Game Builder Garage is an interactive teaching game where you learn how to make games yourself. It's designed to be approachable but also offers enough complexity to challenge older players.
Unlike other game makers, this offers in-depth lessons to take you from the basics to advanced techniques. The 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 lead you through your lessons. But also, they each offer 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.
Interacting with Game Builder Garage works differently for different families. Some find the holstered controllers work well, while others opt for the handheld mode to be able to access the touch screen. Here are the different options you have:
- 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.
This game has been rated PEGI 7. It features some example games with mild violence that lack any apparent harm or injury to human-like and fantasy characters.
"The pre-loaded games available in the application feature unrealistic violence towards human-like and fantasy characters. Reactions to violence are always the same, with characters disappearing in a puff of smoke and stars when defeated."
As the VSC rating board outline, it's worth noting that "players are able to make their own games using the tools in the application. These games can then be shared with other players around the world. The contents of these user-made games have not been rated by PEGI and could contain material that is not covered by the rating awarded to the application itself."
You can only access other people's games if they are friends on your Nintendo system and you know them in the real world to access the code for their game.
Other Game Making Games
Here's a list we created with the National Video Game Museum of video games that get you making your own games: