I’m a relatively new Nintendo Switch owner and I’ve quickly become obsessed. There are so many games available that it’s nearly impossible to know what’s worth buying and what’s not. Of course, there are your tried and true favorites, like Super Mario Brothers and Kirby for me. Perhaps Pokemon or something else for you. But with new games coming out all the time, and old games yet to be discovered, where do you start with building your game collection?!
Game reviews and best of lists are extremely handy, and I’ve relied on them a lot when building my wish list and ever-growing game collection. But that leaves a lot to chance or other people’s opinions. That’s where game demos come in! Only a fraction of the available games have demos, but there’s still plenty to choose from. I’ve played a ton of demos in the few months I’ve had my switch, but then I got this idea…
What if I played ALL of the game demos available!? Not just the ones that sparked my interest! I might find something really fun that I may have glossed over otherwise! But where to start? Do I just start randomly downloading? Do I start with the most popular games? Well, I find that a systematic approach is best, so I sorted the titles from A-Z and simply dove in!
I went into most of the demos without knowing anything about the game. I had a lot of fun trying a variety of games from across all genres and play styles. And hopefully you’ll find these mini reviews helpful in your own search for your next Nintendo Switch game purchase. I marked my favorites with a 🦄 (unicorn).
30 Nintendo Switch Game Demo Reviews
Should you buy these games?
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: I know I said I sorted these alphabetically, but this still showed up first. I’m assuming there’s an extra space at the beginning. Anywho. Obviously the number of games is limited for the demo, but I did get to try Archery, Surfing, and Karate. My favorite of the three was archery and not just because I got the gold! Surfing was a bit awkward to get use to, but I ended up having a lot of fun even if I lost horribly. Karate just felt like a bunch of button mashing, yet I got gold? I do think this would be more exciting to play with friends as intended, but there’s still a ton of fun to be had as a solo gamer. I wish there was access to more of the games because there’s a ton!
- #womenUp, Super Puzzles Dream: Imagine Tetris, but with jigsaw puzzle pieces. That’s exactly what this is. Puzzle pieces fall from the top of the screen and you have to guide them to their appropriate spot before they fall away. If you miss a piece, an already placed piece is removed from your completed puzzle and you’ll have to place it again later. It’s not terribly challenging, but it’s a cool idea. There’s four options for number of pieces for each picture, which will increase the difficulty.
- ‘n Verlore Verstand: This is a trippy first-person puzzle platformer. You don’t know where you are or why you’re there or how to get back to wherever you should be. I personally don’t play first-person games, because they give me mild motion sickness, but I did appreciate what this game was trying to do. The mysterious circumstances and odd occurrences are extremely intriguing.
- 10 Second Ninja X: I couldn’t even finish this demo because I sucked so bad. I was even playing relaxed mode. This game has a cool concept: you must defeat each stage in 10 seconds, and with just three throwing stars. I’m just not that good of a platformer to make these precise jumps and hit my targets, all while under a time crunch.
- 10 Second Run RETURNS: This demo is 20 seconds long, as you only get to play the first two levels. It’s a straight forward concept though. Reach the end within 10 seconds, grab the stars if you can. Easier said than done though. This game looks like it gets crazy quite quickly, but also, how many obstacles can you even cram into a 10 second level?
- 16-Bit Soccer: I’m not a sports game person, but for the sake of science I gave it a try. Well, the text is sooo tiny that I couldn’t even read what the controls were. There is no reason for the text to be that small given the amount of space on the screen. Don’t waste your time.
- 1993 Shenandoah: If you’ve play any old school space gunner arcade game, you’ve played this.
- 8-Bit Farm: This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a decent length demo, so you really get a feel of what the game has to offer. I liked it, but I didn’t feel particularly drawn to it. There’s not much of a story or motivation to improve the farm. I felt like I was just going through the motions.
- 9 Monkeys of Shaolin: If I was a Beat ’em Up game fan, I’d likely buy this one. This was my first experience with the genre, and I was surprisingly not terrible (only died once!). I like the story too.
- 99Vidas – Definitive Edition: Another Beat ’em Up, but the demo ended right as I was getting into it! The controls on this one are straight forward, but not consistent in their responsiveness, which was a bit frustrating.
- A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher: To be perfectly honest, I did not understand how to play this game at all. You have to control the left and right at the same time, but do what exactly? Maybe you can figure it out.
- A Plague Tale: Innocence – Cloud Version: First thought, this game is gorgeous! I had no hopes of actually being to play, but it ran fine. It pretty quickly reduced the graphic settings though and still stuttered a bit. The demo cut off right when I was getting into it too! I was surprised by this one, and not just because my internet actually let me play it, but it was pretty engaging.
- A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism: Not exactly a thrilling time. It reminds me a lot of Sim City, which I never got into as a kid. There’s too much micromanagement, and I didn’t find the train placement and schedules interesting. But if you like micromanaging and trains, this is probably for you. There’s a ton to do.
- Abyss Memory Fallen Angel and the Path of Magic: This game has a really interesting premise. You don’t directly control the MC, she can’t stop walking or turn around and can’t jump or climb, or do anything really except walk. You have to draw lines to help her walk across gaps, inclines to get to higher levels, walls for her to bump into to turn around. The lines also fade quickly, so don’t draw them too early! It’s interesting, but there’s something off about the graphics and the audio is kind of annoying.
- Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron: This is another top-down, arcade style shooter, but more modern looking. It’s certainly better than similar games on this list, but still not a “me” kind of game. I just never know where to look with so much happening and wind up dying a lot. At least I made it to the final boss before getting a game over.
- ACTIVE LIFE Outdoor Challenge: I couldn’t play this one, because I don’t have a leg strap. Which was disappointing, because I loved Wii Fit back in the day and wanted to try this one. Oh well.
- 🦄 Active Neurons 2: I really liked this straight forward puzzle game! There’s not much to it, and there are much more exciting games that you can get for the same price. The demo lets you play the first 30 levels and that was plenty for me. If this was a free game like Color Zen, I’d definitely download it.
- Adventures of Chris: This was pretty cute. You play as a fat middle school boy turned superhero! He also collects cookies, because of course he does. It’s a pretty standard 2D platformer, but nothing I’d play long term. The controls are a bit awkward.
- Aegis Defenders: This game would be better played in Co-Op mode, but since it’s just me, I had to play one player and control both characters, which is not something I am good at (hello, Luigi’s Mansion 3!). The art style also isn’t my favorite, but I can see the appeal for people who like these adventure titles and want to play with a friend.
- Aeolis Tournament: Another game that should be played with others (it does have an online mode, but not in the demo) and it was buggy as heck! The first round didn’t play at all. It loaded the field and the characters, then nothing. I had to restart. Then the game started, but I couldn’t control my character! The game is in chaos, but I was basically a CPU along with everybody else until my character got KO’ed, then I took control. THEN in the next game where you had to push your opponents off the island, I did several times and never got the points for it! What in the world?! Needless to say, that was not fun. Maybe if it had been working correctly.
- 🦄 Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield: This game is hella fun! The graphics and gameplay are super simple but it works! Once I got a hang of the controls, I was having a blast! You kind of control this guy who just runs. All you have to do is jump, duck, or dash at the right moments to evade capture or death. I swear, it’s a great time!
- AeternoBlade: This game looks and sounds great! The controls are smooth, and if I was a slash-and-dash kinda girl, I’d absolutely buy this game.
- AeternoBlade II: Director’s Rewind: This one absolutely does not look or play as well as the previous one. There’s some blurring on the characters which is annoying. And there’s a major delay in actions! Frejya will still be attacking for a couple seconds after I’m done pressing the buttons, so she’s attacking nothing….or getting hit because she didn’t attack when I told her to. Not fun. Hopefully it’s just a demo issue and not one in the full game. Not that I’d buy it anyway.
- 🦄 Agent A: A puzzle in disguise: This is a point-and-click adventure and I really enjoyed it! The puzzles were clever and definitely kept me busy. I also really love the art style. It’s now on my wish list.
- 🦄 AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES: That was an experience. It was like being part of a really dark movie. I am intrigued enough to add this to my wish list because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever played and I need to know what comes next! I also just really like Aiba. This also sent me down the visual novel rabbit hole, holy crap!
- Airfield Mania: Mania is right. This game is harder than it looks. The premise is simple, guide the planes to the correct runway without crashing into other incoming planes. Easier said than done when you suddenly have two large planes, and like six helicopters all flying around!
- Alpaca Ball: Allstars: This game is chaotic in the worst way. The controls are so awkward and the alpacas all kind of flail around and it’s hard to aim and it’s weird.
- Alternate Jake Hunter: DAEDALUS The Awakening of Golden Jazz: This is a visual novel with a mystery element. It was my first one (yes, I played this before AI), and I do seem to like the format, but I didn’t care for the story thus far. Why would you give a ten-year-old a lighter for his birthday?!
- Animated Jigsaws: Beautiful Japanese Scenery: The demo lets you do one 60-piece puzzle with some animated elements. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a jigsaw puzzle app otherwise.
- Anime Studio Story: This is basically 8-Bit Farm but in an anime studio, but I did actually like it better! It felt more hands-on, rather than just clicking and waiting. $15 seems kind of steep for what you’re getting though.
And that is the first thirty game demos! Have you played any of these games (demo or full version)? Are you interested in trying any of them?