A new first-party Nintendo Switch exclusive is arriving in just a couple of days, though you’d be forgiven for being unaware. Announced only at the beginning of this month – and at the time, without much of a trailer or screenshot – the surprising reveal and seemingly quick turnaround of Everybody 1-2 Switch! Raise the eyebrows. Stranger still, Nintendo chose not to mention Everybody 1-2 Switch at all in last week’s Nintendo Direct.
This all added fuel to the ongoing rumor fire before it was announced that the game, a follow-up to the Switch launch titled 1-2 Switch! , has been floating around Nintendo HQ for a while, and honestly, it hasn’t been very good. . Leaks of this nature are rare to happen from behind Nintendo’s doors, but the nature of the game’s announcement, bargain £25 price point, and imminent launch have done nothing to contradict this narrative, when compared to other games that have been highlighted more closely. . So how is it really?
well, okay. I had a 2-hour hands-on session in London last week with a bunch of other gaming media, to try out some multiplayer party mini-games as a group. The playground we were offered was pretty good, in fact: it was designed for social gatherings where you might not be with people who feel natural holding a game controller, or when you have more people wanting to play than you have the controllers themselves. It’s nice to know that an additional Joy-Con doesn’t come cheap, especially when it can only be used when visiting friends or family.
In these situations, then, you can take advantage of a major gameplay change from its predecessor in the Switch launch title: you can now use smartphones as secondary controllers, so up to 100 people can join in.
Along with the usual Joy-Con support, Everybody 1-2 Switch mini-games now let you join in using your mobile phone via a browser-based solution a bit like Jackbox. The smartphone’s hardware technology is leveraged to detect motion and allow you to press on-screen buttons, enough not to feel like those who play on mobile have been left out to support the case.
But while the technology is interesting, the mini-games themselves feel pretty simple – even when compared to those you might see in a Mario Party title. One sees two teams pumping their controllers to fill the balloons with air, in order to make the balloon bigger without it popping. Another is a variation on musical chairs, where they must fall to the ground when the game’s music stops. The most inspiring option makes use of your mobile phone’s camera to find and match an object of the same color that appears on the TV screen, with the closest color winning.
If you’re playing in a large group, the roll call to the on-screen scores is a fun moment as the game goes from worst to best, listing people’s times or points score in reverse order. You can also see – for example in a color matching game – which pictures people have come up with. In a true or false question game, this means that you can see who has the question right or wrong, how fast, and then respond via emojis or by typing quick phrases to appear on the screen.
There’s plenty of room for absurdity, and a memorable hip-thrusting battle where two players have to bump each other out of a virtual wrestling ring, standing back, while people in bunny costumes play your moves onscreen like a bizarre mix of Just Dance cosplay and Trigger Happy TV. Another mini-game, Team Affair, sees you surround one player in a circle and ninjas hurl throwing stars in their direction as they try to turn and stop them in time.
There are 17 mini-games in total, each with many variants to try out. Sessions can be set between 20 minutes and a full hour with a variety of rounds designed for groups of people divided into teams. The trivia game show option allows you to set your own quiz questions. You can also play bingo. And it’s very well done — Horace, host of Horsehead Bizarre Game Show, brings a bunch of lifestyle models to life on screen in how-to videos for all the games.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for something to play the next time you have a big group of friends or family over, Everybody 1-2 Switch holds a very unique place as the only game I know of where up to 100 people can easily join. Simple, but that’s the whole point, and that’s okay in specific cases. Hey, if all 99 of your friends participate, that’s suddenly £25 cheaper.
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