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Yes, Nintendo Switch games really do taste bad on purpose

Lick's awakening.

Console launches are a confusing time. Rumours can spread, and without widespread access to the hardware it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction.

Example - this week, people started licking Switch games to mythbust a curious report: that its tiny game cartridges taste so revoltingly bad it could only be deliberate.

There were doubters - I mean, it's a piece of plastic, it's not going to taste of strawberries. Then there are those who tried it and who instantly spat out the game in disgust.

"I can report the label has a slightly acrid taste," Eurogamer editor Oli Welsh confirmed to me. "The plastic has no flavour."

Don't try this at home. Or do. It won't harm you.

And that should have been that. Right?


Nintendo has now confirmed it - the disgusting taste of Switch cartridges is very real and deliberate.

"To avoid the possibility of accidental ingestion, keep the game card away from young children," a Nintendo spokesperson said (thanks, Kotaku).

"A bittering agent (Denatonium Benzoate) has also been applied to the game card. This bittering agent is non-toxic."

You may not be familiar with the chemical compound's name, but remember that stuff parents put on their kids' fingernails to stop them biting them? It's the same thing.

Eurogamer news editor and parent Wesley Yin-Poole just told me: "I think this is a good idea."

From how I remember it, this stuff tasted of paint-stripper. So, if that's your thing, lick away?

Image credit: Stuff.tv

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About the Author
Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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