Quarantine Fun | 51 Worldwide Games
As a relatively new member of the Nintendo Switch community, it has been interesting to see the new releases available on the Switch. I was gifted a Switch Lite as a birthday present at the end of March while lockdown was in full swing, along with a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons (why not check out the previous post dedicated to AC:NH here). While AC:NH interspersed with Good Job kept me preoccupied during the first two months of isolation, it was the announcement of 51 Worldwide Games in June which really piqued my interest.
What immediately attracted me to this game is in the title. There are indeed 51 different games to choose from, based from all parts of the world, each with information about its origins attached. I am a big fan of board games which were a staple in my household growing up. While some of the names were unfamiliar to me at first sight, I recognised them as I began playing them. For example, popular dice game Yahtzee is known in this game as Yacht Dice, and Mastermind is known as Hit and Blow. There are variations of card games such as Texas Hold 'Em, Blackjack, Klondike Solitaire and Last Card (more recognisable as Uno), as well as popular counter style games such as Renegade and Four-in-a-Row. The availability of some of my favourites, such as Ludo & Chess, are worth the price tag alone.
Each game contains a small clip on how the game works. You can also find some hints and tips before and after each game. While some of these clips may come across as gimmicky - the clips represent a family explaining to each other how each game works - some have proven quite helpful when unsure of the rules of the game. These clips can also be skipped in favour of reading the rules. Once you are in a game, you can leave at anytime by pressing the "+" button. A very clever function of this game is the bookmark, which appears if you choose to exit a game without finishing. You can pick up from where you left off without needing to save the game, or just begin a new game if you would rather not continue. I may or may not have rage-quitted in a few games. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
When it comes to gameplay there are numerous options from which to choose. Firstly you can play in single-system mode which can facilitate up to 4 players using one Switch console. For two-player mode either joy-cons or touch screen can be used. For 3 or more players, each player is required to have a joy-con. For games which contain 4 players, CPUs are put in place of missing players if you do not have the numbers. CPUs come in a variety of difficulties in most games ranging from normal to impossible. Each CPU level must be unlocked by defeating the CPU in single-player mode at that level. For some games, for example Ludo, it is not possible to change the difficulty level, much to my frustration after the 100th time I got sent back to the starting block by a ruthless computerised opponent.
As a Switch Lite user, the touch screen function for two-player play was quite interesting. There is only one Switch in my household so a maximum of two players could be facilitated at any one time. Playing in touch mode also cuts the amount of games you can play by half.
I decided to test the touch screen mode with my sister-in-law and played Ludo and Four-in-a-Row. But it was not until we played Draughts (or Checkers) where hilarity ensued. While trying to balance the Switch Lite on a surface which was uneven, we both witnessed the counters on the Draughts Board flying around. It took us about five minutes to compose ourselves from the giggling, but the experience was enjoyable from start to finish.
51 Worldwide Games also facilitates local and online play to a maximum of four players. Another feature which makes this game attractive is that only one person needs to own the game to host a game locally. Provided that all players download the Guest Edition from the Nintendo eShop, three players can join the owner of the game for a selection of games in Local Play. Another method to playing is through mosaic mode, where up to four Switch screens can be linked together to create a big screen which enables 4 players to play using joy-cons. This is a good method if there is no television available upon which to screen.
The most appealing aspect to 51 Worldwide Games would have to be its online mode. As I have been separated from Craig for a long period, games which promote online play are highly attractive. With 51 Worldwide Games there is the option to play with your friends or play with anyone online. The Nintendo Switch Online app can facilitate voice chat during online play with friends. This mode caters up to four players, provided you have a strong internet connection. This is important as you are only as strong as your weakest link, and the person with the weakest internet connection can cause the game to lag and stutter, regardless if they are hosting or not. My recommendation would be to make sure you are connected to 5Ghz connection on Wi-Fi to combat lag. While it is not possible to play each game in online mode, there are still plenty of games available to whet your appetite.
So make sure on your next visit to the eShop to pick up this little gem. If you have any interest in board games, it is a nice trip down memory lane. Some of the games such as Golf and Bowling also have a Wii-feel to it and reminded me a lot of Nintendo's WiiSports. It is reasonably priced and does not apply pressure on the household to purchase multiple copies if there is more than one Switch thanks to the Guest Edition. All-in-all there is no better way to bond (or fight) with your friends and family than with 51 Worldwide Games.
All images captured using a Nintendo Switch Lite.