This summer, in recognition of the fact that all parents know what it’s like to travel with children, especially young children, Nintendo released an updated version of the Go Vacation game for the Nintendo Switch. (The Wii game from 2011 was upgraded from the Wii Sports Resort game from 2009.)
The summer is almost over, but Labor Day weekend tends to be the last fling for road trips and this game might be one to consider to keep the younger kids occupied.
First, know that Go Vacation is less one game than a whole lot of minigames organized around the theme of fun things to do on vacation.
The 50 + minigames are organized around Kawawii Island, a resort with four different types of activities. The mini-games include everything from horseback riding, snowmobile riding, in-line skating, skiing, skydiving, volleyball, miniature golf, and many other sports and action games. There is a multi-player function, where each player can use one Joy-Con controller. That means that two kids can play Go Vacation on one console at the same time in the back seat of your car.
Of course, there are the customizable Mii characters. Players can choose their costumes, vehicles, and even their pets. Not to mention the chance to customize a villa by earning over 450 pieces of furniture.
And while Go Vacation gameplay is relatively simple and suited best for younger children, it offers some advantages for travel over games with more intricate and complicated play.
One, the games are easy to play, meaning frustration should not be an issue. There’s nothing worse than riding in a car with a child having a hissy fit (or worse, a meltdown) about a game. This way, even if they’re bored, there are enough different games for them to switch over. The likelihood of frustration is very low.
Two, the games can be interrupted. We’re all been there when we’ve encountered resistance when telling the kids to get out of the car or get on the plane or turn off the game console entirely. Because the Go Vacation mini-games are short and because the stakes are relatively low, it’s okay to interrupt them.
Three, again, because the games are short, they’re also good to keep kids occupied when running errands that may, say, bore them. In my case, it was a trip to the state DMV to obtain state IDs for two of my kids. That task turned into a marathon three-hour disaster. Go Vacation lasted about an hour, which is all I thought I needed at the beginning of the day. (I was so, so wrong. Next time, I’ll let the boy bring Skyrim.)
But Go Vacation should be perfect for kids waiting in doctors’ offices or for other appointments or sitting in the car waiting to pick up a sibling or any of the other myriad errands parents have to run that bore kids. It’s an excellent short-term distraction.
Go Vacation retails for $49.99 and is available as a cartridge and a digital download.