TUCSON, Ariz. — Back in 2006, Nintendo started the “Wii Sports” fad by including the game with the hot-selling system, launching a motion-control frenzy across the globe. The game became synonymous with the system and got players of all ages moving and competing together.
Nearly a decade after the little-remembered follow-up “Wii Sports Club” dropped for the Wii U in 2013, “Nintendo Switch Sports” emerges as another iteration of the concept for the wildly popular Switch, and is poised to replicate the success of the original.
The game includes “Wii Sports” standards including bowling and tennis, as well as volleyball, soccer, badminton, and a fencing-style game called chambara. Golf is promised in a free update due out in the fall.
The offerings are a mixed bag, with volleyball and the racket games faring best.
Gone are the clunk sensor bars of the Wii and Wii U eras, replaced with the stunningly accurate motion-sensing of the two Joy-Con controllers.
The package comes at $40 — $20 less than most first-party Switch releases. There’s also a $50 physical version that comes with a leg strap — the same one from “Ring Fit Adventure” — that tracks your position. You can also pick up the strap on its own for $10.
“Nintendo Switch Sports” leans into online multiplayer more than just about any first-party Switch release, encouraging you to take on real players or bots to rack up currency you can cash in for unlockables. You’ll also need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to take part in online multiplayer.
Your avatar, dubbed a Sportsmate, is the online persona that you can customize to your whims.
As with “Wii Sports,” there is plenty of potential for accidentally smacking people in the same room as you or letting the controller slip and go flying. The risk increases exponentially when the competitive juices are flowing, so you’re best off taking safety precautions.
Utilizing wrist straps and making sure you have plenty of space are key to not developing any real-life injuries related to your virtual pastime.
While some more variety to the game slate and more offline features would have boosted the package, the laser-focused, multiplayer-focused approach makes sense. This is definitely the type of game that will please fans who think back wistfully about “Wii Sports” and want a similar party game on the Switch.
And the game will no doubt be even more appealing once golf is added to the mix.
The publisher provided a review code.
Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of “Phil on Film” seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star, where he was a movie critic, columnist, and reporter. He has penned three books: Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, Stormin’ Mormon and Zeta Male. A University of Arizona business graduate, he has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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