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Nintendo Switch Sports review – the return of slapstick fun

Nintendo Switch; Nintendo
It’s been a while since a video game got us up and moving like this, and happily it’s as entertaining as ever

For all their polymath complexity, all their melding of artistic and cinematic and technical achievements, timeless video games sometimes boil down to one very good idea. In 2006 Wii Sports’ idea was this: wouldn’t it be fun to wave a controller around like a tennis racquet? That’s it. That’s the game. But man, it’s so entertaining. Wii Sports sparked a brief obsession with motion-control video games in the late 00s that has since died out again, but now that we’ve all had a break from flinging our limbs around in front of a console, I’m glad it’s back again.

Nintendo Switch Sports brings that idea to a new wave of families. Snapping off the Joy-Con controllers, you hand one to another person and compete in one of six simple sports: tennis, badminton, volleyball, bowling, football and swordfighting. That last one is Nintendo’s own invention, called chambara, in which two opponents wield wooden swords at each other and try to knock each other off a raised platform into a swimming pool. If you’ve got extra Joy-Cons, you can play some sports with four players; if you’re solo, you can compete online to win glory and cute outfits for your adorably androgynous character. But playing alone robs you of slapstick comedy moments such as watching your partner hit the wall with a wild badminton swing and swear loudly in front of your children, which for me is rather the point.

Nintendo Switch Sports is out 29 April; £39.99

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