A new first-party Nintendo Switch exclusive is coming in just a few days, though you’d be forgiven for not knowing. Just announced at the beginning of this month – and at the time, without much of a trailer or screenshot – the sudden unveiling and apparently quick turnaround for the Everybody 1-2 Switch! Raised eyebrows. Stranger still, Nintendo chose not to mention it in last week’s Nintendo Direct.
All of this only added fuel to the fire of persistent rumors before the announcement that the game, a follow-up to the Switch’s launch title 1-2 Switch!, has been floating around Nintendo HQ for a while and, frankly, is not very good. . Leaks of this kind from behind Nintendo’s doors are rare, but the nature of the game’s announcement, its bargain bin £25 price point, and its imminent release have done nothing to counter the that narrative, compared to other games that have been given more attention. . So how is it, really?
Well, that’s fine. I was given a two-hour hands-on session in London last week with a gaggle of other game media, to try out some of the title’s multiplayer party mini-games as a group. The pitch we were given was pretty good, actually: that it’s designed for social gatherings where you might not be around people who naturally hold a game controller, or when you want to play more games than you have controllers. itself. Goodness knows, an extra Joy-Con isn’t cheap, especially getting one when it can only be used when friends or family visit.
In these situations, then, you can take advantage of a major gameplay change from its predecessor Switch launch title: that you can now use smartphones as a second controller, so up to 100 people can join.
Alongside standard Joy-Con support, Everybody 1-2 Switch’s mini-games now let you join in using your mobile via a browser-based Jackbox-like solution. Smartphone hardware technology is used to detect movement and allow you to press on-screen buttons, enough so that it doesn’t feel like those playing on a mobile phone are lowered to support status.
But while the technology is intriguing, the mini-games themselves feel too simple – even compared to the ones you’d find in a Mario Party title. One can see the two teams pumping their controllers to fill the balloons with air, to make their balloon as big as possible without popping it. Another is a variant on musical chairs, where you must fall to the floor when the game’s music stops. A more inspired option uses your mobile phone’s camera to find and match something with the same color as displayed on your TV screen, with the closest shade winning.
If you’re playing in a large group, the roll-call of the results on the screen is a fun moment as the game scrolls from worst to best, listing people’s times or scores in reverse order . You can also see – for example in that color matching game – the pictures that people have taken. In the true or false trivia game, this means you can see who got the question right or wrong, and how fast they got it, and then react via emojis or by typing quick phrase to be displayed on the screen.
There’s plenty of scope for antics, most memorably in a hip-thrusting battle where two players have to crash into each other from a virtual wrestling ring, back-to-back, while people in rabbit costumes play your movements on the screen are like a strange mixture. of Just Dance cosplay and Trigger Happy TV. Another mini-game, a team-based affair, sees you surround one player in a circle and throw ninja throwing stars in their direction as they try to turn and block them in time.
There are 17 mini-games in total, each with multiple variants to try. Sessions can be set between 20 minutes and a full hour with a medley of rounds designed for groups of people divided into teams. A trivia game show option lets you set your own quiz questions. You can also play bingo. And it’s presented well – with Horace the eccentric horse-headed game show host directing a posse of living models on screen in videos explaining how all games should be played.
Finally, if you want something to play the next time you have a large group of friends or family, Everybody 1-2 Switch holds the distinction of being the only game I know of where up to 100 people can easily join. . It’s simple, but that’s the point, and for certain situations, it’s fine. And hey, if all 99 of your friends get in, that £25 will suddenly be cheaper.
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