Nintendo have brought plenty of brilliant releases to the Nintendo Switch, with their most popular franchises, some remakes of old favourites, and even classic NES and SNES games gracing the console. Who would’ve thought that something like Chess would be a part of their latest release, though? It’s only one of the games available in 51 Worldwide Games, which brings a rich assortment of addictively enjoyable classics to the console for gamers to dive into.
As the name suggests, there are fifty-one games to play through across 51 Worldwide Games that are spread between the likes of cards games, board games, toy games, and even sport games. A lot of these will be familiar to just about anyone whilst others will be completely unknown, with a wide and varied selection that’s origins span the globe. Some games come with names that you may not necessarily recognise immediately too, with Yahtzee called ‘Yacht’, Memory simply known as ‘Matching’, and Connect-Four known as ‘Four-in-a-Row’ – admittedly, I don’t really know if these were the original names of these games in the first place, but it’s nice to see a few games that I didn’t know I was already familiar with included as part of the package.
Each game gets a neat (albeit slightly cheesy) introduction that gives you a basic rundown of how to play, whilst there is also a detailed breakdown of the rules in place for those who want to really learn the ins-and-outs of each of the games on offer. It ensures that you’re not thrown right into the deep end with each game and it makes them all feel extra accessible in design, though that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to have a few hands-on lessons (and losses) before you figure each one out. You’ll even learn littles bit of trivia about each game as you go along, with some offering genuinely interesting facts that delve into the history and playstyles of each one.
The variety of the games on offer will keep you totally engrossed in 51 Worldwide Games, with the perfect game to be found for whatever mood you might find yourself in. Want a quick but competitive showdown? Go for Four-in-a-Row. Want a strategic test of the mind? Go for Draughts or Chess. Want a classic board game experience for multiple players? Ludo is perfect for that. Fancy re-visiting Nintendo’s origins? Hanafuda will give you a blast to the past and even comes with some neat Nintendo-themed cards to unlock. Want a Vegas-style gambling fix? Hit the Texas Hold’em or Blackjack tables. Or how about a little bit of sport? There’s Golf, Billiards, Bowling and Darts to get stuck into, with motion controls giving you a more realistic feel to some of the games if you prefer it. Want to re-visit your younger years by playing with some toys? Toy Boxing, Toy Football and Slot Cars are ideal there. Or do you want to go on a child-friendly shooting spree? Battle Tanks and the Shooting Gallery are the games you’ll want to play.
That’s just listing sixteen of the fifty-ones games on offer too, with another thirty-five for you to sink your teeth into that all feel unique in their own ways. There’s absolutely TONS of hours of fun to be had from the collection of games, whilst they’re all intuitive in design, mighty accessible, and presented in a surprisingly impressive manner. It just all comes together to make for a brilliant experience and it’s easy to find yourself totally addicted to the package as a whole.
One of my favourite things about 51 Worldwide Games was the sense of discovery that the experience offers, with ‘Game Guides’ to be found across a vast globe of the world that encourage you to play specific playlists of games catered for different things. Tackling these ‘Game Guides’ is a great way to play something that you might not have been that interested in trying before, with plenty of games in the collection that I’d never even heard of but that I now find myself utterly engrossed by. Games like Mancala, Gomoku and Dots and Boxes were just a few of the titles that I’d never ever played before, but find myself addicted to now – it’s all thanks to 51 Games Collection.
Want to know my favourites, though? The toy-based games. Playing Toy Football was frantic and fun, the Toy Curling was surprisingly strategic, whilst Toy Boxing made for explosive button-crunching showdowns that relied on timing as much as… well… punching. Whilst these could’ve easily adopted simple gameplay gimmicks that made them ‘one play and you’re done’ experiences, they instead utilise clever and enjoyable mechanics that make them a lot of fun to play for hours on end – whether that’s in single player or when playing with friends.
Whilst there are more than competent AI options in place that offer varying difficulties, 51 Worldwide Games is at its very best when you’re competing with friends and family in multiplayer showdowns. Some of the classics such as Chess, Draughts and Backgammon are naturally perfect for one-on-one showdowns and maintain the charm of their real-life counterparts, whilst the more action-orientated or quick-thinking games like Darts, Golf and 6-Ball Puzzle are equally as enjoyable to play with others too.
However, if you’re looking to play with a group of friends, you might find yourself a little disappointed – the vast majority of 51 Worldwide Games’ collection can only be played with two players locally, with only a small handful supporting more than two players on just one Nintendo Switch. It’s a little disappointing, especially when you consider that things like Bowling were a massive party-based success for Nintendo in games like Wii Sports in the past, though it also makes sense given that a lot of the games are simply one-versus-one affairs.
Fortunately, there is online multiplayer on offer that remedies that, so there are opportunities to have showdowns with more than just two players… it just might not always be with those directly around you. The online mode does deserve some praise though, with the intuitive match-making system meaning it’s always straightforward enough to find players to join in on the gaming with you.
Whilst I’m a BIG fan of 51 Worldwide Games overall, there were a couple of games that didn’t grab my attention too much – it’s probably something that you can expect though, given the sheer number of games on offer in the collection. Some of the games didn’t always have the depth to keep me coming back for more either, especially when you’re playing alone. I loved the golf for example, but it only offers nine holes, so I can’t see myself rushing back to play through those again anytime soon. They’re minor issues when you consider the sheer selection of games on offer, but they’re issues nonetheless.
51 Worldwide Games brings a rich and varied assortment of enjoyable games to the Nintendo Switch, with each offering something unique for players to find themselves completely addicted to. There’s something here for players of all ages, with the diverse selection offering elements of strategy, action, quick-thinking and, most importantly, fun.
There are a few duds in the mix and the multiplayer elements are mostly limited to just two players, but they’re minor gripes in what is otherwise a fantastic and meaty collection of games. There’s simply no better way to re-visit some of the world’s favourite classic games than with 51 Worldwide Games.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch