When the Nintendo Switch launches later this week, 12 games will be available. Despite grumblings about the relatively small batch of launch games — seven of which are straight ports — the Switch will have a bonafide system seller from an iconic franchise on day one. That, along with a few intriguing titles designed to showcase the console’s more unique features, should keep you busy until more Nintendo goodness arrives in the coming months. Here are the four games we think you should pay attention to if you manage to get your hands on a Switch come March 3. Spoiler: One of them is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
A new Zelda game — do we need to say more? The flagship title will undoubtedly be attached to nearly every Switch sale at launch. While the Zelda name alone is enough to intrigue most Switch buyers, Breath of the Wild still seeks to innovate the series’ classic formula and bring Link’s adventures into the modern era. The lands of Hyrule have opened up, giving you the freedom to explore and complete quests as you please. Weapons and items now have temporary lifespans, meaning you will have constantly search for and craft items to assist you on your adventure.
The game’s physics — from Link’s movements to his weapons — has also received a drastic overhaul, so expect actions to have increased fluidity and realism. From our time with the game thus far, Breath of the Wild takes the series in a welcome new direction without shedding the iconic Zelda charm. If you want a lengthy, smart, challenging game for the Switch, Breath of the Wild will certainly fit the bill. It’s really the only must-have launch title.
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1-2 Switch ($50)
1-2 Switch is to the Switch what Wii Sports was to the Wii. It’s the most novel game available at launch, as it tasks two players to stand across from one another and literally face off in an array of mini games. The premise takes advantage of the Joy-Con HD Rumble feature, allowing players to duke it out over the course of 28 titles without even looking at the screen.
This isn’t your standard party game, however, given the mini games range from plausible to odd to downright bizarre. There’s “Quick Draw” and “Sword Fight,” a two dueling simulators, as well as “Telephone,” in which your job is to answer the phone quicker than the opposition. “Shaver,” another quirky mini game, sees you racing to shave an unkempt beard. You can also partake in a milking competition, and test your baby soothing skills by rocking a crying infant back to sleep — just try and not wake up your real children in the process.
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Snipperclips is a charming puzzle game that tests your ability to cut new shapes out of its two adorable heroes, Snip and Clip. The game takes place atop a paper-esque grid filled with obstacles and items normally associated with office supplies, including pencils, rulers, and paint brushes. Like 1-2 Switch, Snipperclips takes advantage of the Joy-Con motion controls. Holding a Joy-Con horizontally, you snip, snip, and snip your way through a variety of 2D levels. The game can be played solo, but as the subtitle suggests, the main campaign is designed for co-op.
There’s also a four -player “Party” mode and a competitive mode called “Blitz.” To play with more than two players, however, you will need an additional set of Joy-Cons. A Joy-Con bundle with a digital copy of Snipperclips is scheduled for release on March 10. Keep in mind that Snipperclips will only be available on the Switch’s eShop, though there will be a demo available upon the Switch’s release.
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Fast RMX ($20)
Fast Racing NEO came to the Wii U in 2015, and while all of the territory covered in that F-Zero-style racer can be found in Fast RMX, it isn’t your standard port. Yes, the game has received technical overhauls — it now runs in 1080p at 60 frames per second with dynamic resolution scaling — but there’s plenty of completely new content that warrants your attention even if you happened to play Fast Racing NEO. The track count has nearly been doubled to 30, and each one promises to be wholly different from the rest. The game also takes advantage of the HD Rumble feature, allowing for feedback that gives you the sense that you’re actually zipping across the title’s many colorful tracks. Fans of F-Zero, the game’s grueling Hero mode was built for you.
Local multiplayer allows for up to four players, while online matchmaking allows for eight. The game was developed with the Switch’s myriad control schemes in mind, too, and features full button-mapping to fit your style of play. Fast RMX will be available on the eShop when the Switch launches later this week.