Nintendeal Staff Picks: Games to While Away Your Quarantine Hours

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Dear Nintendeal Readers,

The global situation we currently find ourselves in, as a species, is something none of us have experienced in our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing massive disruptions of routines, work, and school for everyone across the globe. The staff at Nintendeal wanted to try and bring a little gaming joy into everyone’s lives right now, with some recommendations when we all truly need it. We love our community, and we hope that perhaps one or more of the games presented below give you some much-needed mental or emotional relief.

Your island awaits. And debt. No one told me about the debt!

Sarah (of Nick and Sarah) – Animal Crossing: New Horizons – $59.99

First on our list, the clear choice… Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It just released, and that’s the game everyone on staff is currently exploring, and definitively the first game we all agree you should check out during this time. It’s Animal Crossing at it’s finest, with new mechanics (crafting!) and more quality of life improvements than you can shake a raccoon at!

Sarah says:
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers the perfect escape from our current anxious reality. Leave your worries behind and move to a deserted island filled with charm and breathtaking beauty. Feeling isolated during your quarantine? Socialize with quirky anthropomorphic neighbors, and play with your real-life friends online.”

SO MANY TETRISES! …Tetri? Tetrae? …it’s good, and FREE. TRY IT.

Andrew Wolf – Tetris 99 – Free

Tetris 99 is an online-only, competitive version of the timeless classic with several different modes, which is available free with your Nintendo Online subscription. Simply go to the “Nintendo Switch Online” section of the eShop on your device and download it to start playing!

Andrew says:
“We should see a ton of online activity on there while everyone is under lockdown. Unlocking new themes is really fun!”

It’s literally millions of Mario levels. How can you go wrong?

Nick (of Nick and Sarah) – Super Mario Maker 2 – $59.99

Mario Maker 2 is perhaps the single largest game on this list. Boasting not only 120 story mode levels, designed by the good folks at Nintendo, users have uploaded over 2 *million* crafted levels to download and try. Now, many of these are ridiculously hard, but there are a ton of classic-Mario-aesthetic inspired levels for players of all skill levels, making this the best deal of dollars-to-content on our list today.

Nick says:
“Play around with the editor to create levels, and the story mode is fantastic. Use course world to play endless, multiplayer, ninji speedruns, and the millions of uploaded levels. If you’re into Mario-style platforming games, SMM2 has potential for endless replay-ability.”

Farming, the truly idyllic way. No capitalist raccoons here!

Steven Green – Stardew Valley – $14.99

If you’re looking for something similar to Animal Crossing, but like your sims a little bit more realistic, Stardew Valley, developed by a single person(!) is an immense journey through life, rehabilitating a farm, and yourself. There’s also a recently added multiplayer update if you haven’t checked it out in a while.

Steven says:
“There’s nothing better than sitting back and farming away to take your mind off of things.”

This atmospheric adventure will truly transport you to another realm.

Brian Barnett – Hollow Knight – $15.00

Hollow Knight is a critically acclaimed 2D Metroidvania adventure spanning a huge world. With a slew of enemies, bosses, secrets, and abilities, this challenging action game is a stunning and vexing quest through a beautifully creepy world. The game has been receiving regular content updates since release, and there’s a ton of platforming fun here.

Brian says:
“Hollow Knight is as much about contemplative exploration as it is about frenetic combat. While it certainly has a somewhat somber, overbearing, and even hopeless tone at times, now might be the perfect time to play a game about overcoming seemingly insurmountable adversity through patience, discipline, and perseverance.”

Wandersong is a lighthearted romp sure to put a smile on your face.

Kevin Chan – Wandersong – $19.99

Wandersong is a simple and pleasing musical adventure with a cool retro aesthetic. Guide your bard through a unique world on a quest to (of course) save the universe… but with song!

Kevin says:
“Wandersong isn’t actually that long, about 10 hours. But it’s great for people wanting an unapologetically positive game that’s more interested in instilling hope than any sort of cynicism. I think some people could really use that positivity at the moment.”

Look at all those particle effects. So shiny. Seriously though, the co-op on this game is unmatched.

Brandon Berger – Diablo III: Eternal Collection – $59.99

Diablo has been a staple of PC gaming for decades, and with the release of the third installment, fans finally got their dream of a wide console release. The Switch conversion of Diablo III (with all expansion content packs) is an amazing value, and aside from being one of the finest dungeon-crawlers ever made, is notable as one of the best executed (pun intended) Switch ports of the generation. Have no fear, this game runs like silky melted butter, even during the most frenetic action. Team up with friends to explore higher level dungeons or co-op your way through a lengthy campaign. The different classes also lend a ton of replay-ability to the game.

Brandon says:
“I’m playing a lot of Diablo III. I never played it before it got ported to the Switch, but I played the first two on PC back in the day. My favorite part about it is the online multiplayer. I am able to play with my brother, and we have already sunk hours into it, and we’re looking forward to continuing to do so.”

No one thought the coolest JRPG of the DS’s generation could get any better… but it SO did.

Chris Barnes – The World Ends with You: Final Remix – $49.99

The World Ends with You originally appeared on the Nintendo DS in 2007, and quickly attained cult status as one of the most innovative RPGs of that generation of consoles. The touch controls were impeccable, the story was deep, and the design was so well done, you truly felt like you were walking the streets of Japan. This new edition, Final Remix, is a reworking of the classic Square Enix DS title with new visuals, controls and content.

Chris says:
“Joy-Cons make the Switch’s adaption of the original gameplay a blast and both the original and remixed versions of the soundtrack are phenomenal.”

This game is a masterpiece, as immersive as it is beautiful.

Charlie Friday – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition – $59.99

The Witcher 3 is one of the true gems of the current generation. The complete edition, released late last year on the Switch, does have some graphical compromises, but holds nothing back as far as the gameplay, experience, or content. This is the real deal, and there’s hundreds of hours of engrossing play here. Even if you’ve played it before, there’s always something new to find, and the customization system and character interaction branches makes each playthrough feel very different.

Charlie says:
“I had messed around with Wild Hunt on PS4 shortly after its release, but it really came alive for me on the Switch. I’d recommend playing in handheld mode, where it performs best on the Switch, and be prepared to be sucked in by the deep story and expansive world. It’s not an inherently cheery place, but you can affect truly positive change in the game world in a way I’ve never experienced before.”

Final Thoughts

We’d also be remiss in not reminding Nintendo Online subscribers about the NES and SNES Online apps, both of which have dozens of classic titles available for play, and some of them, especially on the SNES, can be as lengthy and immersive as any modern game. If you’ve never played Super Metroid or A Link to the Past, get in there! Those are two of the best games of. all. time.

We here at Nintendeal would like to thank all of our readers for their support, and we will continue to bring you great deals and content throughout the duration of this challenging time. We extend our best to all of you, and please, stay safe and healthy.

Much love,

Andrew, Brian, Chris H, Chris B, Nick & Sarah, Caleb, Aaron, Kevin C, Kevin B, Ramin, Steven, Brandon, and Charlie

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