Nintendo is now well into 2022, with the successful launch of OlliOlli World and Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Last month, the company held its first Direct event for 2022, flagging upcoming games for the year – most of which were ports and indies, but we also got to see some great first-party offerings. So here are the five biggest titles confirmed to launch on Nintendo Switch this year.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land – March 25
Taking heavy inspiration from Super Mario Odyssey, Kirby comes to Switch with his new 3D adventure on March 25. The iconic pink puffball is thrown into a world overrun with vines and monsters, and is tasked with freeing the town of Waddle Dee. Completing missions unlocks more areas and features on the map, like a cafe, fishing spots, and luck-based mini-games where you can earn miniature toys.
Kirby’s powers have been expanded, thanks to Mouthful Mode, where players can even suck up inanimate objects like a full-size car and zoom around the map. A couch co-op mode is also included, allowing your partner to play as one of the Waddle Dees.
Mario Strikers: Battle League – June 10
In a surprise announcement during the Nintendo Direct event, fans were treated to a new Mario Sports title. Battle League brings some heat to your average 5v5 football game by allowing players to take control of iconic characters from the Mario universe and use special items to change the course of the game.
Aggressive tactics like Donkey Kong throwing a banana peel or throwing a green turtle shell to knock opponents down are just a hint of all the craziness. Players can even customize their favorite characters’ gear to gain better stats like strength, accuracy, and speed. Up to 8 players can join at once (4 per side) and compete with an AI goalkeeper. Mario Strikers: Battle League will launch on June 10, 2022.
Splatoon 3 – mid-2022
Splaton 3 sees you leaving Inkopolis and traveling to a new world – a deserted metropolis called Splatlands. As in the previous iteration, players will have to choose between Inklings and Octolings, and engage in 4v4 Turf Wars, painting the town in colorful ink.
Unlike before, where you were supposed to ink your opponents, this time the objective is to see who colors the city the most. Players can customize their characters down to eye color and use unique gear such as an umbrella to shield ink and rollers to cover large areas with their colors. Splatoon 3 will arrive in 2022.
Nintendo Switch Sports – April 29
Taking inspiration from Wii Sports, the Switch Edition takes advantage of the Joy-Cons’ intuitive motion controls to deliver an active gaming experience. The Switch Sports brings three sports from previous installments – tennis, bowling and kendo – and adds football, badminton and volleyball to the mix.
The controls let you add spin to your tennis shots or add spin to kicks, thanks to the included Leg Strap accessory that detects IRL motion. The game is set to launch on April 29 and will receive a new free update in the fall, bringing a golf mode as well.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 – late 2022
There’s been no word yet on a delay, so we can assume the sequel to Zelda: BOTW is set to release sometime this year. There’s no official title either, although the E3 2019 trailer hints at a darker theme, one dealing with the infectious plague Malice from the last game.
Link is equipped with a new set of powers this time, allowing him to phase between walls and a time rewind ability, as we saw with the 2021 trailer, where he stopped a spike ball halfway and sent it back to smash his enemies. Rumors index to a November 2022 release, although it is still subject to change.