Switch lite with limited hand mobility
April 8, 2020 4:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm slowly regaining mobility after a severe break in my left arm and wrist. I had just bought a Switch Lite before the injury, and I am new to video games (besides super mario bros c. 1988). I can press buttons and sorta move the joystick around, but not smoothly or dexterously. Is there anything that might work? Or a truly enticing game that will help me push forward despite some frustration?

My thumb is the big problem. I can somewhat compensate with other fingers on the joystick thing, but my other fingers are also just beginning to get back in the swing of things, so it just cant rely on fast slick left-handed maneuvering.

Also, I tried Animal Crossing and it is not my cup of tea. Otherwise I'm open to any suggestions, even if its something that's great and will be hard for me, but which I can strive for as I get better.

I really want to give video games a fair shake, and this seems like a good time to try (if I can work around this injury.) I suspect I'd like weird aesthetically-darker games, whatever that means, but open to literally anything.

Bonus: is there a sci-fi-ish game that could work?

I know this might be a shot in the dark, but let's see.

posted by thegreatfleecircus to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could try a menu driven game where movement has no time-pressure or high dexterity requirements.

There are dozens of RPGs on the Switch, if you enjoy that format of game a few of those might be OK for you, aesthetically and ergonomically.
posted by Bangaioh at 5:26 AM on April 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Into The Breach is a turn based sci-fi strategy game that's pretty well liked.
posted by dobi at 5:46 AM on April 8, 2020

The Switch is a lot of things, but ergonomic is definitely not one of them, especially with the joy-cons mounted (you don't have a choice with the Lite).

You might do better with detached joy-cons but I'm not sure if the Lite even supports extra controllers.
posted by neckro23 at 9:01 AM on April 8, 2020

You know, it wouldn't hurt to try Hollow Knight. It sounds like it hits your aesthetics, and while it's pretty hard, it's also forgiving, in that you can try as many times as you want with very little friction (no Game Over).
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:00 AM on April 8, 2020

weird aesthetically-darker games

You might like Night in the Woods? Other than optional mini-games, there's little to no quick-reflex action required - it's mostly walking around and talking to people to find out what's going on. I think I might describe it more as "melancholy" and vaguely creepy than outright "dark," but either way it's a fun and interesting game.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:11 AM on April 8, 2020

Unfortunately, among the big three, Nintendo has the worst record on accessibility, both for mobility impairments and other disabilities. For example, both the XBox and PS4 allow the user to remap the controller at the system level, while the Switch just doesn't.

You can pair external controllers with the Switch Lite, so you might want to see if there's another controller that works better for you. I really like the Switch Pro Controller, although 8bitdo has controllers in a variety of shapes and sizes.

If you're willing to do a little extra work customizing your setup, the 8bitdo SN30 Pro+ allows you to remap the controller buttons, which might help you find a configuration that works for your preferred game style.
posted by neither here nor there at 10:14 AM on April 8, 2020

As for games, you can't go wrong with Nintendo's first partly games, especially The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, or Pokemon Sword/Shield. I'd also recommend checking out turn-based games like Fire Emblem: Three Houses or the old Square RPGs like Final Fantasy VII.

Also, Untitled Goose Game.

If you're not sure what type of gameplay you might like, you can type in the name of any game on YouTube and see many examples of people playing that game.
posted by neither here nor there at 10:20 AM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

I liked Octopath Traveler (played on PC, but it was on Switch first), it's an old-school style JRPG, totally turn-based. There's enough strategy in the combat system to require some attention, but not so much that you need to be versed in the genre or anything. Plenty of videos of people playing it on youtube before you commit your money.
posted by mrgoat at 11:29 AM on April 8, 2020

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle might be good for you. It's a turn-based tactics game where you control three characters on a grid based map.

Here's a Wired review.
posted by knapah at 12:01 PM on April 8, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks so much all, very appreciated. I'll check out all these options.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 6:55 PM on April 8, 2020

Conduct Together hardly uses the joystick. It’s also on sale for .01!
posted by christiehawk at 12:22 AM on April 9, 2020

Definitely check out The Big Journey. While you can use the joysticks to move your spherical cat around the game world, you can also set it to use the accelerometer and just...actually tilt the Switch to move. Make sure to disable the VERY VIGOROUS rumble mode, though.
posted by Vervain at 1:55 AM on April 9, 2020

I don't know if you're up for buying a pair of joycons, but there are adapters to make them one-handed:

These 3D-printed Switch adapters allow one-handed gamers to play Zelda

I did buy one of these off Etsy, so that I could do things like eat or take notes while playing, but the adapter I got seems to be designed for smaller hands.
posted by meowzilla at 9:57 PM on April 9, 2020

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