1, 2 Switch is Certainly Fun in Places but a Big Ask at $50

Is the mini game collection worth the RRP?

1, 2 Switch
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1, 2 Switch
Available on: Switch
Release Date: March 3rd 2017
Price: $49.99/£39.99
Reviewed on: Switch

1,2 Switch is a funny title. Both literally and figuratively. You will have laughs playing 1,2 Switch but you will also probably have some nervous laughter too. Nervous laughter that has the connotation that you’re not sure why you paid $50 for the game. On top of that you will be questioning why the game isn’t free when you buy a Nintendo Switch. In the same way Wii Sports was with Nintendo’s stick waggling success.

I think what is important to gauge when deciding whether to purchase 1,2 Switch or not is whether you will get use out of it. Instead of doing the traditional style review, I though it may be best to go through each game and give you an idea of what it is about. Before that I will touch up the various technical elements of the game.

Graphics

1,2 Switch is a basic looking game. In fact, there aren’t many ‘graphics’ used in a traditional sense. Most of the visual communications are done via tutorial videos that precede each game. Each mini-game is indicated by a graphic of the subject, which you will see below. Whilst playing the game, you are told to face your opponent for the most part, so you won’t be looking at the screen very much. When you do it isn’t anything extraordinary, it’s functional and serves it’s purpose. Usually to tell you who won each round and how well you did.

The videos that are used to explain each game have live actors demoing each mini-game and they are having the most fun in these games. The videos are charming and clearly explain what is going on. This isn’t the type of game that will push the Switch’s capabilities, graphically speaking.

1, 2 Switch

Sound

There are a lot of enthusiastic voice acting within 1,2 Switch. From the opening title, through to the instructions and commands within the game. There aren’t really any other notable highlights regarding the sound. They all serve the functions you would expect. Nothing is overly intrusive or annoying. I guess you could argue that it is atmospheric as it adds to the atmosphere you’re playing the game in. The countdowns and commands are quite funny in places. Especially when you add that into your own confusion and laughter whilst playing.

Gameplay

The game is controlled via either of your Joy-Con controllers, usually the right one, as this has the IR sensor. Most of the games are controlled by imitating the actions detailed within the instructions. Some will use some of the button inputs on the Joy-Cons in various combinations. Others use the built-in movement sensors and HD Rumble features that each Joy-Con has built-in.

You can play in a relatively small space. Some games will require that you use more space, depending how serious a player you are. Warnings come in on the screen occasionally advising you to be wary of space and other people (as we have come to expect from motion based titles). A couple of times the controls did not feel intuitive and my second player struggled with the size of the Joy-Con in its smallest iteration. On one occasion we encountered the dreaded “desync” but it was incredibly short-lived. It was also very hard to determine what caused it. However, it didn’t interrupt the flow of play too much.

Multiplayer

This is the purpose of 1,2 Switch, it is a multiplayer title and doesn’t work with one person. Admittedly, you could play a few of the games on your own but I feel that probably isn’t the intention. But if you feel that’s what calls to you about 1, 2 Switch have at it. I played the game with my girlfriend and we tried out each of the minigames to give us an idea of what the game was like. It was quick and easy to get into a game and before long we were giggling and laughing. Later on we were panting and taking quick breathers. Each of the game comes with a “chilli pepper rating”. The more chillis on the screen, the more intensive the game is. Come game 28, you’ll probably have burnt a few calories.

There doesn’t seem to be any sort of real scoring mechanism outside of each game so if you want to track who’s the overall winner you have to do that yourself. I guess this is because some of the games can’t really be scored and are more for the group laugh. We did think that this game would be better suited to a bigger group, probably in a party mood with some drinks.

Games

Check out each of the 28 games that are available in 1,2 Switch below. Initially you will only have access to eight or so, the rest unlock after you play four of the immediately available titles. Some are really impressive and show off the potential for the Switch. Others are a little odd, tedious and creepy.

1 2 Switch 1. Telephone – players face each other with their respective Joy-Con controller sat face down on a flat service. Players are instructed to put their hands on their knees and wait for the “telephone to ring”. The telephone being your Joy-Con. When it rings you need to be the first one to pick it up and answer with a loud “Hello”. Overall, it was fun, briefly, and fairly tense. I was never quick enough though, damnit. Score: 5/10.

1 2 Switch2. Ball Count – players must hold their Joy-Con controller and try to estimate how many balls are in their ‘box’. The box is your Joy-Con and you must move the controller around. The HD-Rumble is able to make it feel like there are balls moving around the controller. You submit your guess and then you find out who was right. I was incredibly impressed at how accurate this was and the sensation that there were actually balls in the controller. Score: 9/10.

1 2 Switch3. Zen – players must adopt the position indicated on-screen and do their best to hold it longer than their opponent. The trick is to remain as still as possible. Deep breathing and good balance is fairly important. I imagine after a few beers this would get interesting.       Score: 6/10.

1 2 Switch

4. Treasure Chest – players hold their Joy-Con in front of them and must use the guide on-screen to unwrap the on-screen treasure chest from its chains. The first player to free the treasure is the winner. This was a more frantic game that was notably accurate with your directions. Score: 7/10.

1 2 Switch5. Milk – players sit across from each other and hold the Joy-Con in their hand like it was an udder. Players “squeeze” the SL + SR buttons one after the other to squeeze milk out of the digital cow. Players play against a time limit and the player with the most squeezed cans of milk is the winner. This was a little unintuitive and my girlfriend struggled to get much of anything squeezed. Despite doing the actions right. Score: 5/10.

1 2 Switch6. Safe Crack – players hold the Joy-Cons in middle of their hand and they must turn the controller in different directions (clockwise/anti-clockwise) to try to unlock the safe. When you’ve reached the ‘sweet spot’ a subtle change in vibration will indicate as such. Players must find all three sweet spots to unlock the safe and win. This one worked well and the HD Rumble was effective. Score: 7/10.

1 2 Switch7. Quick Draw – players face each other, respective Joy-Con down at your side, imitating a gun. Players must wait for the count down and draw and fire their weapon faster than the other. We learnt quickly that the game also tracks trajectory when you fire so you do have to draw and you can’t cheat. This one was a laugh. Score: 7/10.

8. Samurai Training – players take one of two roles. The attacker or the defender. As the attacker you must score a hit on the defender by swinging your Joy-Con down like a sword. Defenders, conversely, must try to catch the attack in their hands above their head. They do this by bringing their hands together, Joy-Con in one of their hands. We had a laugh doing this one and thought it was cleverly done. Score: 7/10.

1 2 Switch9 . Sneaky Dice – players use their Joy-Con controllers as dice shakers. They hold them upwards to shake them and when ready they tip over their Joy-Con as though they were planting their dice down under a cup. The Joy-Cons then vibrate in your hand to indicate the score of your opponent. The winner is the player with the highest score. The game encourages you to try to re-roll your dice and there’s some manipulation that could take place here. We thought the game was ok, though didn’t think the manipulation tactic worked as well as maybe Nintendo hoped. Score: 6/10.

1 2 Switch10. Signal Flags – this was great fun. Players must match the direction called out by one of two voices. The female voice, you must copy exactly, the male voice, you must do the opposite of what is being called out. As the time passes, the speed picks up and watching each other flail around and try to get it right whilst being yelled at is rather funny. The game also tracks your movement and plays back your actual acitons and whether they lined up to what was needed. Score: 8/10.

1 2 Switch11. Soda Shake – if I’m honest, this was a bit random. There was no score and very little in the way of explanation. You just have to shake the bottle a little, or a lot. Then you pass it over to the next player to shake. You play using the right Joy-Con only. We never found out if you were the winner of the loser for making it explode as there was a cheer at the end when the bottle fizzed over. As there was only one controller there wasn’t a score or any measure of a winner. Felt much more like a tech-demo than anything else. Score: 4/10.

1 2 Switch12. Shave – your Joy-Con controller is your electric shaver. Players must run the Joy-Con over their faces to shave off all their virtual hair. The player to shave off all the hair, or the most at the end of the time, is the winner. This was weird as we apparently had to shave hair that was apparently near our eyeballs. It also didn’t seem to work completely as it should. Score: 6/10.

1 2 Switch13. Joy-Con Rotation – players must score the highest degrees of rotation in three turns. Taking it in turns each players gets three attempts to pick up their Joy-Con from a flat surface and rotate. The more you can rotate the controller, the higher your score. If you are shaky and can’t keep the Joy-Con level you’ll lose any score for that round. We enjoyed this one as we were trying to see how far we can turn our hands round. Score: 7/10.

1 2 Switch14. Table Tennis – a couple of the titles are truer to Wii Sports than anything else. Table tennis is as you would expect. Each Joy-Con is a paddle and players serve and knock an imaginary ball to each other.  This was weird as you were meant to face each other and we really struggled to gauge when to swing based off of the sound of the ball hitting the paddle. It didn’t feel accurate. We were just swinging without any real true sense that we knew what we were doing. Score: 4/10.

15. Baby – I’m calling it, this is the weirdest minigame in the whole collection. Like the Soda Shake there isn’t a real winner or loser. You put both Joy-Cons into the Switch tablet and must rock the console like it were a newborn. Meanwhile the newborn appears on the screen crying at you until you manage to settle it with your gentle soothing movements. It felt weird that this is a game. We didn’t go back to it. Score 2/10.

1 2 Switch16. Fake Draw – we really enjoyed this one. This is an adaptation to the Quick Draw game. The rules are the same but you do not draw as soon as the countdown reaches zero. Instead of shouting “Fire“, the announcer shouts a random selection of words that sound similar (such as FUR, FLY, FLEW). Players must listen and shoot when they finally hear “fire”.  This one was great fun, being caught out by a word that sounds like “fire” with the tension of trying to win was great. As with Quick Draw, it also tells you how quick you were and your trajectory. Score: 8/10.

1 2 Switch17. Baseball  – players take the roll of either the batter or the pitcher. The player with the highest score (from runs and outs) is the winner. We found this frustrating like the table tennis game. Without a ball to look at (on screen or otherwise) you are only going off sound prompts and though this was more accurate, the sound prompt was when you should swing, it still didn’t feel great. Score: 6/10.

18. Eating Contest – players use the right Joy-Con to eat as many sandwiches as they can in the given time limit. Players must put the Joy-Con’s IR sensor up to the mouth and proceed to simulate quick eating. Taking it in turns, the player with the most number of sandwiches consumed is the winner. We liked this but struggled, at time the Joy-Con struggled to pick up the movements of our mouths. Given our head was moving all the time, it wasn’t able to keep track very well. Score: 6/10.

1 2 Switch19. Beach Flag – players must sprint towards the flag as fast as they can. Each player must face each other and when you hear the signal, you run on the spot. When they reach the flag, the Joy-Con will vibrate, players must then put their arm into the air to win. The person to do this first is the winner. Although over with fairly quickly it was fun, but a little tiring (we’re not in the best shape). Score: 6/10.

1 2 Switch20. Wizard – time to practice your best Harry Potter. Players must face off in a magic duel. Their Joy-Con is their magic wand and you must fire a beam of magic at your opponent whilst they do the same. To win, you must overpower them by forcing more magic onto them. You can do this by thrusting your wand forward, as though you are channelling more power. This was actually really fun and I can see the potential in a Harry Potter/wizard and sorcerer type way. On screen people can watch you progress and see how close you are to winning. Score: 8/10.

1 2 Switch21. Sword Fight – this was good fun too. Players are combatants. They use their Joy-Con as their sword. Players can attack by swinging their controllers at their opponent. They can also guard by holding onto the trigger on the Joy-Con and motioning in the same direction that the attack is coming from. This felt surprisingly accurate and I can see potential for future titles. It did feel at points like you could just swing wildly, but that would depend on your opponent’s ability/inability. Score: 7/10.

1 2 Switch22. Boxing Gym – this game is another command based one. Players place their Joy-Con in their hand and make a partial fist. The game will throw out one of three commands (straight, uppercut, hook) and players must match it with their Joy-Con holding hand. Whoever gets the most right in the sequence wins. This was a fun one too. Not as frantic or funny as the flags game, but still enjoyable. Score: 7/10.

1 2 Switch23. Plate Spin – players hold their Joy-Con upright like it is the stick that is holding up a plate. They must make occasional circular motions to keep the plate balanced. You must keep your plate upright for two minutes to succeed. Every 30 seconds the plate gets smaller and requires more care to help it balance.  To win, you must try to knock the other player’s plate off by messing with them as they try to keep their controller away from you. Moving the controller may mean your plate loses balance. This was fun and trying to mess with each other while we held out balance was funny. Score 8/10.

1 2 Switch24. Copy Dance – one player will do a dance move and hold it at the end. The opponent must then copy said move and hold the pose to score. This game was interesting as it felt as though the Joy-Con was tracking the whole motion so to be sure you were actually carrying out the move. Though it wasn’t as fun as some of the other games. Score 6/10.

1 2 Switch25. Runway – we were less enthused with this one. Although we do not have much space we gave it a shot. Essentially you hold the Joy-Con to your waist and walk. If you are the most like a model, for instance you do the best walk and pose at the end of the catwalk, you win. Again, much more like a party type game. Score 5/10.

1 2 Switch26. Air Guitar – man, did I want this to be good. You hold your Joy-Con as though it were your plectrum and you play along with the track. You increase your rhythm along with the song. The most in time with the rhythm scores the most and wins. I play a lot of air guitar (in real life) and this didn’t feel just right. My girlfriend beat me and she wasn’t even trying! You do feel like you need the other half of the guitar if you’re holding one half. Score 6/10.

1 2 Switch27. Dance Off – in a similar vein to Air Guitar, players dance to the music and those who perform best, score highest and win the game. This game, as well as Air Guitar, feels like it would be better with a few drinks to lubricate people and loosen them up. We didn’t find much enthusiasm for it ourselves and it felt less innovative. Score: 5/10.

1 2 Switch28. Gorilla – I think the highlight of this game was seeing the actors dressed as gorillas. Players must bang their chest in rhythm with the beat played by the gorilla in the video. Though not actually bang, if you do hit your chest with the Joy-Con in hand, a warning will come up and tell you off. The controllers track the motion, but don’t care for the hit itself. Was fun, but nothing amazing. Score: 6/10.

After playing every title, you might wonder what else is left. 1,2 Switch has a battle mode which can accommodate up to 20 players. I can imagine having a queue of 20 people to play some of these game might be difficult to manage. There is also a shuffle mode where you can play a random selection of the games.

I can’t help but think that 1, 2 Switch should be half its current price or a free game that the Switch comes with. The argument for Wii Sports was that it was new tech and could show off some of the cool things the Wii console could do. An argument can be made that the Switch needs it too. Though the concept of motion control isn’t new, the different ways to play and change in control style certainly would merit trying out. In addition to that, given that there’s only a handful of truly worthwhile minigames in the bundle, it’s really hard to justify the price for the game. Not that I expect free stuff, I totally get that something like the Switch has inherent development costs, as does the game, but there isn’t enough there for the price.

However, if you want to show your friends some of the cool things that the Switch can do and don’t mind it burning $50 then give it a bash. Alternatively, hold off and see if it drops in price, or look out for a preowned copy.

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