One of the most talked about games around the launch of the Nintendo Switch, but not necessarily in a good way, is the infamous 1-2-Switch. The debate of whether or not Nintendo should have bundled the game along with each Switch as a pack-in is something that a lot of people were talking about before March 3rd. The game has been referenced in being in the same spot as incredible Wii Sports for the Wii and the “like it or hate it” Nintendo Land for the Wii U.
1-2 Switch is essentially a game that is released at launch, that showcases the abilities of the new console. The only difference is just that 1-2-Switch was not a bundled game with the Nintendo Switch. It is completely optional for all Switch owners. Some have decided to skip over the title and others have made that dive for the separate purchase. Whether or not Nintendo should have bundled it is a story for another day. Right now, we are putting that all aside.
1-2-Switch is a weird game to review. Not because of the “Should have been bundled!” fiasco, but because it has a total of 28 mini games. Almost in the vein of Nintendo’s WarioWare franchise, but there are no levels or boss fights. Just 28 separate mini games that can be played whenever. There’s even the option to never play the ones you have no interest in. That choice, comes after you unlock all of them, which honestly, is not as bad as it sounds. When you first boot the game up, it shows you a selection of five mini-games. Once you play all five of those mini-games at least once, it unlocks the remaining 23 mini-games, along with Shuffle and Team Battle options. Shuffle being a random pick of which mini-game to play, and Team Battle being a mode for up to 20 players. In Team Battle each team plays mini-games to win chances to move their token up a board enough spaces to ultimately win the battle.
1-2-Switch is played with 2 players, and it usually requires a Joy-Con for each. Only a handful of games require one Joy-Con. For the most part, the games do a great job of utilizing the different features across the Joy-Con. There are a small handful that resort to simple remote waggling, very similar to a lot of the Wii era mini-games. Before each game there is a small live action video tutorial on what to do. All of them are skipped with a simple button press after you already know what you’re doing. 1-2-Switch has a small bit of depth as a party game, but none of the individual mini-games actually have any depth. Most are just simple mindless games that dish out the proper amount of enjoyment.
Table Tennis and Boxing stand out as heavy hitters from the bunch. A lot of them tell you to look into the other player’s eyes when playing, which can either be super funny or incredibly awkward, depending on how you view it. Nintendo has kept up with touting 1-2-Switch as a party game. I am not too sure if 1-2 Switch would actually hold up in a party type environment. The game requires you to be able to hear the TV or the actual tablet if in portable mode, for most of the mini-games. Most parties tend to be loud and have a lot going on, which may hinder your ability to play the game in a proper fashion. The mini-games are also very silly, which is not a downfall. I think that’s where the game shines the most, the overall goofiness of the entire package. 1-2-Switch may not be a good party game, but it fits very well into being a great family game.
Every other night since the Nintendo Switch launch, my wife, our three kids, and myself, have played 1-2-Switch. Every night that we do we have had an absolute blast. Laughing, playing, just flat out enjoying ourselves. Each one of us have a certain mini-game that we excel at and that no one else can trump us on. We take turns and allow a different person to pick the game each time. 1-2-Switch thrives in an environment like this. If there happens to be a laid back kind of party, I am sure that the game would be a lot of fun with the right people.
I am not saying that this game is a bad party game, it just may not be an every kind of party game, depending on the circumstances of said party. 1-2-Switch is a different kind of multiplayer game, but it excels at doing so. Showcasing the abilities of the Joy-Con very well and supplying laughs and enjoyment when needed. Overall it is a barebones game, but an enjoyable one. It thrives in certain areas, but fails in the same amount of areas elsewhere.
1-2-Switch milks the cow very hard.. but it was only able to get 6/10 glasses of milk.