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Great Single Developer Games on Nintendo Switch

Video games are complicated. The era of a lone developer making a hit game in their bedrooms is long gone. Or is it? We have found a swath of amazing games that have been driven into existence by just one person.

These games often stand out because of their singular vision and focused scope. Although, as the discussion surrounding this list has uncovered, almost all games have some contribution from other people. Coding, designing, creating art, writing music, recording dialogue.

Still, these are games where there has been a single driving force (auteur) willing their creation into existence. This list aims to highlight these games not to hold up the ideal of solo development (which can lead to unhealthy work-life balance) but to uncover this deep pool of fascinating games with a singular vision.

As Lewis Procter tweeted, it's exciting to realise that "you can make a game without needing permission or support from a big company, and many great tools are readily available." But, as he continued, in reality "games are almost always at some level a collaborative effort."

The games we are including here are those that were created by a single person. Sometimes this is in a final form, sometimes a single developers vision was released and has subsequent versions that expands this with more people. This is our thank-you to all these tireless individuals who have created something singular and pure that we now enjoy.

This list includes 12 games from the last 19 years, with 744 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play games created by one person.

DetailsPlatform Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Era: 2004 - 2022
Total Games: 12
Total Likes: 744
 

 

Thomas Was Alone

Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Thomas Was Alone is jumping and puzzle solving platform game where you control different-coloured rectangles. It sounds boring and derivative but each of the distinctly coloured shapes comes to life in the game as a character embroiled in this escape...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games with jump scares rather than blood and gore. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the...

Stardew Valley

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try...

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Open World

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Towerfall

Release Date: 25/06/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

In Towerfall each player selects a pixelated knight and fights to eliminate opponents by shooting them with arrows or jumping on their heads. The arena is a single shared screen. What makes it so competitive is the limited resource of arrows and the...

Undertale

Release Date: 15/09/2015, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Undertale is a 2D adventure game where you don't have to kill anyone. Providing you unique ways to avoid combat, from dancing with a slime to whispering your deepest secret to a knight. However, you could just ignore this option and rain destruction...

A Dark Room

Release Date: 10/06/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Open World

A Dark Room is an adventure where you try and survive in the wild. The world is depicted with just text but leads you into a dense narrative with intriguing visitors and a steadily expanding world. It has a simple start – a single option to stoke a...

Gorogoa

Release Date: 14/12/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Gorogoa is a puzzle game where you rearrange and resize tiles to make a singular picture. It appears to be simple, but to solve the puzzles you need to play close attention to how they interrelate. This Matryoshka Russian-Doll puzzle combines with...

Boot Hill Bounties (Series)

Release Date: 15/12/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Boot Hill Bounties, following on from Boot Hill Heroes is a comedic adventure into the Wild West. It combines spaghetti western gunslinging, outlaws, brave lawmen, and the untamed wilderness with a role-play experience.

Cave Story

Release Date: 20/12/2004, updated in 2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Mac, PC, Switch and Wii

Cave Story is a running and jumping game styled after classic Metroid and Castlevania games of the 1980's. Unusually, it was initially overlooked until it gained popularity on the internet and then received widespread critical acclaim. The simplicity,...

Axiom Verge 2 (Series)

Release Date: 31/03/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Axiom Verge is a series of running, jumping and fighting games where you play as Trace, a scientist who wakes up in an unknown ancient world. It's similar to retro games like Metroid and Contra where you explore levels, collect items and progress your...

Astronite

Release Date: 30/11/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Astronite is a running, jumping and shooting game where you control a brave explorer working through challenging zones full of hidden secrets, enemies and big bosses. Play combines action, exploration, puzzles and jumping. It stands out for it's simple...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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