Published on May 4th, 2024 | by Gareth Newnham

Grounded (Switch) Review

Grounded (Switch) Review Gareth Newnham

Summary: Another impossible port, best played elsewhere if you can.


The Good Life

Obsidian’s Grounded is basically Honey, I Shrunk The Kids crossed with Minecraft.

For aging hacks like myself, it is very much the kind of game we dreamed of when we were young, and the SNES and MegaDrive were considered bleeding-edge.

Since its release into early access on Xbox two years ago, Grounded has evolved into one of the best games on the system. It perfectly blends exploration, crafting, combat, and solid co-op with a superb setting that makes you wonder why no one had made it sooner.


Much like the aforementioned 1989 Family classic (Grounded is set in 1990), you take on the role of one of four kids that have been shrunk down to the size of your average borrower and wake up in a suburban garden that is probably yours.

As you slowly make sense of your surroundings you’ll go from scavenging for basic sustenance and lashing together simple tools to eventually fashioning armour, advanced gear and constructing a permanent base that allows you to become a master of all you survey.

While Grounded follows the general progression and escalation that your average survival game does in how you rise up from barely surviving to a Ray Mears impersonator, it wraps this around an engaging, smartly-paced story that sees you follow in the footsteps of the mysterious Dr. Tully (guess Szalinski would have been a bit too obvious), diving into spider nests, under the old oak tree and pushing through the undergrowth as you try to uncover why half the neighbourhood children have ended up smurf sized.

The Switch version comes with all the updates since the game’s launch, including the latest “Fully Yoked” content. In short, it’s a full-fat version of the game, with all that entails, including cross-play, a useful feature considering it’s also just dropped on PS5 and is a staple part of Xbox’s Game Pass service.

But is Grounded on Switch worth your time? Well, yes and no. If you can accept the usual restrictions that come with Switch ports, 30 FPS, stripped-back graphics (though they still hold up pretty well), and lengthy load times, you’ll most likely have a good time.

That being said, there are some technicall hitches present that may spoil your fun. The frame rate though stable in the initial stages, eventually slows to a crawl when you start building larger bases and more complex structures.

Though playing solo or with bots works well, playing online, a pretty core part of the experience, is incredibly flakey at the time of writing.

Final Thoughts

Grounded is a fantastic survival game with a compelling core gameplay loop and a marvelous retro aesthetic that is bound to scratch the nostalgic itch of gamers of a certain vintage.

On Switch, it’s another one of those seemingly impossible ports that feel magical just by its very existence. However, thanks to its technical issues and stripped-back presentation and performance, it’s hard to reccomend to anyone with another system they could play it on.

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