10 Under $10: Ten Cheap, Good Nintendo Switch 2D Platformers

Times are tight these days, friends. We all have to find ways to save where we can, and sometimes that means making a little cut to the ol’ gaming budget. What is a voracious player to do in such circumstances? Luckily for all of us, the Nintendo Switch eShop has a lot of really good games that, even at their regular prices, present a great value for your gaming dollar. I’m going to be doing a series of articles helping you find some quality stuff without breaking the bank, each one focused on a specific genre. We’re going to start with 2D platformers because there are an awful lot to choose from. Oh, and they’re presented in no particular order. Let’s check them out!

Dadish ($9.99)

Dadish is stocked to the top of the barrel with bad jokes, as befits a game about a dad. You play as the Dadish, and you have to rescue your kids, one of whom is waiting at the end of each stage. Despite the noted disadvantage of having no limbs, Dadish is an agile fellow who controls like a dream. The level designs start off fairly easy here but will have you pulling your hair out by the end. And the best thing of all is that if you like what you get here, searching the eShop will turnip three more Dadish games to play!

Arcade Archives Liquid Kids ($7.99)

I’m trying to avoid anything too well-known for this list so as to get the word out on other stuff, but I’ll include one Taito classic here. Liquid Kids isn’t one of the company’s most famous games by any means, but it’s a ton of fun. You play as a hippo named Hipopo and need to use water bombs to defeat enemies as you make your way through the land of Woody-Lake. This is one arcade game that is certainly worth feeding thirty-two quarters into.

ElecHead ($9.99)

This is as much a puzzle game as it is a platformer, but it’s a really good one that I think a lot of people slept on. See, you’re the ElecHead, and you have to use your electricity-generating head to make your way through each screen. Your head will activate all kinds of things, and some of might not necessarily be helpful. If it becomes inconvenient to have that happen when your feet touch surfaces, you can always toss your head. Heck, that might even be useful for solving some puzzles! Maybe write that down. And also write down “buy ElecHead“, because that’s what you should do.

Kero Blaster ($9.99)

Sadly, ten dollars will not get you Cave Story for your Switch. But it will get you Kero Blaster, which is made by the same guy and is just as good. You’re a frog who happens to be a custodial engineer. You’re sent out on some rather unique jobs, most of which involve using your blaster to clean things up. While there’s a lot of shooting in this game, there’s also a considerable amount of platforming in each of the stages. That means it qualifies for this list, which is great because I will never tire of recommending this game to everyone.

Annalynn ($4.99)

Annalynn is a clever game that throws back to classic arcade gaming in some ways and some great old microcomputer games in others. Collect all the coins on each of the small multiscreen stages while avoiding the baddies. You’ll be able to turn the tables from time to time to rack up some extra points. If you’re looking for a platformer with a lot of replay value, this is a solid choice.

Donut Dodo ($4.99)

Speaking of games that pay homage to the classics, here’s Donut Dodo. In terms of gameplay structure, it’s trying to replicate some of the earliest entries in the genre, but it’s not doing any of it halfway. It looks and sounds great, and your character offers excellent controls. You’ll need that precision, as it gets really tricky. There aren’t too many distinct stages here, but they’re designed to scale up in difficulty with each loop and present plenty of opportunities for high score chasing.

Gunman Clive HD Collection ($4.99)

Your fiver will get you not one but two great Mega Man-style action-platformers in Gunman Clive HD Collection. With a distinct visual style and some absolutely wild boss battles, you’ll have a great time tackling the challenges laid out here. There are also some interesting unlockables that will give you incentive to take additional runs through both games. Great bang for the buck.

Super Mega Zero ($9.99)

I didn’t want to fill this list up with precision platformers, but I’ve got room in my heart for one, at least. Super Mega Zero is a very clever game, putting you in control of a Zero that can’t do anything until it touches other numbers. Once you’ve hit some numbers, you’ll be able to jump and dash, but you’ll want to be careful what you touch as it’s just as easy to lose it all. I don’t want to spoil too much, but the game really mixes things up as you play through it. It’s tough, but if you don’t mind the challenge you’ll have a good time with this game.

Polyroll ($4.99)

You can get the SEGA AGES versions of both Sonic and Sonic 2 for less than ten bucks, but let’s recommend something a little different instead. Polyroll is a Sonic-inspired platformer, and as that kind of thing goes it’s quite a lot of fun. It’s less about speed and more about exploration, but hey, Sonic games can be like that too. What elevates this above a lot of the platformers in this five-dollar range is just how polished it is. Quite the joy to run and jump your way through.

Miles & Kilo ($7.99)

This is the follow-up to Kid Tripp, which is another fun and cheap platformer you can pick up if you’re looking for more goodies. That game was a fairly direct homage to Westone and SEGA’s classic Wonder Boy, and Miles & Kilo builds on that. And that’s an interesting thing, because the arc of the Wonder Boy series bent in a very different direction after the first game, so even its original developers didn’t build on it much. This is another game with a rather spicy level of challenge, so approach with all necessary precautions taken care of.

And those are my picks. Do you have any other platformers below ten dollars that you would recommend? Please go ahead and share in the comments if so. That way we can all find some new games to play, and that is the point of this whole exercise after all. Thanks for reading!

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