My 7 year old nephew got a Nintendo Switch. What should he do with it?

Pretty simple, what should my 7 year old nephew (1st grade) do with his Nintendo Switch?

He’s obviously too young to play anything online.

I’m pretty naive when it comes to gaming and especially for kids.

Mario Kart is brilliant and has lots of tracks for individual use and it also has driver aids that can be turned on to help the little ones.

Animal Crossing and Minecraft are also perfect for younger gamers.

I handed my 3 year old grandson my switch back in 2017. I was just trying to keep him occupied for a little while, but he took to the game and was so good at it. So I got him his own copy of Zelda Breath of the Wild this Christmas. It was his favorite gift and he will play it as often as mom and dad will let him.

He likes the Mario games too.

Nintendo purposely built Nintendo Switch Online (the subscription service required for online play) to be kid-friendly. I can’t think of any games that have built-in voice chat, and even text messaging between users is impossible.

As for what he should play, just go down the list…

…and pick out any of the titles rated Everyone or Everyone 10+. Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Sonic Mania, Animal Crossing, Katamari Damacy, Minecraft, and Donkey Kong Country are all highlights for his age.

And then there’s hundreds of titles beyond that.

Animal crossing and minecraft both have a multiplayer version, where you do interact with other players. I’m more familiar with minecraft, where you can choose single player or multiplayer mode, and for multiplayer, you need to log on to a specific server where you can play with the other people who have been given access to that specific server. I hang out in minecraft with friends, and never run into anyone problematic, because the guy who owns the server has good taste.

Anyway, lots of kids play Minecraft with groups of friends on a server run by one of the parents. It’s no more dangerous than any other playdate with those kids.

Yes, worth mentioning that the online aspect of the Switch universe is very benign indeed. I’d have no fears if mine were still 7.
Also, one nice bonus is that when you sign up for the online services you get access to loads of classic NES/SNES games from days gone by and a lot of them are simple to grasp and perfect for youngsters.

Can’t go wrong with any of the Lego titles. They are all very well done and not horribly frustrating for a 7 year-old. They usually sell for a bit cheaper than the Mario titles. If he has a favorite franchise they probably have a lego game for it: Super Heroes, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, etc.

The Legend of Zelda series is perhaps the best video-game series of all-time, filled with great puzzles, battles, and lore.

Katamari Damacy is just plain goofy fun. I’d get that, too.

I play a lot of Minecraft with my own 7-year-old nephew. It’s great fun for children and adults, assuming you like building things. We set up a video call on our phones so we can talk as well.

I second both Karamari Damacy and Minecraft.

Katamari is funny, not very hard, and entertaining for children of all ages. Minecraft is infinite Legos, with monsters (you can turn them off.) It’s also a virtual reality where I’ve been hanging out with my friends during the pandemic, using discord for voice.

He’ll love Minecraft if he isn’t already playing it. Just about every 7 year old I know is addicted.

I believe Subnautica was either just released or is about to be released for the Switch. It has some genuinely scary (but not gory) parts but he’ll likely only see those if he plays through the story. Just swimming around with the fish and exploring in Subnautica is fun and visually breathtaking. It’s also a good game for you and his parents to play with him. Just turn off hunger and all the other needs to make it as easy as possible.

Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest games of all time.