May 21, 2024


Like All Trades

Nintendo’s New Switch Sports Trailer Teases 16-Player ‘Survival Bowling’


Switch Sports tennis.


A new Nintendo video out Wednesday walks us through more Switch Sports gameplay, and any ill will I was still holding against the Wii Sports sequel for abandoning baseball vanished at the mention of something called “survival bowling.” The option lets you face off with 15 other adversaries at the same time to determine the ultimate knocker of pins.

Nintendo initially announced its incarnation of Wii Sports for the Nintendo Switch last month. The game will include six sports: volleyball, badminton, bowling, soccer, tennis and “chambara,” which lets players test their swordplay skills. In some ways, Switch Sports clearly channels its 2006 predecessor. The general look and feel of tennis and bowling, for instance, will probably jog the memories of people used to playing the Wii Sports versions. But bowling gets some twists, and the new sports will obviously veer into unfamiliar territory. 

Among the cool stuff the trailer divulged is “supercharged spikes” in volleyball, a feature that echoes the friendship-testing power-serves in Wii Sports tennis. There’s also the aforementioned survival bowling, where 16 players chosen at random will all bowl at once during online play. Players bowl through several rounds until a winner is determined. The five-and-a-half minute clip also displays obstacles to maneuver on bowling lanes. But the real question is, will Nintendo still make Mii spectators amusingly cry out in fear when we throw the ball in the wrong direction?

Switch Sports arrives April 29. The digital version is $40, and the physical one, which includes a leg strap for soccer, is $50. Below are some more things that stand out from the new Wii Sports trailer. I’ve noticed that other gameplay videos have been floating around the internet for a little while, but this is the first time I’ve seen Nintendo break down Switch Sports for us. 

  1. Volleyball. Remember those supercharged spikes I mentioned earlier? In addition to spiking, volleyball lets you bump and set to get the ball over the net. Seems like it could be fun to play with people in the same room.

  2. Tennis and bowling. In the video, tennis and bowling look like how I remember playing them on the Wii. As I said before, bowling lane obstacles and survival bowling will shake up the latter game.

  3. Soccer. The soccer ball is massive. Just as big as the characters in the game, if not bigger. It’s unclear whether you’re kicking the soccer ball or the ball is kicking you. 

  4. Miis. Miis are back. The video shows that players will have the option to play as a “sportsmate” — the cartoonish characters we saw a lot during the earlier Switch Sports announcement — or as a Mii character. There’s only one right answer, folks.

  5. What’s to come. A physical version of Switch Sports will come with a leg strap that can be used in soccer. With the initial release of the game, that strap can be used during a “shoot-out” mode, but it doesn’t look like users will be able to use the strap during soccer matches until an update to the game is added this summer. The trailer refers to it as a “LEGendary” update (I heard it, so now you have to, too). In the fall, another update will add golf. To make sure you bring your A game when Switch Sports’ April release date rolls around, I recommend getting some practice racket swings and bowling ball throws in on a good ol’ Wii.