Individual Images Credit: Nintendo/House House; but the collage was done by me.
Back to the topic at hand, starting from great to the very best, here are six game reccomendations, all of which I have played or have witnessed my little brother play, or have heard nothing but good things about! While you may not be able to go to a store and get them, you could always either get them shipped or just download on the eShop; most of these (except for the last one) are cheaper than AAA $60 titles, and also most don't take up that much storage space, so you could even download them without having to go out and find a MicroSD card. Many even feature local co-op for your family members stuck indoors with you, so this list is indeed, in all ways, very "quarantine-proof"!
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker- $29
Want an adorable, affordable game that lets you solve micro-puzzles in relaxing mini-garden environments playing as Toad? This is the one. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a port (with some extra Super Mario Odyssey-themed levels plus local multiplayer) of the amazing Wii U game by the same name that came out years back, and was also given a port version on the 3DS, if that's your preference. While it is short to beat at only a few hours long, there is plenty of replayability as each and every semi-platforming 3D square level is full of secrets and collectibles, as well as missions that will have you playing again and again to try to get 100% completion (which in this game, unlike most other games you'll ever play, is actually a reasonable and obtainable accomplishment). It is literally the opposite of stressful, and even includes 2-player local co-op where one person plays as Captain Toad and the other is Toadette, which would be great for letting your younger siblings who are stuck in your house with you play. The best thing is, you don't even need to have extra controllers, since each player only requires one Joy-Con, and the Switch by default comes with two of them! It may not be directly "vacation-themed", but then again it does feature multiple relaxing puzzles set in varying environments inspired by Japanese microgardens... so I definitely think that counts. As for my experience with this game? I'm almost completely done with it (I'm on the last few levels, but I haven't played it for a while), but it is fun enough to always be enjoyable and relaxing whenever I pick it up.
Untitled Goose Game- $19
Have you ever had an inexplicable urge deep inside you, to do nothing but be a terrible human being and annoy others and wreak havoc and slowly dismantle society? Then you have, as what others have called, a game that is comparable to "Metal Gear with a goose". No, it's not incredibly gruesome or stressful; quite the opposite! Untitled Goose Game is a game where you play as a very naughty goose thrown into a peaceful village set in the English countryside; like an ideal "children's TV show" village. All you are equipped with is a beak to honk with, grab things with, and your own problem-solving skills to complete multiple objectives to unravel a plot that the goose has inside the town. You will do everything from throwing rakes into lakes to disguising yourself as a statue and locking a gardener inside his garden in a 2-hour timespan that it takes to beat the game. However, even then the play value doesn't end, since certain objectives in the quasi-3D space (with a 2D artstyle) are only obtainable once you "beat" the game. It is a way to unwind, relax, and just be a terrible human being... or, um, goose. It even features a simultaneously soothing and entertaining "dyamic soundtrack" which features real recorded piano notes that are trigerred by certain actions and almost seem to respond perfectly to what you're doing at the moment; it's hard to explain, but it is amazing. For an indie game done by a studio that made this as their first game, and for it to be an eShop chart-topping success and viral meme in just the span of a few days (it released on the same day as the Area 51 "raid" event and somehow outsold a brand new Zelda remake game, Link's Awakening, on the eShop in the same 24 hour time period!) is all quite impressive, which proves the game is quite worth it. I mean, from all that I've played with it, being a mischievous and expressionless goose just doesn't get old. I hope that they add DLC that gives you the ability to play local co-op multiplayer wher eyou can play as other birds or animals, like chickens, pigeons, flamingos, penguins, ducks, goats, and the most infamously loud and annoying invader of them all: North America's most-maligned bird, the Canadian Goose!
Super Mario Odyssey- $49
Had an exciting trip planned to an interesting location, but now? Want to play the latest sandbox Mario 64-style 3D Mario platformer that is the second-best game on the Switch, right after Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Well, you'll be glad to know that as the name suggests, this game is all about Mario journeying around the world in several real-life inspired kingdoms on a massive quest to save Peach from Bowser yet again! Run, jump, toss your animate hat Cappy to possess enemies, creatures, and other inanimate objects in the most fun platformer on the Switch! Movement feels so fluid and intuitive and the level design and art direction is another example of Nintendo creativity at its finest. Each individual kingdom does really feel unique and as if you're going on a big vacation with all the different atmospheres and even gift shop areas and a brochure as a map! This was a must-play from the start, and allowed the Switch to start off so successful in 2017 with its Zelda + Mario one-two punch. Regardless of what games you like or who you are, if you don't play this as a Switch owner or otherwise, you are missing out.
The Touryst- $19
Image Credit: Shin'en Multimedia via The Verge's "The Touryst is a bite-sized, open-world vacation game"
I recently downloaded this game, just yesterday, but my little brother was the one who picked it specifically, having wanted it for quite a while. So as soon as he got it, he used our new Animal Crossing edition island-themed Switch (read this post to find out how he got it!: http://www.arcabaran.com/2020/03/trying-to-host-virtual-party-for-onurs.html) to play a game that is literally explicitly about being a tourist on an island vacation and doing vacationy things. It has also been called one of the best-looking Switch games visually with its peformance and the level of detail and realism in its blocky 8-bit arty voxel style, due to the developer Shin'en Multimedia specifically developing it for the Switch exclusively. Onur played it for a couple hours already between yesterday and tomorrow, and he seems to have been really loving it. I can't speak on behalf of the game, so here's a paragraph of him talking about it! Take it away, Onur!
Hey ya'll, Onix here, and I just came back from playing 3 hours of this epic game where a tourist roams around a collection of islands, looking for the perfect vacation spot. In the process, he runs into a ton of ancient and mysterious ruins that keep making you wonder: Is this game really worth 20 packs of Shrek stickers? Well, after playing a lot of it, I can confirm that it is worth your peso and is a short-yet-sweet open-world game that features the main character possessing fish in order to unlock a dungeon. With terrible graphics, terrible game play, and not fun-to-explore areas, this game is terrible... (that was a joke). Don't get cooked, get your virtual vacations booked!
Thanks, Onur! He has his own blog, too, right here: https://omegaonix.blogspot.com/
Animal Crossing: New Horizons- $59
What a surprise, am I right? A game about getting a getaway package to a deserted island full of adorable animal residents where you can actually interact with your neighbors, go outside, shop, and explore nature and decorate a village is already a hit within days and was highly-anticipated in the midst of this coronavirus quarantine business. I haven't played the game yet, since my order hasn't shipped yet (so sad), but all the reviews seem to be glowing aside from some complaints about the one-island-per-Switch local multiplayer debacle. Plus, one of the great things about this series is that as a virtual life simulator, time passes in game the same way it does in real life, and it follows the same calendar, seasons, and daytime cycle that you do (with north/south hemisphere options, if you'd prefer to mostly see nightime or live in South America, Africa, Australia, or Antarctica, I guess). This is worth it and will be a good pastime, most likely. I have spoken.
That's it for this post! See you guys in my next post tomorrow! Stay healthy, wash your hands, and practice social distance. Good luck, and may the Force be with us all. This is Arca, signing off.