The Nintendo Switch is seeing success by doing what Nintendo does well. They are innovating with their time-honored franchises, maintaining dominance of couch co-op and competitive multiplayer games, and expanding their reach of genres with recent and new IPs with Splatoon 2 and ARMS. Despite all of the things they are doing right, there is one area I would like them to give attention that has always been a part of Nintendo gaming. I have enjoyed military-themed games, and could see them fitting in nicely with the Switch. But I’m not talking about the Call of Duty and Battlefield shooter games out there. What I’d like to see is a variety of games, and accessories, that would be a perfect fit for this hybrid console. Here is my list of ten in order of likelihood.
1. Neon Green Joy-Cons
Neon blue and red Joy-Cons come with the Nintendo Switch, and neon yellow Joy-Cons will be sold along with the release of ARMS. Fitting with the embrace of military games would be a pair of green Joy-Cons. They would go great with the release of a sequel to Intelligent Systems’ Advance Wars or Namco Bandai Games’ Tank! Tank! Tank! Another possibility could be a Nintendo Switch Mobile Military Bundle, that would include a pair of neon green Joy-Cons, a game, and a case. Keep reading for on the case later in this article.
2. A Sequel to Tank! Tank! Tank!
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Initial release date: October 2009
Originally an game, the Wii U received Tank! Tank! Tank! as a launch title. While it lacked depth and had watered-down tank controls, it was still at its heart a metric ton of fun. We still play multiplayer games in my household. I think a polished sequel would fare well on the Switch with online multiplayer as well as improved competitive and cooperative local multiplayer, and HD rumble to accentuate the assorted power-ups. The sequel could also include amiibo support for themed tanks like Fox McCloud’s Landmaster, Captain Falcon’s Blue Falcon, Samus Aran’s Gunship, Sonic’s Blue Force One, and Bowser Jr.’s Junior Clown Car. Tank controls could be given similar treatment as karts in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with standard and arcade tank controls.
Summary of Tank! Tank! Tank!: Players will find an armament of tanks and weapons at their disposal to dispatch the enemy threat, including mechanical insects, gigantic dragons and even other players. Team up with three other friends to battle with or against each other in fully destructible environments in a variety of action-packed story and multiplayer modes where weapons are never in short supply and threats are hiding behind every corner. Players will be able to arm their tanks with lasers, machine guns, missile pods, the dreaded Colossus Missile along with power-ups scattered throughout each map.
3. This War of Mine
Developer: 11 bit studios
Initial release date: November 2014
Inspired by the Siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War, This War of Mine is a survival stealth game from a civilian perspective. It is bleak, and provides a harsh look at war. The Switch port could come with content from the Anniversary Edition the DLC This War of Mine: The Little Ones currently available on other consoles. Since this is a personal experience, it would work well with the handheld mode.
Summary: In This War of Mine, the focus is shifted away from military operations portrayed in most games. Instead, it is a dark survival game where players control a gaggle of civilians attempting to stay alive in a besieged city. During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, offering players time to craft, trade, upgrade their shelter, feed and cure their people. At night they must scavenge nearby areas in search for food, medicines, weapons and other useful items.
4. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Initial release date: June 2014
A puzzle adventure game set during World War I, Valiant Hearts tells a great fictional story through a beautiful art style. You explore the effects of war, and learn about people and experiences. Like This War of Mine, Valiant Hearts would be a good fit on the Switch because it looks at war differently than other games in the theme. Developer Ubisoft Montpellier is bringing Rayman Legends Definitive Edition to Switch, so it would be too easy to follow up by porting this game (before releasing Beyond Good & Evil 2).
Description: The story of crossed destinies and a broken love in a world torn apart. All of them will try to survive the horror of the trenches following their faithful canine companion. In Valiant Hearts: The Great War, the lives of all these characters are inextricably drawn together over the course of the game. Friendship, love, sacrifice, and tragedy befall each one as they help each other to retain their humanity against the horrors of war.
5. An Advance Wars Sequel
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Initial release date: September 2001
I fondly recall playing the first Advance Wars on my Game Boy Advance with a GBA Link Cable against an Army buddy while in the field sitting on a cot. A new game in the franchise would be an excellent addition to the Switch library, being that Advance Wars games have been revered on Nintendo handhelds and what ushered in the Fire Emblem series. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin took a darker tone and brought with it online multiplayer. The fifth game on the Switch developed by those behind Fire Emblem could continue the storyline tone of the first three games, or go off track and with a darker tone like the most recent of the series. It could allow for a variety of multiplayer modes with couch, LAN, and online modes. I’d like to see a deep map editing system that would allow players to upload their creations for others to enjoy. An amiibo of CO Andy could also let players bring their favorite CO with them to challenge friends on one Switch and unlock music of the original.
Summary: The battle lines have been drawn, and an elite group of sly strategists are massing troops at your borders. You’ll have to command ground, air and naval forces if you hope to survive the coming wars, and it won’t be easy.
6. Nintendo Switch Pelican Case
Pelican makes excellent products for fire safety, law enforcement, life sciences, defense / military, aerospace, entertainment, industrial and consumer. Soldiers use large Pelican cases to store their equipment during deployments. A Nintendo Switch case like the iPad case shown above would provide ample protection while on the road. They even have a line of products called, “Mobile Military”. A bundle, like mentioned with the neon green Joy-Cons, could include this case.
Summary: Pelican Products, the leader in mission-critical equipment protection, has been trusted by professionals since 1976. The same Pelican DNA that has protected our armed forces, emergency and scientific equipment through the harshest environments on Earth is now available to protect your mobile phones, tablets and more.
7. Anomaly 2
Developer: 11 bit studios
Initial release date: May 2013
Anomaly 2 brings the futuristic military genre angle to my list. Anomaly and Anomaly 2 put a twist on the tower defense genre with a “tower offense” approach. 11 bit studios, the same developer responsible for This War of Mine, could port Anomaly 2 to Switch as it is already on other current consoles. This would be good for the Switch because it would add some of that military sci-fi appeal while still somewhat grounded in reality. That said, they could also port the first Anomaly: Warzone Earth with its Korea and Defenders expansions included.
Summary: In the years following the invasion of Earth in 2018, the planet is overrun by alien machines. Humankind is on the verge of extinction. Banded together in huge convoys, they search the frozen tundra for food and supplies. Since the war, the roles have been reversed: now our species seems to be the Anomaly on a machine-controlled planet. Your convoy, Commander, is called Yukon.
8. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
Developer: Ratloop, Inc
Initial release date: October 2011
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken was a lot of fun as a mobile game on the PS Vita, when it was released for it and PlayStation 3. I enjoyed the 2D adventure all the way through, and think it would expand the spectrum of military games. There’s a commando vibe to it, but it feels silly while still somewhat violent. The cartoonish characters accompany crisp backgrounds and strong music. Some basic motion controls and a co-operative mode would translate well on the Switch. While I haven’t played Rocketbirds 2: Evolution, I would suggest they include it as I would welcome another opportunity to play as Hardboiled and would also like try out the new multiplayer mode where up to four players can play offline or online.
Summary: Set out on a mission to assassinate the totalitarian penguin leader as Hardboiled Chicken. Destroy enemies with a slew of weapons and illuminate the secrets to his past while uncovering the real enemies of Albatropolis. Master fowl play in the co-op campaign as a pair of Budgie commandos on a mission to save the general’s daughter. Many lives will be destroyed, countless penguins will die!
Developer: Eugen Systems
Initial release date: September 2010
This real-time strategy game focuses on World War II and focuses on information warfare with various ruses and decoys in order to trick the enemy. Ubisoft pulled the game, stating, “Due to the expiration of licensing rights over certain military items within the game, R.U.S.E. is no longer available for purchase”. This might mean porting the game isn’t possible, but one can hope! I like the usage of information warfare, and think this game deserves to be on the Switch. It featured both competitive and cooperative online multiplayer, and what’s more, the PS3 version used the PS Move and Navigation controllers in a way that could carry over to a pair of Joy-Cons. If Ubisoft is able to work on Nintendo games again by publishing games like Rayman Legends Definitive Edition, they should capitalize on R.U.S.E. by renewing the military license and making use of the motion controls.
Summary: R.U.S.E. is a real-time strategy game that allows players to bluff their enemies to lead their nation to victory, controlling the action using views that range seamlessly from the heart of the battlefield to the full theatre of war. Players are plunged into the action thanks to the exclusive IRISZOOM Engine which offers an intuitive interface that allows for smooth, rapid transitions from a birds-eye view of the entire conflict, down into the heat of the battle and vice versa. In R.U.S.E., players use their brain as the ultimate weapon, fighting a war of perception, where the ability to deceive and mislead the enemy determines success. A first in a strategy game, R.U.S.E. promises to reinvigorate the genre by using deception to give new-found depth to the game play.
10. A BattleTanx Remake
Developer: The 3DO Company
Initial release date: December 1998
This final entry is a bit of a stretch, as The 3DO Company no longer exists and I couldn’t locate the buyer for the BattleTanx IP. However, I had a blast with BattleTanx and its sequel, BattleTanx: Global Assault, on the N64. It is less about formal militaries and more about rival gangs that somehow have tanks. But who cares about things like formalities and details when your protagonist uses an M1A1 Abrams to rescue his fiancée? A remake of this could be done by developer Avalanche Studios, responsible for the 2015 Mad Max video game. Either way I’d just like to return to some multiplayer tank gang fights set across the post-apocalyptic United States.
Summary of BattleTanx: In 2001, a virus has killed 99.99% of the females on Earth. Various countries fight over each other’s quarantine zones, and end up engaging in nuclear war, destroying much of civilization. The few remaining females (called Queenlords) are held by gangs who have taken over small pieces of the world. The main character, Griffin Spade, had his fiancee Madison taken away from Queens, New York by the U.S. Government. Griffin ends up separated from his fiancee, and New York City is destroyed. He claims a tank for his own and sets out to cross the United States to find her, battling gangs as he reaches his goal. After surviving the ruins of New York City, Griffin heads westward gaining recruits in the countryside, Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
What do you think of my suggestions? What would you add to the list? Reach me on Twitter by sending a tweet to @zarf!