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Our top 5 Switch games to play during loadshedding

With 2022 proving that loadshedding is permanent and 2023 starting off with indefinite stage 6, we’re depending more and more on our Nintendo Switch to get our gaming fix when the lights are out.

Here at Hypertext we’ve been extensively covering the Switch ever since its launch so we have quite a bit of experience with Nintendo’s handheld and what it has to offer, so if you’re looking for how best to spend your time (and money) look no further than this list. 

This feature does need some clarifications, however. This isn’t a list of “the best games on the Nintendo Switch”, but rather what games are both uniquely suited to the hardware, and making the best use of your time when there’s loadshedding.

We’re also very aware that solutions like generators and UPSs make playing on PC and other consoles possible when loadshedding hits, but as a native battery-powered console the Switch is uniquely suited to this role and for many it offers the simplest way to play without electricity. 

Maybe we can return to that topic when / if the Steam Deck is ever officially sold in South Africa. 

Ring Fit Adventure 

Those looking to be more active in 2023 should seriously consider Ring Fit Adventure. The combination workout regime videogame with accessories can work up a serious sweat and you can keep the calories burning without electricity. 

Those struggling to see the screen should experiment with placing the Nintendo Switch on a table at waist or chest height as the game will have you alternating between standing, sitting, and lying on the floor for the various exercises, which can make it difficult to keep eyes on the action. 

If you still struggle with this don’t be afraid to dig into the customisation options that Ring Fit Adventure offers. You can instruct the game to omit certain exercises so, for example, if you’re struggling to see the Switch for ground exercises, you can remove them from the regime. 

You can also create completely custom workouts to better suit your setup, but we recommend playing through the story mode to get a good idea of all the exercises available before going the custom route. 

Read our review here. 

The Metal Slug franchise

One of the best times we have had during loadshedding recently was replaying the Metal Slug games in co-op. Most of the mainline series are available on the eShop and it’s still a blast to go through these classics alone or with a friend. 

Something to note here is that the Metal Slug games are much shorter than you may remember if you only ever played them in an arcade. You can finish most of the games in much less than an hour, especially with two players. Don’t expect a purchase of one game to get you through an entire two and a half hours of loadshedding, so “ration” your playtime, buy multiple games at once or try to beat each game by only using a certain number of lives, just like when you had to go light on the tokens at the arcade. 

This relative shortness is also why we grouped the entire franchise into a single item here, while the rest of the list is comprised of individual games. 

This is also a good time to mention that a lot of arcade classics are available on the eShop. Search for your favourites to play through loadshedding without worrying about asking your parents for more money for those last few tokens to beat your favourite machine. 

Super Mario Party

While the idea of cramming two or more people around the tiny Nintendo Switch screen may sound like a bad idea, we’ve done it multiple times over the years to great success and Super Mario Party remains a fantastically fun time even though it has barely changed since its release in 2018. 

Those who invested in an OLED Switch will also see that tiny screen size increase pay some dividends here. Even on the OLED some of the minigames where each player has their own screen may still be difficult to see, but thankfully much of Super Mario Party has players sharing the screen which maximises the use of the space. 

If you only have a small UPS in your house for the TV, even better, as the Switch uses very little power in its docked mode and you can see absolutely everything on the bigger display. 

The Switch also charges while you play so you can continue gaming when the UPS runs dry, or you can switch to playing in handheld while other people in the household can use the TV for other things. 

Read our short review of Super Mario Party here. 

Enter the Gungeon

Enter the Gungeon is here as it’s a great game that remains great on the Switch, and we can’t stop playing it no matter the platform. We’ve 100 percented the game on both the original PC version and the Switch Port, if that’s any indication of the quality here. 

Unlike some other games on this list, Enter the Gungeon has been receiving a stream of constant updates since its original release in 2016 to 2019, vastly changing what this bullet hell roguelike has to offer. 

Our one reservation is that the Switch port does struggle under certain circumstances when it comes to performance, such as powerups that give you multiple bullets which can cause severe framedrops and stuttering. You will likely only encounter such powerups after you’re already adept at the game and the game fights through these problems, but it is worth keeping in mind. 

Read our re-review of Enter the Gungeon here.

Diablo III

Diablo III is the game that inspired this entire list. While the Diablo franchise is best known for being on the PC, the console ports of this game ever since the PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 days have been a real treat.

The translation to controller as the input method works wonderfully and makes Diablo III play more like an action game white still retaining the strategy and complexity of the Diablo series. 

On Switch, you get to enjoy all of this when there’s no power and for basically as long as you want. The core Diablo III campaign is already long – around 40 hours to do everything – and that number becomes exponentially higher when you consider replaying with different characters, different difficulties or simply grinding for the best loot to play competitively. 

It’s because of this high quality and fantastic replayability that Diablo III comes to highly recommended, and why we’re already contemplating another playthrough. Maybe by the time we’ve finished absolutely everything in a few years, loadshedding will be solved. 

On all our playthroughs the performance on Switch has also been rock solid, further cementing our feels that Diablo III is one of the best games on the platform.  

Read our quick review here.


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