It’s finally happened. Now, rather than packing up our 3DS systems every time we leave the house, my kids and I are, more and more, taking along our Nintendo Switch consoles. With a growing game library—not to mention a growing collection of curious friends and relatives—the Switch has proven itself an ideal travel companion.
With the holidays upon us, Switch gaming has taken on an additional dimension, as its multiplayer offerings make it perfect for sharing special moments with loved ones. Are you new to the Switch? Not sure the best way to share this new gaming bounty? Read on for some helpful suggestions.
Have Switch, Will Travel
I’ve already written a lot over the past few weeks about my favorite Switch travel accessories, so I’ll cut to the chase. My favorite system cases come from WaterField, with the Arcade case my new fair-haired child. Personally, I also like to bring along my Nyko Portable Docking Kit for charging and docking on the go.
However, if you’re planning to travel light, practically any system case will do, and you can keep your Switch juiced up using a simple USB-C charging cable. (Which is a real perk for those of us also using late-model, USB-C compatible Android phones.)
A Little Help From My Friends
The easiest, and, at least in my family, most rewarding form of Switch multiplayer gaming is couch co-op. It’s a great way to help younger players progress in their favorite titles, not to mention lure back those lapsed gamers. Best of all, thanks to Tabletop mode, it’s as simple as busting out your Switch console and passing over a Joy-Con.
One of the Switch’s best couch co-op games is also one of its oldest. Snipperclips, a hilarious multiplayer puzzler, originally dropped in March, and its crazy core mechanic—cutting your teammates into the proper shapes needed to fit inside a level template—made it an unlikely charmer. But what if you and yours have already had your fill of Snipperclips? In that case, I’d suggest checking out last month’s budget-priced expansion, Plus, which comes with new levels, modes, and worlds.
Super Mario Odyssey is amazing on its own, but it’s even more fun with friends. You can start a brand new adventure or simply pick up where you left off in your single-player experience. Let the more seasoned gamer take the role of Mario while younger or less savvy players become Cappy, aiding Nintendo’s longtime mascot in his latest (and greatest) platforming adventure.
Whether in Tabletop or the docked TV mode, video gaming has become the new holiday board gaming. Where my family would once break out Yahtzee or Scrabble, we now take turns battling it out on the Nintendo Switch. While I find it’s usually best to bring an extra pair of Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller along for competitive multiplayer, the Switch’s various control options mean even a simple two Joy-Con setup can yield enjoyable results.
While single Joy-Con play isn’t my preferred control method for Mario Kart, it is a perfectly workable solution. (This is the part where I remind everyone that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the one game I managed to best GeekMom Kelly in at January’s Switch reveal even in NYC—using only a single Joy-Con and my mad skills!) The same goes for the Tabletop split-screen; it’s not ideal, but if you don’t feel like dragging a full-size dock around in your carry-on (and you don’t have a smaller travel dock), it’s a fun, easy way to get your Mario Kart on with the ones you love. Either way, you and yours can enjoy a myriad of multiplayer modes, from Grand Prix to versus to Battle.
The same can be said for the crazy combat or ARMS. Two Joy-Cons per player (with motion control enabled) on the big screen is my family’s preferred setup, but split-screen and one Joy-Con each is also workable. Versus matches are great for bragging rights, but if your clan is a little too competitive, you can also fight through a two-player Grand Prix together.
Keeping It Local
With the systems now readily available in stores and online, you may find you’re no longer the only Nintendo Switch owner in your circle. In that case, you may want to initiate some local multiplayer, for which, in my opinion, there is only one option—though each Switch owner will need their own copy of the game for this to work.
To start or join a local multiplayer room in Splatoon 2, enter The Shoal. (It’s to your right, beside the arcade games, in Inkopolis Square.) From there, you can set up a room for a Private Battle (Turf War, Rainmaker, Tower Control, the newly added Clam Blitz, etc) or Salmon Run. While most of these game modes are really the-more-the-merrier situations, the kids and I have found one mode that lends itself rather well to one-on-one inking: Splat Zone. You and your opponent try and cover the contested zone the longest while also fending off the competition. It’s fast, it’s furious, and, most importantly, it’s fun!
Review materials provided by: Nintendo of America