Gaming

1-2 Switch - a compendium of mostly inane party games

Quick Draw, one of very few fun games in the 1-2 Switch set of mini-games.
Quick Draw, one of very few fun games in the 1-2 Switch set of mini-games.PHOTO: NINTENDO

The 1-2 Switch is one of the two bundled games that come with the Nintendo Switch in Singapore.

It is a casual party game, in which there are 28 mini-games that you can play against a friend using the built-in motion sensors of the Joy-Con controllers.

The premise sounds fantastic. Since the Switch is so portable, you can take it anywhere - for example, to your friend's house-warming party where you can play against each other.

Unfortunately, out of the 28 mini-games, only one really stood out for me. That game is Ball Count. You move the Joy-Con controller around and try to count the number of "marbles" inside by feeling the vibrations. It felt wonderfully realistic, as if there are balls inside the Joy-Con, and I was able to estimate the number of balls correctly a few times.

As for the rest of the games, I find Quick Draw quite fun, as it measures your reaction times against your friend's.

  • 3/10

    RATING

    PRICE: $73.90 (Nintendo Switch only)

    GENRE: Casual party

Basically, you use the Joy-Con as a gun to see who "fires" the shot first at the end of a countdown.

Another mini-game that piqued my interest is the Eating Contest. Only one person can play this game, as it uses only the right Joy-Con controller, which has an infra-red (IR) sensor at its bottom.

You will need to position the Joy-Con so that your mouth is within 5cm of the IR sensor. Then, open and close your mouth to pretend you are eating sandwiches within the stipulated time. But while this game is a good showcase of the IR sensor's ability, it is otherwise utterly pointless.

Some of the mini-games border on pure stupidity. For example, there is the game Zen, in which you are given a pose and have to hold it there. Seriously? You do not even need to pose - just stay still.

And, in some mini-games, you are not supposed to even look at the screen. The game will tell you to look at your opponent's eyes. For example, Samurai Training requires one player to "strike" with an invisible sword by swinging the controller, while the other player tries to "catch" it by holding the Joy-Con and clapping over his or her head. Again, what are we doing here?

Then, there is Table Tennis, where you basicallyflick your wrist to hit a virtual ping pong ball. You are supposed to face the other player and listen to the ball's sound to gauge its speed. Most of the time, I ended up looking at the screen to see where the ball was going.

Another mini-game worthy of a mention is Milk. You have to mimic the motion of milking a cow's udder by moving a Joy-Con vertically while pressing its SL and SR side buttons. You just look very wrong performing that motion.

But the most bizarre mini-game has to be Baby. You have to attach the Joy-Con controllers to the console. The display will show the face of the baby and you have to cradle the Switch like a baby and gently set it down to "sleep". I think it just looks really creepy.

It is like Nintendo decided to show us heaven and hell. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is like heaven, while the 1-2 Switch is pure hell.

• Verdict: The 1-2 Switch is more like a demonstration of what the Joy-Con controllers can do than a proper game. It should be free with the Switch console itself and not sold separately.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2017, with the headline '1-2 Switch - a compendium of mostly inane party games'. Print Edition | Subscribe