Review: Family Vacation: California (Nintendo Switch)

Family Vacation: California is a straightforward but upbeat hidden object game. Nothing gloomy, tragic, or supernatural here. You’ll be searching for items throughout the course of your holiday.

The family of four is going to the west coast, thanks to the mom winning tickets to the ‘Price is Nice’ game show. You’ll start at home, as each member of the family packs. Soon you’ll move onto areas such as airports, your hotel, and an amusement park, to name but a few, before finally arriving at the show. Minor spoiler, it’s just more hidden object gameplay. Although it’s not bad, it’s certainly not great either.

Family Vacation: California
Family Vacation: California

The game is non-linear in parts where you can select where to go next. That said, the gameplay is very simplistic. Family Vacation: California has you search for items off a list. You’ll also zoom in on small areas and find pieces to assemble objects on occasion, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen time and again if you’ve played games like this. At least the areas you visit are fresh, as the story doesn’t allow for returning locales.

It took my wife and me less than three hours to see the credits roll. If you skip the puzzles, this game will clock in even shorter. However, it could also be longer if you’re searching solo. Is the brevity worth $9.99? Probably not, no. The game is entertaining enough while it lasts, but the genre has far better offerings on the Switch.

Family Vacation: California
Family Vacation: California

The game’s “Bright, colorful graphics” are nearly ten years old. They are fine, but of course, nothing to write home about. Family Vacation: California has you take pictures at various times to remember the trip. It’s a mildly entertaining visual addition.

Kids should enjoy Family Vacation: California well enough. Parents who grab it on sale can take confidence that it’s not objectionable, just rather forgettable. But older players might be turned off by its simplicity and shorter length relative to its launch price.

Family Vacation: California
Family Vacation: California

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