When Nintendo showed off 1-2-Switch, it was naturally met with skepticism. This would be seen as the tech demo for the Switch as Wii Sports served the Wii. However, 1-2-Switch will not be bundled with the system and will be sold as a separate title at launch. This sparked debate on whether that it should have been part of the system to show off the capabilities that the Switch has to offer. Needless to say, 1-2-Switch does uphold its promise, just don’t expect anything dramatic in the scale of things.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Let it be clear now, this is no Wii Sports. While it works as advertised in demonstrating the capabilities of the hardware, 1-2-Switch is more of a party game composed of tech demos. Not to say there aren’t moments of enjoyment to be had, as I described in my first impressions at the Nintendo Event in New York. 1-2-Switch is a game that is meant to be played with others. With the total of 28 mini games, it’s a good amount to keep the interest alive for the moment.
There is one thing that needs to be said about the game, which is its accessibility. Like Wii Sports, most of the mini-games rely on motion to play. What is added is the emphasis on the HD rumble, which is supposed to aid with further immersion within the games, such as feeling marbles, soda, lasers and other sensations created from imagination. Such games like Marble Count and Bottle Shake are prime example mini-games to show off the HD rumble. You will have to take note of how many marbles roll inside. The Bottle Shake game is another one that demonstrates the rumble well. Think of it as Hot Potato. There are many other games that are worth mentioning but I will get to that later.
There was one thing when you first boot up the game that will throw many first timers off. That is that it begins with only 8 games to start you off. When I played it with my friend, he was nearly turned off at this prospect. There were the basic starters like Quick Draw and Samurai training. But others like said Bottle Shake, Sword Fight or Wizard is unlocked after you play 5 out of the 8 starter games. I assume it is to ease new players into those who aren’t familiar, but I think it would have benefited is all of the mini-games were available from the start.
Though once you unlocked the rest of the games, it’s off to the races. Other games that are on top are arguably Sword Fight, Table Tennis, Fake Draw, Wizard, and the mentioned Samurai Training and original Quick Draw. One common element in these games is the engagement. I enjoyed the energy of the Sword Fight and how you must angle yourself a la Wii Sports Fencing, to guard against your opponent. I love the Quick Draw in which you anticipate the signal of the draw and playing the mind games of yourself and your opponent. Same idea with Samurai Training.
One thing 1-2- Switch does well is the social interaction. I can recall my moment I brought my Switch to my doctor’s office and I played Fake Dice with her. I would at times fake her out by feeding misinformation in making her believe I had the larger number. That is one aspect that 1-2-Switch does well. To be frank, all you really need is sound to play most of the games, as proven by a couple’s time with one of them being legally blind. The controls are easily accessible even to the physically challenged.
Much of the games are motion based, like the Wii games. Generally, it does read the orientation correctly when it wants to. I did not have any problems when playing Sword Fight, with the strap attached and swinging it around. Though if you are using a right Joy Con when you are a lefty and vice-versa, it may throw you off a bit when playing Quick Draw. Nothing to really detach you from the experience. One mini-game that was fairly good is the Safe crack. Obviously is a game that uses the Joy Con to open a safe. In correlation with the HD rumble feature, you will need to really feel the click which, while subtle, is well integrated. Others like Wizard, Signal Flag, and Tennis works as intended and that you don’t need a display. Again, all you need is sound and feel the force.
Then there are the other mini games that are hit or miss. One mini game which is somewhat questionable is the Hot Dog Eating mini game. It utilizes the Right Joy-Con and its IR sensor on the bottom. Personally, it’s a strange game that tests how much you can move your mouth as fast as possible. I don’t know why anyone would make a mini game out of that. The sensor is okay, but you can’t help but wonder if it does register your mouth movements. Plus it can easily lose sync if motions of your hand or head occur. Other games, like Shave, is also in similar consensus. There would be times it registers my chin, but it can be easily changed and I’d be shaving air. Zen is also easily manipulated as it only measures motion so you can put the Joy Con on a flat surface and just let it play. Again most of the games require imagination and lack of shame, which may turn off some. If you can do this, you may find some fun times.
Then there are the strange/ridiculous/crazy games. This is up to personal perspective if you think these are amazing or just down right “What were they thinking?” Such as with my first impression with it back at the event, the Milking game. Personally, self-awareness unique game with its unique appeal. Yes, the Joy-Con is a cow udder. Yes, you are milking it. If you are laughing right now, you get the point. If you can accept this idea, while laughing along the way, then this will be a fun time.
Other games like Air Guitar, Runway, Beach Flag, and Gorilla are mostly dependent whether you have shame, self-awareness, or just simply don’t care. Personally, these games do have their moments and can be great ice breakers in a party or just to make someone the clown. If you can gather a group of friends and enjoy it for what it is, then it can be a great experience. Sure it looks foolish, childish, and not appealing to the hardcore fans. I believe that’s the prime focus. Somethings you need something crazy in order to get something amazing.
For the games itself, air guitar is just strumming the guitar as fast and in rhythm. Gorilla is similar, in you have to beat your chest in the same pattern shown, like Simon Says. Runway is to pretend to be a model in the spotlight, but in reality, the Joy Con measures your movements in rhythm and the last three finishing poses. Yes, you must channel your inner Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure spirit, which itself is fun in its own right. So when it comes down to it to the rest of the games, it’s about whether you can keep the moves in rhythm, energy and in sync. May not appeal to many, but it is there if you want to try. Again, whether or not you can enjoy it, is up to you.
In conclusion, 1-2-Switch is not the second coming of Wii Sports, but it does have it’s times where everybody can enjoy the fun and experience the Nintendo Switch. While it has great games that show off the hardware, like Quick Draw, Marble Count, and Table Tennis. It also has its questionable games, like Runway, Zen, and Gorilla. The theme here is social communication. When you look at your opponent or humans in general, it’s best to look them in the eye. In this age of technology, perhaps we forget the basics of interaction and never give a moment to just laugh and forget the cause of the situation.
Sure, it’s not going to suit to people’s taste and the $50 price of admission is a bit steep to just play tech demos, which will understandably push people away. If you do get 1-2-Switch, you just may find an experience you unlike any other.
Basic Switch Demo Games that Hit or Misses
The Basics Of the Switch
It’s as you expect it to be. Don’t go coming thinking that this is revolutionary like Wii Sports. While it would be preferable to be bundled with the Switch, it’s a game that should be given a chance. Some games like Quick Draw and Table Tennis are some of the reasons to play this. While others like Gorilla maybe a bit on the nose and turn people away at the gate. I don’t recommend getting it at $50 as that is a steep price for what is essentially demos and possibilities of what’s to come for the Nintendo Switch. However, if you can get pass some personal barriers and enjoy the games, you just may find good times awaiting. Perfect for the family and drinking parties.
- Some Fun Games That Show Off The HD Rumble Feature (I.E Marble Count, Safe Crack)
- The Social Interaction Between Players
- Easy Accessibility For Any Type Of Player
- The Milking Game
- Easy Ice Breaker/ Party Game For Occasions
- Price Of Admission Of $50
- Some Mini Games Are Questionable (I.E Hot Dog Eating, Gorilla)
- IR Sensors Are Somewhat Iffy For The Hot Dog Eating
- Locked Mini Games At The Start
- The Willingness To Make A Monkey Out of Yourself