One of the first games shown off back in January at the Nintendo Switch Presentation was 1-2 Switch, leading to many mixed reactions. The general consensus was that this was Nintendo’s next Wii Sports game: a simpler party game designed to test out the features of the console. Is this party game worth the $50, or should it have been an automatic pack-in for the console?
Let’s take a look.
There isn’t much to 1-2 Switch in terms of its layout when you really boil it down. You’ve got the title screen and the mini-game selection. When selecting a mini-game, it plays a skippable video showcasing how to play the game, before taking you to the “ready” screen, where each player has to hit L or R depending on their Joy-Con in order to start the game. This isn’t bad, though. The game is very neat, sleek, and to the point. There’s no skating around or fluff, aside from the humorous little video demos of each game.
The audio and narration within each game are very crisp, making it very easily heard and understood. In a loud party setting, the game may need to be turned up a bit loudly in order to hear the commands of each game, especially since you’re rarely looking at the TV screen.
Speaking of the TV screen (and by extension, the Switch screen), the sleek, minimalistic layout of each game is reflected in the display. Very little is shown on the screen, indicating that the players must really spend more time focusing on each other than on the screen. Observers have small flashy animations to look at for some games, such as in Wizard, where the magic beams bounce back and forth depending on which player is winning.
1-2 Switch makes heavy use of the Joy-Cons’ HD Rumble and motion technology. Nearly every game has players doing something different with the controllers, such as in Sword Fight, where you have to swing the controllers as if holding a sword, or Sneaky Dice, where your Joy-Con acts as a cup to hide and roll your dice within. There’s a fairly strong variety in the kind of games you’ll encounter with 1-2 Switch, which is indicated on the select screen by peppers in the bottom left corner. The more peppers on the game, the more “intensive” it is. There are some games that I feel are a tad bit…daring in its execution. Catching the sword in Samurai leaves me nervous that the player will clap the Joy-Con too hard, and possibly damage it.
Players are not restricted to having to pick individual games to play within 1-2 Switch. There’s a shuffle mode, which randomly selects a game. The shuffle is not mandatory, however, as if players are given something they’d rather not play, they can easily choose a different one. From my own experience with the game, we rarely played with the shuffle, as we were only really interested in about half of the games. We did play through all of them individually, though.
There are several games within 1-2 Switch that stand out to me as somewhat problematic. Shave in particular is what I find to be one of the harder games. Despite winning a few of the rounds that I played, the Joy-Con had significant trouble recognizing my motions to trace the face. Gorilla is another relatively problematic game, in my own opinion. The game instructs you to make the motions of beating your chest like a gorilla, however, only wants you to do so in the air. The game will actually alert you if the Joycon touches your chest at all. This game is listed as one of the more intensive games, but intensity does not equate to amount of fun behind it. From my own experience, I had an equal amount of fun from lower-impact games as higher-impact games.
On the upside, there are a surprising number of games that I think are done surprisingly well. Swordfight can last quite a while if both players are good at blocking hits. Boxing is a ton of fun to play against with a friend, especially if you’re with a group of friends that like to scream and shout as they “get in the zone” for a punching spree. Very surprisingly, I found myself enjoying the Baby game…but perhaps that’s because, in a challenge with friends, I somehow managed to get the fastest time to get the baby to fall asleep. Who knew that gaming would attempt to prepare you for realistic situations like that? For a game filled with a variety of wacky mini-games, there are some that hang right on the border of “wacky” and outright bizarre for me. I definitely have to argue that Baby and Milk are tied for the strangest mini-games in the entire game.
The variety of minigames in 1-2 Switch makes for a very interesting party setting, allowing for some great laughs with friends at the silly situations that unfold. Some games have great replay value and competitiveness, while others may only be played once or twice per party. The game is very sleek and clean, giving little to no fluff aside from the quirky demo videos for each mini-game. If you’re ever presented with the opportunity to play the game, I’d recommend trying it out with friends…however, I can’t say that it’s worth every Switch owner spending $50 for. I believe this game should have been a pack-in game to demo the features of the Joy-Cons. Aside from that, the game comes across as an instigator for social interaction as a party game, as I believe that very few people would ever pull this game out on a frequent basis to play with everyone they know.