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Nintendo Switch  header logo

Go Vacation Switch review - More of a weekend in Wales than a round-the-world cruise

For: Switch

Tip your waiters

Product: Go Vacation | Publisher: Bandai Namco | Format: Switch | Genre: Party/ mini- games | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Go Vacation Switch, thumbnail 1
Go Vacation is not a good game. We can skirt around the issue as much as we like, but before long we'll hit that conclusion - it's a bit of a damp squib.

It's full of uninspired minigames that you've played better versions of before, its graphics aren't exactly up to the usual Switch standard, and, frankly, it's just a bit dull.

And yet there's a little bit of magic to Go Vacation that can't be ignored. Grab a friend and suddenly it becomes a relaxing frolic around a variety of locations, with plenty of opportunities for making your own fun in ways the game didn't really intend.

Don't forget your passport

Go Vacation kicks off with you creating your character or importing your Mii, giving them some cool threads to wear, and then heading off to Kawawii Island.

The island is open to explore however you see fit, though for a sense of structure the game will tell you which order to complete the minigames. Following its rules unlocks new areas of the island to explore and new items to play with, so it's worth sticking with it in the long run.

Go Vacation ATV Racing

Minigames include ATV racing, surfboard competitions, dog-sledding, skiing, synchronised sky dives, and many, many more. And they're all just a bit rubbish.

Surfboarding, for example, has you riding a giant wave to build up a meter, then swinging your Joy-Con to jump up, do some spins, and do the same thing over and over for a few minutes.

Then there's volleyball, a two-button affair with no direct control where your AI partners will do most of the work, making you wonder why you bothered.

Participation trophy

Indeed, you don't really need to try in any of these games. Go Vacation is more than happy for you to suck at everything you do - so long as you give things a go, it still counts as a win.

And in some ways, that's actually a mark in the game's favour. This isn't a game about winners and losers, trophies and medals, anything like that. This is relaxing, silly fun for everyone.

You can do things the way the game tells you to - or you can razz about on an ATV and try and hit huge jumps you spot in the distance.

Go Vacation Group Photo

You can even rope in AI friends to hang out with you, both in the overworld and in minigames, and watch as they attempt to kill themselves on jetskis for your amusement. You can even get a dog to follow you about, which is just silly and wonderful to watch.

Bring along a real-life friend and the opportunities for dumb antics increase exponentially - there's no greater joy than seeing which of you can annoy the locals more by attempting to mow them down on a bike, for example.

1 star on TripAdvisor

Taken at face value, Go Vacation isn't a good game. It's ugly, a little clunky, and the intended gameplay isn't all that fun.

But as a stupid sandbox to mess around in with friends, it actually ticks all the boxes. The open world has plenty of nooks and crannies to get lost in, and having another player involved means you can share the unfortunate misery that accompanies some of the minigames.

If you were hoping for a truly great game, then you're going to be disappointed. But if you just want some relaxing, slightly mad fun to kill an hour or so when you've no idea what else to do, Go Vacation is a surprisingly enjoyable time waster.
Go Vacation Switch review - More of a weekend in Wales than a round-the-world cruise
Reviewer photo
Ric Cowley | 4 August 2018
Go Vacation is just like a real holiday - if you go off and do your own thing rather than following the signposts, it's surprisingly enjoyable
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