The Nintendo Switch has become something of a haven for Zelda-like experiences. Obviously we have the masterful The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but Nintendo’s hybrid system is also home to many great titles that look like Zelda, talk like Zelda, but aren’t quite Zelda.
What are the best Zelda clones on Nintendo Switch?
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
“From the heart pieces that strengthen Lily, to the progression from dungeon to dungeon, and to the secrets hidden around the overworld, Blossom Tales feels like a love letter to 2D Zelda titles. The three dungeons plus one final dungeon clearly reference A Link to the Past, although they’re element themed in Blossom Tales. […] Still, there’s quite a bit to do as you venture toward the next dungeon. There are tons of secret grottos to unearth and cave systems to explore, most of which yield a heart piece to give Lily more life. Many of these secret areas contain a puzzle that needs to be solved in order to unlock the treasure chest; some of these puzzles may require an item you don’t have yet, so you may have to remember that spot and come back later after you’ve obtained the necessary item.” Read Carl’s full review here
World to the West
“Progression in World to the West is broken up into nine different chapters; during the first eight, you’ll have control of only one or two different characters at a time, while all four are available in the final chapter. Lumina the Teslamancer, Knaus the orphan, Teri the mind bender, and strongman Lord Clonington each have their own motivation for pursuing the game’s villain, but they’re all fairly shallow except for Knaus, who comes from an underground forced labor camp and was led to believe that he was on the moon. Overall, the writing in World to the West is meant to be more charming and quirky than dark and serious. This plays well with the game’s vibrant visuals and its soundtrack — I would love to see a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening with this visual style.” Read Carl’s full review here
Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter is a less obvious Zelda clone than Blossom Tales is, but it definitely takes some of its cues from the original The Legend of Zelda — this is a game that’s ambiguous and doesn’t hold the player’s hand in the slightest. The action is fast paced and frantic, requiring players to dispatch hordes of enemies as they dodge attacks while firing from their laser gun in quick succession. The dungeons are less “traditional” so-to-speak, with each major area acting as a large Zelda-style dungeon.
“One of my favorite games on the Nintendo Entertainment System is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. It’s sort of the black sheep of the Zelda franchise; Zelda II is wedged between two series and genre-defining titles in the original The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past, and it plays completely differently from any Zelda title that Nintendo has produced. I’ve never really understood why a lot of people dislike Zelda II — the game has some incredible dungeons, a great soundtrack, and it’s challenging as hell. Ansimuz Games and Play Every Ware’s Elliot Quest takes this side-scrolling, dungeon-crawling formula I’ve been wanting to see more of and solves The Adventure of Link‘s biggest flaws while also stamping out its own unique spot in this under-used genre.” Read Carl’s full review here
Okami HD is by far the best Zelda-clone on Nintendo Switch. Unlike the other games on this list (World to the West excepted), Okami HD is a fully-fledged 3D Zelda-like experience. There are some unique spins on Zelda tropes, like combat encounters and a light leveling system for health and the like; however, the more Zelda-like aspects to Okami HD — overworld, dungeons, charming characters — are all absolutely fantastic. It’s the best Zelda game where you play as a wolf!
Ittle Dew 2+ – From Carl’s review of Ittle Dew 2+: “[…] a beautiful fusion of the original The Legend of Zelda and Adventure Time, taking the non-linear dungeon concept from the former and applying its own charming twists to it. Warning: these puzzles aren’t for the faint of heart.”
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas – Carl says: “Sure, Oceanhorn lacks the wonderful art direction as the rest of these games — but if you love Zelda, you’ll dig this game. It’s more of a traditional Zelda experience, with a handful of dungeons and some neat puzzles. Not quite up there with Blossom Tales, but definitely worth checking out.”