Game Rant goes hands-on with a few of the party minigames from 1-2-Switch, one of the upcoming launch titles for the Nintendo Switch console.

As the launch of the Nintendo Switch draws ever closer, Nintendo will be banking that its opening lineup of titles will be able to please the hungry day-one crowd. Nintendo will be hoping for a strong performance from its Switch lineup right out of the gate, as the company needs to make up ground after the unsatisfactory sales of its predecessor, the Nintendo Wii U. At a recent event hosted by Nintendo, Game Rant got a chance to go hands on with several Nintendo Switch titles, including the launch day party title 1-2-Switch.

1-2-Switch will face obvious comparisons to other compilation party games like Wii Sports, a launchday Wii title meant to highlight different technological aspects of the console. In the same regard, the minigames of 1-2-Switch are designed to show off what the Switch can do in a party environment, offering gamers a chance to get a feel for the technologically impressive Joy-Cons, the versatile controllers that dictate the action across all of 1-2-Switch‘s 20+ minigames, some of which still remain a mystery.

The game presents a unique experience right from the get-go, encouraging players to look at each other rather than focus on the screen itself. This makes the game a lot more viable as a portable party title, since one doesn’t have to worry about everyone in the room being able to see a portable screen – the action can take place anywhere. During our preview, we played the Quick Draw, Milk, and Ball Count minigames to test out the versatility offered by the 1-2-Switch catalog.

In Quick Draw, would-be John Marstons face each other and handle their Joy-Cons like fully loaded revolvers: both players point the controllers straight down as a grizzled cowboy voice counts down, inevitably pausing before ‘draw’ for random increments of time to build suspense. When the call comes, players raise their Joy-Cons and press a single button to fire, and the game then shows who won the duel and reenacts, in slow motion, how each controller was moved to show exactly how things went down. It’s a simple concept, but it ended up being a pretty fun way to introduce the title. The Joy-Cons were extremely accurate in how they recorded player movement, and the intensity of staring at one’s friend while preparing to draw down on them was infectious.

nintendo 1-2-switch milk game

Next up on the docket was Milk, 1-2-Switch‘s most infamous and bizarre minigame that has players pretending to milk hypothetical cows in an effort to squeeze out more cups of milk than their opponent. Players once again face each other, and when the game begins they start moving the Joy-Con in a motion similar to tugging an udder, while simultaneously pressing a sequence of buttons on the down stroke and releasing them on the up stroke. Players look completely ridiculous while doing it, which seems to be the main gimmick of the game itself – it doesn’t offer any surprises and seems to exist mostly for some self-depreciating humor.

Our final minigame was Ball Count, where players tilt and move the Joy-Con to feel how many virtual balls they can feel inside the controller itself. This was by far the most technically interesting title, as it gives the system’s HD Rumble feature the ultimate test. Tilting our Joy-Cons it really feels like balls are clinking around in the controller, hitting both the edges of the Joy-Con and the other virtual balls. To that end, Ball Count shows that the HD Rumble of the controllers is a force to be reckoned with, though we ultimately hope more interesting HD Rumble experiences are created with the hardware.

All in all, it seems like 1-2-Switch is one of the more obvious day one purchases for those intent on picking up the console. While the main star of launch week will always be The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it’s hard to deny that 1-2-Switch brings plenty of quality content to the table: it’s a fun party game with a massive selection of titles, it’s a great introductory game for the console, and above all else it ends up being fun, silly, and accessible to everyone – though how long it can keep the party entertained remains to be seen.

1-2-Switch will launch alongside the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017.

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