While Nintendo have had fantastic console demonstrations in the past, it seems their current idea of a “party pleaser” has fallen a bit flat. Wii had its god tier Wii Sports, and then another great entry for the introduction of the Wiimote + with Wii Sports Resorts, hell even the Wii U’s Nintendoland was a great time. Sadly, 1-2-Switch hardly lives up to the legacy handed down.
This may all seem a little melodramatic for a simple party game, but when you think of 1-2-Switch as the game that was meant to show off everything the Nintendo Switch has, it is a severe let down. If you’ve ever played a title in the Warioware series, you’ll have a general idea of what 1-2-Switch entails.
But unlike Warioware, they’re not coming at you hard and fast. After a leisurely tutorial video (which must be skipped every time) you’re brought to a splash screen where you can play your 30 second (at most) minigame, and then it’s back to the title screen to choose one of the other 28. You’ll not want to play many of these more than a few times, unless you want to show a friend or family member.
I suppose I should talk about what some of these minigames are. Ball Count would probably be my favourite, just for the absolute novelty. The game is simple enough; count how many balls are in the box. To go about this however, you must pay attention to the HD Rumble. It’s a weird experience feeling small “balls” “rolling” down the JoyCon and “bumping” into each other at the end. Quotation marks are necessary due to the remarkable (after playing) fact that there are indeed no balls inside the JoyCon. If this truly is the full scope of the HD Rumble, colour me impressed, if not a little disappointed at the limitations of the implementation.
Of course, there are many other mediocre minigames in the collection, ranging from literally just turning the JoyCon around without trembling, to the exact same game of Quick Draw but with fake callouts. The only redeeming factors for some is the weirdness. How would you like to eat 20 hotdogs using only a barely working-as-intended IR sensor? Or maybe even…milk a cow?
1-2-Switch is all about getting players away from the TV and interacting with each other directly, which I must admit it can do quite well. Just like a game of DnD, many minigames require a lot of player input, whether that be for dance poses in Copy Dance, or passing around a fizzy bottle in the form of a JoyCon. The real fun is the interactions with other players, making them flinch in Fake Draw or Samurai Training, or even doubt their winning roll in Sneaky Dice.
But that’s assuming you get anyone to play it. Aimed at a casual audience, 1-2-Switch just doesn’t hold attention enough to keep players interested and happy. I always say that if you need to be drunk to enjoy something, then it’s not very enjoyable, but I can’t even sit here and say that the attention span of the tipsy would be enough to keep anyone playing. Good luck finding 20 people willing to sit around and watch others run on the spot for a night’s entertainment.
While some of 1-2-Switch’s 28 minigames may be interesting and fun the first few times through, the game lacks any real depth, and that’s saying something for a party game. Demonstrating console features and hardware must be done perfectly if you’re wanting to move your product, but selling the demo separately at an exorbitant price for the included content is fucking unbelievable.