Nintendo Switch Sports Review - A promising start

The Switch was brought into the gaming world back in 2017, and it's safe to say, that it has been an overwhelming success for Nintendo.

The handheld device has sold upwards of 85 million units since its launch, making it one of the fastest-selling consoles of all time.

But despite finding roaring success through the likes of Mario Kart 8, Animal Crossing and Super Smash Bros, there has been one title that we've been pining for since the release. That is, of course, Nintendo Switch Sports.

After what seems like an eternity of waiting, the sequel to the spectacular Wii Sports has arrived, but was it worth the wait?

Simplicity at its best

Despite being a free title that came with the purchase of the Nintendo Wii console, Wii Sports was undoubtedly one of the most popular titles for those who owned a Nintendo Wii.

The best thing about Wii Sports is that you didn't have to be a gaming expert to enjoy or be successful when playing the title. It was a game for everyone, one which was often cracked out on Christmas Day, with your Gran swapping her turkey dinner for a turkey down the virtual bowling lanes.

The simplicity of the title is what made it so fun, and whilst advancements in technology meant there was the potential for a much more complex title, the developers have stuck to their roots and created a very similar game to the one we know and love.

Of course, there has been a significant upturn on the graphics front, with the game visually much more appealing than its predecessor. There has also been the addition - and removal - of one or two new sports, but we'll have a little more on that later in the review.

A variety of sports

Bowling and tennis both return as playable sports in Nintendo Switch Sports, and there has been very little change on either front.


Tennis is almost identical to the classic Wii Sports version. You will face off in doubles action in a best of one, three or five formats.

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If it wasn't for the introduction of a snazzy new court and a set of tennis racquets to unlock, we'd forgive you for thinking you'd booted up the Nintendo Wii.


Bowling is very similar too. You can opt to play the classic mode, in which you will face off in a regular bowling match. Although you are now able to bowl simultaneously in a split-screen format as opposed to taking it in turns. This is handy if you're looking to fire out a quick game before heading out to dinner.

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Unfortunately, we have not been graced with the return of the famous 100 pin mode, however, there is a special mode in which you are presented with a variety of different obstacles on the lane. You will have to navigate each obstacle in order to achieve a high score. There are three difficulties available in this mode, which makes it increasingly enjoyable for those who like a challenge.


Once we'd had the opportunity to reminisce on the good old days, we headed to the courts to have a game of badminton. Now whilst I was initially sceptical that it would be too similar to tennis, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was completely wrong.

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The motion controls work perfectly with badminton, as I quickly found myself diving across my living room to reach for a low shot. You can make it as realistic as you want to, with a minimal flick of the wrist proving just as effective as a gigantic backhand swing. Each game is played to a total of five points, which is more than enough if you lack physical fitness like myself!


Next up we had a pop at volleyball. Now I must say, this is probably the most disappointing sport on the title.

You pair up in a two-versus-two format controlling both players. I was paired with Elisa who, whilst she seemed like a lovely woman, wasn't the best at playing volleyball.

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It's a simple sport to play, however, it was a little bit boring for our liking. One point seemed to go on for an eternity and when you did you win a point, it was just more of the same in the next.


We then head to the pitch to have a game of football (the kind that you play with your feet if you were wondering).

This is one of the sports that you have to play with a friend. We found playing against the CPU to be very boring and tedious. There are four modes available: One-on-One, Four-on-Four, Free Practice and Shoot-Out.

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We had a go at the first three, all of which are very easy to pick up and play, with the controls a little more complex than tennis or bowling, but it doesn't take long to learn.

Shoot-Out seems like great fun too, probably the best of the four modes available. However, we didn't have a leg strap to hand and therefore we haven't actually tested this mode.


Finally, we picked up our swords and had a game(?) of Chambara.

Now, we had never heard of Chambara before, but it is a nice addition. You face off in a one-versus-one sword fight, with the winner the first to knock their opponent off the podium and into the water.

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It's the most challenging of the sports available, and the hardest one to perfect, but it offers a nice alternative to the usual sports that you'd find in a game such as this.

Missing the classics

The six sports available to play are okay. But okay is about as far as we're willing to go with the compliments.

When compared to the original Wii Sports lineup of tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing, these sports fall seriously far behind.

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It looks as though we will be handed an opportunity to take to the golf courses later in the year when a new set of DLC content arrives, but for the time being, we're being made to make do without the sports that made Wii Sports such an overwhelming success.

The removal of baseball and boxing feels strange and unnecessary. One which has left a little sour taste in our mouths.

Verdict: A good start, but far from the finished product

Having played the game for around three to four hours, we have come to the conclusion that Switch Sports is a good title, but there is still a way to go if we are to rate it as highly as any of its predecessors.

The sports on offer allow enough variety to keep you entertained for a sustained period of time, but they don't hit the highs that we experienced on Wii Sports or Wii Sports Resort.

The addition of an online mode is handy for those who don't have anyone to play with locally. However, it is still far more enjoyable to play on the local mode alongside your friends.

The £30 price tag is a little steep for us, especially considering that there are going to be further costs when the DLC content arrives later this year.

The nostalgia is certainly there for those wishing to relive their Wii Sports days, but we were hoping for a little more.

RealSport Rating - 3.5 out of 5

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