Review: Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch

Review: Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch

Familiarize yourself with the adorable Nodon and let your creativity run wild as Game Builder Garage teaches you how to program video games with this distinct and adorable Nintendo charm. It can be difficult, but Bob and Alice are on hand to help you create your dream games, even if things aren’t as customizable as we had hoped.

Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t impose productivity, you have to provide the tools to empower people to be their best.” The gift of giving an individual the toys to create what they want to build is a powerful thing and Nintendo, much like the late Apple CEO, has been doing just that for their gamers for quite some time now. Between the more recent Cardboard Lab Packs and Super Mario Maker 2, players had the chance to sit on the other side of the fence and try to make their own games. And, with the help of the imagination and a little encouragement, it was mostly a success. OK, so Lab has apparently been shut down for now, but there have been plenty of opportunities to exercise the brain and let our imaginations run wild.

Enter Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch; a game about creating games. You start with the basics of building blocks to program a mobile game character with a pointy nose, and the deeper you dig, the more complex the programming becomes. On the one hand, it’s a fantastic entry point for those interested in how games are built, but it can also be enjoyed – and used well – for existing programmers who just want to have fun. a little. Personally, I have to be clear and say that I have absolutely no idea how games work. I just know that I love to play it and tend to get a sense of what makes a good game good, even though I’ve never watched the behind-the-scenes work once. But Game Builder Garage, at least at first glance, gently lifts the veil on what makes a video game work, but sometimes it can seem a bit too much like you’re in school or college with the amount of lessons he offers. you.

Fortunately, this is pretty silly with every step of the learning process, which helps sweeten longer lessons. The ‘Nodons’ – blocks that you use and manipulate in program mode – all have a life of their own and their script is sometimes fun. Listening to the loud and brave Scottish Action Nodon interacting with the adorable and sweet Break Nodon certainly helped make the experience a little less strenuous in the more complicated lessons later. You are initially presented with seven tutorials that showcase different styles of game play that you are tasked with creating. Bob, the flying dot that holds your hand during the process, guides you step by step, while Alice takes a different approach to making games. Alice’s puzzles make you think back and take apart some broken or problematic programming to get the desired result and pass the test. This is the exam at the end of your learning modules, and it helps a lot to pass them right from the start.

In the Free Programming and Interactive Lesson modes, you will gradually discover the Nodon, a fun version of the “node” found in normal programming. These are the things that do the legwork, and tweaking them is where the real fun begins. Learning how each Nodon interacts with each other can seem like a confusing task at first, but add a few equations and you’ll get some pretty cool results. For example, you are asked to create a mystery room with a fairly simple “guess the code” scenario. But going back to free programming mode to tinker with the finished creation, I started trading what Bob told me to do with my own stuff and it then felt more like my own game, rather than the game it was. ‘I was told to do.

By midway through the main game, the peak difficulty of Alice’s puzzles was evident as I caught myself guessing more and more over time. And, while I enjoyed the tests that forced me to use the skills I had learned, it was frustrating having to go back to the same tutorial and start over if I got stuck. The situation was not helped by the ambiguity of the solutions thereafter either. There’s definitely an element of trial and error here, especially since math isn’t my strong suit, which meant overcoming his issues to unlock the next game-building scenario wasn’t quite so. simple as one might have hoped. Maybe it’s my fault that I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have at school! Still, seeing your character on the screen move as required because you fixed the issue on the lineup screen was a pleasure when I finally hit the jackpot. It was just like a lot of effort to get there, but if it was easy, anyone could be a programmer!

There is a lot to do in Game Builder Garage, and if you are willing to learn a lot, there is even more value to be gained from the game when you step into Free Program mode. But first, you will need to complete the long and sometimes laborious tutorials, which may not be suitable for some. I often found that I was eager to keep going, polishing my own creations or adjusting the ones the game forced me to make. Still, the chances of doing so were rare. Each predefined and scripted project can take up to 90 minutes, so there is a lot to do. For example, spending over an hour putting more aliens or apples on a short stage just to be told at the end that I can change the music or textures felt slightly unnecessary. The game shows you the final product straight away via a short video even before you place the first Nodon, which means there is no element of surprise. You know exactly what you’re going to build right off the bat, and it’s actually just a matter of reading the text and following Bob’s exact instructions. There’s no straying from his pointers, which is a real shame. It would have been nice to have a little more flexibility.

But what happens when you are given full reign over what you are going to build? Well, you definitely won’t be making your own version of Metroid Prime 4, and the game won’t allow players to enter the realm of creating the next AAA hit, either. Aside from a handful of prebuilt 3D models like crates, arrows, sumo wrestlers, and a TV to choose from, it feels rather limited. The list isn’t small as such, it’s just that there is no way to fully personalize what is given to you. Adding the ability to include freehand drawings, however, offers some variety. This is a rudimentary feature but it works well enough that you can doodle a drawing on the screen using the Joy-Con’s motion controls.

That said, there is an option to send and receive copies of other people’s full projects that they’ve made, because all you need is their game code and you’re good to go. In the future, a strong community of new and established game programmers will have a great time creating wonderful creations, which will undoubtedly keep Game Builder Garage alive for quite some time. But if you’re not willing to put in the hours and push through the 8-10 hours of scripted lessons, you won’t find much value beyond that.

While it might not reach the high creative heights of Dreams on PlayStation 4, or match the affordability of the Super Mario Maker franchise, Game Builder Garage does offer the tools to help you achieve some of your goals. dream game creations. If you’re not the creative type and don’t care much about programming, I would avoid going into this garage. However, if you decide to take a peek inside out of curiosity and you’re happy with deep learning, you’ll have everyone’s creations to experiment with, and that’s just a matter of course. time to see what the online community has to offer.


A copy of Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch has been provided by Nintendo UK for your review.


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