One of the Nintendo DS and 3DS‘s most popular features was Download Play, the ability to play locally with your friends using just one copy of a select number of games. Titles such as New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart DS, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon all allowed you to play multiplayer by transferring data directly from one console to another. Right now, Download Play is not supported on Nintendo Switch, but Bandai Namco has got around that in a rather unique way.
In the upcoming game compilation Namco Museum, up to four players (two on each Switch console) can play Pac-Man Vs. using just one copy of the game. According to Bandai Namco, the Switch owner who doesn’t own Namco Museum simply downloads a free Eshop app called Pac-Man Vs. (Free Multiplayer-only Version). The publisher confirmed to GameSpot that this allows the two Switch consoles to play together locally, without internet connection.
While this isn’t quite as elegant as the system-level implementation seen on the DS and 3DS, it shows at least that a solution is possible. Hopefully, this will lead to more Switch games incorporating features that allow local play on multiple consoles using just one copy of a game. Of course, the Switch’s two Joy-Cons allow another form of local multiplayer on the same Switch console in some games, and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe uses this to great effect. However, fewer buttons being available on one Joy-Con than two means some other titles might be limited in functionality, as is seen in FIFA 18 on Switch.
Namco Museum launches on July 28 in Europe and North America, priced at $30. It also includes a number of other games, complete with online leaderboards (which Pac-Man Vs. does not support). You can see a trailer above and a full list of announced games below:
- Dig Dug
- Galaga ’88
- Pac-Man Vs.
- Rolling Thunder
- Rolling Thunder 2
- Sky Kid
- Tank Force
- The Tower of Druaga