It feels like an age since the original Wii Sports launched alongside Nintendo’s 2006 console release, but the franchise finally has a spiritual successor on the Switch. The good news is that Switch Sports ticks all the boxes for those who still hold a candle for the original.
In the Spirit of Wii Sports
Switch Sports features six sports at launch, some of which will be very familiar to those who enjoyed the original game on the Wii. These are bowling, tennis, badminton, soccer, volleyball, and chambara. Bowling and tennis are the two sports most Wii veterans will be most familiar with, and they operate just like they always did.
Chambara is a new sport that’s reminiscent of the Swordplay Duel from Wii Sports Resort. Use a sword to attack your opponent by charging up attacks to knock them off a platform. There are two game modes here: twin swords (which requires a full set of Joy-Con per player) or a simpler mode where each opponent has a single sword.
Tennis, badminton, and volleyball are all fairly similar, but they each put a different spin on serving, setting up, and timing your shots to beat your opponents. Soccer is the only sport that requires two Joy-Con per player, so if you want to play against a friend locally you’ll need another complete set of controllers.
Bowling is back and works just how you remember it on the Wii, except now with support for up to 16 players online (with everyone bowling at once, in their own dedicated lanes). All of the included sports can now be played online provided you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Motion Controls Galore
The main selling point of the original Wii Sports was the ability to use motion controls, which were innovative at the time. While motion controls excite us like they once did, they’re crucial to making a game like Switch Sports feel fun and accessible.
Thankfully, the Switch doesn’t need anything other than a set of Joy-Cons (or two) to use full motion controls. There’s no need for a sensor bar since the Joy-Cons have everything they need inside of them to detect your movement and translate your real-world movements into gameplay.
Just like the original Wii Sports, you don’t necessarily need to emulate your chosen sport perfectly to make it work. This allows for lazy gameplay if you fancy playing tennis while sitting on the couch, though if you get up and jump around you’re bound to register some exercise minutes on your fitness tracker.
Lastly, since the game depends on motion controls you might want to dig out the Joy-Con grips that came with your console so you can secure them to your wrist during play. While a Joy-Con isn’t as heavy as a full-sized Wiimote, you still might end up breaking your TV if you get a little too enthusiastic during a game of volleyball.
More Sports Arriving via Updates
Nintendo has already outlined two updates for Switch Sports, arriving later in 2022. The first arrives in the summer and will allow you to use the leg strap accessory (included with physical versions of the game) to control standard games of soccer. This is the same leg strap you get with Ring Fit Adventure. The second update arrives in the fall and adds a Wii Sports favorite in the form of golf.
Nintendo Switch Sports - Nintendo Switch
Take on friends locally, online, or challenge against strangers with six sports (and more coming after launch). Play tennis, badminton, volleyball, soccer, chambara, and bowling with full motion control support --- no sensor bar required!
If you go for the digital version of Switch Sports you’ll save around $10, but you won’t get a leg strap for use with these (and any future) game modes. Who knows what Nintendo will add in the future?
Only you can decide if Switch Sports provides enough of a reason to go out and buy a Switch if you don’t already have one (as was the case with so many Wii consoles sold). If you do get your Switch specifically to play this one game though, check out our getting started guide, too.
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