Nintendo’s latest release in their “games that aren’t your traditional game” is Game Builder Garage, an introduction to programming and how to program games. This is presented through a simple process of nodons which all have different functions, such as camera positioning, characters and platforms. It’s the perfect introductory to programming and game design that eases players in with a comprehensive tutorial.
Game Builder Garage is a great starting point for kids within the 8-13 age bracket and who have an interest in how video games are made. It’s perfect to learn programming at a very basic level and there is quite the variety of genres within the tutorial, which also makes use of the gyro controls (much to my surprise).
The tutorial is built from the ground up to build different types of games while introducing all the individual aspects that go into the gears to get them working. The information is reinforced by little puzzles that get you to complete recently learnt challenges through the previous game building. It’s intuitively built in a way that keeps you engaged throughout the entire process.
There are a lot of options in how the games can be built in Game Builder Garage, which can become a fun creative outlet for a lot of people. This is made easier with everything being posed through the nodons which all have quirky, unique personalities.
Oh, you can also plug in a USB mouse... how cool is that!
- Comprehensive tutorial
- A creative outlet
- USB mouse support
Unfortunately, not everything is perfect in the tutorial as you have to work your way through each game in order and solve their corresponding puzzles before you can move onto the next. While this is purposely done to ease players into the nodons as they carry the learned information over with less of an explanation, it does restrict player freedom.
You have full access to all of your creations along with the ability to share them - although not in-game. You cannot access other players’ creations unless you have an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Unfortunately, this is a side effect of a paid subscription internet service and will not be going away anytime soon.
While there is a lot you can create, many objects are pre-built which restricts the visual look of your creations. However, Game Builder Garage is merely a stepping stone for users before they expand into the deeper waters of programming.
- Awkwardly paced tutorial
- Nintendo Switch Online needed to access other peoples’ creations
- Somewhat restrictive creative-wise
Final Score: 8/10
Overall, Game Builder Garage is a fully functional game building software that introduces the basics of programming and builds on the Nintendo Labo and Super Mario Maker series. While there are some restrictions with playing other peoples’ creations through Nintendo Switch Online, you have full access to all of the tools yourself. This is hopefully a franchise Nintendo will expand upon in the future, guiding the next generation of game developers.
Thank you for checking out our Game Builder Garage Switch review, thank you to Nintendo AU/NZ for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: