“Fucking stupid” is my aesthetic — just ask anyone on Twitter that disagrees with my opinions — and 1-2-Switch is definitely stupid, though not in the good sense. It’s stupidly priced with a stupidly low amount of content.
If only 1-2-Switch felt like more than a collection of funny videos and tech demos.
Released: March 3, 2017
For the high, high, price of $50 you too can play one of 28 glorified tech demos parading as mini-games against a friend, all but one of which can be played without looking at the screen. These games all make use of the Switch Joy-Con controllers’ motion controls and HD rumble, meaning you’ll be doing lots of waggling and vibrating like your dad after your other dad forgets about their anniversary. If you buy 1-2-Switch you’ll be dancing, you’ll be playing baseball and ping pong, you’ll be counting marbles, and you’ll be striking poses.
It only seems fair to rate each mini-game separately to give a clear picture of what you’re buying here, so without further ado, HERE WE GO! (said in Mario’s voice).
1. Telephone – Set your Joy-Con flat on the table and when you hear a phone ring, answer it as fast as possible. The faster player wins. It makes you take off the Joy-Con strap, which is annoying, and isn’t so much fun as it is stupid. 4/10
2. Ball Count – Move your Joy-Con around slowly and try to count the marbles rolling around inside of it via the HD Rumble. It does a nice job showing off the Switch’s rumble, which is great if not overrated, and it is fun in general. 9/10
3. Zen – You’re given a pose and you both have to hold it without moving for as long as you can. You can play this in real life without spending $350+. 1/10
4. Treasure Chest – There are two chests with chains wrapped around them and you’ve got to untangle the chains by twisting your Joy-Con. It forces you to look at the screen and is uncomfortable to play, as flipping the Joy-Con in every direction is awkward. 6/10
5. Milk – Pretend you’re squeezing a cow’s droopy nipples (or a very long penis) by moving the Joy-Con in the air and hitting the side buttons with the strap on. Hilarious, fun, feels like jacking off. 10/10
6. Safe Crack – Rotate the Joy-Con as if you’re trying to open a safe. The HD Rumble will tell you when you’re on the right position where you’ll have to hold it for a moment. This is pretty fun and a good example of rumble as well, but can do a number on the wrist. 8/10
7. Quick Draw – Ready, steady, fire your gun at your opponent as quick as you can and as level as possible. The most well-known game from the bunch, it gets a good laugh out of everyone playing. 9/10
8. Samurai Training – One person swings a sword at the other’s head while they try to catch it. This one never seemed precise enough to be fun. 4/10
9. Sneaky Dice – You both have cups with two dice in them that you roll. You get your opponent’s number via Joy-Con vibrations and then you have to use real-life social engineering to try to get them to roll again or stay depending on if their number is high or low. Fun for the social engineering aspect, but could be played with any old dice in real life. 6/10
10. Signal Flags – This is essentially Simon Says, where you do what the female voice tells you and the opposite of what the male voice says, which is great advice and feminism. Thanks, Nintendo! 8/10
11. Soda Shake – Think Hot Potato only you’re shaking up a Joy-Con as if it’s a bottle of soda and passing it among friends. This is the only mini-game that can realistically be played with more than two people at a time, and really makes the Joy-Con feel like you’re holding a bubbling bottle of soda. 9/10
12. Shave – Pretend to shave your face. I personally found this game offensive to beard-kind. Also, it doesn’t do a great job of teaching non-shavers how to shave. 3/10
13. Joy-Con Rotation – Another wrist-destroying game where you try to carefully rotate a Joy-Con while keeping it parallel with the ground. Very touchy, and very painful if you get into it. 6.5/10
14. Table Tennis – The best game in the collection, hands down. This would have been the Switch’s Wii Sports bowling if only Nintendo had included this collection with the console, as it should have. You literally play ping pong with an invisible ball, forcing you to listen to the sounds of the ball and the speed at which it is traveling. 10/10
15. Baby – Rock the Nintendo Switch with the face of a baby on it to sleep (or alternatively just a Joy-Con) and gently set it down. Not fun and causes panic due to the loud crying, but a good deterrent to having kids. 5/10
16. Fake Draw – This is just Quick Draw again but instead of the announcer simply saying “Ready, steady, FIRE!” he will shout a bunch of other F words (not that one) that rhyme with fire to try to throw you off. It is Quick Draw, but better. 10/10
17. Baseball – One player pitches, the other bats. The pitcher can throw change-ups or fastballs, each of which makes a different sound to help the batter know when to swing. Swinging too early or late will cause different results if not a strike altogether. There’s only one inning, and I wish there was a full game like this. 9/10
18. Eating Contest – Also known as the painful cunnilingus trainer, or Jared from Subway simulator (eating subs…not that other thing he is famous for). Holding the right Joy-Con around two inches from your mouth, open and close as fast as possible to pretend you’re eating subs. This is great for making your friends look stupid, pending they can get the finicky right Joy-Con to recognize it is in position and ready to go. 8/10
19. Beach Flag – Pretend you’re running and when you feel a strong vibration, lift your hand. I hate running and this made me tired. 5/10
20. Wizard – Imagine you’re two badass wizards casting dueling spells at each other like a scene Harry Pottery. Thrust strategically to counter your opponent and get the win. Pretty fun if you take your role as a wizard seriously. 8/10
21. Sword Fight – Not that kind, but the ones with actual swords. Either slice vertically or horizontally to try to stab your opponent five times to be the victor, but they can block if they match your movements. You both can attack and block at the same time. I’d love to see this idea used in a full game, as it is pretty fun combat. 9/10
22. Boxing Gym – Another Simon Says game, only this time you’re throwing punches. Ehhhhhh… 5/10
23. Plate Spin – Spin your Joy-Con as if it is a stick with a plate on it while trying to get your opponent to lose their rhythm by real-life interference. It’s fun if playing in an area with lots of space, though it isn’t exactly clear what the best strategy or speed is to keep the plate centered on the stick. 7/10
24. Copy Dance – One person poses, then three beats later the other person copies them. You do that three times at which point roles reverse. Since this game only reads the Joy-Con, it was fun to be the guy that only matches hand movements instead of opponents’ flamboyant poses. 7/10
25. Runway – Yassss queen, walk that runway like the diva you are with a Joy-Con at your hip, making sure to sway those hips far and wide before finally striking a pose center stage. This made me feel as sexy as geriatric truckers seem to view me. 10/10
26. Air Guitar – Pretty self-explanatory, but hold the Joy-Con in your strumming hand and strum to the track with lots of enthusiasm to put on the better show. Nintendo realizes you can do this in real life for free and with better music, right? 3/10
27. Dance Off – Dance your asses off however you want to and freeze frame when told. Another “could play in real life for free” game, but still fun due to the scoring and getting your friends to show you their moves. 7.5/10
28. Gorilla – There is a horny female gorilla in a bush and she is calling out to you and your friend. Only one of you gets to get in that dank wet bush, so you better listen close and pound your chest to the beat of her calls. RIP HARAMBE/10
1-2-Switch could have been a killer app like Wii Sports had it been included with the console. It is one of those games where you can hand someone a controller and they more or less can understand how to play without having much of an explanation, and if not, there are live-action videos that detail most all the mini-games thoroughly. But for one reason or another Nintendo decided to charge $50 for it, which is a ludicrous amount. Seeing as how many gaming outlets didn’t get a review copy of the game (Dtoid included), Nintendo had to know it wouldn’t review well and the reasons why. So why it decided to go ahead and charge this much for it is beyond me. Now people will miss out on some honestly decent content, seemingly due to greed.
I’d have had no hesitation in recommending 1-2-Switch if it were included with the Switch or maybe $20 max, but as it stands it is far too expensive for the dash of entertainment it provides. 1-2-Switch is a good distraction for parties with people who don’t game much, or those looking for something a little different than Cards Against Humanity for the millionth time. Otherwise, wait for a deep price drop.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]