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Game Builder Garage

Learn to make games from the minds at Nintendo
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Try Game Builder Garage for free!

Can't wait to build your first game? Download the demo now to enjoy Lesson 1: Tag Showdown, where you'll create a one-on-one action game from start to finish and learn the basics of programming.

Try for free!

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Learn to make games from the minds at Nintendo

Ever wanted to make your own 3D platformer, high-speed racing game, or side-scrolling alien blaster? Bring your ideas to life with Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch, a fun way to make your own games.

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Learn the basics of programming logic step-by-step in a fun and interactive way, then use what you’ve learned to create your own games and share them with the world!

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Meet the Nodon

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These delightful characters are called Nodon. Each one has its own personality and role to play inside your game. Whether it’s getting a character to jump when you hit a button, setting the mood with some funky music, or cranking up the gravity to 11, there’s a Nodon for that!

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Pair Nodon together and they’ll team up to bring your game to life. Let’s get to know some of them, shall we?

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Button Nodon

If buttons are getting bashed, this excitable chap’s got it covered. Bop, bop, bop!

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Game-Screen Nodon

This little darling controls the game’s camera and is here to guarantee a simply stunning production!

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Counter Nodon

Need to count the number of apples collected? You can count on this creature of logic to count that for you!

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Retry Nodon

Oh dear… Ever wish you could have a do-over? That’s this old timer’s speciality!

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Timer Nodon

Your partner in precision and punctuality will ensure your game runs like clockwork.

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Effect Nodon

Need to shake things up a wee bit? Your pyrotechnic pal here’s on the case. BOOM!

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Tilt Nodon

Niiiice and easy…this level-headed fellow can tell when the console or Joy-Con are being tilted.

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NOT Nodon

Need to flip the situation? This little contrarian is NOT happy to help. PSYCH!

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There are lots more Nodon waiting to meet you, so check out the in-game Nodopedia to find out who they are and what they do.

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Learn by doing!

The dotty duo of Bob and Alice are here to take you step-by-step from blank canvas to playable game in easy-to-follow interactive lessons. Starting off with the absolute basics, you’ll move on to more advanced concepts as you meet more Nodon and power up your programming prowess!

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Lessons

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

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Tag Showdown

One-on-one tag action. Get comfortable with programming basics.

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On A Roll

Rock and roll at full tilt! Get a new perspective on making games.

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Alien Blaster

Destroy swarms of aliens in a space battle! See how you can add a little self-expression to the game.

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Risky Run

Make side-scrolling action with no fuss. Learn to connect various objects.

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Mystery Room

A puzzling room...with hidden treasure. Challenge your mind in three dimensions.

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Thrill Racer

Burn rubber in player vs computer competition. Take pole position as a programmer.

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Super Person World

A fully-fledged 3D action game. Use your game-building skills to the max.

Try out your creation after every step and experiment with your finished game to add some personal touches.

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Hmm…what if I do…THIS?

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And…voilà!

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Hungry for more? Go over concepts you’ve already learned and dive even deeper.

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Think you know your stuff? Put your newfound skills to the test in checkpoint puzzles along the way!

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Unleash your creativity!

Put everything you’ve learned into practice as you create your own unique games in the Free Programming mode. Start from scratch or tinker with one of the creations you made during the interactive lessons. Give it a personal touch using the editing tools to add drawings and music to your masterpiece. You can even connect multiple games together to create something bigger – the possibilities are endless!

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Parents FAQ

Thinking of getting Game Builder Garage for your child? Take a look at our FAQ to see answers to your most common questions about this game.

Q: What does my child need to play Game Builder Garage?

A: They’ll need a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite console (sold separately) and a copy of the Game Builder Garage software, which can be purchased from select retailers or Nintendo eShop. Please note: 995 MB or more of free memory space is required in order to store this software on your console.

Certain features in Free Programming mode that use the Joy-Con’s HD rumble, IR Motion Camera, motion sensors and SL/SR Buttons are not available when playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite alone. Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) are required to use these features.

Q: Can my child try this game before buying it?

A: Yes, a free demo is available to download from Nintendo eShop, which allows players to try out the first lesson “Tag Showdown”.

Q: What control methods are supported?

A: Game Builder Garage can be played with a pair of Joy-Con controllers or a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller in TV mode, or a combination of Joy-Con controllers and touch screen in handheld mode. When playing in TV mode, a compatible USB mouse (sold separately) can be connected to the Nintendo Switch dock and used to control the cursor while creating games. A mouse is not required to use the software and cannot be used to play games or if you are playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite console.

Q: What age is Game Builder Garage suitable for?

A: Anyone from the age of seven and upwards can enjoy Game Builder Garage. While the software provides the player with many visual cues on screen, a certain level of reading ability is required to fully enjoy the game. Game Builder Garage is designed so it can be enjoyed alone or by parents and children together.

Q: Will Game Builder Garage teach my child to program games?

A: In Game Builder Garage, players learn how to make games from the minds at Nintendo. Players do not learn an existing programming language, rather the game uses a cast of colourful characters called “Nodon”, combined with a visual style of programming, to teach the fundamental concepts of video game creation in a fun and approachable way. Completing the lessons gives players the skills required to bring their own game ideas to life in the Free Programming mode.

Q: What’s a Nodon?

A: Nodon (pictured above) are mysterious creatures who live inside Game Builder Garage and empower your child to build their own games from scratch, simply by connecting Nodon together following the in-game instructions. There are dozens of Nodon in Game Builder Garage, each with their own personality and role to play inside your child’s game.

Q: What if my child doesn’t understand how to use a Nodon?

A: The Nodon themselves guide players during play in a fun and conversational way. Players can refer to the in-game Nodopedia to get information on each Nodon and how they can be used.

Q: How many lessons are there?

A: There are seven interactive lessons, teaching players how to make games in a variety of genres, including a 3D platforming game, a puzzle game, a racing game and more. These lessons are designed to be fun and accessible; each lesson is divided into 7-10 steps and there are checkpoints in between lessons for players to test their knowledge by solving small puzzles.

Q: How long does each in-game lesson last? Can my child take breaks during lessons?

A: Players are free to learn at their own pace, and the time required to complete each lesson will vary from player to player. The average lesson lasts from around 40 to 90 minutes. Progress is saved after each step, meaning your child can take a break and come back to finish the lesson later.

Q: Does my child need to complete all the lessons before they can try building a game of their own?

A: Free Programming mode is unlocked after completing the first lesson “Tag Showdown”, so players can jump into building their own games from that point onwards. By completing further lessons, players will gain a better understanding of the fundamental concepts that Game Builder Garage teaches to help them make the most of the tools available in the Free Programming mode.

Q: What if my child forgets how to do something shown in the lessons?

A: Lessons can be revisited at any time and played through at the player’s own pace. Players can also refer to Alice’s Guide, a set of tutorials that give more information on the Nodon used in the lessons, or the Nodopedia, which gives details about all the different Nodon and how they can be used.

Q: Is my child limited to creating something similar to the games shown in the lessons?

A: In the Free Programming mode, players can use what they’ve learned to bring their ideas to life as well as access a wider selection of Nodon. The possibilities are not limited to the games or genres of game featured in the lessons. Players can also continue to work on games they created in the interactive lessons to add features, try new ideas and expand their creations.

Q: Can my child share their created games online or play games made by others?

A: Yes, with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, players can share their created games online and download games made by other players. To share a game, players must provide the recipient with either the Game ID or their Programmer ID, which are unique 10-digit codes generated by the software..

Q: What if my child wants to remove a game they uploaded?

A: Players can delete a shared game at any time so that others won’t be able to receive it. However, copies that others have already downloaded won’t be deleted.

Q: If someone plays a game my child created, can they leave comments and feedback for them within Game Builder Garage?

A: No. Players can download others’ creations and play them, but it is not possible to leave comments or feedback on another player’s creation within Game Builder Garage. Players can look at the programming in the games they download, so in this way it is possible for players to learn from and inspire one another with their creations.

Q: How can I ensure that my child is not exposed to inappropriate games made by other players?

A: Nintendo Switch Online members can find and download games created by friends and family by searching for a Game ID or Programmer ID they have shared. There is no feature for browsing uploaded creations. Using the Nintendo Switch parental controls, adults can manage the content their children can access, as well as their ability to communicate with others.

Q: Can I report an inappropriate game to Nintendo?

A: Yes. If players encounter any objectionable content, they can easily report it by taking the following steps:

  1. Pause the game you wish to report using the – Button
  2. Press the R Button to report the game

Reports of violations will be sent to Nintendo, not to the person that shared the game. Games that violate the terms of the Nintendo Account Agreement will be removed.

Q: How many created games can be saved?

A: There are a total of 64 slots for players to save games, whether created themselves or downloaded from other players.

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Retailers

Australia

New Zealand

Game specifications
Release date
11/06/2021
Genre
Education, Training
No. of players
Up to 8 players
Game file size
1GB
Publisher
Nintendo
Supported languages
Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Dutch, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional)
Supported play modes
TV mode
Tabletop mode
Handheld mode

Software compatibility and play experience may differ on Nintendo Switch Lite. Additional accessories may be required (sold separately). See support for details.

Nintendo Switch Online
This game supports the following features:
Notices

Internet connection required during online play. To use online services, you must create a Nintendo Account and accept the related agreement. The Nintendo Account Privacy Policy applies. Some online services may not be available in all countries. Online play requires paid online membership. Find out more about the paid membership subscription.

A paid membership to Nintendo Switch Online is required to use the Save Data Cloud. Find out more about the paid membership subscription.

Local multiplayer requires one console and one copy of the software per player.
© Nintendo