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Games with Neil McGreevy: 2019 promises to be the Year of the Switch

Animal Crossing – this year you'll be able to take your chilled community-building on the go
Neil McGreevy

2019 – Year of the Switch

QUALITY over quantity has always been Nintendo's creedo, and 2018 once again proved the Japanese giant's chops, with the likes of Let's Go Pikachu, Super Mario Party and Smash Bros keeping the Switch well fed. But 2019 is shaping up to be a defining year for the ridiculously popular hybrid console.

Before the end of March, Mario Kart will launch on smartphones, and with a history of revising their hardware (the 3DS has had more facelifts than Simon Cowell), rumours abound that we'll see a slimmer version of the Switch, complete with brighter screen and more stamina in the battery department.

Sure, the console may be starved of gritty blockbusters such as Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption, but Nintendo more than makes amends with a steady diet of bright, uncynical whimsy. While the faithful sweat for Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3, there are no firm release dates for these hardcore favourites.

So what are we guaranteed to be stuffing eagerly into our Switch's yawning game-hole in the year of our lord 2019? Here's my top five…

Animal Crossing

Nintendo's cutesy life-sim has a rabid fanbase and this year you'll be able to take your chilled community-building on the go. Once again, players create a town and carve out a bug-eyed existence with its furry inhabitants, all the while paying off a raccoon slum landlord. Expect some top faffing about this spring.

Luigi's Mansion 3

The third instalment in Luigi's spectre sucking adventures is set to be another sumptuous spookfest that sees the moustached plumber, armed only with a torch and vacuum cleaner, play Ghostbuster. Bursting with innovation and Nintendo charm, expect the kid-friendly horror later in the year.

Pokemon

While the recent Let's Go Pikachu showed fans how swish the flagship series can look on Switch, the next full-fat, core Pokemon blockbuster arrives later this year, with new strategies, environments and characters. 21st century cockfighting at its finest.

Yoshi's Crafted World

An adorable spin on Nintendo's patented platforming routine, Crafted World sees Mario's reptilian steed gobble up enemies with his Simmons-esque tongue in a universe fashioned entirely from paper, wood and string craft materials. Landing this spring, Crafted World will be to diorama for.

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

Fans won't have to wait long, however, for something a little less saccharine, as Travis Touchdown touches down on January 18. Rather than a full-blown sequel to Suda51's quirky, none-more-Japanese cult favourite, the slice n' dice action here takes place in a series of mini-games played from a top-down perspective. Expect a long-overdue love letter to gaming from one of the Wii's true originals.

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