SuperParent’s 2021 Switch Games Holiday Gift Guide

Friday, November 19th, 2021 6:00 am

Check out these SuperParent-approved gift ideas for Nintendo Switch!

Whether your family is picking up a Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) this holiday season, or you’re just looking for some of the best Switch games that were released in 2021, our holiday gift guide has something for every Switch owner in your life!

Check out these family-friendly Switch games that would make great presents this holiday season.

Slime Rancher: Plortable Edition
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

Slime Rancher was originally released way back in 2016, but the game only came to Nintendo Switch in 2021. Thankfully, the game is just as fun to play now as it was years ago. In Slime Rancher, players become a rancher named Beatrix LeBeau, who takes over a slime ranch in the “Far, Far Range.” Players will be able to collect, feed, and breed a variety of slimes, like Pink Slimes, Tabby Slimes (they look like cats), and Phosphor Slimes (they glow), among many others.

As players take care of their slimes, the creatures will generate “Plorts,” which can be sold to make in-game money. The more players progress, the larger their ranch can become, the more slimes they can care for, and the more Plorts they can generate. This “Plortable Edition” of Slime Rancher includes all of the downloadable content (DLC) that was released for the game after its initial launch. This means kids can take the entire Slime Rancher experience with them on Switch wherever they go! Slime Rancher is one of our favorite family-friendly games here at SuperParent, and we really can’t recommend this one enough.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Rated E for Everyone

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is an updated version of the original Super Mario 3D World, which was released on Nintendo’s Wii U console in 2013. While the original Super Mario 3D World was a single experience, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is really like two games in one.

Super Mario 3D World is a level-based platforming game for up to four people that challenges players to help Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad rescue colorful fairies called Sprixies from Bowser. Meanwhile, the Bowser’s Fury add-on takes place in an open-world area called Lake Lapcat. In this mode, Bowser has grown really large and is going on a rampage. Players will need to help Mario and Bowser Jr. calm him down.

While Super Mario 3D World can be played by up to four players, Bowser’s Fury is for only 1-2 people (one player controls Mario while the other controls Bowser Jr.). Even so, both modes are really fun, and we recommend checking this one out! You can learn more about Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury in our review.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page
Rated E for Everyone

Lost Words: Beyond the Page is one of the most touching and emotional games SuperParent played this year. This narrative adventure game takes place in the journal of a young girl named Izzy. Izzy is an aspiring writer who is drafting a fantasy story in her journal, but she’s also dealing with a difficult and emotional situation in her real-world life, which she writes about in journal entries.

The gameplay in Lost Words: Beyond the Page is split into two areas: the fantasy world of Estoria where Izzy’s fictional story is set, and the pages of Izzy’s journal. Both areas offer side-scrolling platforming gameplay that focuses on using words to interact with the environment.

While Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a pretty short experience (around four hours), it’s deeply moving and absolutely worth playing. At the same time, parents should know that even though the game is rated E for Everyone, the game’s story deals with mature, emotional topics such as loss and grief, so we encourage families (both adults and children) to play the game together so parents can help younger players if they have questions about the game’s themes. You can learn more about Lost Words: Beyond the Page and watch a gameplay video in our SuperParent First Look.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Rated E for Everyone

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is the newest farming simulation game in the popular Story of Seasons franchise. The game allows players to take over their grandfather’s farm near a small seaside community called Olive Town. The farm is overgrown with plants, trees, and debris, so players will need to clear the rubble to create a thriving farm full of crops, animals, and more. At the same time, players will be asked to help Olive Town grow into a popular tourist destination.

As players progress through Pioneers of Olive Town, they can upgrade their farmhouse and tools, do some shopping, craft a slew of different items, go mining, do some fishing, and even collect items (and take pictures) to donate to the town’s Museum. Plus, players can befriend the town’s citizens, get married, and even have a child! Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town isn’t a perfect game (you can read about the issues we noticed in our review), but all in all, it’s a fun, adorable life simulation game that would make a great gift this holiday season.

DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power is an adventure game inspired by the DC Super Hero Girls animated series. The game challenges players to help teenage super heroes like Wonder Woman and Batgirl defeat evil toys and robots that are attacking Metropolis, as well as figure out who is controlling them. They’ll also need to battle against some of DC’s super villains, like Harley Quinn and Cat Woman, who are up to no good.

This open-world game allows players to explore multiple areas around Metropolis as they complete both main missions and side-quests. Along the way, they’ll be able to play as both super hero and super villain characters, with each one having different special abilities. Plus, the game allows players to track down collectibles, purchase new outfits for their super heroes, and even use the game’s camera to snap photos that they can share on the game’s fictional social network. You can learn more about DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power in our review.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl
Rated E for Everyone

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl are updated remakes of the original Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl games that were released on Nintendo DS in 2006. The games take players to the Sinnoh region of the Pokemon universe, where they can battle and collect Pokemon, battle other trainers, compete in Gym battles, and more. While the games will be familiar to players who have experience with the original Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl feature a number of updates and quality-of-life improvements. For instance, after competing in a Pokemon battle, every pocket monster on the player’s team will receive experience points, even if they didn’t participate in the battle.

The games also feature an upgraded Underground area called the Grand Underground, a park called Ramanas Park where players can encounter Legendary Pokemon, and more. You can learn more about Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl in our previous coverage.

Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Racers
Rated E for Everyone

This kart-racing game for preschoolers is inspired by the Nick Jr. show Blaze and the Monster Machines. The game allows littles (and adults) to race as seven different characters, including Blaze, Crusher, Pickle, Darington, Zeg, Starla, Stripes, and Watts. Kids can race on their own against computer-controlled opponents in the game’s Adventure and Quick Race modes, and they can also race against friends and family in the same room through the Play with Friends mode, which supports up to four players.

While racing, players can collect wrenches that allow them to trigger their vehicle’s special ability (each vehicle has a different one). Plus, the game’s loading screens feature STEM facts that teach littles about topics like “Force,” “Recycling,” and more. Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Racers isn’t as complicated as kart-racing games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (which is also a wonderful game), but it’s a great option for very young players. You can learn more about Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Racers in our review.

Game Builder Garage
Rated E for Everyone

This educational game teaches kids (and adults) how to create video games by connecting talking blocks called Nodon, which each have different functions. As a couple of examples, the “Stick” Nodon represents the analog stick on a video game controller, while the “Person” Nodon represents the character players will move around in a game. If players connect the Stick and Person Nodons, they will allow their character to move around in the game they create (this is a simple example, but players will have the freedom to create much more complicated builds as they become comfortable with the game’s tools).

Game Builder Garage teaches players about video game development and visual programming through seven lesson packages that allow them to build seven standalone games (for instance, one is inspired by the game of “Tag”). Once players become comfortable with the game’s lessons and features, they can freely create their own games from scratch. Players can share the games they create with other players online, and they can also download and play games created by other people (each user-created game has a special code that players will need to enter to play it — you can’t browse user-created games in a catalog).

Game Builder Garage isn’t a traditional video game, and that means it won’t appeal to everyone. But if your kids have expressed an interest in creating their own video games, we recommend checking it out. You can learn more about Game Builder Garage in our review.

My Friend Peppa Pig
Rated E for Everyone

My Friend Peppa Pig is more of a virtual toy than a traditional video game, but that’s not a bad thing! Designed for preschoolers, My Friend Peppa Pig allows players to create their own animal character and explore Peppa’s world alongside Peppa and her family. Kids can visit Peppa’s house, Potato City, Granny and Grandpa’s house, the beach and more, where they can complete a variety of simple and wholesome activities, such as playing dress-up, helping Grandpa Pig in his garden, splashing in mud puddles, and building a sandcastle.

To be especially clear, My Friend Peppa Pig likely won’t appeal to older kids, teens, or adults, but if you have a very young gamer in your life (who also happens to love Peppa Pig), we recommend checking this one out! You can learn more about My Friend Peppa Pig in our review.

Metroid Dread
Rated T for Teen

It’s been a while since Samus Aran docked her spaceship on our screens, but thankfully, her latest 2D outing is her slickest yet. After a scouting party of robots mysteriously vanishes on the planet ZDR, the renowned bounty hunter heads there to investigate. This is a Metroid game of course, which means things quickly go amiss. Samus soon finds herself stalked by the very machines she came to find.

You’ll need to run and hide, but Metroid Dread won’t make you feel powerless. Over the course of its 10+ hour playtime, Samus will amass a wealth of satisfying traversal and combat abilities to unleash. Nintendo’s bounty hunter has never looked cooler, either, thanks to stylish animations, flashy boss takedowns, and narrative cutscenes.

While Dread does a fantastic job of guiding you through its labyrinthine maps, Samus’ mission is far from easy. Expect seriously tough boss fights and demanding platforming challenges if you want to collect all of the items hidden across ZDR. Metroid Dread is one of the best new offerings for the Switch, but players will need to be up for the challenge it presents.

Disclosure: SuperParent received Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, Lost Words: Beyond the Page, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond, Pokemon Shining Pearl, Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Racers, Game Builder Garage, and My Friend Peppa Pig for coverage purposes. Our coverage remains objective.

Brandy Berthelson and Henry Stenhouse contributed to this article.

Top image © Evrymmnt / Adobe Stock

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