Anti-social geezer that I am, I rarely play party games, but 1-2-Switch, one of the launch titles for Switch, is unusual in many ways. For Nintendo a mini-game collection showcasing the unique capabilities of a new system is hardly a surprise by now (see Wii Sports for Wii and Nintendo Land for Wii U for example). But 1-2-Switch explores new territory by providing a set of mini-games that encourage you to ignore the screen altogether and focus on your opponent instead.
The set of 28 mini-games has a decent amount of variety, and as in those other games they do a good job of showing off the capabilities of the new system. Not all of them are memorable, however. Still, at its best 1-2-Switch reaches the level of silliness of classic Wii party games, such as WarioWare: Smooth Moves, where it's as much fun seeing your friends' actions as attempting to win yourself. The game feels much more limited than Smooth Moves, though, as the game is entirely focused on multiplayer and even then doesn't provide much motivation for more than a few sessions with the same group. Medals for getting target scores for the mini-games that are playable solo would have been a worthwhile addition, and more mini-games with even more variety would have improved the overall package as well. It's a little disappointing that the game isn't part of the WarioWare series since it's so obviously indebted to it, but it's understandable since the developers wanted to shift your attention away from the screen. The controls work great for the majority of the mini-games, and the video clips with live actors demonstrating each mini-games are entertainingly silly and cheesy.
The official website of the game includes suggestions for livening up your 1-2-Switch party, some of which would have been nice as added options within the game itself. Although it's easy to dismiss this game as being a shallow experience, with the right group of friends this could be a lot of fun. At the original $50 MSRP the game was a little hard to recommend, but now that it's possible to find a user copy for a bit cheaper it's much easier to recommend this as a fun game to introduce your friends and family to Switch.
Party on the go with these 1-2-Switch links:
- Review at NintendoLife
- Nintendo Treehouse demonstration of the game
- Nintendo Minute episode showing off the game
- Entry on Wikipedia
- Entry on Metacritic. I liked this quote from a user-submitted review: "If you like eating fake sandwiches, you'll love this game."