One of Nintendo’s first Switch titles, 1-2-Switch is one of those games where you wonder how it got approved to be released as a full-priced retail game. You’ve probably heard from tons of other outlets about how overpriced this game is, how it shouldn’t have been released in stores, and it’s all basically true. It’s an interesting concept, but paying money for it is nonsensical.
Giving credit where credit is due, 1-2-Switch does showcase the capabilities of the joycon and its HD rumble functions. Given the fact this game is, in a way, the Switch equivalent of Wii Sports, I have to admit its controls are much more responsive and impressive than its Wii predecessor. Just like my immense praise regarding Arms‘s controls, 1-2-Switch proves how much motion control technology has improved over the past decade. Sadly, as much as this is impressive, it doesn’t save 1-2-Switch from being a bland title and a severely overpriced proof of concept.
The list of minigames present in 1-2-Switch is mediocre at best. For every slightly interesting game like Table Tennis and Ball Count, there are twice as many stupid wastes of time such as Zen, Shave, Baby and the already infamous cow milking minigame. Some of those games are so badly implemented you’ll ask yourself why on Earth was the joycon even needed for the experience. For example, Zen forces you to do a pose and stand still for a while. Just like yoga. Something you can easily do without the need of having to hold a joycon at all. Shave is another example of a severe failure in game design. Using the joycon to pretend to shave your face isn’t exactly engaging, and to top it off, it’s a much more uncomfortable experience if you actually have facial hair to begin with.
Despite those aforementioned design flaws, those aren’t the main issue present in 1-2-Switch. There’s more. This is a game that severely lacks content, yet it costs 50 dollars, or even more, depending on the region. For that amount, you get 28 mini-games that get old pretty quickly, not any signs of single player content at all, a bunch of silly and cheesy instruction videos and audio lines, and that’s it. The graphics are bland and nearly nonexistent, given the fact the game basically encourages you to look anywhere but the TV itself, and the soundtrack is comprised of mediocre stock music you can find in Sega CD games. There’s just not enough content to justify the game’s insane price tag at all.
I find it pretty hard to recommend 1-2-Switch. There is some potential in this title. It could have been a great pack-in title, a nice little freebie, a neat tech demo for all Switch users. Because, in the end, that’s what 1-2-Switch is: a glorified tech demo, and a very very very expensive one at that. If you can find a used copy in a year or two for less than twenty bucks, then go for it. If not, just hope some friend of yours owns this game, then just play it for a couple of hours.