Nintendo just dropped 7 NES curios on Switch Online for the holiday weekend

Nintendo just dropped 7 NES curios on Switch Online for the holiday weekend

No plans for the holiday weekend? An insatiable thirst for retro gaming? Nintendo’s got your back. In the early hours of July 4, the company added no less than seven Nintendo Entertainment System games to the Nintendo Switch Online service, and it’s as eclectic a list as you could wish for.

This far into the process of building out the NES collection on Switch Online — it’s been there since the launch of the service in September 2018 — Nintendo is naturally having to reach into some of the more obscure corners of the 8-bit console’s catalog. Indeed, it seems to be leaning into this esoteric flavor with this selection of “rare and surprising side-scrolling adventures, intergalactic shoot-’em-ups and challenging edutainment,” in Nintendo’s own words.

The seven games added include Urban Champion, a 1986 2D street brawler; 1986’s Donkey Kong Jr. Math, which blends vine-swinging with math puzzles; minor 1991 Rare game Solar Jetman; and vehicular combat in the form of 1985’s Mach Rider and 1989’s speedboat shooter Cobra Triangle. (Ah, the days when “speedboat shooter” was a recognizable game genre.)

Of most interest to retro enthusiasts will be 1986’s The Mystery of Atlantis (known as Atlantis no Nazo in Japan), a side-scrolling platformer and maze exploration game by Sunsoft. Considered a Mario Bros.-beater by its makers, it was never released outside Japan, and is quite collectable.

Then there’s Golf, the most famous game in the selection, which was about as ubiquitous as a sports game could get in 1990. Golf was programmed by none other than Satoru Iwata, who later became Nintendo’s president, and was a beloved figure both inside the company and among its fans. A playable version of Golf was originally hidden in the source code of the Switch operating system as a tribute to Iwata, who died in 2015. But it was tricky to access even before it was removed in 2017. Now Iwata’s game is much easier to enjoy.

The NES collection is included in Nintendo Switch Online’s basic tier, alongside SNES and Game Boy titles. To play Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy Advance games, you need to pay extra for the Expansion Pack tier.