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Game Builder Garage Review

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Posted: 5 weeks ago, last updated 4 days ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer.

OverviewOverview

Game Builder Garage enables anyone to make video games. Unlike other game makers, this offers in-depth lessons to take you from the basics to advanced techniques. The cute Nodon characters that power the visual drag-and-drop construction, enable players of any age to make and share their own experiences on the Switch.

The Nodon are the star of the show. They not only lead you through your lessons, but each offers a set of abilities and tools specific to a particular part of game making. You drag and drop them into place to do things like getting a character to jump when you hit a button, setting the mood with some funky music, or cranking up the gravity to 11.

As you progress with the game, two teacher characters Bob and Alice introduce different Nodons and take you through step-by-step lessons from the absolute basics to more advanced concepts. The result is a game that not only shows you how to make your own levels but offers a viable pathway to enable you to do that.

Another great way to learn, along with the lessons, is to see what other people have mode. You can share things you built and download creations from other people using a special code with friends/family. Parents will like that you need to have been given a code in the real world to find a game, so kids can share with the people they know. There's no browsing of content made by strangers like in other game make games.

You can control the programming in different ways, and in particular the on-screen cursor:
  • Mouse: You can plug in a mouse to the front USB port when the Switch is docked for easier control.
  • Joy-Con Pair: You can use a pair of Joy-Cons to navigate and edit your games.
  • Joy-Con Motion: You can use the pointing feature of the Joy-Con to direct the editor cursor.
  • Touch Screen: You can use the touch screen when using the Switch in handheld mode.

The result is a surprisingly powerful way to make all kinds of games. From 3D platforming games to high-speed racing or side-scrolling shooting. Essentially, whatever you want to make there is a way to make it with Game Builder Garage.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Creative and Simulation

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: @Nintendo

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: It takes between half an hour and 1 and a half hours to play a round of this game. Lessons steps can be complete in a few minutes, saved and then perfected with more play. More complex creations require more time and planning. If you leave a step before completing it, you need to start (just that step) again when you next play.
 
Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online. The game creation and lessons are for one player at a time but the games can be created for up to 8 players. Many games can be played with one half of a Joy-Con.

CostsCosts

Game Builder Garage usually costs £26.99. 

Game Builder Garage

Switch £26.99

Game Builder Garage (Demo)

Switch Free
 
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. You need the Nintendo Online subscription to share and access other people's creations in Game Builder Garage.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

This game has been rated PEGI 7.
 
This game has been rated ESRB EVERYONE.


Skill Rating: This game is enjoyed by 8-12 year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity.

AccessibilityAccessibility

You can plug a mouse in to control the designer with this alone. However, to play a game you need to use a Joy-Con controller. You could design games (or download games) designed for use with one button or specific controls. You can't remap buttons, but the left and right stick function in the same way. You can opt to use touch screen, or point with a Joy-Con at the screen along with buttons for actions. There are extensive tutorial lessons and a comprehensive built-in manual for what each element can be used for.

You can't adjust text size. The subtitles are a good size but other text can be smaller or on a moving background. You can bring up the Log via the pause menu to revisit what has been said in the current lesson.

You can zoom in to the design mode to make elements larger.
 
Our Game Builder Garage Accessibility Report details 26 accessibility features:

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