On April 18th, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap was released without much fanfare from Nintendo. However, it has quickly become a top seller on the North American eShop and has also become a sort of poster boy for showcasing exactly what a lot of gamers want from the Nintendo Switch. Wonder Boy is a remake of a classic Master System title of the same name. Featuring beautiful hand drawn environments and a new character to play as (Hu-Girl), it is a charming and inventive title that fits perfectly on the Switch as a downloadable title. To me however, this game is more than a sum of its parts. It is a perfect embodiment of the philosophy Nintendo has to take with their eShop this time around.
In the past, the eShop has had a plethora of small downloadable titles for sale, some of which were quite good. However, most of them felt like mini-games, and were never really advertised. Nintendo’s own Virtual Console titles stole the spotlight in those cases. Thanks to big events like Nintendo’s “Nindies” showcase, indie developers seem to getting a much larger spotlight this time around. If we want to put on tinfoil hats for a moment, perhaps Nintendo’s Virtual Console was delayed specifically so indies could have some time to shine? It’s certainly possible. One thing is certain though, Nintendo has realized the powerful potential of Indies. It has me very excited, games like Stardew Valley or Yooka-Laylee will feel right at home on the Switch. Smaller, bite size titles that I may not be inclined to boot up on a PC, I certainly will on the Switch. The Switch exists in a space of its own at the moment, and both Indie developers and Nintendo seem to realize it. I for one, cannot wait to see what Indie titles I am playing on the Switch a year from now.