1-2 Switch Review
Are you bored of Wii Sports or SingStar as your Digital Party Entertainer or just looking for a few more 1-vs-1 Games to pit your mates up against one another with?
1-2-Switch might just be what you have been looking for. This game collection for the Nintendo Switch Console entertains well and is suitable for all ages, with a few pitfalls though. Developed by Nintendo Entertainment, 1-2-Switch was released on 3 March 2017 as one of the first games for their newly and highly anticipated gaming consoles. 1-2-Switch is a collection of 28 “Mini-Games” that fit well with many of the titles people like to have running on a TV screen at a party or braai, just for the laughs. With emphasis on “Just for the Laughs”.
What do I get?
1-2-Switch is a collection of 28 “Mini-Games” that can only be played against someone else, face-to-face, like Wii Sports. When you first launch the game, you only have access to 7 of the challenges while you “warm up”. In order to unlock the other 21 challenges (games), you need to play at least 5 of the default games for 1-2-Switch to register that you mean business and in turn it unlocks more variety along with an extra game mode.
The games are listed in order of intensity, which can easily be identified by the number of chili’s displayed at the bottom right of each game title screen, ranging from 1 to 5 (easiest to hardest respectfully). You can either allow the game to randomly select your challenge for you or you can manually select your game. In the launch phase, a very professional intro video plays out, showing you the basics to the challenge, but often fails to properly explain the “how to play” factor.
I put 1-2-Switch through its paces this past Easter Weekend at two separate functions, the more notable being our annual family lunch and it was quite a hit, apart from often having people say, “…so what do we do here?” or “Am I doing this right?”. The favorites of the day were, Samurai Training, Quick Draw and False Draw along with a bit of Ball Count thrown into the mix.
For all Ages, Bar One!
This weekend, all ages enjoyed 1-2-Switch, young and old, and not one round went by without smiles and roaring laughter. As entertaining as it is, it is not without it’s many oddities. Many of the challenges are straight forward, like Table Tennis, where each player gets a chance to serve and then you play a game of imaginary Table Tennis, smashing air at one another guided by the sound coming from the console to visualize the timing. This did not help though once the rain set in, as it was hard to distinguish when you needed to hit the ball. I can imagine how inconvenient this would be in a large scale braai or party setting where you have chatter and music in the background to contend with.
At this point we moved over to the challenges that required you to focus more on the very impressive haptics system of the Joycon Controllers, like Safe Crack and Treasure Chest. In Safe Crack, you twist your wrist with the Joycon Controller in your palm while feeling for specific changes in the haptic vibrations to know when you are at a Lock Point, the aim is to find three Lock Points to unlock your Safe before your opponent does. In Treasure Chest, you hold your Joycon with two hands and unravel a heavily chained Treasure Chest by twirling your Joycon between your fingers, similar to winding up a ball of string. In Ball Count you also place the Joycon Controller in the palm of your hand as if it were a closed box and move it from side-to-side to feel how many imaginary marbles are inside your box. Once you think you know, you make your selection on screen and set your controller down on the table in front of you to lock in your answer.
We also had a lot of fun with the Gorilla, Boxing Gym and Samurai Training challenges. Gorilla demanded the most laughter, because again, you listen for prompts, this time it is in the form of a rhythm at which you need to pound your chest in. As a person watching, put your hearing on mute and just imagine two players in the middle of a room swinging their arms around. With Boxing Gym you again listened to voice prompts, where the gym master would call out a specific type of punch, with the quickest player to perform the most accurate punch receiving a point. After the round, you get to see a simulated fight on-screen based on the recorded points, showing you and the spectators in the room what your fight would have looked like in a Boxing Ring.
Another very stressed feature in 1-2-Switch is the recommendation to face your opponent with each challenge and hold eye contact, which makes it very awkward while playing the Milk challenge, where you milk an imaginary cow. You can just imagine the motions needed to perform this act, making eye contact extremely difficult in an unintended suggestive way, which is very unfortunate, which has led to the fact that most players, avoid this challenge at all costs. The eye contact recommendation really shines with Quick Draw and False Draw, where you simulate an Iconic Western Shootout where both require you to listen carefully to voice prompts to know when it is okay to raise your Joycon, point it at your opponent and pull the trigger. In False Draw, you listen for voice prompts, but with a twist, while waiting for the “Fire!” announcement, words like “Farm”, “File” and “Fly” are announced to try and trick you into raising your Joycon at your opponent.
Team Battle Mode
In my intro I mentioned that an extra game mode is available after you unlocked all the challenges. In Team Battle each victory in a 1-2-Switch game pushes you along a game board toward your goal. A Team Battle Round can last as long as 30 minutes, and each challenge is randomly selected through a “spin” to see which game you’ll play. If you win, your team moves forward on the game board and hopefully to victory. This mode can be played with only two people, but it is ideal to rather have two groups of people that pass the Joycon Controller around after each challenge to get the social interaction and laughs going.
One of the strangest challenges in 1-2-Switch is the Baby game, which is played in the Nintendo Switch’s Handheld Mode, where players must rock a crying baby to sleep and put it down gently without waking it up. I struggle to see the fun and practicality in this challenge, as I have two children of my own, and the rocking stage in their life was not fun, so I can only assume that this challenge was created to show off the Nintendo Switch Console features more than being a party game. For a full list of the games that come with 1-2-Switch, you can take a look at this Wiki link.
1-2-Switch does not really boast intense graphics or orchestral sound, as the aim is more to get social interactions going at a party. I had a lot of fun personally with the 1-2-Switch game this weekend, both playing and spectating, and would really consider bringing it out at a few social gatherings, but I doubt I would make it available to play at each social gathering I host or attend. I can recommend 1-2-Switch, but again, you need to establish that it has a very specific setting that is required to enjoy it unless it is for your children to play with their friends mostly. I would honestly have expected 1-2-Switch to be a free game bundle that came with the purchase of the Nintendo Switch Console, but it sells for R569.00 on the Nintendo eStore which can be downloaded straight to your Nintendo Switch Console as long as you have 1.5GB of space available. It is also offers Language choices in English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian and Russian.