Pet owners, rejoice! Extending its blue ocean strategy from the very successful Wii, which had everyone from your nephew to your grandmother playing games together, Nintendo has now made its games accessible to animals! Featuring simple controls and a portable design, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect console for our four-legged companions. With the aid of Imoen, a two-year-old domestic medium hair cat, I’ve picked out four multiplayer Nintendo Switch indie games you’ll want to play with a pet right meow.
#4 — Wargroove
Chucklefish’s love letter to the Advance Wars series is a perfect entry point for a furry friend’s first turn-based strategy game. Each player recruits a variety of units and explores the map, trying to take down the opposing army’s commander. Wargroove‘s twist on the genre is the unique abilities each commander possesses, which charge up as they get into the ‘groove’ of battle.
While Imoen refused to use the scouting dog units, this disadvantage is easy to overcome with Wargroove‘s extensive map editing options. With four-player local hot seat co-op and asynchronous online multiplayer available, Wargroove is an easy option for the local feral colony to get in on the gaming fun.
#3 — Golf Story
This quirky RPG-Sports hybrid by Sidebar Games is usually thought of for its creative single-player campaign, but the title also features a robust multiplayer mode. All the courses from the single player mode are available to play, along with options for rules, gear used, and weather conditions.
As an indoor-only cat, Imoen appreciates a chance to explore the varied terrain and chase the golf ball through Golf Story’’s many courses. The game also offers an outdoor experience for the feline when the weather is too cold to walk on the lead or if too many neighbours are watching.
#2 — Battle Chef Brigade
Apart from sleeping 16 hours a day, Imoen likes nothing more than hunting moths and flies around the house. Trinket Studios’s combat/puzzle game puts these predatory instincts to good use, with players hunting down monsters to gather their parts as ingredients to cook and serve in an Iron Chef-like competition. Each judge has a favourite flavour to consider, along with the theme ingredient of the day, making hunting choices critical. The fluid combat of battling monsters blends seamlessly into the match-three puzzle action of cooking, with players bouncing back and forth between modes as they perfect their dish.
While Imoen’s hunting prowess quickly filled her pantry, her cooking skills could still use some improvement. While some dishes suit her minimal cooking style, such as sushi or ceviche, medium-rare cockatrice is unappealing to the human palate.
#1 — Crypt of the Necrodancer
With the release of the surprising Zelda crossover Cadence of Hyrule just a few short months away, now is the perfect time to introduce your pet to Brace Yourself Games’s clever rhythm roguelike. Crypt of the Necrodancer plays like a typical dungeon crawler, with an important twist: every move is done to the beat of the music.
As the player bounces through the randomly generated halls, collecting different weapons and armour, they will encounter many enemies with unique beat-based movement patterns. In true roguelike fashion, death means returning to the start of the game, increased knowledge the only prize obtained. With such an amazing soundtrack, however, diving back in to try again never feels like a chore. Adding in a second player ramps up the challenge considerably, with good communication vital for progressing through the levels.
With her lithe reflexes, Imoen had no problem keeping up with the beat, but was more interested in chasing bats than treasure. Balancing out the increased difficulty in multiplayer is the revival system, with a defeated player returning to life with a small amount of health when the other clears a floor, allowing time for bat-based detours.
Even for Nintendo, its new animal focus is a bold direction, but it is one I wholeheartedly welcome. Forget that single-player pile of shame when you have a quiet night alone; grab a pet instead and get multiplayer gaming!