Best Nintendo Switch Wacky Physics Games 1
Image: Nintendo Life

Comedy has evolved a lot over the centuries and millennia, but one particular comedic mainstay has passed the test of time over and over again: Slapstick. It turns out that civilisation, no matter how advanced, will always appreciate a good pratfall, or even something as simple as a human being moving in a way that human beings aren't supposed to. We're all just complicated upright monkeys, at the end of the day.

And so, in honour of the humble-yet-hilarious form of comedy that is slapstick, we've assembled the very finest physical comedy games that the Nintendo Switch has to offer. "Wacky Physics" is its own genre of games, usually to do with either intentionally frustrating controls, ragdoll characters that feel like piloting a mech made of jelly, or physics simulation dials turned up to 11.

If you're a fan of slapstick — and of course you are, you're an alive human — make sure to check out these games!

Gang Beasts (Switch eShop)

In the Party Game Hall of Fame, Gang Beasts is one of the OG big dogs, alongside Nidhogg, Jackbox, and Overcooked. Gang Beasts is a chaotic, wonky physics brawler that relies on the utter incomp-itude of its players to create mirth and merriment, and much like a massive chocolate cake or a puppy, it's always been a huge success whenever we've pulled it out at parties.

Most matches end because people struggle to keep their jellyboys upright, let alone managing to punch anyone else off a ferris wheel. The winner is often, by default, the only person who didn't trip over their own feet — but that doesn't make it any less fun in Local Play, because the fun is the chaos. It's more about laughing at the ridiculous wiggling bodies and their ineffectual floppy headbutts than it is about the skill required to actually be good at the game, and that's fine by us.

Phogs! (Switch eShop)

What do you get if you take one part Push Me Pull You, one part Noby Noby Boy, one part CatDog and a weirdly large helping of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons? Depending on which parts you take, you'll either end up with a tale of fraternal love and body horror, or you'll end up with Phogs: a game in which you play, simultaneously, as both halves of a two-headed dogsnake.

Phogs is a genuine dose of unbridled joy in a weird, physics-y, dog-tube package. It's hard to play this game without having a huge, goofy smile on your face. The Switch version has some minor to major issues here and there, but it rarely slows down the momentum of the puzzle-solving, dog-wiggling gameplay – this is another brilliant co-op experience for Nintendo's system.

Human: Fall Flat (Switch eShop)

It has been said that the essence of comedy is tragedy plus time. A good-natured pratfall here and there is enough to brighten up anyone's day, but when you play the role of both the audience and the victim of said pratfall, things get a little more complicated.

Developer No Brakes has created an experience where physical comedy is inevitable, where a bumbling idiot is forced to solve complex physics puzzles, and trying to keep control of it all is the real challenge. Human Fall Flat throws away the classic banana peel, insisting on the comedic virtues of cargo ships, wrecking balls, and coal furnaces in its place.

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The Stretchers (Switch eShop)

The Stretchers is hilarious. Tarsier's comedy co-op puzzler is a big, bright blast of ludicrously OTT ragdoll physics-based slapstick that sees you and a friend – you can play solo but two is the sweet spot here – take control of a pair of wibbly-wobbly paramedics and their Crazy Taxi-style ambulance as you race around Greenhorn Island saving dizzies from the nefarious plans of Captain Brain, who's been knocking locals into a state of mental confusion in a bizarre attempt to exact revenge on you and your rescue team.

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (Switch eShop)

This immensely popular wobbly experience might be something you've never heard of, but you're very much the minority — it has almost 100,000 positive reviews on Steam, and has sold well over 3m units, having become a surprise snowball success back in 2019.

It's a brilliant game for slapstick-appreciating adults, but it's even better with kids. Fling your ragdoll army at enemies and watch as they flippity-flop all over the place, like playing toy soldiers but so, so stupid. With a ton of free updates, TABS is a squillion times better than it was in 2019. You just gotta try it.

World of Goo (Switch eShop)

At its squishy centre, World of Goo is a physics-based puzzle game with an unusual amount of heart. In each of its nearly 50 levels you'll have some sentient goo balls and a goal to reach — usually a pipe that needs to suck up a certain amount of the little blobs — with free reign over how to get there. Dragging goos in range of their friends will see them auto-connect and then harden, allowing you to create extensive — and often slightly off-kilter — goo structures with the little guys.

This game is a true classic, and it's revered for good reason. It's instantly accessible but with plenty of depth; it's paced out perfectly, with a steady stream of new tricks and techniques to learn; and its puzzles can be solved with forward-thinking, quick reflexes or a mixture of both.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Switch eShop)

You are an octopus stuffed into a suit, and your family — wife and two kids, somehow — have no idea. And you want to keep it that way, which means manoeuvring yourself around your daily tasks in a way that is as un-octopedal as possible.

While some tasks such as weeding the garden or making coffee might sound easy enough, performing these tasks in your octopine form is very far from straightforward, because controlling your character is one of the most unique but also divisive aspects of Octodad. Operating each limb independently, you'll use a combination of the left and right trigger to raise or lower your 'legs', the sticks to move your arms and R to grab / let go of highlighted objects. It's janky, chaotic, and unpredictable, much like trying to wrestle an actual octopus into an actual suit — but that's where the humour comes from.

Surgeon Simulator CPR (Switch eShop)

This operation isn’t going well. It was meant to be a ‘simple’ heart transplant. Take the old ticker out, pop in the new one. Easy. This isn’t brain surgery after all (well, not yet, at least). Unfortunately, we’ve smashed the patient’s ribcage open with a hammer and pulled their lungs right out their chest like fleshy luggage. Unfortunately, we’ve knocked the new heart on the floor, so we’ve popped in a nearby bottle of fizzy pop instead and casually flipped the rapidly perishing subject the bird with our gore-soaked fingers.

This is Surgeon Simulator CPR in a bloody, self-contained nutshell; it's a gore-soaked combination of unwieldy motion controls, sharp implements and a series of unfortunate patients too drugged to really put up much protest. With an extra helping of local co-op shenanigans, this isn't an easy game to play, but it sure is a hilarious one.

Goat Simulator: The GOATY (Switch eShop)

Goat Simulator: The GOATY is the kind of game you'll either get or you won't. It's either a hilarious way to kill time and affect some form of skill amid the chaos, or it's just a jumped up joke that's outlived the laughter.

So what exactly is Goat Simulator? Well, you control a goat (shock horror) that runs around various locales causing as much wanton destruction as it's possible for one four-legged beast to unleash. You can build up speed and headbutt scenery and people by holding 'ZR', jump with 'B', flip your body by holding 'ZL' and moving the left analog stick and grab onto things with your tongue via 'Y'. Yes, it sounds stupid, and it is stupid, but that's kind of the point.

Untitled Goose Game (Switch eShop)

For a game that sees you controlling waterfowl and doesn't feature any robots, guns or tortured subplots, it's incredible how much attention Untitled Goose Game has garnered since it was revealed way back in October 2017. Thanks to its unique visual style, whimsical setting and instantly relatable protagonist, House House's sophomore title captured the hearts and minds of all that saw it.

Oh, in case you somehow missed it — you're a goose. A very naughty goose. And you're here to cause chaos in the tiny village, of course. HONK.

As you tick off tasks, Untitled Goose Game's sublime interface and fully-realised world really come to the forefront; your pesky winged avatar is a real joy to control, and thanks to some convincing and robust physics, objects react just as you'd expect them to – balls roll down gentle inclines, while solid items stack upon one another fairly reliably (ideal when a challenge which requires you to weigh down a set of scales, for example).

Part Time UFO (Switch eShop)

In Part Time UFO, you are a little sentient UFO who finds itself on Earth looking for work. After it helps a farmer load some crates onto the back of a truck, the farmer gives it a magazine with a bunch of part-time job ads in it. These form the game’s stages, and it’s up to Jobski (that's you) to take on each of the jobs and carry out the tasks required in each one. Conveniently, all of the jobs available take advantage of Jobski’s unique skill: the ability to lower a large claw that can grab onto things.

Naturally, everything is physics-based, leading to a sort of cross between the brilliant Nintendo Badge Arcade app on the 3DS and something like World of Goo, the latter comparison especially coming into play when stages get more elaborate and you find yourself trying to stack multiple objects on top of each other or trying to place them on a seesaw-like area where you have to make sure weight is distributed evenly.