‘Switch Sports’: This is where the controllers swing

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Wii Sports for Nintendo’s old console was a smash hit. Now the back is emerging – with new sports and old strengths.

Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, Metroid, and many more: Nintendo has no shortage of regularly-released bestsellers. Here and there, the Japanese manufacturer also had surprising success. Wii Sports was one of those games when it came out in 2006. The game consisted solely of technical demos that were originally made to test the motion sensors of the new console for the Wii console.

Instead of pressing buttons as in regular video games, entire families suddenly gathered regularly in front of the TV and played wildly bowling, boxing or tennis — with the console in hand, which transmitted the often jittery, realistic movements straight into the virtual world. At the time, the game was included for free with the Wii console in the USA and Europe. This is no longer the case with the successor, Switch Sports. Understandable because the system is already in its sixth year.

“Switch sports”: just make room for the TV

The big advantage of the Nintendo Switch is lost here, which is the ability to play HD games on the go. For “Switch Sports” you need a TV and more space in front of it. Because nothing works here without the movement and wide swing of your limbs.

There are currently six majors to choose from (extension diagram, see info box), this time the developers have dispensed with baseball and boxing. Tennis and bowling are joined this time by football, volleyball, badminton and chanbara. The latter is a sword fight where the opponent must be pushed from a platform into the water with targeted strikes.


Operation only via Joy-Con controller

Switch Sports does not support the classic “Pro Controller”, and Joy-Cons are essential to control every discipline. The two detachable controls, usually located on either side of the console, are equipped with motion sensors, as they were on the Wii. One of the two Joy-Cons is sufficient for most sports, and left- and right-handed users can then choose their preferred side.


There is also a tutorial for volleyball, soccer and chanbara, which are more complex in terms of control. If you buy the game in stores instead of downloading it from the Nintendo eShop, you will also receive a leg strap, which is required for “Shootout”, a sub-mode of the soccer system based on penalty shootouts. It even allows taking pictures by moving the right or left leg. However, the precise kicks proved difficult in the test.

Muscle soreness threatens

On the other hand, the regular control with the Joy-Con in hand worked pleasantly and accurately. This is especially important when bowling. It is also possible to play on special lanes here. It is equipped with obstacles such as bumpers and holes, which require precise swings of the Joy-Con to achieve one hit after the next.

In general, it is recommended, especially for non-athletic players, to at least loosen their “strong arm” with some warm-up before starting. Since punches, shots and shocks occur in almost all sports by jerky up and down the Joy-Con, there is a risk of muscle soreness depending on the duration of the game – some like “bowling arm” or “tennis arm” depending on their favorite sport. Yes, Switch Sports is tough, but it does compete with other human players and, like its Wii predecessor, is perfect for parties and social evenings. Loners can also compete in three difficulty levels with the computer or in online mode with opponents from all over the world. There you collect points that can be used to buy clothes for your character, which can be designed freely.

Beware of Flying Joy-Cons

Technically, Nintendo delivers at the expected level. The characters have a cute comical appearance, the playing fields are marked in bright colors, and the music and sounds remind of “Wii Sports”. Everything works for its purpose, the game has nothing to do with the simulation anyway. The “Switch Sports” app wants everyone’s choice, whether they are a professional or novice gambler.

One final note, which Nintendo features over and over during the game, explicitly recommended for both veterans and newcomers: Joy-Cons must be attached to the wrist using the strap that came with the console purchase. Otherwise, you may accidentally throw the console in the direction of the TV while it is rocking. The first stories of players who destroyed not only their Joy-Cons, but also their TV with such movements, are now spreading on the Internet – this would spoil the entertainment in an unnecessary and painful way.

>>> INFO: “Switch Sports”

Switch Sports by Nintendo Exclusively for Nintendo Switch Posted. The game is available in stores including the leg strap for around €50 and is USK approved for ages six and up.
In the fall, Nintendo wants to add a free extension to the game: the six sports will then be added via download golf mode.


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