Not sure if a Nintendo Switch game you’ve been eyeing is worth the purchase price? With internet access and an eShop account, you can demo many different Switch games without spending a dime. It’s the perfect opportunity to figure out your next must-play game.
The Nintendo site isn’t too great at informing you of new demos, so that’s where we can help. We pored over the a brief look at some of the best demos available on the eShop right now, and we’ll be sure to keep you regularly updated on future additions.
Bear in mind we’ve included the prices of each of the titles if you purchase them, but every game featured here is available as a free demo for you to try out.
Also, before you go too crazy downloading every demo under the sun, remember that they still require storage space. With that in mind remember to order in a microSD card if you don’t have one already installed.
Here are our favorite picks, along with a current list of available demos. You can download the demo games by searching for the game name in the eShop marketplace on your Switch or, if you’re logged into your Nintendo account in the same browser you’re reading this, you can click our handy blue buttons under each demo to jump to the web-based eShop and have them sent right to your Switch.
Anytime you see the “Demo available” link on a game’s eShop description page and you’re logged into the Nintendo account associated with the Switch, you can just, boom, one click the link and the game demo will be automatically queued up and downloaded the next time your Switch is connected to the internet.
Blaster Master Zero ($10)
Remember the NES game, Blaster Master? Maybe not. Blaster Master Zero is a similar kind of title, offering run and gun platforming action. You play Jason Frudnick, a young man out to rescue a frog type creature called Fred. It’s quite the tribute to 8-bit games of old and has garnered positive reviews.
Death Squared ($15)
Team work and co-operation is key in this challenging puzzle game. Available for up to 4 players, making it ideal for families, Death Squared has you guiding a robot to a color-coded goal while dodging various deadly traps and obstacles. Communication plays a valuable role, if you want to survive. It’s pretty tough but satisfying.
Disgaea 5 Complete ($60)
The latest in the long running strategy RPG series, Disgaea 5 Complete is the kind of game you’re either going to love or hate, making it ideal in demo format. The full game will last you hundreds of hours so this is a small taste of whether you want to spend hours poring over the best combat decision to make or not. It’s pretty hardcore at times.
Dragon Quest Builders ($50)
Currently only available for pre-order, Dragon Quest Builders takes the familiar world of the popular RPG series and turns it into a Minecraft style experience. Reviews for the full game aren’t out yet but the demo is pretty fun, and a neat combination of building, exploring, and fighting. It’s sure to beguile kids who are already hooked on the creative world of Minecraft.
Just Dance 2018 ($60)
Love dancing in front of your games console? I don’t understand the love, but I do understand that it’s a pretty big deal. Just Dance 2018 is the latest title in the series, offering 40 tracks at launch and hundreds more available through its subscription service. Kids will love to dance to their favorite songs so give the demo a whirl to see if you’re that kind of family.
Lost Sphear ($50)
Want a traditional RPG that harks back to the days of Crono Trigger and older Final Fantasys? Lost Sphear is that game. The demo is a useful way for you to double check that you really want to take a nostalgic walk down memory lane, but it’s likely to draw you in. Even more so if, like me, you have increasingly limited time, but a huge love of RPGs.
Pokken Tournament DX ($60)
There’s no conventional Pokémon game for the Switch yet but in the meantime, there’s Pokken Tournament DX. Take control of one of 21 Pokémon fighters and defeat others in arena battles. It’s great if you’re a huge Pokémon fan but might be an acquired taste elsewhere. It’s ideal for trying out a demo before a full purchase then.
Project Octopath Traveler
So far off from release, it doesn’t even have a price tag or proper name, Project Octopath Traveler looks rather intriguing. A JRPG from the makers of the Bravely series of JRPGs, the game embraces a mixture of CG, pixel art, and ‘HD-2D’ visuals. If it’s anything like the Bravely series, it’ll be something very special. Best of all, Square Enix is listening to demo feedback and tweaking things accordingly, presumably in a bid to make this all the better come full release day.
Other Available Nintendo Switch Demos
While we didn’t highlight them above, there are plenty of other demos to be had from the eShop. Here’s a list of more demo games for you to check out, including some great titles we’ve showcased in previous Switch articles like Puyo Puyo Tetris and Snipperclips – Cut It Out, together!
- Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical ($8)
- Embers of Mirrim ($20)
- forma.8 ($10)
- Heroes of the Monkey Tavern ($10)
- Implosion ($12)
- INVERSUS Deluxe ($15)
- Just Dance 2017 ($60)
- League of Evil ($8)
- Max: The Curse of Brotherhood ($15)
- Mighty Gunvolt Burst ($10)
- Nine Parchments ($20)
- Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas ($15)
- Pic-A-Pix Deluxe ($8)
- Piczle Lines DX ($15)
- Puyo Puyo Tetris ($40)
- Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition ($40)
- Robonauts ($15)
- Slime-san ($12)
- Snipperclips – Cut It Out, together! ($20)
- Spelunker Party! ($30)
- VOEZ ($25)
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on new demo releases but for now, delve into one of the many options available to you. It’s a fun and easy way to try out games you might not have ordinarily considered playing before, or simply if you just want to pass the time while you wait for pay day to roll around. Even better, it’s entirely free entertainment.