Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Out and about with the Nintendo Switch

Gamers rejoice!

Make the switch to Nintendo, explore a fantasy world indoors and the great outdoors

Make the switch to Nintendo, explore a fantasy world indoors and the great outdoors

Tim Martin | June/July 2017

Nintendo Switch
£279.99/$299.99

There’s something pleasingly Transformer-ish about Nintendo’s latest games console, a conventional console that “switches” into a portable unit when you extract it from the jaws of its plastic dock. Detach the miniature controllers with a satisfying clunk and you can fit them together to make a single-player joypad, hand them to friends for multi-player games of Mario Kart and Bomberman or use their motion controls to play Arms, in which competitors flail at each other with boxing gloves on springs. It’s a delightfully adaptable concept, ominously well designed to follow you everywhere. Procrastinators may howl. Gamers will likely rejoice.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
£59.99/$59.99 (digital download)

The Switch’s flagship game is one of the finest video games ever designed, a huge fantasy adventure filled with intersecting systems that encourage players to explore and improvise. The scenery is a marvel, from chilly tundra to lush pasture and baking desert, but the real stars are the physics and weather engines that make every outing a fresh exercise in discovery. Light fires and parachute skywards on the updraft. Chop down trees to make impromptu bridges. Scrabble up mountainsides before the rain makes them slippery. No virtual world to date has felt so enthrallingly responsive or so rich.

ViewRanger (iOS/Android/Android Wear/Apple Watch)
Free with optional in-app purchases

For those who prefer the real outdoors to glowing-screen simulacra, there’s ViewRanger, an app for hikers and explorers that matches GPS co-ordinates with a bountiful trove of off-road trails across the world. Maps are stored offline, so you’re not dependent on network coverage; and recent updates use augmented reality to identify landmarks simply by pointing a phone at them. ViewRanger also runs on newer versions of the Apple Watch and Android Wear – so all you need to worry about, as you shiver up a hill, is battery life.

 

Readers' comments

Sign in or Create your account to join the discussion.