1-2 Switch is a direct callback to a time not that long ago when Nintendo took the world by storm with motion controls. A time that many gamers would rather forget. Many felt burned by controllers that did a poor job of tracking our movements and motion-based games that were shallow or just plain bad. That being said, Nintendo hopes that the casual crowd that fell in love with Wii Sports will fall in love again with 1-2 Switch. Has Nintendo caught lighting in a bottle twice? Or is this a relic of the past that should have stayed buried?
28 mini games are contained within 1-2 Switch, all of which were designed with face-to-face gameplay in mind. What that means is that instead of looking at the television, you’ll be looking at your opponent most of the time, which is an unusual proposition and unique selling point. As you play, you’ll be doing all sorts of things, such as trying to catch a samurai sword with your hands, strutting down the runway of a fashion show, or even milking a cow. All of which feature wacky introductions acted by real people.
When the mini games play to the strength’s of the controller’s motion fidelity, it works surprisingly well. Ball Count is one of my favourites, as it accurately simulates the sensation of balls rolling around inside of a box in your hands. This is done thanks to the HD Rumble technology in the controller. Samurai Training is also great, as the controllers do a great job of reading when a sword is swung and when the sword is caught.
Unfortunately, not every game has been as thoughtfully designed. Wizard feels like a classic Wii waggle-fest, as players wildly shove their arm forward to blast their foes with magic wands. Gorilla is a dumb rhythm game that does a poor job of tracking your beats as you pound your chest. The worst is Eating Contest, as you can actually hurt your teeth trying to quickly eat fake sandwiches that the controller’s camera fails to pick up.
While the mini games vary in quality, they all share one thing: they’re all shallow. Even the best mini games lose their luster after only a few plays. There’s unfortunately no Wii Bowling equivalent here; a mini game that has the depth to keep playing many times over. It sort of tries to stitch things together with a team battle mode, but it’s not enough to give the game the meat it needs to excel.
There’s certainly fun to be had with 1-2 Switch, but its fleeting at best. There are mini games on there that everyone should try, and it’s probably good for a few hours of play with casual gamers or kids. Unfortunately, it wears out its welcome far too soon by not providing much in the way of depth, on top of a selection of games that are hit-and-miss. Because of this, its not worth the full price tag it currently has. If you can grab it on the cheap or play a friend’s copy, it’s a much better way to try out the good stuff that the game has to offer.