Go Vacation – Nintendo Switch – Review

Game: Go Vacation
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: 3+ (EU) / E (US)
Price: £39.99/€49,99/$49,99
Release Date: 27/07/2018

Overall grade:  I like it a lot!

Go Vacation is a mini game collection and holiday simulator. It was developed and published by Bandai Namco for the Wii in 2011. It just released for the Nintendo Switch on 27th of July this year. Retailing for $69.95 in Australia.


A Great Family Game

I got the Wii version a bit over a year ago and enjoyed it. As it allowed me to go onto a beach without feeling sick. Although the only person who I could convince to play with me was my little sister. Before the Switch version was announced she would ask if she could play it with me. After it was announced I made her hold on until the Switch release. Now I can bring it over to her house anytime.

You can play with up to three other players locally in split screen. This can even be done in tabletop mode, not that I would do it as some activities are hard enough to see in with three plus players. You can play in handheld or with pro-controllers, dual joy-cons with optional motion control mode and single joy-cons. With the single joy-cons motion controls are required. There is also an option for four Switch systems to connect locally, with one player each. Although I don’t know how many people will be able to use that mode.

Kawawii Island

Kawawii Island has four resorts, Marine, Snow, City and Mountain. This mini game collection is presented in these resorts. They are somewhat large areas you can traverse in, take pictures in, jump on people’s heads on and so on. You can travel to the mini games via different kinds of gear, or by catching the resort’s transport. I definitely suggest to stay on a piece of gear as walking is very slow. There are treasure chests scattered across each of them. You can play as your Mii but they can’t wear hats or glasses. I also think they look weird compared to everyone else. The game avatars are chosen from presets in different age ranges, although you can change height and build.

The activities range from Tennis and Volleyball, to Hang-gliding and Kayaking, Clay Shooting and Whack-A-Mole. Most activities are exclusive to the particular resort they are in. As are types of gear, such as roller skates for the City and marine bikes for the Marine Resort. The racing type games have different modes such as sprints, circuits, coin collecting or slaloming. Some mini games are obviously better than others but there are fifty different ones so it’s not hard to find your favorites, mine is Kayaking. Any activity you’ve tried can be played straight from the Main Menu instead of loading into a resort. After playing an activity once you can play the higher difficulties and different modes. Some activities are co-operative although most are competitive. Turns have to be taken for a few of them.


Stamp Dash

When first playing through the game you are guided through a Stamp Dash, where they ask you to complete certain activities. Doing this Stamp Dash will unlock the other resorts, new features and a villa. The villa is a large house that you can decorate in different styles and furniture you unlock with your keys. The keys are awarded from leveling up which is done through completing challenges and collecting points. In the villa area you can also wear any outfit you like, as they are normally exclusive to their resort. No wearing bikinis in the snow, unfortunately. You can customise your gear colour and patterns, some people have said that there’s new patterns.

The Stamp Dash is fairly short, but there are about eighty challenges to complete. There are also wild animal photos to take. You have to push in the left stick to open camera mode to do this. At some point you unlock visiting the resorts at sunset or night which opens different photo locations and animal appearances. There is plenty to do in the game. Playing the game on different days gives you daily gifts that give you awards such as more dog breeds or different outfits.


Travel Agency

Playing with others can have a bit of a problem as when one person picks an activity everyone will teleport to it in five seconds, this includes for photos or talking to NPCs. It also happens when changing clothes. Not counting the activities they will teleport back to roughly where they were. There might be some slight arguments though when someone wants to play a game and the others want to keep driving around. All activities have loading screens to them, which give you hints. The resorts themselves once loaded in are almost entirely free of loading screens. An exception being traveling to the surfing area in the Marine Resort.

There is the Dog Expert who can give you a dog that follows you around and poses in your photos. There are different ones or you can create your own when starting up the game.

Depending on how many players you have with you, you can collect buddies. These are random characters or even your Mii that follow you around. Mine had terrible fashion sense. They do participate as members in some of the co-operative activities but often are told to stay behind like your dog.


Online Features

There are new online features you unlock after finishing the Stamp Dash. These are challenges against other people’s ghost data in any activity. If you’re connected to your online account it seems a random activity you succeeded in will be uploaded as a challenge for others. Your avatar will appear in their game and play “against” them. Because of these online features you have to register your character to your profile. This is one of the first games I’ve seen on Switch to log multiple users in at once and this allows you to keep your own game progress. I do find this an issue though, as some people have accounts for different regions and might not have enough room for guests.

Your villa data will also be uploaded and shared to other players, I’ve only seen my little sister’s so far.

The website also says that other new features are Marine and Mountain fishing, more animals to photograph and presents dropped by planes. The presents are just points, and I didn’t play enough on the Wii to notice the fishing was new.


Others have noted that at least two activities are missing, Dancing and Sword Fighting. I’m not sure if any others are missing as I didn’t play this as much on the Wii as I have on the Switch already. It’s been said that any requiring the sensor bar have been taken. I feel this is disappointing as they could have remade the games for the Switch. The controls are good, however there still isn’t a right stick camera control. As it was previously controlled with the Wii nunchuck, you have to press L and look with the left stick. You can also recenter the camera by pressing L. This can be pretty annoying and feels even more outdated now. The performance runs fine as it should, even with multiple players.

I love this game and it’s fun to just mess around in. Normally I play this with other people but I found it very enjoyable on my own too. With this I’ll be able to form some nice gaming memories with my sister, in between the arguments about activities. Go Vacation is obviously best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Even if you challenge yourself with all the activities you’re unlikely to be burnt out. On the Nintendo Switch you can now take your virtual holiday with you. Some people might consider just picking up the wii version now it’s cheaper again. However I think the portability is a big plus for a family game like this and there is some additional content. I like it a lot!

I like it a lot!


  1. Great review!

    And I like this format –
    Game: Go Vacation
    System: Nintendo Switch
    Developer: Bandai Namco
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Age Rating: 3+ (EU) / E (US)
    Price: £39.99/€49,99/$49,99
    Release Date: 27/07/2018

    Overall grade: I like it a lot!

    But could you add in there number of players?

    1. Thanks! Like I said it’s 1-4 players even in tabletop mode. Only one player handheld but that can connect to other systems locally with the game for up to four people.

  2. I love the switch port , but for me it was missing one key feature which was the golden keys. They added so much more to the exploration part of the game and for me , made the island feel more alive(i don’t know why). The daily orienteering doesn’t make up for this missing feature and i wish it was still in the switch version on top of everything new

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