Get ready for some family fun with Go Vacation
Go Vacation was originally released on the Wii back in 2011, late in the console’s life cycle. Now, seven years later, Bandai Namco Studios has brought Go Vacation to the Switch for a whole new generation to enjoy. Filled with over 50 mini-games to play, Go Vacation is a collection of some of the best mini-games in a video game in recent memory.
Not only that, but you can customize your character, vehicle and even pets! With daily challenges and prizes, Go Vacation always has something for you and your friends to do.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Welcome to Kawawii Island
Kawawii Island is the home of Go Vacation and is where you play and compete in over 50 different activities. You can enjoy leisure activities such as horseback riding and scuba diving. If you are looking for something with more of a thrill, Go Vacation allows you to play and compete in extreme sports such as skateboarding, skydiving, skiing and even surfing.
With so many different activities to play and compete in, the Island resort is pretty big. In order to encompass all these fun activities, Kawawii Island contains four very different types of resorts: Marine, Mountain, City and Snow. Each resort is teaming with life! You’ll come across various Miis who you can interact and talk with.
While you can walk around the resorts, you are going to want a method of faster travel. Luckily, you have access to jet skis, speed boats, ATVs, horses and more. Surprisingly, these methods of travel are actually fun! I found myself whizzing through the water and riding across the land just to take in the sights.
Easy to pick-up gameplay
Gameplay is fairly basic and never involves really anything too complicated. There are however, some mini-games that require motion controls to play them. If you plan on playing in handheld mode, like I did, be prepared to detach the Joy-Con controllers and put the kickstand out on the Switch.
That being said, there are times when the motions controls add to gameplay. One of my favourite is rollerblading. You take a Joy-Con in each hand and have to move them back and forth in rhythm to get your character moving. You even have to lean left or right to get your character to turn that way.
While it was tough at first, once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed the motion controls.
An almost direct visual port from the Wii
Go Vacation won’t be remembered for its graphics. It is essentially a direct port of the 2011 Wii game with a slight upgrade in visuals. While the world is bright and colourful, playing on your big screen TV reveals all the imperfections such a jaggies and some flickering.
On the flip side, playing on the Switch’s screen makes these flaws less noticeable. You get all the sound effects you would expect for the respective resort environments. For example, on the beach you can hear the waves of the ocean and the tropical music in the background.
Multiplayer is the reason to own this game
Go Vacation supports up to four players, and this is where the game really comes into light. While I initially had fun participating and playing in various different activities. I eventually got bored and never really played each more than twice. Though, when you play with friends—it is a whole different ball game.
While I was a bit disappointed that online play was not implemented into Go Vacation on the Switch, local multiplayer took some of that disappointment away. Each player, up to four, can use a Joy-Con and turn it sideways like a mini-controller to play. I had so much fun competing against my family and friends in each of the events.
It was a bit odd, as activities I had previously played on my own took on a whole new life in multiplayer mode. Racing down hills in my skis, kayaking down the river, and competing in water gun and snowball fights was now ridiculously fun.
Go Vacation is a fun and enjoyable multiplayer game. With over 50 activities across four different resorts, there is almost endless fun for you and your friends. I love that outside of competing in activities, Bandai Namco Studios included mini-quests and hidden treasure chests for you to discover around the island.
I was a bit disappointed that online multiplayer wasn’t added to Go Vacation. This would open up the amount of players to play and have fun with. And, while the mini-games do not have much depth to them I am glad that they were kept simple enough for everyone to enjoy.
If you are looking for a good party or family game, Go Vacation is a great choice to fill those needs.
+ Large selection of mini-games to play
+ Fun to play with family and friends
+ Ability to customize your characters
+ Easy to pick up and play
+ Daily presents and challenges keep you coming back for more
– Visuals have not been improved much
– No online multiplayer mode
– Un-necessarily long loading screens distract from the fun
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5