In the Game: ‘Everybody 1-2 Switch!’ is More Frustrating Than Fun

Have you ever been to a party and somebody decides to put Quiplash on? Those are my kinds of parties. Nothing better than writing out a really clever question while everyone in the room has written “penis” as their answer. Its presentation is engaging and easy to comprehend. Quiplash is one of many games included in the Jackbox series. Even the bad Jackbox games are pretty fun to play with the right group of people. Games like Quiplash, Trivia Murder Party, and Drawful are fun and successful because they allow creativity and stupidity to thrive. So when Nintendo announced years ago that they were coming out with their own sort of take on Jackbox, I was interested.

1-2 Switch came out as a launch title for the Switch and it was uhh… not very good at all. It felt more like a cheap way to show off the capability of the Joy-Con. I always thought it would have been more successful if it was something with Nintendo branding all over it. Think Mario or Link showing you the Joy-Con. Instead we had a bunch of nameless individuals who we know nothing about playing very lame mini-games. Lately, I’ve been able to play some truly great sequels. Everybody 1-2 Switch! is not one of them.

Everybody 1-2 Switch! is a game that I never thought would come out. The fact that it has been released in 2023 instead of 2019 or something when the Switch was still fresh makes so little sense to me. But I digress. If the game is fun, who cares? Well, it’s not very fun. I coaxed my roommate into playing Everybody 1-2 Switch! with me, and we wanted the full experience. We decided to do the longest game mode we could find. You play until one of the two teams gets seven game wins. The unfortunate thing about getting the entire Everybody 1-2 Switch! experience is that none of the games are really interesting or fun to play.

Whether you are playing on a Joy-Con or your smartphone, it’s apparent that it is tough to find a mini-game available that is actually fun or exciting to play. Playing on your phone is sort of interesting because it allows for new games you wouldn’t be able to play on a regular controller, but the games available aren’t engrossing or original. The biggest offender (also oddly the one my roommate and I got the most enjoyment out of) was Bingo. Literally just Bingo. Not Nintendo Bingo, not Mario Bingo, not SUPER FUN WACKY BINGO. Just BINGO! While somewhat fun when absolutely sloshed out of your mind when you have nothing else to do, I’d argue it being the last game you’d ever want to play at a party.

The mini-game variety leaves a lot to be desired. There are 17 playable games displayed on a roulette wheel that spins. Every time you land on a game, you play it, and then it is swapped out with another title. You are OFTEN getting the same game but with a few different “difficulties.” We played a game called “Squats” where you have to squat every time the word “squat” is said. But they also say “squash” to throw you off. Then we played “Squats 2” shortly after where they add the words “square” and “squad.” “Squats 3” even showed up and you can imagine how devastated we were to see it. The problem is that the games require you to do one or two simple gestures over and over again. There is no room for strategy or gameplan. You just need to hope the other person is more exhausted and fed up with the game than you are. If I live the rest of my life without ever having to play “Squats,” I’d be okay with that.

Other games follow this numerical naming system where you play the same game but with something added to it. The core game of how you play never changes, however. I’m sure they wanted me to feel excited every time we unlocked the second or third variation of a game we’ve already played, but I really wished they just spent the time making other unique games.

I really, really don’t like when media treats me like an idiot, and Everybody 1-2 Switch! makes me feel like it’s calling me stupid every chance it gets. Trivia is hard to mess up. You ask a question, give your player time to decide, then the answer is given. Whether you’re right or wrong, the game is fun because you’re testing yourself. Trivia in Everybody 1-2 Switch! asks you the tough questions; Which of these objects are red? Is the nose used to see things? The opposite of north is? Thankfully, you can write your own questions and make some stupid stuff happen, but the “trivia” written is not good, nor is it any fun or any bit challenging.

In a game littered with uninspired mini-games, there are a few bright spots! The Joy-Con hide and seek was great. I don’t have a big apartment, but I could imagine that game being a total winner in a party setting. You hide the controller around the house (not too far otherwise the controller will disconnect.) The other player is tasked with finding it, and they are aided by pressing buttons on their Joy-Con to make the other controller vibrate at a very loud frequency. It’s cute and fun! We also had a good time playing the musical chairs game. It’s self explanatory, it’s just musical chairs. It’s not original in the slightest, but it’s at least something fun to play in this collection.

Party games are hard to get right. It has to be something that is not only easy to play in a group setting but it also has to be FUN. They have to be something you could reliably pull out to spice up a dull get together. Games like Rock Band and Super Smash Bros work so well because it’s fun no matter how long you play those games. The competitive nature of Super Smash Bros and the tactile hands-on approach of Rock Band make those games fun and exciting in a party setting. Games like Jackbox also work because you eliminate the need for controllers and anybody with a smartphone can hop in for some dumb fun. Everybody 1-2 Switch! brings very little to the table when comparing it to party game giants. I don’t think it’s the worst game on the market, but if someone pulls out Everybody 1-2 Switch! at a party, you should probably go find another party.

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