Game Informer’s Top Shelter-In-Place Switch Games

By now, many of you have put a good amount of time into Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You’ve paid off your mortgage, transformed into a weird tarantula collector, and are now at a point of playing the game just for an hour or two each day. Chances are you are wondering what else you can play on your Switch. For some of you, Animal Crossing is your first Switch game. For others, it’s just the latest in a long string of adventures you’ve taken on this amazing hybrid system. No matter which of these camps you fall into, the Game Informer staff is offering a handful of game suggestions you may like. The selection offered is a mix of the Switch’s most celebrated games, along with little gems that may not have gotten the respect they truly deserve. These are personal picks from each staff member they feel will make everyone’s current situation during the pandemic a little better.

We hope everyone is healthy and safe. We’d love to hear how things are going in the comments section below, and also would like your help in giving Switch owners choices for new games to play. List those games in the comments with a description of why people should be paying attention to them. We’re going to get through this tough time, and games that keep us inside and occupied in fun ways will help us get there. Without further delay, here are the games:

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Looking for something that will consume countless hours while sparking your creativity? Divinity: Original Sin 2 immerses you in a fantasy land that offers unparalleled opportunities for problem solving amidst tight tactical combat. Varying difficulty levels allow you to meander through the story if you wish or dive into punishing battles that will tax your mind, but the real key here is playing the game your way – whether that’s an element-slinging sorcerer, a burly brute, a summoner, a telekinetic wunderkind, or even someone who just loves to load as much trash into a barrel as possible and dump it on an enemy’s head. The sky’s the limit, and experimenting with all of the systems in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is likely to take priority over making headway in the game itself. Get lost in one of the best RPGs of the last decade by yourself or with a friend through online co-op – it’s one of the best adventures you’ll ever take, and you can do it from bed! – Daniel Tack

Sonic Mania Plus

With his major motion picture debut a big success and now available to watch at home, there’s a chance you may be looking to check out one of the Blue Blur’s recent games. While many of Sonic’s recent outings have fallen short of expectations, one game has garnered universal acclaim for its ability to pay homage to the past while innovating and modernizing: Sonic Mania. Created by a team of independent developers in conjunction with Sonic Team, Sonic Mania delivers old-school Sonic action that would look at home on a Genesis; you even play through several familiar stages, including Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, and Flying Battery Zone. However, it’s more than just a stroll down memory lane as you not only get a collection of all-new zones, but the returning zones are remixed to the point they feel like new areas with familiar dressing. Pick up Sonic Mania Plus for an additional mode that adds new twists to the original game, as well as two new playable characters. – Brian Shea

Golf Story

Much like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Golf Story is charming, violence free, and delivers enough humor and heart to keep a smile on your face on every fairway and green. You play as a golf prodigy who travels to Wellworn Grove to make a name for himself. As you show off your skills and compete in tournaments, the people of Wellworn also turn to you for help. You’ll assist them in digging up fossils (using your sand wedge), become a part of a war against molerats, and also throw down in a rap battle. You never really know what to expect from Golf Story next, other than it being well made and fun throughout. A three-click swing meter is put to good use to make the golfing challenging, and the courses push for precision. Sandtraps are the least of your worries, however, as Wellworn’s animals don’t necessarily like seeing your ball in their territory. Golf Story is unlike any other RPG out there, and should be a nice ray of light in a dark time. If you enjoy it as much as I did, there’s good news for the future: developer SideBar Games is making a sequel called Sports Story for Switch. – Andrew Reiner

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

I know, I know, this isn’t exactly a deep cut, but hear me out: If you’re one of those folks who have been pulled into Switch gaming thanks to New Horizons, you may not know that the Animal Crossing series has tiptoed around the Switch sidelines for quite a while now. There’s a great level set in that world in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for instance, which has you tearing through town. I’m particularly fond of the Animal Crossing crossover in the Super Smash Bros. series. When you get tired of relaxing on your island, fire up Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and pick the Villager character. Then you can battle a host of other well-known game characters using familiar AC tools. My favorite? Growing a sapling into a mighty tree, which can then be knocked down in a walloping blow. Again, the majority of y’all are familiar with this one, but in the event that you aren’t (or haven’t gotten around to playing it for whatever reason), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a must play. – Jeff Cork

Into the Breach

People often say you should turn your brain off to enjoy certain things, but that hasn’t been working for me lately. Sometimes I need to put my brain into overdrive, and Into The Breach is a great funnel for that mental energy. It’s a perfectly built tactics game with punishing decision making, and it’s endlessly replayable either in bite-sized pieces or by binging a massive campaign. The story elements are a compelling wrapping for this fight for humanity’s survival, and I’ll say this: It feels really good to save the world right now. – Leo Vader

Luigi’s Mansion 3

He may not be as famous as his brother, but Luigi has a certain charm that is hard to deny. This third edition in the series is easily its best, featuring a world filled with interactivity and challenge. As you battle your way through a haunted hotel with your trusty ghost vacuum at your side, you get to explore all types of crazy environments full of puzzles and pesky ghosts to capture. The controls can be a little persnickety, and the bosses can be a tad challenging, but I loved every minute of it. The game drips with that Nintendo magic, from the addition of Gooigi (a slime-based clone used to solve puzzles and also allows for co-op play) to the sea of tiny details throughout the world that make this game feel alive. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a world you want to escape to, and a must-have for any Switch owner. – Andy McNamara

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Though it may look like a straightforward tactical game at first glance, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a clever hybrid with RPG progression and puzzle-like encounters that create immensely satisfying victories. You formulate your strategies using a zoomed-out map of the battlefield, but then take control of individual units (like tanks, grenadiers, and snipers) to attack. Your plucky squad is almost always outnumbered, so part of the fun is gradually thinning the enemy ranks through careful planning and turning an unwinnable situation into a triumph. Between battles, you get to customize and upgrade your team, opening up exciting new options for your next encounter. Plus, it’s all set in a cool alternate history with tools of warfare based on fantastical technology and magic. Likable characters with interesting individual arcs add personality to the lengthy campaign and its complex battles. However, plenty of smaller missions are also available if you just want to hop in for a brief diversion. With a little something for everyone, Valkyria Chronicles 4 offers a memorable experience that defies easy genre classification. – Joe Juba

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

If you’ve got a Switch and some time to kill, then why mess around with anything other than the best game on the platform? There is a good chance that you bought your Switch for this game, but there is also a good chance that you never finished it or checked out the DLC, so this might be the perfect time to dive back in. If you’re a total newcomer, Breath of the Wild is one of the most exciting entries in the Zelda series. Nintendo’s massive open world is incredibly stunning and full of interesting places to explore and things to interact with. Unlike many open-world games that highlight all the major points of interest on your map, Breath of the Wild takes a more hands-off approach. I’m not knocking other design choices, but I really liked the sense of freedom Nintendo offers here. The game also contains 120 shrines, which are delightful, bite-sized puzzle and combat challenges. I easily spent more than 100 hours with Breath of the Wild, and yet once I’d finished the game and completed all the shrines, I was a little sad that I’d run out of content. There has never been a better time to play this brilliant game – because there was never a bad time to play it. – Ben Reeves

Super Mario Odyssey

Few games capture a sense of whimsy, delight, and earnest heroism like Super Mario Odyssey. If you need a bright wonderland of constant discovery to lift you out of the humdrum of being stuck inside, I can’t think of a game that could do a better job. Mario’s odyssey takes him from one colorful world to another, each filled with opportunities for exploration, skill-based platforming, and thoughtfully constructed challenges. Childlike humor and characters bely a sophisticated and engrossing approach to design, where shortform challenges (collecting power moons) are strung together into longer and richly woven open levels. Likewise, the easy-to-control plumber protagonist hides a surprising suite of extra moves and actions to master, many of which are necessary if you want to surpass Odyssey’s biggest challenges. With its unlockable outfits, amusing interactions, and sometimes surreal game worlds, Super Mario Odyssey is an injection of joy – and one well worth taking when you’re ready for a lift. – Matt Miller


Celeste is a special game, plain and simple. But with the world the way it is now, Matt Makes Games’ indie masterpiece feels even more imperative than ever before. The fog and very real danger of this pandemic have affected the populace’s mental health in ways we haven’t ever experienced. Celeste examines mental health with an elegance and tact almost no game has been able to replicate and tells the player that it’s okay that we’re not okay. Accepting this fact is hard and that’s why Celeste’s marriage of a challenging, yet beautiful message and its intense gameplay difficulty make it so special. Climbing the game’s mountain is difficult, just as accepting your own situation can feel at times impossible. The developer knows this and has embodied it beautifully by pushing player’s platforming prowess to the brink but never in a way that feels oppressive or unfair. You’re going to struggle in this game, and that’s okay because when you finally complete that specific stubborn stage, the sense of accomplishment you feel is palpable. Little wins are essential during today’s madness and when you combine both the thematic and gameplay rewards of Celeste with one of the best video game soundtracks to date, you get a special experience that makes for one of the true must-plays of the Nintendo Switch. – Alex Stadnik

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses was one of the best games to come out last year, so now is the perfect time to give it a go for the first time or revisit with a new house. Three Houses entrenches you in student life. As a professor, you impart your wisdom, pick your students’ lesson plans, and socialize with them after class to better understand their circumstances. Every house has a colorful cast of characters and there’s political drama around every bend. Then there are the tense encounters on the battlefield, with surprise reinforcements and traps you must avoid. What I enjoy so much about the game is how it really immerses you in the school simulation and the connection you have to your students makes their victories and failures in battle hit harder. If you have permadeath on, losing a student is downright devastating. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’ll also say the story twists and difficult choices don’t disappoint. – Kimberley Wallace

Source: Gameinformer