As a packed in title, Wii Sports was the most owned Nintendo Switch game. Yes, by default it was going to be, but that does not mean what Nintendo created to show off the power of the Wii-Motes wasn’t impressive and, frankly, fun. It is, and that is why I believe that Nintendo Switch Sports is probably 5 years late to the party.
While 1-2 Switch was a great game to show off what the Switch Joy-Con controllers could do, it was not a pack-in-title, nor did it have any widespread appeal. Or really any appeal. While I believe that Nintendo Switch Sports should have been one of the first games launched on Nintendo Switch, to finally get it in 2022 does not make it any less fun, just perhaps a bit later than expected.
Nintendo Switch Sports Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Nintendo EPD
Genre: Sports, Multiplayer, Party
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
When putting the Nintendo Switch Sports collection together, it would have been easy to use boring menus to pick the sports you wanted to play, the number of players. While getting into each sport is still just a series of menus, each area you play in is well presented. Right off the bat you are given the option to play one of the six included games – Tennis, Bowling, Badminton, Soccer, Volleyball or Chambara.
Each sport is tied to a specific building that you can see on the map, which serves as the menu background. Although minor, that extra layer of detail is welcomed, and you feel like you are actually entering each building when you choose the sport you want to play and then, well, literally enter the building and see the inside.
Instead of using a generic location for all the sports to be played at, each area is unique, with the badminton and tennis courts the closest in design and feel. The soccer pitch, bowling alley, chambara platform, and volleyball court all feel unique, with interesting looking stadiums to enjoy as you zoom in on the field of play. Again, this is minor and in no way impacts each sport you play, but seeing the detail in the design of each area shows that Nintendo isn’t simply trying to cash in on the Wii Sports appeal. They built something real here with care and dedication.
Classic favourites and new additions
Although the online servers were not available during my review period, I was able to play locally with my family, and can confirm that multiplayer in all six games are loads of fun. My personal favorites were bowling and soccer. However, members of my family had different opinions. One enjoyed chambara the most, and another volleyball.
Ultimately, that is what makes this selection of games so strong. There is something for everyone here. Tennis and bowling, two classics from the Wii Sports era, are phenomenal and require no introduction. Nor does Nintendo give you one. There are no tutorials for these two games as you just pick it up and play as you assume you would. For those who haven’t had a ton of time with motion control games, the lack of any tutorial might come as a disappointment, and part of me wishes Nintendo had created tutorials for everything, not just the more complex sports.
While Badminton also lacked a tutorial, likely because of its similarity to tennis, with the only unique feature being the ability to hold ZR or ZL to initiate a drop shot just over the net, there are detailed tutorials for soccer, volleyball, and chambara.
These tutorials take less than five minutes to complete, and anytime you load a new user into the system the tutorials will trigger for that player when they play their first games in these three sports. While definitely more complex than the other three games included, it took less than two games to fully understand how to play soccer, volleyball, and chambara. It really speaks to Nintendo’s ability to create simplistic, yet fun, experiences.
Additional content coming but not needed now
It is worth noting that Switch Sports is not a full priced first party Nintendo title, it’s value priced and rightfully so. While others games are likely to land within the collection, the six you have available here are more than worth the price of entry, if you have friends or family to play with, or plan to play online.
When playing alone, there really wasn’t enough to keep me playing. The games are fun, but not fun enough to play alone, even when putting the AI players on the hardest difficulty level. Sure, I can see myself perfecting my bowling game for when I play online, but even then, I would much rather improve my game playing with friends and family, not alone.
When you play online, you will be able to unlock additional clothing items and or customization options, but again, online play was not available during my review period.
Nintendo Switch Sports is a fantastically fun game to play with family and friends
If you played a ton of Wii Sports back in the day, then Nintendo Switch Sports is right up your alley, pun intended. Although I was disappointed to not see boxing among the list of available games, chambara is a good alternative, when played with someone of equal talent, is a lot of fun.
The social aspect of Nintendo Switch Sports are what people will buy this game for, as playing alone is less than desirable. That being said, it will be interesting to see how this game develops as new games are added into the mix, and as the online servers begin to be populated with skilled players. Still, even without the opportunity to play online, Nintendo Switch Sports is an easy recommendation for those looking for fun in a social setting.
+ Care and detail has been put into the various environments of the game
+ Classic favourites and new experiences
+ Easy to pick-up-and-play mechanics make this fun for everyone
– Where is boxing?!
– Not a lot here for those playing by themselves
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF NINTENDO SWITCH SPORTS
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5