One of the very few Nintendo Switch launch games that isn’t an eShop exclusive, 1-2 Switch is a Warioware-esque collection of mini-games aimed at showing off how much fun can be had with the Joy-Con controllers. There are 28 mini-games in total, all unlocked as soon as you’ve dabbled with the opening five options.
It’s aimed at being a great party game and in some ways it is. But then there’s also the idea that you’ve got to pay $49.99/£39.99 in order to have the privilege.
The best thing about 1-2 Switch is that it’s regularly overtly sexual with the gestures you have to perform and the intro videos you watch before you play. Whether it’s the soda bottle you’ve got to shake just shy of the point it bursts, the burrito you’ve got to speed chomp or the lady gorilla you’ve got to woo, there’s plenty of fun and giggles to be had with 1-2 Switch.
But it’s also fantastic at showing off the various elements of the Joy-Con controllers. There are two games in particular that really demonstrate how sensitive and nuanced the vibration element is. One sees you rotating the Joy-Con to guess how many balls are lurking inside using the vibrations alone, while another has you rotating the Joy-Con feeling for subtle vibration changes as you attempt to crack a safe.
But mostly 1-2 Switch is about instant multiplayer fun. It’s about challenging your friends to a magical duel, a quick draw fight cowboy-style or just a seriously intense game of virtual table tennis. And it’s this that 1-2 Switch really excels at.
There are various ways to play. There’s a shuffle mode, where you’re simply tasked with playing randomly chosen mini-games, or you can simply choose which game to play yourself. The most successful, though, is the Team Mode. Here you grab some buddies and two teams go head-to-head, where winning games lets you spin the wheel and move along a board. The first team to reach the end wins and there are some hilarious pitfalls to endure along the way.
It’s a brilliant way to experience the various mini-games contained within 1-2 Switch and have a hell of a lot of fun with a bigger group.
Some games aren’t as successful as others
The actual variety of the 1-2 Switch games is actually very impressive too. One minute you’ll be having a dance off or sashaying your way down the catwalk, the next you’ll be a samurai in training or having an epic sword fight.
That’s not to say that they’re all entirely successful, though. For one, this multiplayer-focused game actually contains two single-player games that don’t really work. The weirdest of them all is the baby game. You dock the Joy-Con controllers on the Switch and then rock the whole thing like a baby. You’ve got to bounce it until it stops crying and then try to set it down on the floor without waking the thing up again.
All the while you’re doing this, an absolutely terrifyingly weird baby face is howling on the screen. Why you’d want to watch your friends do that is totally beyond us.
Thankfully, the weird games are in the minority and it’s more about enjoying the silliness of the other mini-games on offer.
A question of price
But, even after several raucous nights playing 1-2 Switch, we still find ourselves asking why it wasn’t the free game bundled in with the console.
Both the Wii and the Wii U came bundled with a free game that aimed to show off the unique features of the hardware. The Wii came with the excellent Wii Sports, which used the new Wii remotes to play a variety of sports from tennis to bowling. The Wii U, on the other hand, came with Nintendo Land. This was a collection of 12 Nintendo-themed mini-games pitched as attractions at a fictional theme park.
They were great games to have as soon as you unpack your brand new console, especially as they were both not your average home games console.
The same could be said of the Nintendo Switch. This hybrid handheld/console may be a little confusing to some at first and unless you play 1-2 Switch you might not quite get how awesome the Joy-Con controllers can be.
The $50/£40 price tag also gets a little annoying in that you initially only get access to five or so games at first, including Quick Draw and Cow Milking. Nintendo could have easily made this a free to start title, giving players these games for free and offering the rest as a one-off purchase. Giving such a taster would make much more sense and would no doubt encourage more sales because players would know what they’re getting.
Of course, there may well be a 1-2 Switch demo available on the Switch’s eShop, but until the service goes live on March 3 we won’t know.
Is 1-2 Switch good?
There’s no denying that when you get a group of mates together with pizza and beer, 1-2 Switch is an absolute blast. There’s plenty of creativity to be had in the way you play each mini-game, tonnes of fodder for irking your most competitive friends and lots of drinking games to invent.
But there’s just no shaking the idea that not many people will be forking out that huge asking price to play 1-2 Switch and that seems like a shame. And those that do might well feel like the novelty wears off incredibly quickly.
1-2 Switch will be released worldwide on March 3, 2017 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.