Recently, my husband and I bought our two boys a Nintendo Switch*. Personally, I didn’t know much about them, I wasn’t sure exactly how it worked or whether it would be easy for our boys to use as they are only 7 and 8 years old.
However, my husband did all of the research and felt that it would be a great gift. I on the other hand was still a bit confused as to why it was so different from the game consoles that they already had, but figured that I’d just go along with it.
We’ve had it for only a few days, so it’s still very early in our Nintendo Switch experience, but I thought that it would be a good idea to write a short Nintendo Switch review about how the console works and how my young boys have got on with it, in case there are any parents out there who are considering buying one but still aren’t too sure.
How Does the Nintendo Switch Work?
The biggest difference between the Nintendo Switch* and other game consoles is the amount of options you have on how you want to use it.
Playing it Through the T.V
For instance, it firstly comes with a docking station which allows it to be used through the T.V just like a Playstation or Xbox.
It comes with two remotes (or Joy-Cons) that can be used separately for 2 player or co-op games by attaching the Joy-Con controller straps to them. This allows you to play games in the two player mode. A great detail that I love about the Joy-Cons is that they come in two different colours, so if you have two kids like me they can decide who has which colour. As one of my boys is a Manchester United fan and the other is a Chelsea fan, it was pretty easy deciding who has the red and who gets the blue controller.
If they are wanting to play in the one player mode then this is easily done by sliding the two Joy-Con controllers into the Joy-Con grip which has the appearance of a standard games console controller. The Joy-Con grip comes with the Switch so you don’t have to buy it on top. They can also use the two Joy-Cons separately in one player mode – one in each hand – if that suits the gameplay better.
As an extra option you can buy a pair of Joy-Con wheel accessories* that work in the same way as the Nintendo Wii steering wheels. These can to be used in racing games such as Mario Kart.
I was concerned that our boys would find setting up the controllers for different uses quite difficult, but they didn’t at all. However, we are checking that they are doing it correctly as it would be gutting to get one of them stuck, but depending on the ages of your children they should pick this up pretty quickly. Although, I would definitely recommend doing it yourself for any younger children as they are quite expensive to replace. At the time of writing they would cost around £69.99 for a pair on Amazon*. Obviously you know your children best so you are the best person to decide if they can change the accessories on the Joy-Con controllers themselves or not.
Using it as a Mobile Device
The Nintendo Switch can also be used as a mobile device, similar to a tablet. To do this all you have to do is remove it from the docking station.
If just one person is wanting to play on it then the Joy-Con controllers can be attached to the side of the screen and used in that way. Even though it is quite a lot bigger in the hand held mode than they are used to, they found it really easy and the big screen makes it really enjoyable for them to play.
They can still use it in the two player mode like on the T.V when it is out of the docking station by removing the Joy-Con controllers and by propping up the switch screen using the prop stand on the back. We have found this to be quite flimsy, however, so we’re going to buy a more sturdy prop* so that they can set it up at the table or any flat surface without worrying about it falling.
This mode is also great because unlike the Playstation or Xbox, they can enjoy a bit of time playing on their games without either taking over the living room, or having to go into a separate room. You can still be in each others company minus the annoying noise!
It is worth noting, however, that after doing some research we found out that the screen can be easily scratched when taking it in and out of the docking station, so we ordered a pack of 2 screen protectors* when we bought the Nintendo Switch so that we weren’t going to be too worried about it getting scratched.
Using the Switch Out and About
You can also take the Nintendo Switch out and about. For instance, if you are going on a long car journey this could be a great way to keep the kids entertained. You can buy a travel bag for all of the accessories* to be carried about without it getting broken. And by using the prop, it can be a great way for them to not argue about whose turn it is.
Are There Many Kids Games For the Switch?
Even though the Nintendo Switch is a relatively new console, there are quite a few games available to choose from already. As we don’t like our boys playing games that are dark and violent we think that it has a good variety of games to choose from for a whole range of children. We bought Mario Odyssey* which they absolutely love! And also Mario Kart Deluxe 8* which is great fun. Another game that we would like to try is Monopoly* as all ages can enjoy it.
There are some more games that are due to be released in 2018 such as Yoshi*, Donkey Kong*, Mario Tennis Aces* and Runner3*. So there will be plenty to make the money you’ve spent on the Nintendo Switch worth it.
Is it Any Good for Younger Kids?
After having the Nintendo Switch for about a week now I can honestly say that both my 7 and 8 year old absolutely love it! They have so many options of how to play it, it’s colours and designs make it really attractive, and to be honest it’s pretty amazing how something so small can do so much.
They have also learnt how to use the controllers and the different settings really quickly and are being very careful with it, so we definitely don’t feel that they are too young to have one. Instead it just seems like they are going to get years of enjoyment from it.