With the Nintendo Switch console, you can play some games before purchasing them with a demo. Video game demos used to be much more popular than they are today, going back to PC days when game demos were put on a CD as a marketing tactic. Today, however, video game demos have gained much traction thanks to digital downloads.
Let’s face it, video games are expensive, and we don’t want to waste money on a game we don’t like. Game demos allow you to try out a game before making a purchase, with some providing over an hour of gameplay. Plus, there are many games that you may otherwise not try as they sound a bit questionable.
Triple-A titles are many gamers’ go-to choice since there is more confidence that these developers will put out a great game. But there are also tons of smaller developers that have great games which often go overlooked.
- Easy-to-master hand motion and button press controls
- Choose your fighter
- Customize your own extendable arms
- Learn devastating combinations to deal extra damage
- Fight in unique settings with crazy obstacles
Arms is a really fun fighting game that was released alongside the Nintendo Switch console. Unfortunately, its popularity was short-lived as it was quickly outshined once Super Smash Bros launched on the Switch. Arms feels almost like a Punch-Out!! game, although it is a bit more vibrant and cartoony.
The game is also whackier than a typical boxing game, even though there are two opponents fighting in a ring. The characters in the game have special abilities that give them spring-like arms, hence the name. Using Switch Joycons, you can throw punches much like with the Wiimote and Nunchuck.
But, if you aren’t in the mood for a workout, all of the motion control functions can also be achieved with designated buttons. As for the game’s Nintendo Switch demo, it is actually pretty good, giving you a limited choice of characters to battle within a match.
This is a good option, considering you don’t even need to buy the game if you just want to battle once in a while.
#2: Metroid Dread
- The first 2D Metroid game in nearly 20 years
- Explore the many environments of planet ZDR while you find the source of a strange transmission
- Fight research machines and deadly E.M.M.I. robots
- Learn new maneuvers and abilities such as Spider Magnet
While people have been waiting for a new Metroid game for a long time, this side-scrolling platformer does a pretty good job. The graphics are very good, and the game is a great way to get started in the Metroid franchise. Although Metroid Dread is not the 3D game everyone hoped for, it is still a ton of fun.
The demo is also good, as it includes over 30 minutes of actual gameplay. It provides more than enough playtime to get a feel for the game so you can determine if it is worth buying. You could also argue that it is just long enough to get you hooked and leave you wanting more.
#3: Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Take control of the powerful pink puffball, Kirby, and move around in 3D stages as you discover a mysterious world. What journey awaits Kirby Take a deep breath and get ready for an unforgettable...
- Discover a mysterious world with abandoned structures from a past civilization—like a shopping mall!
- Copy enemies’ abilities like Sword and Ice, as well as the new copy abilities Drill and Ranger, and use them to attack and explore your surroundings!
- Take a break from your adventure in the lovely Waddle Dee Town. Play some of the townsfolk's favourite games or compare scores online through Wise Waddle Dee.
- Team up for twice the fun! Pass a Joy-Con controller to a friend to help out in local play as Bandana Waddle Dee.
Kirby is another popular Nintendo franchise, albeit somewhat underappreciated compared to Mario and Zelda titles. To fix this, Nintendo released a demo for the most recent game, Kirby and the Forgotten Land. It is the newest Kirby game, released back in March 2022. The game itself is a 3D platformer that is a bit different than previous Kirby games.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is set in a vibrant yet post-apocalyptic world. The game is also filled with a decent amount of combat which is helped by Kirby‘s ability to copy other Nintendo characters. The demo gives you a good amount of gameplay, with about 30 minutes of gameplay.
This includes a good bit of story and even a boss battle. If you haven’t played a Kirby game, this is a great opportunity to see if they interest you.
#4: Game Builder Garage
- Make your own 3D platformer, racing game, or side-scrolling blaster
- Learn the basics of programming logic in an interactive way by using the Nodon characters
- Learn by doing in easy-to-follow lessons
- Use the editing tools to add drawings and music to your games
Game Builder Garage launched on the Switch in June 2021, but has gotten little notice or recognition. This makes it the perfect game to try out with a demo. The game itself is unlikely to appeal to everyone, as it is a little odd.
Instead, it can also be thought of as a learning tool. You could compare it to Mario Maker since it, too, requires you to build a game.
However, Game Builder Garage is much more rudimentary in the fact that players literally design a game from the ground up. Unlike in Mario Maker, where all of the levels and elements are available to plop together. Instead, it features a coding element that does a good job of teaching the basics of coding.
Fortunately, the game doesn’t just drop you into the world with no knowledge. It does an excellent job of teaching you how to build the game. Since it isn’t going to be for everyone, the Nintendo Switch demo is definitely worth a try. With the demo, you get to play through the introduction, which goes through the basics of creating a game.
#5: Super Lucky’s Tale
- Featuring a huge variety of gameplay, from expansive 3D hubs, to story-based adventure levels, 2D side-scrolling challenges, rewarding mini-games, mind-bending puzzles, and thrilling boss battles
- Thousands of collectibles to gather, tons of rewarding secrets to discover, a cast of memorable characters, and an entire wardrobe of costumes for the stylish adventurer
- This is the 3D platforming adventure you’ve been looking for, designed to delight and challenge players of all ages and skill levels
Although Super Lucky’s Tale looks like a Nintendo-developed game, it is actually published by Microsoft Studios. The first game in the series was only available on a VR headset, but this version is multiplatform.
The game itself is a 3D platformer that resembles a Rare game from the Nintendo 64 era. Of course, the graphics are modern with excellent quality, even on the Switch.
Although a 3D platformer, the game employs a variety of techniques, including side-scrolling. The goal of the game is to collect clover pages throughout the levels. To do this, you must complete tasks and levels. There are also items to collect and side missions throughout the game.
One thing to consider is that the game is relatively easy because it is targeted toward kids. However, it is still enjoyable to play, which is why having a demo is great. There are about 20 minutes of gameplay in the demo, so you can get a pretty good idea of whether it is worth purchasing.
#6: Trials of Mana
- Revamped 3D graphics - Trials of Mana is Full 3D remake of the third game in the Mana series, originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 3
- Pick your party - Players can choose their favorite protagonist and 2 companions from 6 different characters. The story will play out in different ways depending on the combination of the protagonist...
- Class changing - Raise your level and become the top-level classes; Character's appearance and the magic and special attacks that they can learn will change depending on which class is selected and...
Trials of Mana is a remake of Seiken Densetsu 3, which was only released in Japan for the Super Famicom. Therefore, it is understandable that many in North America and Europe were unfamiliar with the game. Although it was initially a Nintendo exclusive, the new Trials of Mana was also released on PlayStation 4, PC, and mobile.
The game itself is pretty interesting and a major improvement over the Super Famicom version. While the original was great in its own right, this new version looks fantastic. But, if you’d prefer to play the Super Famicom version, you can get it in the Collection of Mana, which includes all three original games.
Although the graphics are different, nearly everything else about the game remains the same, which is a good thing. As for the Nintendo Switch demo, it is extremely impressive and very much worth downloading.
Also note that the demo is nearly two hours long, which means it is probably the most worthwhile demo on this list. Fortunately, your game save can be transferred to the full game.
#7: Yoshi’s Crafted World
- Lead Yoshi on a brand new adventure that will turn everything you’ve come to expect from side-scrolling game upside down!
- Players take control of a Yoshi exploring a big world crafted from household items like boxes and paper cups, journeying through each themed stage to solve puzzles and find hidden treasures
- On the flip side, stages can be played backwards, providing new perspectives to explore and the challenge to find Poochy-Pups that are hiding around the course
- Players can even join up with a friend to play through the game in two-player co-op
- You can also enjoy the console gaming experience on-the-go, without the need for a TV; Play anytime, anywhere, in handheld mode.Compatible with Nintendo Switch Only
Yoshi’s Crafted World is a new take on the classic dinosaur from Mario. The game is actually a port from the Wii U game of the same name. This crafted world is unlike anything previously seen in a Mario game. It is a 3D platformer that uses elements that look like paper and cardboard.
One feature longtime Mario fans will notice is Yoshi’s ability to shoot eggs, like in Yoshi’s Island. However, this game is much easier than Yoshi’s Island. In fact, most of the game is very easy, much more so than recent Mario 3D games.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and even though the game is designed for a little younger audience, it still offers plenty of fun for a casual game. There is also a ton of extra things to collect in the game that can add to the challenge of the game.
Each level has its own unique design, which keeps the game fresh to the end. If you aren’t sure if this is a game you’d enjoy, then it is worth giving the demo a try. This just may be your new favorite platformer.
#8: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Sandbox-style levels inspired by Japanese box gardens
- Includes four levels based on Super Mario Odyssey
- Features two-player co-op
- Rotate your camera and touch your screen to take a closer look at the treasure
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is another Switch game that got ported from the Wii U. But both iterations received very little notice and weren’t considered much more than a spinoff. The concept of the game actually comes from the Captain Toad minigames in Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is more of a puzzle game than a platformer, like the traditional Mario games. But it is set in a well-designed 3D world with tons of freedom. The gameplay and controls are very similar to the 3D Mario games, with the exception of jumping abilities.
In all, there are over 80 levels of puzzles to solve, which provides many unique mini lands to explore, including ones from Super Mario Odyssey. The demo provides an opportunity to try the game out, although the gameplay is a bit limited. The demo takes less than 10 minutes to play through, but it includes a boss battle.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©esthermm/Shutterstock.com.