Super Beat Sports was a no-brainer for me. I love rhythm games generally, and Rhythm Heaven Megamix is one of the best games on any platform I've ever played, so when Harmonix revealed that it would be bringing a tuned up version of Super Beat Sports to the Nintendo Switch my heart leapt. Another rhythm game on Switch! Then I read in the game description that it only contained five mini-games, and my rhythm-loving heart resumed its normal beating rate. Going into this review I thought that $15 for five musical mini-games sounded a bit steep, but now I can tell you that you're actually getting more than your money's worth.
Super Beat Sports does indeed contain five unique mini-games, but you can think of those games like modes. The first game mode, for example, is "Whacky Bat." Whacky Bat is not a one-and-done experience, my friends. In fact, there are dozens of unique musical arrangements and challenges waiting for you in this mode, and they're all freaking delightful.
Your colorful and expressive little slugger will line up in a straight grassy lane across from a variety of groovy aliens, who will pitch you a baseball at varying speeds and patterns. You'll be busy swapping lanes and smacking those balls back in time with the music, and it all plays out as an insanely charming little show tune. Each Whacky Bat stage features its own unique song and enemy patterns, though you'll soon find there there are no "enemies" here at all. Everyone just really loves sports and music, and everything about Super Beat Sports caters to an energetic and upbeat player experience.
That's not to say that things can't get heated. One of the game modes, Rhythm Racket, is like a crazy mash-up of air hockey and Windjammers. Up to four players will have a net that they'll need to protect at all costs from opposing players. A ball is served into the ring and will bounce off of walls and obstacles in the center in time with the music, and players will have to sweep across their nets to intercept the ball and smack it back toward other players, or else into the mouths of aliens that you can control to spit the ball out in another direction, redirecting the momentum and keeping players guessing.
As far as I'm concerned, Rhythm Racket is up there with 'Sorry!' and 'Phase 10' as a game that can completely destroy friendships, but it's a ton of fun.
Buddy Ball and Net Ball are also two fantastic modes which also feature totally unique musical arrangements and challenges. Gobble Golf is definitely the weak link, and takes way too long to present a real challenge. Even at higher levels, it seems like a dull and passive game when compared to everything else on offer, and I don't think I'll be returning to it any time soon.
Super Beat Sports is an exemplary showcase for Nintendo's philosophy with the Switch. It's a game that can easily be played with a single Joy-Con, and every mode can be enjoyed with friends. Set up your Switch in tabletop mode, slide off both of the Joy-Con, and hand one to a friend: Super Beat Sports is something that you can share with your mates knowing that everyone will catch on and start having fun almost immediately.
My wife is a non-gamer -- she always has been -- but within five minutes we were both swapping lanes and working together to make music and smash home runs in Whacky Bat, and she was smiling the whole time. When I tell you that this game is worth far more than the $15 asking price, these are the types of memories that vindicate my confidence.
Do you love music? Do you like smiling? Super Beat Sports is a can't-miss eShop download that every Nintendo Switch owner should have in his or her library. It's an affordable and beautifully polished rhythm romp that can be enjoyed alone or with friends.
WWG's Score: 4 / 5