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Mechanical Challenge Games on Nintendo Switch

Games offer us challenges on many levels. When someone plays a game too much it’s easy to think they are taking an easy route to something entertaining, like junk food. But video games are generally hard work. It takes time to understand their systems, mechanics, objectives and worlds.

There are a small group of games that hone this challenge down to the mechanics of moving around the environment. Whereas many games simplify getting around, these games make the complexity and depth of their movement systems part of the joy of playing them.

Rather than relying on the stats of your character or player, you have to execute the moves yourself with timing proficiency and instinct. Rather than offering assistance, these games leave you to it. Whether you rise through the league tables, or just improve compared to your family, the satisfaction or getting to grips with something so monumentally challenging is really satisfying.

This might be understanding how the propulsion of your car lets you take to the air and hit a perfect shot in Rocket League. Or, perhaps, it’s using the limited running and jumping slightly better than other players to get a win in Fall Guys. Maybe it’s learning the perfect combination of angles and trajectories in Videoball. Or it could be learning the complex move lists in a game like Street Fighter.

These games all have in common, a complex control system that can be put to use in imaginative and creative ways to get the edge over your opponents.

This list includes 103 games from the last 41 years, with 894 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to combine dexterity and instincts.

DetailsPlatform Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Era: 1981 - 2022
Total Games: 103
Total Likes: 894
 

 

Mario Strikers Battle League

Release Date: 10/06/2022

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is the latest game in the Mario Strikers series. Like the previous games it offers a five-on-five battle sport that combines football and ice hockey with Nintendo characters. It...

Boomerang X

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Boomerang X is a shooting platform game where you explore worlds and fight enemies with a boomerang-like shuriken weapon. Unusually, you can warp to your boomerang once thrown meaning you can slice, fly, and blast through arenas swarming with evil...

Drink More Glurp

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up....

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Release Date: 22/10/2019

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Race down a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route to find the fastest way to the finish line.

Cuphead

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

Dead Cells

Release Date: 10/05/2017, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Dead Cells is a running, jumping and fighting game where you are escaping a prison. In a bright pixelated world you must accurately time attacks and dodges to defeat a wide range of enemies. It's intentionally hard, and you will die a lot. But each time...

The Long Dark

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Disc Room

Release Date: 22/10/2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Disc Room is an action survival game set in a sprawling intergalactic slaughterhouse. You are a scientist from the future exploring the facility and must get through each room that is filled with sharp discs by running and dodging. You have special...

Bioshock Infinite

Release Date: 26/03/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Bioshock Infinite is an adventure shooting game. Although the story is unconnected to the previous games in the series, it raises similar themes of dictatorship communities and alternative to capitalistic society. It's another nuanced and complex story...

Just Shapes & Beats

Release Date: 21/06/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Just Shapes & Beats is a two player rhythm game where you dodge bullets in time with the music. As well as this unusual premise, play extends the novelty as you have to both avoid the various shapes and move to the Beats. It’s a new spin on the shoot...

BedWars

Release Date: 19/01/2017

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft servers. It's a game similar to the official Minecraft minigames but created by independent developers.

Freddy Spaghetti

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Freddy Spaghetti is a running and jumping game. But you play a piece of spaghetti rather than a person. The game simulates the pasta’s physics as you use two trigger-buttons and a joystick to steer the main character across a wide variety of levels,...

Apex Legends

Release Date: 04/02/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Apex Legends is a shooting game where you work with two other players landing on an island and searching for weapons and supplies. You mission is to defeat the other 50 players to be the last team standing.

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Kill It With Fire

Release Date: 13/08/2020

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

Kill It With Fire is a fighting game where you kill spiders. Lifting objects, looking under things and generally exploring the houses means you find spiders. The challenge is then to kill them with increasingly ridiculous weapons.

Bonkies

Release Date: 29/01/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Bonkies is a co-operative building game where you construct buildings from different blocks. With a jetpack and a grab-arm you work with other players to manoeuvre the blocks into place. It starts quite simply but soon gets everyone shouting.

Hitman (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/2000, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Hitman 3 is a stealth game where you take on assassination missions and then figure out how to execute them. The dynamic situations you enter unfold as you play and you can try different approaches.

Sifu

Release Date: 22/02/2022, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Sifu is a martial arts fighting game with a flowing control system and ageing protagonist. You fight with Kung-Fu combat designed with impact and authenticity in mind.

Skatebird

Release Date: 16/09/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

SkateBird is a running (rolling) and jumping game where you play a skateboarding bird who performs tricks and explores skate parks. The skate parks are made of everyday objects such as pencils, books, and staplers which have been transformed into ramps...

Knockout City

Release Date: 21/05/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Knockout City is a futuristic sports game where rival crews take on dodgeball style battles. It combines arena battles with projectile combat. With the focus on the ball as much as the other players, this brings more strategy and a great emphasis on...

SnowRunner

Release Date: 28/04/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

SnowRunner is an off-road driving simulation game that follows up MudRunner. You drive all-terrain vehicles to traverse between locations and complete deliveries. You need to use the vehicle's gears, all-wheel-drive, fuel levels and other features to...

MudRunner

Release Date: 31/10/2017, updated in 2020

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

Mudrunner is an off-roading simulation where you drive ageing Soviet vehicles in extreme, muddy and unpaved environments. It's novel because of the simulated driving and that you just have a map and a compass to navigate.

Switch Sports

Release Date: 29/04/2022

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Nintendo Switch Sports, is the latest version of Wii Sports. It brings the classic motion sports game up to date with new sports and ways to play. You can compete in six sports, including Tennis, Volleyball, Golf, Football and Bowling. The novelty, as...

Super Monkey Ball (Series)

Release Date: 23/06/2001, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Monkey Ball is a rolling and balancing game where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey...

Doom Eternal

Release Date: 20/03/2020

Platforms: PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Doom is a shooting game with a focus on movement and close-quarter combat in tightly designed arenas. Originally released in 1993, it was one of the first 3D shooting games to be made and spawned numerous sequels, novels, comic books, board games, and...

Super Mario Sunshine

Release Date: 26/08/2002, updated in 2020

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Super Mario Sunshine is a running, jumping and water-shooting game. It follows Super Mario 64 as the second 3D Mario game. You play Mario, who is marooned on Isle Delfin, convicted of vandalism and graphite. You explore the island to visit other...

Bonito Days

Release Date: 14/10/2021

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Bonito Days is a pastel-retro rolling, jumping and gliding game. You roll down a slope to launch yourself into the air and then glide around before landing. It's a simple challenge that combines with the breezy summer aesthetic with lite touch...

Chrono Sword

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Chrono Sword is an adventure game about Aenor, a time traveller attempting to prevent the death of her loved ones. You learn technical combat, explore the world, switch timelines and fight off enemies to discover the secrets of the past.

Ninjala

Release Date: 24/06/2020

Platforms: Switch

Ninjala is an online action battle game where you play colourful gum-chewing ninjas who compete in futuristic tournaments.

One Hand Clapping

Release Date: 14/07/2020

Platforms: Stadia and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

One Hand Clapping is a running and jumping game where you sing into a microphone to interact with the world. The game acknowledges how challenging this idea may be, and gently leads you into using your voice to create platforms, adjust the wind and...

Skater XL

Release Date: 28/07/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skater XL is a skateboard simulation game. But unlike other skateboarding games, Skater XL steers clear of objectives or narrative. Instead you can explore a variety of maps and locations at your own pace, finding new places to try different tricks.

MO: Astray

Release Date: 25/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

MO:Astray is a puzzle, jumping and exploration game. Rather than control a character who runs, you control an amorphous blob. To get around you have to use the game's unique movement mechanics to take advantage of the cleverly designed levels.

Stonefly

Release Date: 02/06/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Stonefly is a tranquil adventure game where you play the pilot of insect-like mechanical craft. Tiny and living in an outsized world, you use your vehicle to harness the wind and explore the wilderness. As you meet inhabitants, collect resources and...

Unto The End

Release Date: 09/12/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Unto The End is a cinematic combat-adventure where the fighting is modelled in a read-and-react style. It requires time to master the unusual system but offers many ways to take on foes. Tactics and intelligent decisions are as important for survival as...

Beat Me!

Release Date: 13/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Beat Me! is a fighting game where comical fantasy characters battle to win. Along with the fun and unusual locations, Beat Me stands out because of its use of real world physics to determine who wins.

Black Skylands

Release Date: 09/06/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Black Skylands is an adventure game where you pilot an airship through a sprawling open world of floating islands. You play Eva, who's ship has been destroyed and father killed. Your task is to rebuild your home from the deck up, arm and prepare for...

Grapple Dog

Release Date: 10/02/2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Grapple Dog is a platform game where you play a pixel dog with the ability to grapple onto surfaces to swing and jump around a level. You can extend the length of the rope for a longer swing. In this way you take on puzzles, enemies and various...

N Plus Plus (Series)

Release Date: 25/08/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

N++ (N Plus Plus) is a physics based jumping puzzle game. You run and jump around each level to collect gold tokens while avoiding hazards and unlock the door. It's unique because the simple visuals let you focus on accurate control, fast reflexes and...

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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