Review: Game Builder Garage

Luigi's Mansion 3 Featured

A game for the Switch that stands on the border between serious tool and fun, learn how to build video games with Game Builder Garage! Use the tips of pixels Bob and Alice and learn how to use Nodons, programming functions with a lot of personality in this colorful game, which allows you to learn the basics of a complex craft while having fun.

Cover image Game Builder Garage Split ScreenRelease date: June 11, 2021

Developed by:
Nintendo
Published by:
Nintendo
Available on:
Nintendo Switch

Type of game:
programming, educational, tool.
Average duration of a game:
1-2 h

Estimate of the total duration of the game:
8-9 h for tutorials, infinite afterwards, if players want to continue.

Themes:
programming, video games

Business model:
Need to buy the game once.

Number of players:
1 player per console.

Available in physical format (with download required) or in digital format (download).

Possible configurations of the Nintendo Switch:

Nintendo Switch Handheld modeNintendo Switch Tabletop modeNintendo Switch TV Mode
Age3+ 7+ 12+16+18+
New players
Intermediate players
Experienced players
Game Builder Garage is very approachable for kids ten years old and up, but is probably a little too complex for younger ones.
Difficulty
Jauge Vert Pale Ecran Partage

The game is not competitive and takes the form of a long, very clear tutorial. Some may have difficulty understanding computer logic.

Violence, fear, nudity?
Jauge Vert Pale Ecran Partage

The characters in the game are approachable, adorable and say nothing shocking. The objective of the game is to teach players how video game programming works.

It is theoretically possible to find inappropriate content by digging into the content created by users. Popular user content should not be problematic, but caution is in order for those who would prefer to avoid this kind of content.

Language level used
Jauge Vert Pale Ecran Partage

Game Builder Garage offers a popularized vocabulary and very understandable to ordinary mortals. Some concepts and terms might be a little more complex for younger people.

Positive message
Jauge Verte Ecran Partage

Game Builder Garage has the noble goal of learning how video game programming works. This encourages children to be creative and learn a complex and fascinating profession! The message from Game Builder Garage is very positive.

Minimum reading level required
Red Orange Gauge

Ask to read. Despite the popularization effort, some terms may be more difficult to understand.

Additional costs ?
Jauge Verte Ecran Partage

The game does not contain any additional costs.

Minimum level of execution on the controller required
Jauge Vert Pale Ecran Partage

The controls are simple and intuitive, thanks in part to the ability to switch between the programming screen and the game screen without loading time.

The difficulty of running the game lies entirely in the number of maneuvers necessary for everything to be well programmed. This process is much less complex than it would be with a professional tool, thanks to all of Nintendo’s efforts to make everything as simple and understandable as possible.

Principle of the game

Game Builder Garage turns video game programming into a game. With the help of characters Bob and Alice and Nodons (personified programming functions), the player learns to use programmatic logic and use the functions to build games. Everything is visualized with a clear and understandable interface. Creating links between functions is intuitive. The game takes the form of a series of tutorials (which is, in itself, the game) from 8 to 9 hours, during which the player learns to manipulate the functions and solves problems with the tools at his disposal.

Game Builder Garage is a toolkit, which allows players, young and old, to have fun learning to master the tools. Afterwards, the player is invited to use the tools to build his own games.

Local game modes

The game is played entirely alone. The player can, however, share the games he has created and download the games of others.

Conclusion

In a few years, it will be common to hear workers in the video game industry say ” It all started when I first played Game Builder Garage! ” The game is a bit expensive ($39.99) and its tools are relatively limited in terms of complexity, but it allows players of all ages to comfortably discover the basics of design and programming. With its intuitive interface, fun characters and well-crafted tutorials, Game Builder Garage teaches us how to program games and encourages us to embark on this fascinating world.

More information about the game: Official page of the game on the Nintendo website

About Cédric Duchaineau

Actuellement étudiant à la maîtrise en communication, jeux vidéo et ludification, Cédric est toujours curieux d'en apprendre plus sur les jeux vidéo, les communautés et les réalités de notre monde numérique.

View all posts by Cédric Duchaineau

Leave a Reply