies.

You don’t have to fight one another; Super Bomberman R features a cooperative story mode with over 50 stages that you and a friend can work on together. If you’re having a party over, the game includes a competitive multiplayer mode where each player has to rush toward collecting power-ups, blasting through barriers and avoiding the bomb explosions of one another. The game even has an online league system where players compete against others around the world.

Best for Sonic Lovers: Sonic Mania

Fans of 1990s Sonic games rejoice, as Sonic Mania brings a fresh update to the franchise’s original feel and gameplay. Sonic Mania is the type of game that’s self-aware, utilizing a time machine to bring back updated classic levels like Green Hill Zone, bonus stages, as well as a cast of familiar characters, sound and music.

Sonic Mania resurrects the Sonic: The Hedgehog era of the fast-paced side-scrolling platforming genre with high-definition graphics at 60 fps. Players rush to complete stages while collecting coins, spin attacking robots and avoiding traps while defeating one of Dr. Robotnik’s evil bosses at the end of every level. The game also features multiplayer head-to-head competitions and a co-op mode where players can play as Tails or Knuckles.

Best for Racing: FAST RMX

FAST RMX is a futuristic levitating car racing game with tracks ascended in the middle of the skies or into the earth. The high-octane racer brings the spirit of competition in 60 fps at 1080p HD resolution. It’s not Mario Kart, but it’s just as fun and unique as a fast-paced racing game.

FAST RMX is great for multiplayer, allowing up to three friends locally in split-screen or online against seven other players around the world. The intense racer for Nintendo Switch comes jam-packed with over 30 beautiful tracks and 15 futuristic racing machines. Controls are a cinch to learn as you tackle sharp turns and switch between corresponding track boosts to head toward victory.

Best for Puzzles/Learning: Human Resource Machine

Quirky and charming, Human Resource Machine is a puzzle game that works similarly to how you’d build a computer program. You’ll drag various commands and loops in order to build perfect programs (like a mail delivery system). The game does a good job teaching players the fundamentals of computer programming.

Human Resource Machine gets harder and more stress-inducing as you progress through each level. Critical thinking and logical skills are required; creating head-scratching challenges that make you want to crack the code. A little hint-giving boss will be there to encourage, strike fear in and scold you along the way, with music that fits the mood of intensity. Though the game isn’t action-packed, it does provide a sense of accomplishment with each completed puzzle.

Best for Action: Mr. Shifty

Mr. Shifty is a birds-eye-view style game that offers beautiful cell shaded graphics and action style gameplay with a sense of urgency. The game has you play a thief that is able to teleport through enemy bullets and perform martial art takedowns as you break into the world’s most secure facility.

With over 140 levels, there’s always some action going down in Mr. Shifty. You’ll dodge various projectiles, run from explosions, loop through lasers and navigate your way through an adrenaline-rushed adventure with an accompanying soundtrack. Gameplay is similar to a beat-‘em-up game where multiple opponents and obstacles stand in your way, and there’s never a chance to rest.

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