Over the last two weeks of December, we are announcing the winners of the First Annual SwitchRPG Awards. We’ll be announcing new winners every weekday, leading up to a final announcement on January 1st for RPG of the Year!
Today we tackle our award for Best Casual RPG, the catch-all category for RPGs that don’t quite fit the usual mold. Nominees in this category include mashups, crossovers, and other titles that subvert the genre in innovative or subversive ways. While each of these nominees could spark the debate of “Is this an RPG?” they all come with interesting stories, character progression, and other RPG elements that will delight even the most exclusive of RPG fans.
Dragon Quest Builders
Pokemon: Let’s Go!
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
And the Winner Is…
Dragon Quest Builders
Square Enix’s mashup of classic Dragon Quest and sandbox crafting first hit the PlayStation consoles in 2016, and made its way over to the Switch earlier this year. The story of Dragon Quest Builders plays out as an expansive “What If?” scenario of the first game’s original plot, tasking the protagonist to rebuild the land after the destruction wrought by the Dragon Lord. The plot plays itself in a light-handed and subversive manner, and the gameplay perfectly balances the direction called for by its RPG heritage alongside the freedom needed to explore and craft to your heart’s content. While not quite making the cut for RPG of the Year, Dragon Quest Builders still stands as one of the best entries in the Switch’s RPG catalogue in 2018.
Community Pick: Pokemon: Let’s Go!
The power and popularity of Pokemon saw no chance of slowing down in 2018. Nintendo’s combination of Pokemon Go’s catching system and Pokemon Red and Blue’s original Kanto adventure (revamped for the HD age) captured the hearts of Pokemon fans both old and new. This title, released just shy of the cutoff for nominations in this year’s awards, took a quick and commanding lead in our community poll, ultimately walking away with 53% of the total votes.
How do you feel about this collection of casual RPGs? Do you agree with our winners or feel another title deserved the crown? Do you think these games even qualify as RPGs? Let us know in the comments below. And come back Monday for our award for Best Budget RPG!