There was a significant period of time starting in the mid-2000s when the Wii gaming system was a staple of family game nights and middle-school sleepovers. While that system and its iconic white remotes have been almost entirely replaced by Nintendo’s newer Switch family of systems, there is one part of the Wii gaming experience that hadn’t quite translated to this updated console — until now, that is. Wii Sports.
For those who may not know or remember, Wii Sports came with every single Wii to provide new owners with gameplay options right out of the box. It offered a handful of classic sports that you could play using the Wii’s motion-sensor-equipped remotes, including bowling, tennis, and boxing. Now, that game is finally being reintroduced for a new generation of players as Nintendo Switch Sports.
Last week, the Toy Insider was lucky enough to get a preview of the new game, which comes out on April 29. We can confirm that it’s a great nostalgia trip for anyone who has fond memories of the original Wii Sports. However, it also utilizes the Nintendo Switch’s strengths and advances in technology to provide a fresh gaming experience.
The game opens to a familiar scene: an island divided into different sports that you can select. At launch, the game will include six sports: badminton, soccer, volleyball, bowling, Chambara, and tennis. Golf will join the lineup this fall as a seventh sporting option.
Some of these titles carry over from the original Wii Sports, including bowling and tennis. (Chambara is also similar to the Swordplay game from the updated Wii Sports Resort that came out in 2009.) For me, returning to these games was something like muscle memory — I am proud to report that my Wii bowling prowess still far exceeds my real-life skills, but I’m a bit sad to report that you can no longer let the bowling ball go in reverse to fly into the virtual crowd. Overall, the controls for these sports are fairly similar to their Wii Sports counterparts, but there are some updated elements. For example, all players can bowl simultaneously and you no longer have to release a button to let go of the bowling ball.
The new sports (badminton, volleyball, and soccer) keep the game from feeling too familiar. Volleyball and badminton take advantage of the Joy-Cons’ improved motion sensor skills, as you can perform different types of moves — a bump, a serve, and a spike in volleyball, for example — based on how you move the remote. Soccer, meanwhile, actually utilizes a leg strap (like the one in Ring Fit Adventure) so that you can kick an oversized ball, either in a shootout-style challenge or in a full-court game against computer-generated players. The physical copy of the game will come with a leg strap, and those who buy the digital game can purchase one separately.
Another new element of this game is online gameplay. You can go online and play against other players to earn rewards or get into a “pro league” by ranking up in a specific sport. The graphics in this game are also a far cry from 2006 — The Nintendo Switch Sports avatars are highly customizable, with have full bodies and detailed movements for a more precise gaming experience.
Overall, this game was a win (pun intended) in my book! It’s great for all ages and skill levels and is a creative way to get everyone up, moving, and having fun together. You can get a closer look at the game in the trailer below and then keep scrolling for links to preorder the game.