Nintendo"s unique DS handheld was renowned for its intuitive and innovative touch-screen features, which many games took full advantage of. Yet, while their hybrid Switch console has even more sophisticated multi-touch sensing, few games make good use of this functionality - if they use it at all.
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This does make sense on one level, as games that rely too much on this feature would be basically confined to handheld mode.
Still, there are a number of RPGs, puzzle games, and party romps that can really benefit from having this functionality at least in some form.
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Thankfully, those who appreciated this DS feature can get a taste of the past. There are at least a handful of Switch titles which do prominently use the touch screen in a creative and/or intuitive way.
While this unique logic-puzzler garnered mixed reviews, it does feature some smooth, easy-to-use touch input, which further enhances this enjoyable game.
The name of the game is to move and tinker with various symbols, guiding a magical current through a slew of gems. The goal is to free butterflies scattered across a grid from their cocoons by leading the current to them. It"s a simple premise, but it does contain some brain-busting puzzles down the line that feel quite rewarding upon completion.
With a game that leans heavily on shuffling and clicking on different points of a grid, solid touch-screen features are beneficial here, and Spellkeeper delivers.
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Mobile games don"t always translate so well to home consoles, given the tendency of many to stress touch input. Luckily, the Switch has this nicely covered with this entrancing rhythm game from Rayark.
In an era several years removed from the likes of Guitar Hero, this 2017 release shines as one of the more enjoyable and addictive music games in recent history. Like a psychedelic digital piano you can play on your Switch, Voez tosses colored notes at you in shifting sequences, which you can tap and hold by simply touching your screen.
This is one of those unique Switch experiences that not only uses the touch screen well, but whose gameplay is better for it.
DrinkBox Studios, creator of the charming indie hit Guacamelee! is back with this touch-based action romp from 2016.
While this got PS Vita and 3DS releases, Switch marks the only home-console version of this game, as it leans so heavily on fast-paced touch controls. Severed has you partake in a colorful, cartoony adventure in which you move about a 3D space, slicing and dicing with simple swipes of the touch screen. You"ll also be pecking at various on-screen buttons to trigger abilities.
While its reviews weren"t always the most flattering, Severed proves to be a fun, inventive little romp that showcases Switch"s touch-screen tech.
7 Civilization VI
We"ve seen home console RTS games like Halo Wars which tend to be somewhat bogged down by less intuitive controllers. Thankfully, Civilization VI alleviates this cumbersome control with both controller and touch screen support simultaneously.
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With the plethora of menus, rich gameplay, and detailed interface, responsive touch screen controls prove quite useful here. Building a flourishing settlement and ordering troops around is easier than ever. While it doesn"t quite measure up to the PC"s keyboard/mouse input, it"s about as close as you"re going to get to simulating it on the home console.
Though it"s a lesser-known rhythm game than the likes of Voez, this musical romp is no-less delightful. It"s also surprisingly rich with content for only $29.99, offering countless dozens of songs with many difficulty tiers to play with.
This Chinese-developed game features an array of catchy melodic tracks namely from Korean and Japanese artists. These mostly reside in the realms of pop, techno, rock, and any combination thereof. Though you even get some lighter acoustic tracks and classical tunes to lighten the mood.
Perhaps the best feature of MUSYNX is its Guitar Hero-esque gameplay that can be completely controlled by touching a 4-to-6 button interface on-screen. While the Joy-Cons work just fine, "cutting out the middle man" with touch controls offers a sharper, more immersive experience.
5 World Of Goo
2D Boy somewhat came out of nowhere with this enjoyable little puzzler for the Wii over a decade ago, showcasing the pointer features of the Wiimote in a creative way. Fast-forward to the present, and World of Goo is just as fun and appealing as ever on Switch. Not only can you use the motion-laced Joy-Cons, but you can also opt for the touch-screen if playing in handheld.
Dragging the blobs of goo around and assembling gooey structures feels better than ever with this functionality.
4 The World Ends With You: Final Remix
This unique action RPG from Square showcased the DS" abilities and showed that the touch screen could be utilized in deep, creative gaming experiences.
This fantasy romp has been enhanced and re-released for the Switch, trading the dual-screen support for sharper visuals and more refined touch input. As Neku, you"ll be traversing urban settings and taking out some colorful baddies by tapping and swiping the screen in various ways to different cues.
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This innovative combat system is reportedly a bit wonky with the Joy-Cons at times, but thankfully it"s crisp and responsive when using touch input.
3 Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
Similar to the likes of Sega with Sonic Mania, Ubisoft managed to reinvent an iconic platforming IP of theirs while going back to its charming 2D roots. With this lavish sequel to Origins, the studio"s created what"s regarded as one of the best 2D platformers of the modern era.
This delightful Rayman romp from 2013 saw a Switch release 4 years later, and arguably serves as the best way to play this platformer. Not only are the visuals more vibrant and crisp than ever, but the touch screen features add new life to the experience. It a subtle, but effective use of this input, as you can help guide Murfy by moving around objects and collecting Lums.
It"s tough to make a deep PC game translate so smoothly to a console, especially one that has so many commands and menus like Re-Logic"s Terraria. Yet, this port really manages to get close with well-implemented touch features. You can do just about everything when playing docked, but using the touchscreen in handheld mode does a fine job of simulating the PC mouse interface.
You can utilize a zoom feature - both on the map, and in-game - to hone in on the action and help work around Switch"s relatively small screen. There"s even a helpful grid that can be used for precision in building and mining, and you can switch to a sort of "auto-aim" for speedier building and combat.
1 Super Mario Maker 2
For the record, you may want to invest in a stylus for this one. Still, even without this handy tool, SMM2 is a detailed, well-crafted user creation kit and platformer that thrives with touch functionality.
With all of the moving, dragging, and tinkering you"ll be doing, the sharp, multi-touch features of Switch are immensely helpful. And with all the cool features and tons of user-made content, this celebration of all things Mario is one of the best handheld experiences for Switch.
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About The Author
Stephen Lagioia (265 Articles Published)
Stephen is an avid Nintendo, Indie, and retro gamer who dabbles in Xbox on occasion, mainly in the form of binge sessions of Overwatch. He"s a history buff, an aspiring writer of short fiction, and a devout metalhead who enjoys poorly drumming along to Black Sabbath on his cheap drum set. When his beloved Chicago Cubs or Bulls are not playing, he typically likes to watch random documentaries or campy horror films.
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