I was first introduced to the Nintendo Switch last year when I went to my middle school friend’s apartment for dinner. I had heard about it—how it could be played as a handheld or on your TV screen and had some great games (like Super Mario Odyssey and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)—but I wasn’t sold on buying it. It’s not cheap, and at that point it was pretty much sold out everywhere.
I snapped up my own when it became easier to buy months later. It was shortly before fashion week, and I was anticipating it’d be good stress relief when work got busy. It has been—and it’s also been surprisingly easy to get non-video-game-playing friends to want to try it. Some even ask to come to my apartment solely to play a game on it.
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It reminds you of being a kid again.
I’ve been a longtime Nintendo fan. As a kid, I casually played its Gamecube and Wii systems. My brother and sister were the hardcore gamers; I was more into games like Mario Party that I could play with a group. All my favorites now have glitzy, glowed-up Switch versions that are super, super fun (and pretty easy to pick up if you didn’t play in your younger years).
Whatever your childhood video personae, you can find satisfaction with the Switch. It’s possible to pour dozens of hours into RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (my boyfriend did that) or just sit down with friends to play a round of Mario Tennis because it’s fun and more interactive than watching a show (sorry, Netflix, love you too.)
The thing that really changed the game for me is its portability.
It’s like having my childhood Nintendo DS and Gamecube merged, only with infinitely better graphics and games. I travel from New York City to my parents’ home in Maryland every few months, and I almost look forward to the 3+ hour train ride because of it.
Plus, my boyfriend and I literally plan double dates around it.
I highly recommend Super Mario Party, especially its new partner party mode. Mario Tennis Aces is another easy way to pass time with friends with quick matches (and the gameplay, with detachable controllers and motion sensors, take it to another level physically). There’s a new Super Smash Brothers Ultimate game coming out in early December that should be the dream successor to earlier iterations. The system really is your gateway to a lot of fun.