1-2-Switch (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 08.03.2017

Review for 1-2-Switch on Nintendo Switch

The time when Nintendo was simply making game consoles belongs in the past, with the Wii marking the beginning of the company's heavy flirting with tech that enabled alternative gaming methods. As a result, instead of a new Mario instalment, it was sold along with Wii Sports, a title that was meant to showcase its capabilities. The Nintendo Switch is, by all means, an evolution of its predecessor, and as such, there's also a product available that can show the world what it can do. That product is 1-2-Switch, one that, for some strange reason, must be bought separately. Is that because it's more "heavy packed" than Wii Sports? Cubed3 finds out…

First things first: this is a party game, with no single-player option; therefore, give your friends a call, order some pizzas… and tell those cheapskates to pay for them - you are the one who paid for a brand new Nintendo Switch, after all! Ready? Cool. 1-2-Switch is a collection of mini-games that take advantage of the system's new bells and whistles, with the Joy-Con being at the centre of the action. Unlike Wii Sports, though, this actually requires players to stare at each other, as the - pleasantly - cringy live-action videos that play before a match are just on-screen "manuals" that explain the rules of each game.

Every single one is extremely simple, with Quick Draw being the easiest one to grasp. Players face each other, wait for the announcer to shout "Fire!," raise those Joy-Con as fast as possible, press the shoulder triggers to shoot… and then wait for the result. Other examples? In Boxing Gym the opponents follow the instructions of the "trainer" to do a hook, straight, or uppercut punch, in Telephone you place the controller on a surface and wait for the correct ringtone to pick it up and say "hello," while in Milk you… err, milk an imaginary udder… while staring deep into your best mate's eyes *shivers*

Screenshot for 1-2-Switch on Nintendo Switch

Most games revolve around the system's HD Rumble and gyroscope/accelerometer functions, with the first providing the necessary feedback, as in Soda Shake where a person must shake a vibrating "bottle" and pass it over before it explodes, while in Ball Count (oh, behave!) the players tilt the controller in order to guess how many marbles are "in" it before placing bets. There's a very small minority of mini-games that try something more original and, usually, not that successfully, as in Baby, where you must rock a crying infant (the whole Switch tablet) to sleep - the worst, and most creepy one in the collection, and one that killed off the paternal instincts of yours truly.

The real problem, however, is that not all games work as well as they should. The vibration and audio feedback works great while throwing and hitting balls in Baseball, or unlocking a safe in Safe Crack, but some, like Table Tennis, Sword Fight, and Air Guitar, for example, are not that accurate, and simply don't "feel" right, leading to a lot of clueless staring at the screen. Furthermore, the extreme simplicity of it all means that everything soon gets repetitive, something that could be avoided with a slightly higher complexity, like more things to do within a mini-game, additional difficulty settings, and, generally, more elaborate rules.

Screenshot for 1-2-Switch on Nintendo Switch

This justifies those who view 1-2-Switch as nothing more than a pricey tech demo and, indeed, it frequently feels as nothing more than that, with many amongst the available mini-games emphasising that even more - a small minority in this 28-large game collection, but it's a minority that sticks out, nonetheless. It's the 'pricey' bit that hurts the most, though. In offering it as a separate purchase, Nintendo has made a very bad move, as it is a title that should definitely be bundled along with the system.

Luckily, gameplay and non-gameplay flaws put aside, this is actually a pretty fun piece of software. The thing is, though, that it should not be experienced as a typical videogame, as it's a pretty weak one if viewed in such a way, since every single mini-game at hand is all about waving the Joy-Con around in some way. Simply put, 1-2-Switch is at its best when it gets ridiculous, and, most importantly, when the players start to get into a little bit (or a lot) of role-play. As an intermission screen puts it, "If you've got a cowboy hat, go grab it and put it on!"

Screenshot for 1-2-Switch on Nintendo Switch

Doing the Harry Potter in Wizard, or "running" to reach the target in Beach Flag are fine and all, but they cannot compare with watching your friend munching on a dozen sandwiches like a lunatic in Eating Contest, messing with your pal while trying to balance a rotating plate in Plate Spin, or having some fine dance off in… well, Dance Off. In other words, this is as fun as the available group of people wants it to be. Those who will just focus on winning or gaining high scores will lose all interest in a matter of hours, but a team that's willing to turn silliness to 11 will surely have a blast here.

It has to be mentioned once more: this won't entertain people on its own. Instead, those willing to play it must be ready to entertain themselves. You have to mimic Clint Eastwood when playing Quick Draw; you have to cat-walk and strike a pose in the most over-the-top fashion in Runaway; in Gorilla you must act like one, and, specifically, one that that tries to make a female ape fall in love with you; and, finally, when dancing in Dance Off, you must forget stupid things like points, accuracy, rhythm, and so, on - just grab the Joy-Con, and become the most ridiculous, Michael Jackson-imitating adult in the world! After all, if you want to dance properly, then grab Just Dance 2017 instead…

Screenshot for 1-2-Switch on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Yes, this is way too expensive; yes, it's in need of a decent amount of fine-tuning here and there; and yes, after getting a taste of a mini-game you have pretty much experienced everything it has to offer. However, while 1-2-Switch is not as good as it should be for a launch title, and although it gives a bitter tech demo aftertaste, it's hard to deny how fun it can be when gathering a bunch of friends ready to go bat-switch crazy with it.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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