Game Builder Garage test for Nintendo Switch: Game design for dummies

Source: iMore

The idea of ​​making your own games is a Herculean task, which usually requires dizzying amounts of code, hours and hours of trial and error, and a fair amount of technical know-how to bring one to life. any idea. But over the past twenty years or so, with the advent of indie games and more accessible and available software, making a game no matter how small isn’t as out of reach as it used to be, at least if you are. quite dedicated.

Nintendo has already tried to tap into the edutainment market with Nintendo Labo, a cardboard device that, although innovative, has not really set the world on fire. But the design tools that made up the Lab were sophisticated enough to create cool, if simple, games. Game Builder Garage takes these tools, puts down the box, and string them all together in simple tutorials that teach you the basics of visual programming and design as you create seven different games from scratch.

But how does Game Builder Garage look as a whole package? While potential game designers will have a lot to love here, the appeal of a game like Game Builder Garage can be measured by the creativity and interest of the user, but if you are not interested in devoting the time needed for Game Builder Garage, you will put it down quickly.

Game Builder Garage Box Art

Play builder garage

At the end of the line : Game Builder Garage is an impressive and accessible entry into visual programming for those interested in game design, but the archaic online options and limitations of the game prevent Game Builder Garage from reaching its potential.


  • Intuitive lessons walk you through the basics
  • The game design tools provided are impressive
  • Simple and endearing artistic style
  • Playing the creations of other players is a real pleasure

The bad

  • You can’t easily share or find games
  • The scope and duration of the games are quite limited
  • Not a good choice for non-creatives
  • The game is not very useful outside of class

Game Builder Garage: If you think so, you can build it

Gamebuildergarage Nodon IntroSource: iMore

Game Builder Garage is almost not really a game on its own, but rather chained tutorials to walk you through making a game. There are seven lessons in the game, each of which is your own game. Be it a racing game or a simple tag game. Each block in your game design program takes around 40-70 minutes to complete, and they’re very handy. You’ll always know what to do next, thanks to a little blue dot named Bob, who explains the ins and outs of almost everything, and Nodons, the cute little creatures that represent various inputs, outputs, and game logic.

Category Game nameXXX
Title Play builder garage
Developer Nintendo
Editor Nintendo
Kind Education
Game size 1 GB
Break 8-10 hours
Players Up to 8 players
Format Download and game card
Introductory price $ 30

There are over 80 Nodons in total, each with their own colorful flair, and the gameplay (if you can call it that) is all about combining the Nodons into a working game. It’s overwhelming at first, but the simple tools are quite sophisticated, and whether you were creating your own ideas or taking a lesson, seeing the end product was always satisfying no matter how simple the end product was.

I was also impressed with the types of genres possible in Game Builder Garage. You can use the gyro control to roll the ball or create a multiplayer game where each player uses one of the Joy-Cons. You can even create a real 3D platformer game. It’s only been a few days since release, and I’ve already encountered some mind-blowing concepts and ideas coming to life in Game Builder Garage.

Whether you were creating your own ideas or taking a lesson, seeing the end product was always satisfying.

Between each lesson, you will discover checkpoints, essentially puzzles that help reinforce the lesson you have just learned. In these short puzzles you have to solve a problem with the game by opening it and adjusting the Nodons under the hood, but even in these puzzles you are guided to the correct answer. While getting started has helped me progress through the tutorials at a brisk pace, it’s a bit restrictive.

But that’s where free programming comes in. The free programming is unlocked after the first lesson is completed, and this is where you have the freedom to create any game you want, as long as it is within the predetermined scope of the game. You can also download and share your creations online, as long as you have Nintendo Switch Online. Unfortunately, the online aspect is woefully undercooked.

Game Builder Garage: Lack of online options

Gamebuildergarage Free ProgrammingSource: iMore

In classic Nintendo fashion, they’ve made online sharing as frustrating as it gets. You can share your game with friends or just about anyone on the internet by downloading your game and sharing a generated game code, but there is no way to search for game creations in the game. finding other downloads, I had to search online, scour Twitter, and browse fan-made websites to find community. It sounds like a glaring oversight. I mean, Super Mario Maker 2 has this feature, so why not Game Builder Garage? What’s the point of making these games if it’s so difficult to share them?

In classic Nintendo fashion, they’ve made online sharing as frustrating as it gets.

As for the tutorials, they are detailed but don’t really expand on the capabilities of the game. Once I was free from the tutorials, building my side-scrolling masterpiece was a matter of trial and error. , and if you get started without a bit of programming knowledge (like I did), you might find yourself stumped at what seem like simple tasks. Considering everything Game Builder Garage is telling you, there is an awful lot that is being left out. I wish there were more advanced lessons to participate in, if only to continue improving the basics taught by the game.

And while the tools available in Game Builder Garage are impressive, they are not exhaustive and you will quickly realize the limitations of the software. For example, you can create 2D textures and insert them into your games, but when it comes to 3D objects, what you see is what you get. Forget about building complex games or even long games with multiple levels. The limits start to get glaring, especially when you think about what is possible in similar games like Dreams on PS4 or even games like Minecraft.

Game Builder Garage: Should we play it?

Game Builder Garage RacingSource: Nintendo

Overall, your mileage may vary with Game Builder Garage. It’s a great introduction to young switch owners who might be interested in programming and the creations that have already been released by users who are much smarter and much more creative than I am is a sight to behold. As for me, after my seven lessons were over, I was almost done with Game Builder Garage, and it was that much easier to let go of the game once I struggled to share anything.

out of 5

Game Builder Garage is an experience that is quintessentially Nintendo in both best and worst ways. Its charming music and intuitive tools are impressive, especially for anyone with even a brief interest in programming or game design.

If you are the type of person who can get lost in the intricate logic puzzles that come with designing a fully functional game, then Game Builder Garage is for you. But if this all sounds like an unwanted choice, then you might want to switch to Game Builder Garage.

Game Builder Garage Box Art

Play builder garage

At the end of the line : Game Builder Garage is a great entry point for game design, but its limited scope and lack of online features spoil the fun.

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