Christmas is coming and if your tank doesn’t lose aggro Santa might drop a Nintendo Switch. 2017’s genre-shaking mobile powerhouse is still one of the gifts to get this holiday season. If you want your Switch to outlast the yuletide cheer then it might be worth considering some protection, and I don’t mean stacking up STR. Instead, Snakebyte has crafted the Tough Kit, a new way to shield your Switch.
With the day to day rigmarole that many of us Nintendo Switch owners put out devices through, it is no surprise to see hard cases, soft slips, and carry bags all dedicated to keeping the world away from Nintendo’s favorite new toy. In October 2018, Snakebyte unleashed a different approach to protecting your platform, and we got our clumsy paws on it.
Taking inspiration from mobile platforms, Snakebyte takes a rather different approach to protection. Instead of just enveloping your Nintendo Switch while at rest and using a carry case design, the Tough Kit aims to protect the Switch from its most dangerous adversary. That is you. The Tough Kit consists of several elements. The largest individual component is the Tough Case, a single sized plastic and polycarbonate container, which surrounds the Nintendo Switch. This Container makes up the mainstay of the package, and the Tough Case simply exudes endurance. The thick plastic cover comes with a five-year warranty and latches onto the Switch like a Facehugger to an unfortunate Weyland corp employee. Slipping the Switch and attached Joycon controllers into this new housing is not particularly difficult and, despite its heft, the Tough Case has enough flex to make this part of the operation a breeze.
The Tough Case comes in two variants, pink and black. I chose to install the pink variant and suffice to say it will now be hard to misplace my device. While my glowing pink platform currently screams for attention, the black instance provides a much more subdued iteration of the Tough Case. Irrespective of color coordination, the Tough Case does carry some loud ruggedized styling and a decent set of angular hand grips carved into the rear of this case. The aggressive shape and feel of the Tough Case is a typical feature of other gaming peripherals and will not be to everyone’s taste, but it does do a great job of keeping your Switch safe.
While my Switch now feels like it could take easily survive any inadvertent fall, it is noticeably heavier. Gameplay is also restricted to handheld mode while the Tough Case is connected. However, this is an understandable trade-off. The Tough Case is otherwise solid and well thought out, with adequate ventilation and easy enough access to all the relevant ports.
In addition to this Tough Case, the Tough Kit comes with a few other additions. Two colored caps for the Switch’s analog sticks which seem to do little more than protect them from my dirty fingers, a Snakebyte branded screen wipe, and a tempered glass screen protector. Called the Screen Shield Pro, this touch screen add-on adds the same level of protection you would expect for the front face of a top end iPhone. The Tempered glass has a real heft to it and does not impede the day to day function of the Nintendo Switch. Directly after applying the Shield Screen Pro I even managed to drop my Nintendo Switch. While the impact cracked the very edge of the Shield Screen, my Switch display remains immaculate. Not a test I intended to carry out, but proof that the package seems to work.
Finally, The Tough Kit carries a minuscule carry case as part of this package. Designed to store four Nintendo Switch game cartridges, the Game Case opens on either side to reveal two snug fittings for your games. As with the Tough Case, this is well constructed although I do worry it will be far easier to lose. The Game Case is tiny and with is likely to rattle around in the bottom of my bag. While it will protect my games, I can’t help but wish that it came with a loophole so it could be latched onto a lanyard.
In the end, the Tough Kit is not unique. This type of add-on exists for almost every model of phone on the market. However, it is the first time I’ve seen it Switch sized. The Tough Kit has already proven its worth to me and as I throw my Nintendo Switch into the bottom of my bag, I finally have some assurance that it will come out safe and sound. A peripheral like the Tough Kit is an investment, and at PRICE it provides great all-around protection for Switch owners from Switch owners. If your loved ones are getting a Nintendo Switch this holiday, you can find out more at Snakebyte’s official website.