The holiday is vast approaching and you’re looking for gift ideas. There is one thing you know for certain about the person you’re buying a gift for and that’s the fact that they own a Switch.
Let’s take a look into what kind of gamer you’re buying for and then get into some real talk about what they might like for their happy lil’ handheld.
The “Still New to Gaming (Life)”
So you got your kid a Switch pretty early on in life. You realized they can hold things without dropping it and you finally trust that you can hand them a Switch for a couple minutes without it going in their mouth. What would be some great ideas for them?
1) New Pokemon Snap
I’ve talked about this one in the past, it’s pretty great. Honestly though, this would be if your kids like Pokemon which, admittedly, is most kids. If they aren’t into or aren’t knowledgeable about Pokemon I’m not really sure how your child will take to getting up close and personal with monsters they aren’t familiar with.
In Pokemon Snap your character is stuck in the vehicular equivalent of a lazy inner-tube ride with the ability to look around and throw food. Just like your kid probably does. And your only goal is to take pictures of the Pokemon going about their lives. It’s chill, there’s zero peril, and yet somehow, despite being on the rails and not being able to choose your own path there is both an excellent feeling of progression as well as a good show of cause and effect which is a great developmental tool.
It’s also really cute and is pretty fun to watch other people play so it’s not going to widdle at your soul if you spend time with your kid while they play. But you ARE probably going to want the controller. Make your own save file though, don’t be rude.
2) Yoshi’s Crafted World
If you’re looking to get your kid more into the realm of platforming, luckily the Switch will have you covered as that’s Nintendo’s bread and butter. A great way to start them off is with the welcoming and honestly gorgeous Yoshi’s Crafted World.
First off, the game is gorgeous and realistic in the fact it tries to make every stage look handmade. The textures and the way everything moves is a joy to look at regardless of your age.
But secondly, this game goes out of its way to make sure that gamers of any age can get the most out of this.
Firstly, the game has a fantastic co-op mode where you can help your kiddo. Have you ever heard the gamer term of “carrying a team-mate?” You can make that literal in this game as they can ride on your character’s back. A great way to get them past a discouraging difficult jump if they’re just looking to have fun.
If you don’t have time to play with them or they just wanna roll solo there’s also “mellow mode”. Mellow mode is like easy mode and then some. Yoshi gets more eggs from enemies, takes less damage, has more health. Invisible secrets are now visible. And best of all, Yoshi has wings. Is your kid having a hard time with platforming? Worry not, Yoshi flies now.
3) Super Mario Wonder
Super Mario Wonder is kinda the new kid in school. Hasn’t been out that long and yet it’s already Nintendo’s number one fastest selling Mario game. I big part of that reason is because it’s honestly really good.
Not only is the game filled with stunning visuals and innovative ideas (which I’ve talked about in the past) it’s also filled with opportunities for gamers of all sort.
There’s a wide collection of characters to choose from. And while most of them play the same we’re gonna talk about Yoshi and Nabbit. Nabbit, the little bunny thief, jumps really far and can go right through enemies. He’s pretty much invincible and doesn’t get knocked back when he bumps into something that would hurt someone, making tight jumps onto platforms with enemies a cakewalk.
Yoshi, however, is still invincible but has a fluttering jump which works almost like a double jump allowing Yoshi a second chance on a botched leap. He can also eat enemies and is a surplus of cute noises. Another cool thing about being Yoshi is that if your kid DOESN’T want to play as Yoshi or Nabbit (they can’t use power-ups like the fun new Elephant mode) you can pick Yoshi and help them out. Yoshi can allow another player to ride on the back meaning that if your kid is struggling to hit a jump, they can just hop on your back and ride it out.
Games to Avoid:
Here’s a couple run downs of a couple games to avoid and why.
- Mario Party (any)
- Do you honestly feel like your kid is ready for a fast pace game where they can lose randomly and get punished out of the blue for no reason?
- Animal Crossing
- Is your child ready for the day to day tasks of cleaning and straightening up? Also have fun explaining to your child that certain events like fireflies and certain characters like ghosts only show up using a real time clock long after they’re supposed to be asleep.
- Captain Toad
- This game looks like it would be a perfect game for little kids but it is a slow moving exercise in patience that turns into some honestly tricky puzzles later on.
- Your kid heard about it from kids at school but unless you’re willing to learn the complex mechanics that they aren’t so they can do what some dingus on YouTube did, avoid this. Plus this game CONSTANTLY makes it clear that there’s things you are missing out on unless you buy it.