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Arms Review

Game image Arms
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Posted: 4 weeks ago.

Author: Hannah Robertson and @GeekDadGamer.


Arms is a fighting game where you brawl other players with your abnormally long arms. The play is simple with motion and button controls to move around and attack the enemy player in a boxing-style arena. It's like Wii-Sports Boxing but with many more options and much more detailed (and comical) attacks.

You play using characters with long, weaponised arms that extend to attack. Each arm has a weapon of your choice on the end which are used at the same time to grab opponents. They can also be used in different combinations to cause more damage.

Using the motion controls and holding on Joy-Con in each hand, you dodge and block incoming attacks to avoid taking damage and getting knocked out of the game. With each hit you land or take, your rush meter fills up. Similar to Smash Ultimate; when your meter is full you time a heavy-damage attack on the other player.

There are 15 characters to choose from and each of them has a different ability that helps them during a fight. For example, with one of the players, you regenerate your health while blocking during the fight. Some of the arenas also have special traits such as obstacles to dodge or platforms that you can jump on to gain the high ground.

Arms is unique amongst fighting games because you primarily use long-range attacks and you customise which fists you want to fight with. It's also the silliest, which young players love.

DetailsGame Details


Release Date: 16/06/2017

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Genres: Action and Fighting

Developer: @NintendoAmerica


Duration: It takes between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round of this game.
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online. Arms features local split-screen multiplayer where you fight in teams or free-for-all.

There is a Grand Prix mode that involves fighting through 10 battles in a row to win the Grand Prix belt. This can be played alone or locally with a friend on a tag-team.

Online competitive play matches you with a player of your skill level for a 1-on-1 battle. Online casual play pits many players together with randomly picked game rules. Two people can play online per console, so long as two profiles have their own subscription to Nintendo Switch Online.


Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.  

You will need Nintendo Online (must be 18 to purchase, but can be any age to use) to play online with Nintendo Switch. A free demo version of this game is available to download on the Nintendo eShop.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 12 for violence. It features non-realistic violence towards human characters. Besides a numeric damage output, there’s a flashing effect when a hit lands. The characters flinch a bit, but there are no wounds visible, bleeding, or any other emphasis on pain/damage dealt. When a character is defeated, it falls K.O. on the floor. This last part is shown in slow-motion.

Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for cartoon violence. Battles are highlighted by explosions and light effects, as well as short cries of pain.

Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.


You can adjust the size of your gloves that gives you an advantage. This is useful to balance the game for new or less experienced players.

Usually motion is used to trigger punches and then twisted to curve them. However, you can opt to press buttons instead. To capitalise on the repeated hitting abilities you need to rapidly press the hit button.


How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Adjustable Between Levels: You can adjust the difficulty between levels/rounds.


Beginner Advantage: Select an advantage for weaker players

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.


How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

High Text Contrast: Text colour contrasts to background.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.


How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.


Motion Controls Available: You can use motion controls, tilting the controller to steer for example.

Motion Controls Not Required: You don’t need motion controls to play the game.

Informative Vibration: Controller vibration indicates aspects of the game, echoing visual and audio cues.


How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Bright Colourful Palette: Game uses bright colours and is generally high contrast.

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

System Settings

Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: Hannah Robertson and @GeekDadGamer

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Games Like Arms

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Arms or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Arms, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12+ or ESRB EVERYONE 10+ games.

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Image 242 Image 243 Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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