Play Pokemon Puzzle League When It Comes To Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo doesn’t do enough with its Nintendo Switch Online catalogue. While Game Pass is the talk of the town and the major selling point of getting an Xbox Series X/S, it’s more of a fleeting curiosity when it comes to the Switch. Nintendo has the richest history of the three major consoles on the market, but it isn’t doing enough with it. Pokemon Puzzle League is joining the system though, so at least there’s that.

I have no idea how to make a video game. As a journalist, I understand in the sweeping sense (which is why I know the rubbish NFT console is rubbish), but actually making them? Nah. No clue. That’s why I’m sure there are a multitude of issues with porting old games to the Switch. Still, the rollout has been very confusing. We’re moving through the ages slowly, now up to the N64, but that means a lot of great games in between N64 and now are left waiting.

There’s also the fact many games have been left out completely. The consoles currently on NSO have mammoth libraries and even if porting them all was a doddle, it’s infeasible that they all exist on the Switch for what is essentially a small subscriber bonus. Nintendo has never made NSO a core selling point for the Switch, unlike Xbox and Game Pass.

That makes sense when you consider that the Switch’s core market is casual players, and that most Nintendo exclusives are entirely offline single-player affairs. There are some exceptions – Switch Sports bucks that trend completely – but it’s easy to see why Nintendo has gone for amiibo and fancy docks over a Game Pass competitor.

This all adds up to one thing – zero Pokemon games. Despite Pokemon being the most successful media property in the world, none of the previous main line games are on Switch. Sword & Shield and Legends: Arceus, which both launched on the Switch in the first place, are the only options. Mario and Zelda, the two other series in Nintendo’s holy trinity, have several titles in the NSO library. Ditto Kirby, who’s one rung down on the ladder. Pokemon though is having to make do with spin-off titles.

I love Pokemon spin-offs, as I’ve written about before. But NSO still feels empty without the big guns. I’m sure once we move into the Game Boy era Pokemon will be right at the front of the queue, but Nintendo’s slow and methodical rollout (not even chronological, as the Game Boy predates the N64) is leaving Pokemon out in the cold. Pokemon Puzzle League is joining the system though, so at least there’s that.

Pokemon Puzzle League is just Panel de Pon in a Pokemon hat, but it’s like, a really nice Pokemon hat. Of course I’d rather have one of the proper Pokemon games on there, but at this stage, I’ll settle for whatever I can get.

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