Switch on a gaming world of fun
A review in time for the gifting season
The first thing that struck me when I picked up the new Nintendo Switch Lite is that it’s, well, light. The candy-coloured device is a lot daintier than its beloved older sibling. It’s smooth, like a well-worn river stone, and ergonomic, fitting happily in my hand and, more importantly, the hands of the next generation.
The joy of the original Nintendo Switch is its versatility. You can play it like a handheld device, but the console truly becomes ground-breaking when the controllers (called Joy-Cons) slide off the small, television-like screen and create a whole new world of play. The Joy-Cons can become part of a racing wheel; strapped to your hands, you can fling them around like you’re throwing a Poké ball, or they could even become two separate controllers so you can challenge your friends to Mario Kart on the go. The Lite can do none of this, and that is where its joy lies.
Nintendo may be known for many things, but for me, the brand’s unmovable pillar of fun in my childhood came in the form of the Game Boy. I still have my original see-through, blocky gaming system with its green pixelated screen. It transported me to magical worlds beyond the back of the car on road trips and at the table of "adult" dinners.
But that was 24 years ago. These days kids are playing games anywhere they can, often on devices with no parental controls and all access to the realm of nasty that is the internet (yep — your phone). Now, thanks to the Nintendo Switch Lite, there’s a dedicated safe and portable space where you can still live in the world of Mario and Zelda, having the same access to world-class games you can find on almost any system. Better yet, it’s lighter on the wallet too, which is a small mercy going into the festive season. But most of all, it is built to feel like you can hold it forever, even if your arms are little and more used to carrying around teddy bears. This, for a movable world of play, can make all the difference.
Three games you should play on the Nintendo Switch Lite this summer:
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Who doesn’t want to be a purple dragon on a mission? The beloved game franchise that started 21 years ago has been jazzed up and is the perfect starting point for a summer of handheld fun. It’s a guaranteed winner for the young or young at heart.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Another reborn classic but in this redux, its hero, Link, has never looked so cute. Its plush, candy-coloured fun is the perfect partner for the bright new little console. In it, as ever, you can traverse the land looking for Zelda and your identity.
This’ll make for rewarding in-flight entertainment on that next business trip. Astral Chain plays out like the best action movie you’ve never seen. It’s a fast and electric ride that takes place while you try to save the world. Plus, you get a creature from another dimension as your battle partner. What’s not to like?