Nintendo is now well into 2022, kicking off with the successful launches of OlliOlli World and Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Last month, the company held their first Direct event for 2022, signalling the upcoming games for the year – most of which were ports and indies, but we also got to see some great first-party offerings. So, here are the five biggest titles confirmed to be launching on the Nintendo Switch this year.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land – March 25
Taking heavy inspiration from Super Mario Odyssey, Kirby arrives on the Switch with its newest 3D adventure on March 25. The iconic pink puffball is thrown into a world overgrown with vines and monsters, and is tasked with freeing the Waddle Dee Town. Completing missions unlocks more areas and features on the map, such as a coffee shop, fishing spots, and luck-based mini-games where you can win miniature toys.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land comes in celebration of its 30-year anniversary. (Screenshot)
Kirby’s powers have been expanded, thanks to the Mouthful Mode, where players can even suck up inanimate objects such as a full-sized car and zoom around the map. A couch co-op mode is included as well, letting your partner play as one of the Waddle Dees.
Mario Strikers: Battle League – June 10
In a surprise announcement during the Nintendo Direct event, fans were treated to a new Mario Sports title. Battle League brings some heat to your average 5v5 football game by letting players take control of iconic characters from the Mario universe and use special items to change the tides of the game.
It has been 15 years since the last Strikers game, and this new edition brings online play, power strikes, and more. (Screenshot)
Aggressive tactics such as Donkey Kong throwing a banana peel or tossing a green turtle shell to knock down opponents is just a hint of all the madness. Players can even customise their favourite characters’ gear to gain better stats such as strength, accuracy, and speed. Up to 8 players can join at a time (4 a side) and compete against each other with an AI goalkeeper. Mario Strikers: Battle League launches on June 10, 2022.
Splatoon 3 – mid-2022
Splatoon 3 sees you leaving Inkopolis behind and journeying into a new world – a deserted, metropolis hub city called Splatlands. Same as the previous iteration, players will have to pick between Inklings and Octolings, and engage in 4v4 Turf Wars, painting the town in coloured ink.
Splatoon 3 will let players pick teams – between Inklings and Octolings in 4v4 turf battle. (Screenshot)
Unlike before, where you were supposed to ink your opponents, this time, the objective is to see who colours the town the most. Players can customise their characters down to the eye colour and use unique equipment such as an umbrella to shield the ink, and rollers to cover large areas in their colours. Splatoon 3 arrives sometime in 2022.
Nintendo Switch Sports – April 29
Drawing inspiration from Wii Sports, the Switch edition takes advantage of the Joy-Cons’ intuitive motion controls to deliver an active gaming experience. The Switch Sports brings three sports from the previous instalments – tennis, bowling, and kendo – and adds football, badminton and volleyball to the mix.
Nintendo Switch Sports function like the original Wii Sports, encouraging an active and healthier gaming experience. (Image credit: Nintendo)
The controls allow you to add a spin to your tennis shots or add a spin to kicks, thanks to the included Leg Strap accessory that detects IRL motion. The game is set to launch on April 29 and will receive a new free update in the fall, bringing a golf mode as well.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 – late-2022
There has not been any word on a delay yet, so we can assume that the Zelda: BOTW sequel is on track to release this year. There is no official title either, though the 2019 E3 trailer hinted towards a darker theme, one dealing with the infectious blight Malice from the last game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is one of the most anticipated games of 2022. (Screenshot)
Link is equipped with a new set of powers this time, allowing him to phase between walls and a time rewind ability, as we saw with the 2021 trailer, where he stopped a spike ball midway and sent it back to crush down his enemies. Rumours hint towards a November 2022 release, though it is still subject to change.