Say what you want about Nintendo – there's no other games hardware manufacturer doing more to bring social and multiplayer gaming back into the living room, and far from the often maddening experience of playing against screaming malcontents online. After all, it's far better to fall out with someone after they've soundly trounced you in your living room.
That's the central appeal of 1-2-Switch. Get a bunch of friends together and play this minigame collection at a party, and it's a wonderful experience. Whether it's the more simplistic duelling games like Sword Fight, Quick Draw or Wizard, or the more abstract likes of Baby (hold the entire Switch console as a newborn bawls its eyes out on the screen, and rock it to sleep), Ball Counting (stop laughing; this does a fantastic job of showing off the precision of the controller rumble as it emulates the number of ball bearings in an imaginary box), or the freestyle Copy Dance, the collection has more than enough variety to get people enjoying themselves.
Play this minigame collection at a party, and it's a wonderful experience.
While you can pick any of the 28 games individually, or leave the decision to chance using Shuffle mode, the best part is Team Battle. A virtual board game, this mode splits players into two teams, and members battle it out in a randomised selection of 1-2-Switch's collection, the winner of each round moving forward on the board. It beats the hell out of Monopoly, and the fact that almost all games require you to focus on each other, rather than your TV screen, makes this a legitimately great party title.
Which, of course, makes it all the more disappointing that it's not included when you buy the Switch. It's this console generation's Wii Sports and arguably the real showcase for the Nintendo Switch's capabilities. Sure, Zelda is a masterpiece, but it was originally designed as a Wii U game – this spotlights all the bells and whistles of Nintendo's smart new console, from the motion sensing controllers to the built-in multiplayer afforded by the Joy-Con controllers.
But as an unknown quantity, and one that has to compete against, lest we forget, that aforementioned Zelda, will enough people pick this up as an extra purchase? The fact that it's multiplayer-only will also hurt its chances as a standalone release – it's huge fun with friends, but won't get a lick of play on your own.
A must have if you have enough people to play with regularly, but unless you're planning Switch gatherings on the regular, far from essential.