1-2 Switch is a series of minigames in which two people face each other and, using the Joy-Con controllers’ various nifty features, try to beat each other by employing proper timing, precise motions, and sensing haptic feedback. Some of these were already shown at Nintendo’s presentation, like Quick Draw, and look just as lackluster now as they did then. 18 videos of the 28 mini games in the 1-2 Switch package were recently released by Nintendo of Japan, and a user over at the Nintendo subreddit was kind enough to compile the entire list for us.
I admit, they all look a little strange. 1-2 Switch's Shaver, for example, is exactly what you imagine from the title. You're shaving, and it looks just as weird as you'd expect in the video. I still can’t quite wrap my head around how the tech behind this would work properly. Or what exactly Nintendo means by refering to it as “fun.” Runway is equally odd. I imagine, after about five minutes of fiddling, cheating these games without actually moving would be fairly easy. (Which is exactly what happened with the Wii’s motion controls.) I don’t see any of these games functioning very well outside of large parties or in offices, where people love playing minigames. But, $50 price tag for a compilation of 28 games just is not worth even that.
Minigame collections, like 1-2 Switch, should never cost the same price as a AAA game. None of the offerings are fully fleshed out and thoughtful games. They are, more often than not, a series of lazy and boring with tech demos with one or two being slightly more memorable than the rest. Nintendo Land and the Mario Party series are good examples, with Action 52, of course, being probably the worst of the bunch. For the younger audience out there, Action 52 was a series of 52 mini games that sold for $199 back in 1991. Most try to forget it even existed. It's that bad, trust me. Don't look it up. Needless to say, the 1-2 Switch looks like more of the same.
However, I do think the 1-2 Switch stands apart from other minigame compilations. 1-2 Switch looks exactly like many party games out there and would fall directly under “team-building exercise.” As I said before, it would fit well in an office space, but definitely not in a home. Now, I admit I've only ever been to one large corporate party and stubbornly avoided all others, but I arrived just as they were starting something called the Cup Game. In it, you'd take the cup from the bottom of stack and put it on top until you have reversed the order completely. It occurred to me then what “team-building” really meant.
These kind of games make people who don't really know each other to interact without forcing conversation. It is no less awkward, but at least you are together in your misery. Some people find this fun, while others, perhaps introverts like myself, do not. The 1-2 Switch games slide perfectly into this category and will most certainly succeed at encouraging socialization. For all the downtown office buildings, 1-2 Switch could provide an entire Christmas party's worth of team-building exercises. When it comes to homes, 1-2 Switch belongs in a family household that includes children under the drinking age, at best. (Though playing the Milk game could be pretty darn funny if you were drunk.) Even among families, 1-2 Switch may only last about as long as the Wii Sports did.
Perhaps if Nintendo didn't making 1-2 Switch a $50 launch title, I'd be more okay with it. But damn, the company could have created any other game to showcase the Joy-Cons ingenious motion controls. Heck, I think I would be happier with another Mario Party, rather than this team-building exercise. 1-2 Switch is a party game compilation that does not belong in gaming households and definitely is not worth the price. Especially when compared to games like Mario Party and some of Nintendo Land. The 1-2 Switch will last one play through, if it's lucky.