(Last updated 06 January 2020)
Overall game – Fire Emblem: Three Houses
A clear winner with the readers of Japanese Nintendo, and the latest entry in the illustrious Fire Emblem series which also claimed the overall game of the year award in 2015 with Fire Emblem if (Fates) on 3DS.
Previous winners: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017), Monster Hunter Stories (2016), Fire Emblem if (2015), Mamotte Knight 2 (2014), Tomodachi Collection: New Life (2013), Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012)
Nintendo Switch game – Yo-kai Watch 4++
Whilst both Dragon Quest XI S and Link’s Awakening are arguably better games – neither offer entirely new content. Yo-kai Watch 4 is an incredible entry in the mainline series, and one of the better games available on Switch.
Previous winners: OCTOPATH TRAVELER (2018), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
Nintendo 3DS game – Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn
Probably the last year of running this award, and going out with a competent port as opposed to an utterly brilliant dedicated new game is a mildly disappointing end to one of the best Nintendo systems to ever see release.
Previous winners: Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth (2018), Dragon Quest XI: Sugisarishi Toki o Motomete (2017), Monster Hunter Stories (2016), Fire Emblem if (2015), Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (2014), Tomodachi Collection: New Life (2013), Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012)
Nintendo eShop game – Mamotte Knight 3
A sequel to our 2014 overall game of the year and an incredible game in its own right. The Japanese version doesn’t require much local knowledge, and an English localisation is planned for later in 2020, so buy this game!
Previous winners: Futari de! Nyanko Daisensou (2018), Penguin-kun Gira Gira WARS! (2017), Ambition of the Slimes (2016), Tobidasu! Nyanko Daisensou (2015), Mamotte Knight 2 (2014), Darumeshi Sports Store (2013), Denpa Ningen no RPG (2012)
Smart device game – Mario Kart Tour
Just two first party titles, and whilst both are flawed – Dr. Mario World with its reliance on gacha later on and Mario kart Tour straying from regular gameplay, it is the racing game that narrowly pips the puzzler to the post!
Previous winners: Dragalia Lost (2018), Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (2017), Pokémon GO (2016)
Hardware – Nintendo Switch Lite
It was between the Nintendo Labo VR kit, the Nintendo Switch with improved battery life, and Nintendo Switch Lite. Only one had a real effect on business, and looks to continue in 2020 with many new colours.
Previous winners: Nintendo Labo (2018), Nintendo Switch (2017), Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer (2016), amiibo (2015), New Nintendo 3DS (2014), Nintendo 2DS (2013), Nintendo 3DS LL (2012)
Developer – Ancient Games
Despite only releasing the one game in 2019, Mamotte Knight 3 is one fantastic game and a credit to the small team at Ancient Games. Eagerly awaiting 2020’s Ouritsu Anapoko Gakuen release from the company.
Previous winners: Square Enix Business Division 11／Acquire (2018), Nintendo EPD (2017), Marvelous (2016), Intelligent Systems (2015), M2 (2014), M2 (2013), Nintendo EAD (2012)
Publisher – Hamster Corporation
The only company to release games in every week of 2019 and achieving a Guinness World Record for doing so, Hamster Corporation was an easy pick and fully deserving as best publisher for the second consecutive year.
Previous winners: HAMSTER Corporation (2018), Koei Tecmo Games (2017), Bandai Namco Entertainment (2016), Nintendo (2015), Level-5 (2014), Bandai Namco Games (2013), Nintendo (2012)
Character – The Luminary
With Dragon Quest XI S finally available on Nintendo Switch, and the game’s hero joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, it was a relatively easy decision to make with Terry Bogard perhaps the only other viable challenger.
Previous winners: Isabelle (2018), Rabbid Peach (2017), Kinopio-kun (2016), Kinopio-kun (2015)
Retired award – Wii U game
Previous winners: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017), Paper Mario: Color Splash (2016), Splatoon (2015), Mario Kart 8 (2014), Super Mario 3D World (2013), Nintendo Land (2012)
Notes: Overall game voted for by followers of @japaneseswitch from 2017-19 and voted for by me from 2012-16.