Five Nintendo Switch Games From Female Developers You Need to Check Out

Nintendo/Amy Liu

Game development has long been known as a male-dominated field. You can watch pretty much any Nintendo Direct or preview to see a slew of cis-men announcing the latest AAA games. 

But while ABS data shows 47 per cent of gamers in Australia are women, just 15 per cent of the national game development industry identifies as female — and these statistics are mirrored around the world.

While we’d love to see more incredible women making waves in the gaming industry, we would be remised not to recognise the achievements and incredible projects created by women in the industry right now. 

Here, we’ve compiled five awesome games to play on Nintendo Switch that were created and launched by women:

To The Rescue — Olivia Dunlap

To The Rescue is an upcoming dog shelter simulator, where you can look after adorable pups, with the goal of maximising their chances of finding the right forever home.

But the game isn’t all cuddles and booping snoots, with the player navigating possible infectious diseases, shelters shutting down, dogs with negative personality traits and even euthanasia (an optional component of the game). Set to release later this year on Steam and Nintendo Switch, the small dev team of six are aiming to support real-life dog shelters, with 20 per cent of all sales going to charity.

Olivia Dunlap is in charge of writing for the project, as well as programming and design. To The Rescue is her first major project with indie developer Little Rock Games. The Arkansas-based creator grew up wanting to be a writer, eventually combining or her longtime interest in gaming by studying both English and computer science (game design) at university. Her favourite games include Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy X and anything by ACE Team.

Skate Bird — Megan Fox

Skate Bird takes inspiration from the iconic Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, but with a twist — you’re a bird. This indie gem was developed by Glass Bottom Games, founded by Megan Fox (no, not that one!).

Megan has worked as a professional game developer since 2007, building a name for herself in AAA gaming as she worked on the LEGO Universe series, before founding Glass Bottom Games.

The development company has also created Jones On Fire (an infinite runner about firefighters saving kittens), Hot Tin Roof (a side-scrolling Metroidvania crossed with an adventure game) and Spartan Fist (which features cats in mech suits duelling in dungeons). If you’re noticing a theme, you’re not alone. Glass Bottom Games describes its work as ‘absurdly cozy games about animals doing people things’.

Amy Liu — Among Us

If you haven’t heard of Among Us by now, you’ve definitely been living totally off the grid. The indie multiplayer game was launched back in 2018 but really blew up last year, giving people the perfect opportunity to interact (and possibly kill) one another while stuck in lockdown.

Nintendo Switch was one of the last consoles to pick up the game, but with its large young player-base, it certainly was well utilised on the platform.

The worldwide sensation was created by just three founding members — Marcus Bromander, Forest Willard and Amy Liu — of development company Innersloth. Amy (also known as Aemu) worked as one of two artists on the project and now focuses on merchandise for Among Us, as well as other InnerSloth games.

Claire Morwood and Chella Ramanan — Before I Forget

Before I Forget is an hour-long narrative exploration game, focusing on a female protagonist, Sunita, who is living with early-onset dementia.

The player moves from room to room, touching various objects and items to discover a fleeting, fragmented memory.

It’s available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Steam. The game was nominated for a BAFTA award last year.

Before I Forget was Claire Morwood’s own first major project. She works as a game designer, programmer and artist for her UK-based studio 3-Fold Games, along with former journalist Chella Ramanan. The duo wanted to make sure the game focused on Sunita’s achievements, background and personality, rather than just the disease.

Alice Lai — Hades

The rogue-like dungeon crawler Hades took the gaming world by storm late last year, with its impressive characterisations, stunning visuals and unique gameplay.

It received numerous awards, including Game Of The Year, from Global Industry Game Awards, Game Developers Choice, GLAADs, Nebula Awards, British Academy Game Awards and multiple BAFTAs. The game was created by a small team at Supergiant Games, including designer and programmer Alice Lai.

Before working on Hades, Alice previously produced several of her own browser games, as well as working at PopCap Games (best known for the Plants vs Zombies series). Alice sites her favourite games as Final Fantasy VI, Cave Story and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. 

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