Add in an art style and accompanying animation that marks Spiritfarer out as one of the prettiest games on the eShop, and you’re on to something quite special, if tough to define.
A Short Hike
In case you missed the initial hype, A Short Hike really lives up to its name. It’s all about a young bird taking a very short (less than two hours) walk up an imposing mountain. Along the way you’ll encounter a cast of adorable Animal Crossing-like characters, plenty of secret collectibles, and an irresistible flight mechanic.
Guide a young spirit through the afterlife, using their flexible Soulflame ability to open up new pathways and negotiate tricky platforming challenges.
This time you’re taking control of a young undead Viking who has to storm Norse hell using only their ability to detach and independently deploy different parts of their body. With a constant series of quips and some inspired puzzles, it’s another minor indie gem.
The Eternal Castle [Remastered]
The game nails the look and feel of ’80s home computer games to perfection, complete with gaudy four-colour visuals and rotoscoped animation, but stirs in the kind of fluid and flexible controls you’d expect of a more modern action game.
This time we’re dealing with an action RPG with a mixture of top-down map traversal and side-scrolling town and dungeon sections, kind of like Zelda II. It started out life as a Flash game, but don’t be fooled – this one’s as fleshed out as they come.