2017 has been a standout year for games with female protagonists. But, as the Nintendo Switch is a brand new console, it means that not all of those glorious, female-led games are available on the platform just yet.
There are still plenty of Nintendo Switch games with female characters, however. These women and girls star in a variety of games from a variety of genres, from brilliant platformers to supernatural spookfests. Read our list of recommendations below.
A colourful fighting game that couldn’t look more delightful if it tried, Nintendo Switch exclusive ARMS pits characters with extendable arms against one another.
Its roster includes several female characters. These are: the ramen noodle-haired Min Min, mech-suit wearing Mechanica, new addition Lola Pop, famous pop star Ribbon Girl, and Twintelle, who is one of the few black characters in a Nintendo video game.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
In Shantae: Half Genie Hero, players control the titular hair-whip-cracking character as she dances her way through Sequin Land.
Shantae sets out to locate several technological bits and bobs for the Dynamo, which will protect Scuttle Town from the forces of evil. The platformer lets players transform into a bat, an elephant, a crab and more in order to bypass obstacles. It’s also designed to be more replayable and offers multiple endings too.
Another bright and beautiful Nintendo Switch exclusive, Splatoon 2 lets players create their own female character (male characters are also available) as they spray coloured ink all over the place. The game also allows players to choose their skin tone and dress their character up in a bunch of rad and funky outfits too.
Splatoon 2 does a good job of including female characters in key roles, too, from the Squid Sisters of its single-player Hero Mode to the female singing duo Off The Hook that offers up top tips in the game’s multiplayer.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a kart racer that allows you to pick from a variety of characters from the Mario universe to race your opponents on a variety of incredibly designed maps. Some of the playable female characters include Princess Daisy, Princess Peach, Wendy O. Koopa, and unlockable character Rosalina.
Deluxe is the Nintendo Switch version of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 and as such includes all of the DLC from that game. This includes some additional female characters, such as Isabelle and Cat Peach. There’s also Inkling Girl (from Splatoon) who is only available in the Deluxe version of the game.
If there is a video game platform, then you can bet your last dollar that Minecraft is available on it or is at least in development. As such, Minecraft is now available on Nintendo Switch.
Just like the original Windows PC version of the game, Minecraft on Switch allows you to build your blocky kingdom as a female character (her name is Alex!) You can also customize your character’s appearance with a variety of skin packs.
Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure
If the block-building format of Minecraft isn’t your thing and you like something a little more structured, then you may prefer Minecraft: Story Mode. An episodic game series from Telltale Games, Minecraft: Story Mode lets you play as a female character named Jesse, making decisions to save the voxel world from impending doom.
So far, only season one of Minecraft: Story Mode and the additional three episodes of the Adventure Pass are available on the Nintendo Switch (that’s eight episodes in all). But Telltale has confirmed that season two will arrive on the console later this year.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, the full version of the game available on Nintendo Switch, includes a nifty feature called ‘Body Swap’ mode. It allows players to change the genders of the characters in the 8-bit adventure, including playable characters Shovel Knight, Specter Knight, Plague Knight and King Knight (who becomes Queen Knight in Body Swap mode).
As you can play as a female Shovel Knight with a female love interest Shield Knight, Body Swap mode also turns the game into a lesbian love story too.
I Am Setsuna
JRPG I Am Setsuna tells the story of a girl named Setsuna as she must offer herself as a sacrifice to the demons. It includes looting treasure chests, chatting to NPCs, exploring a beautifully designed world and all of that good stuff.
Although Setsuna is the main character herself, in combat players can take control of different characters in the party, including other female characters.
Action adventure game Severed tells the tale of a one-armed warrior named Sasha. On a mission to find her family, Sasha must wield a sword to take out monsters as players swipe on the screen to hack and slash at the enemies.
Severed also includes RPG-like ability upgrades and puzzles to solve too.
Has-Been Heroes is a Nintendo Switch strategy and action roguelike all about brave heroes and legends who live in a world where the need for people like them has faded. So when the King hires them for another quest – to take his twin princesses to school – they jump at the chance.
The only playable female ‘has-been’ isn’t actually a has-been at all. Tam is a young female rogue who has waited for her chance to take on a quest like this and is looking forward to seeing the world.
One of the biggest indies to release on the Nintendo Switch thus far, Stardew Valley is a country living sim about running a farm and the trials and tribulations that go along with it.
The delightful game allows players to create a female character and it also includes romance gameplay as their characters can get married too (including same-sex marriages).
The other major indie to launch on Nintendo Switch last week was Oxenfree, the supernatural thriller from Night School Studio. It follows female protagonist Alex and her group of friends as they head to a spooky island for time-honored high school tradition.
There are decisions to be made, mysteries to uncover and spectral life forms to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
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