In general, we’re giving 1-2-Switch a positive review, but it does come with a pretty hefty caveat, which you should probably take into account if you’re contemplating shelling out for the game. If you’re looking for something to play on a day-to-day basis then this just doesn’t fit the bill, because it’s ultimately a party game that only really works as a group multi-player. However, if you’re looking for a little nugget of fun that’s perfectly suited to group gaming for anyone and everyone then it’s about as good as it gets.
It essentially builds on the genius of Wii Sports, something the Wii U couldn’t quite do, and delivers 28 different mini games on the Nintendo Switch that are well suited to parties off all kinds with maybe the exception of the Conservative, pants and Orcs. Not all of them are great, but there’s more than enough entertainment to make it a decent game to roll out whenever you’ve got a good bunch of friends or family coming around for anything other than a wake.
The big difference, though, where 1-2-Switch is concerned, is that it creates a brand new concept in computer games where the action doesn’t require you to look at the screen. Instead, you face your opponent head on. That doesn’t sound like that much of a pleasure for gamers that have square eyes from the amount of console action that they’ve racked up over the years, but honestly, when it comes to a little social gathering it makes a big difference.
You start out with seven of the mini-games – Samurai Training, Quick Draw, Table Tennis, Copy Dance, Zen, Boxing Gym and Beach Flag – but as soon as you’ve given each of them a whirl, the remaining games unlock. It’s at this stage that things begin to get a bit more interesting, but if we’re being honest, Nintendo really doesn’t do itself any favours with the setup of the unlocking mechanic. If you didn’t know that there are more games hidden away, there are no prompts to let you know what you need to do to unlock them, which seems a bit dumb.
That aside, there are a lot of different types of games to choose from once you do open up the rest of the roster. There’s everything from the sporty simplicity of baseball baseball to the randomness of Milk, where you compete to see who can milk a cow fast enough. Other little gems include Gorilla, where you compete by pounding your chest either to the rhythm or as fast as you can; Eating Contest, where you take it in turns to chow down on as many sandwiches as you can; and Air Guitar, where you use the Joy Con to strum a guitar to the rhythm of the music.
Our favourite game is Sword Fight, which is about as close as you’re going to get to the joy of Jedi Knight training. Unlike Samurai Training, this is a freestyle game in which you swing the controller to attack your opponent and hold down the trigger to initiate a block against a counter stroke. It can get pretty frenetic, so you might want to make sure you’ve got plenty of room and you don’t get in too close to each other.
Overall, it’s a whole lot of fun. If you want to be critical, you can look at 1-2-Switch as a demo set of games for the capabilities of the Joy Con controllers, similar to Wii Sports or NintendoLand, and that maybe it should have come bundled with the Nintendo Switch. However, when you factor in the variety and depth of the content, it sort of makes the game much more stand-alone and worth the price tag, especially if you’re looking to add a little more fun to your party calendar. It may not come close to the complete immersion that The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild provides, but it does what it was designed to do very well.
1-2-Switch review: 3.5/5