Review: 1,2 Switch! (Nintendo Switch)



Nintendo has a history of showing off their newly launched hardware with a game that can best represent what it’s capable of. Wii Sports on the Wii was unquestionably the biggest hit for the big N, and since then they’ve tried just about anything to match that success story. I’m here to tell you that 1,2 Switch! is so bad that Nintendo Land sounds like a great game by comparison.

Since the announcement of 1,2 Switch! most players have been under the impression that it should have been a pack-in title, or even installed on the hard drive at launch. They would be correct, as 1,2 Switch! is really nothing more than 28 mini tech demos to show off what the Joy-Con controllers are capable of. There are one or two of these tech demos that are quite impressive, but overall it’s over in just over a minute for each game you try out. In fact, you don’t even require a television to play most these demos, and with several of these you’ll be facing each other and not the screen (be it the TV or the Switch console) at some weird friend or family gathering. You do however require two players, though there’s also an option to allow up to 20 players to participate at one time.

Here is a breakdown of each mini game:


Each player places their Joy-Con controller on a flat surface with the SL and SR buttons facing down. Place your hands on your knees and wait for a telephone to ring. First to pick it up, place it next to his or her ear and say ‘Hello!’ wins. It’s a little lame considering there’s no microphone on the Joy-Con controller…

Ball count:

By far one of the cooler titles to show off what HD Rumble is capable of. Each player holds a Joy-Con controller in a hand. Your task is to guess how many balls are contained inside the ‘hollow box you’re holding in your hand’. Turn and twist the controller to feel each ball moving from one side of the box to the next and guess the number it’s holding. It’s really impressive and you’ll be surprised how close you get to guessing it every time, considering it’s just a great use of rumble convincing your head that there are really balls inside.


In this game it’s time to get your Yoga on. You’ll receive a random stand that each players must adhere to. Stay in that position and be as still as possible. Shake even a little and your candle will burn out. The person whose candle burns out first loses.

Treasure Chest:

Once again this is one of the better titles (that’s two so far). Both players face the TV and on it they’ll see a treasure chest entangled by a chain. It’s up to you to turn and twist the Joy-Con in your hands (that represents the treasure chest) to untangle the chains. First to untangle it wins.


Oh Nintendo, you wacky lot. You and a friend will now be farmers milking cows. You sit facing each other and grab a Joy-Con in each hand with your ring and index finger placed on the SL and SR buttons, with the Joy-Con straps attached for comfort. Pull down on the controller, while pressing in the buttons, to mimic the motions of milking a cow. It’s not about speed, but more about technique. The person that fills the most glasses with milk wins.

Safe Crack

What looks like something that could be very cool ends up being really forgettable. You and a friend are about to crack a safe and to do so you’ll twist your controller from left to right or right to left. Turn it slowly to feel a hard rumble, keep it on that spot to register and look for your next rumble. First one to crack it three times walks away with a sore wrist.

Quick Draw

It’s time to head into the wild west and settle matters the old fashion way – with a draw. Hold the Joy-Con next to your hip, pointing the shoulder buttons downwards, and with your trigger finger on the ZL and ZR buttons. When the dude with his ‘cool rough voice’ says ‘DRAW’ you pull your arm up 90 degrees as quick as you can and pull the trigger. First to do it wins. Shoot before it’s at 90 degrees and your bullet will hit the ground. It’s over in 30 seconds tops.

Samurai Training

It’s at this point that things get a bit more active, for those with too much energy. One player swing down towards the head of the other player holding an apparent samurai sword. The other player must use his or her hands to catch the blade. Once done you Switch roles. First to miss the catch of the blade wins (Kids, don’t try that for real at home – you’ll lose a hand, arm or head. Nintendo, why you not kid friendly?)

Sneaky Dice

Each Joy-Con represents a cup containing dice. Shake the Joy-Con and flip it over on to a flat surface. The number of the dice in your cup is indicated by the number of rumbles your foe will receive. It’s then up to him or her to convince you that your number is high or low to create doubt so you can shake it again, in the hope you’re conned in losing your high dice roll. Person with the lowest dice roll loses. It’s really just a game of – screw over the other person and be a jerk.

Signal Flags

Another one of the cooler games (that’s three now). You’re both tasked at standing up and facing the TV. A lady will shout out left, right, up or down and you must extend your arm in that direction. However, the twist comes in that when a guy shouts out the commands you have to extend your arm in the opposite direction. So if he yells up, be sure to extend your arm downwards. Person with the least mistakes gets a happy drill sergeant. [Ed’s note – not a euphemism]

Soda Shake

Probably one of the dumbest concepts ever. Shake a bottle of soda, by shaking the Joy-Con controller. First person to have the bottle of soda pops wins. In other words – don’t pass it on and shake until you win.


Use the Joy-Con controller to shave the contours of your face. First person to shave their face 100% wins. Let’s just say that a lady beat me – I must be terrible.

Joy-Con Rotation

Set each Joy-Con down on a flat rotation with the SL and SR buttons facing downwards. Your aim is the gently pick up your controller and turn it as far as your hand can (in terms of degrees) without twisting or shaking the controller. After three turns the person with the highest rotation degrees wins.

Table Tennis

It’s much better than it sounds and now has this mini game bundle with okay games sitting at a whopping four titles. You play table tennis with the ball distance being represented by sound on your TV or console. It’s a good idea to have the Joy-Con straps connected as you might end up with something broken in the house. Press ZL in while hitting and you’ll smash the ball – an easy way to win a game really.


Oh yeah, things are about to get out of hand weird. Slide both Joy-Con controllers on to the console and hold the console in your arms – as if it’s a baby. The screen, now pointing up at you, as a creepy baby face on it and it’s crying. Gentle move your arms from side to side to calm it down. Once it stops crying place the console on a flat surface gently. Too hard and it’ll start crying again. Do it the fastest time and you walk away as the baby whisperer. Shoot me now.

Fake Draw

Exactly the same thing as Quick Draw, except that the cool guy with the rough cool voice now mouths off fake words, instead of ‘Fire’. Fly, Fork, Foot… FIRE! Fire when he says the wrong word and you lose. Yeah… errr…


You’ve guessed it. One pitches the ball and the other bats. The person pitching can select either a changeup or fast ball by pressing the shoulder button associated with the move and the person batting merely swings. Person with the highest score after three innings is the winner… and gets a free sore arm two days later.
Eating Contest

Yes, it’s that one game that shows off what the IR motion camera is capable of. Hold it about 5cm from your mouth and open and close your mouth as quickly as you can to consume numerous amounts of hotdogs. Person with the most hotdogs eaten wins.

Beach Flag

This here is a killer. Hold the Joy-Con in your hand and run as fast as you can on one spot. When your Joy-Con rumbles lift your arm as fast as you can, representing you lifting a flag on a beach, and you’re victorious.


Yeah, it’s time to go all Harry Potter. Each player has a wand in their hand (yes, the Joy-Con controller) and it’s up to each of you to counter each other by sending out pulsating powerful magic beams at each other by thrusting your arm towards your opponent. The person who counters best wins.

Sword Fight

You’d think this would be a stupid amount of fun, but it’s incredibly lame and boring. You’re fighting your opponent with thin air in the middle and an imaginary sword. Or, you could go to the closest store, buy a plastic sword and smack someone over the head. Yes, that sounds like a better idea to me too.

Boxing Gym

Surprisingly this is actually quite fun. Each person holds a Joy-Con controller in their dominant arm. It’s time to fight each other. The announcer shouts out straight, uppercut or hook (randomly) and you action the commands. At the end you do a power move by punching back and forward as quickly as you can (try doing this as close to the face of your opponent as possible – it’s fun. No really…). Person with the must correct punches wins. So, that’s five games so far!

Plate spin

It’s time for another silly mini tech demo. Rotate the Joy-Con in circular motions to spin a plate, shown on your TV or console. Push the other player over to lose control and you win. It’s over before it even begins.

Copy Dance

Gosh, I hate to admit it… but it’s actually fun. Your task is to ‘strike a pose’ and for the other player to copy that pose. Then it’s time to SWITCH and change up the roles. Person who copies it best wins. Yes, it sounds stupid, but it’s not that bad. The tally stands at six now.


Put your hands on your hips, with the Joy-Con controller attached to one hand and walk like a model down a straight line, swinging your hips all cool and stuff. Turn around and walk back. Finally, strike a pose! Yes, I beat my wife. Let’s move on. (It never happened).

Air Guitar

I don’t think I have to say too much, other than that the person who jump around with the controller the most and swing his or her arm all over the show will win the air guitar mini-game. Or you could just go and play some Guitar Hero right?

Dance Off

Check Air Guitar above. Jump around and be silly. Stop dead still when the announcer yells ‘STOP!’, to accumulate more points, and continue being wild in your lounge. The biggest crazy person walks away being dead tired in the need for water and the winner.


Oh yeah, this is probably the lowest point for me of this compilation of mini tech demo games. You are a gorilla and have to act like one. The less I say about this the better.

1,2 Switch! is exactly what we don’t want from Nintendo anymore. Nintendo is for whatever reason still holding on to the hope that they’ll gain the interest of mom, dad, granny and uncle Jimmy who has not seen a console controller since his Atari 2600 days. Unfortunately 1,2 Switch! won’t hold their interest, it won’t hold your interest and for the sake of all that’s good I hope this marks the end for these experiments for Nintendo.

You should not pay for it and even as a pack-in title it would see little to no use after trying it once. It’s time to 1, 2 Switch up your game Nintendo.


  • Ball Count really shows off HD Rumble | You get a workout with some games?


  • All a bunch of tech demos | Each game is over in a minute | Should be free


Is it a joy to switch up, or are you being conned?


Gameplay - 5
Visuals - 5
Audio - 5
Gratification - 3
Value for money - 2
Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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