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1-2-Switch is a party game developed and published by Nintendo as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch, which was released worldwide on March 3, 2017.[1] The game extensively uses the system's Joy-Con controllers, with players facing each other performing various minigames.[2][3] By 2018, it sold over two million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling games on the platform, despite the mixed reception.

Icon artwork, illustrating the "Table Tennis" and "Quick Draw" minigames
Developer(s)Nintendo EPD/SPD
Producer(s)Kouichi Kawamoto
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch
ReleaseMarch 3, 2017



1-2-Switch is a party game in which players do not usually rely on what is happening on a screen, but rather make use of audio cues and the functionality of the Switch's Joy-Con controllers to play in several different games. It features 28 different minigames, most of which involve two players, who each use one of the Joy-Con controllers and are often encouraged to look at each other during gameplay. Aside from tutorial videos for each game, players mostly rely solely on audio cues and feedback from the Joy-Con's rumble feature to indicate how well they are playing each game.


  • Air Guitar: Players must use their Joy-Con controller as if to strum an air guitar to the beat of rock music.
  • Baby: A single-player game where the player gently rocks the Switch console to simulate putting a crying infant to sleep before resting it down without waking up the virtual baby. The goal is to complete the minigame in as little time as possible.
  • Ball Count: Using the Joy-Con's HD Rumble feature, players must guess how many balls are inside a box. They tilt the controller while it is in the palm of their hand to simulate rolling the balls back and forth inside the box. They can hide their guess, preventing their opponent from choosing the same number to automatically end the game in a tie.
  • Baseball: Players take turns pitching and batting against each other for one inning. The pitcher chooses between two pitching speeds, and the batter attempts to get players to home base.
  • Beach Flag: Players jog on the spot in order to be the first to reach a flag. The controller vibrates when they are at the flag's location, and they raise the controller to lift it up.
  • Boxing Gym: Players face each other and follow instructions on which punch to throw, with each round giving a point to the quickest player to perform the most accurate punch.
  • Copy Dance: Each player takes turns making three dance poses, which the other player must copy in time to the music. Players are scored based on accuracy, energy, timing and poses.
  • Dance Off: Both players must freestyle dance to the same beat, judged on rhythm and performance. The music has brief periods of stopping, as the dancers must hold their position.
  • Eating Contest: A single-player game which makes use of the right Joy-Con controller's IR motion camera. Players hold the controller a short distance from their mouth and make biting motions to try and eat as many virtual sandwiches as they can within the time limit.
  • Fake Draw: An alternate version of Quick Draw featuring alternate music, a night theme, and words such as "fly" and "file" said before "fire", to trick the players into firing early and being disqualified. There is a small chance that "fire" will be said right away, eliminating the purpose of fake-outs.
  • Gorilla: Players pound their chest in a given rhythm, then pound their chest as fast as they can.
  • Joy-Con Rotation: Players place the Joy-Con controllers on a surface and take turns to carefully lift and rotate the controller without shaking too much. The HD rumble and audio alert the player if they are about to fail a turn, with the player given 5 cues before they fail. The winner is whoever rotates their controller the most over three turns.
  • Milk: Players must use gestures and specific button presses in order to milk a virtual cow, with the aim to milk more jugs than their opponent.
  • Plate Spin: Players must use their Joy-Con controllers to keep an imaginary plate stable, having to spin them if balance is lost.
  • Quick Draw: Resembling a Western fast draw, both players must point their controllers downwards and, upon receiving the order to fire, must aim their controller at their opponent and fire quicker their opponent.
  • Runway: Players listen to musical cues to strut down a runway and make dynamic poses.
  • Safe Crack: Players must race to open up a safe by twisting the Joy-Con controllers to turn a dial, paying attention to rumble input from the controller.
  • Samurai Training: One player makes an overhead sword swinging motion while the other player must clap their controller as if they were catching a sword with their bare hands. Players take it in turns until one player fails to catch their opponent's sword.
  • Shave: Players use the Joy-Con controllers as electric razors to simulate shaving their facial hair, racing to be the first to completely shave their virtual beards.
  • Signal Flags: Players listen to cues from a female and male announcer and move the Joy-Con controllers in a corresponding direction. The players must follow the instructions from the female's voice while doing the opposite of the male's voice.
  • Sneaky Dice: Based on Liar's dice, players use their Joy-Con controllers as a cup and dice. Players can shake the controllers around to shuffle the dice, and they can re-roll up to 3 times. When the cups are lifted, the player with the highest number on their dice wins. However, as the number on a player's dice can only be detected by the opposing player through vibration, players may attempt to bluff their opponent, tricking them into shaking their cup and ending up with a lower number.
  • Soda Shake: Players shake up a single Joy-Con controller representing a bottle of soda and pass it around, aiming to not be the one holding it when the cork inevitably pops.
  • Sword Fight: Players use the Joy-Con controllers as swords, holding down the trigger buttons to guard and releasing it and swinging the controller to attack. Players can guard against a vertical strike by swinging horizontally, and vice versa.
  • Table Tennis: A table tennis game in which players must listen to rhythmic audio cues to hit back a ping pong ball. Players can perform lobs and smashes to alter the flow and try to throw off their opponent.
  • Telephone: Players place their Joy-Con controllers on a surface and must be the first to pick theirs up when the phone rings. Sometimes, they are given a specific ring to listen for.
  • Treasure Chest: Players rotate the Joy-Con based on the chains surrounding a treasure chest to unravel the chest quicker than their opponent.
  • Wizard: Players use the Joy-Con controllers as makeshift wands, using gestures and counters to push back a clashing beam of magic. The game is started by waving the Joy-Con in circular motions above the player's head and then thrusting to move the energy closer to their opponent. Thrusting immediately after the opponent results in a counter, which moves the energy further than a normal thrust.
  • Zen: Players hold a given pose with the Joy-Con resting in their hand, attempting to stay as still as possible.


After Nintendo announced the game at the Nintendo Switch event in January 2017, Nintendo showed off six of the minigames to the public.[2] The game was also unveiled to show off Nintendo's Joy-Con capabilities, through the HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera features.[4]

As a way to promote the milking minigame and the Nintendo Switch, several representatives of Nintendo of America took part in a cow milking competition at a dairy farm in Woodstock, Vermont.[5]


Aggregate score
Review scores
Game Informer4/10[8]
Nintendo Life          [11]
Nintendo World Report6.5/10[12]


Upon the release of its initial trailer, several commentators compared the game to the WarioWare series.[13][14] Ben Skipper of the International Business Times made note of the game's sexual innuendos.[15]

Nintendo's decision to release the game separately from the system was criticized by several commentators, arguing that the game would be better off as a pack-in game, similarly to Wii Sports, although Nintendo stated that they opted to allow consumers to select a game to purchase rather than bundling one and increase the Switch's price so as to not disinterest consumers and compromise the console's sales.[16][17][18] Cory Arnold of Destructoid criticized the lack of a true single-player mode, and went as far as to say that the minigames were worse than what was included in Wii Sports, arguing that they lacked any sort of progression.[19]


1-2-Switch received "mixed" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[6] American animal rights organization PETA was critical of the milking minigame, accusing Nintendo of "sugarcoating" the act.[20]

By April 2017, Nintendo reported that 1-2-Switch had shipped nearly a million copies worldwide.[21] By March 2018, that number had risen to over two million.[22] By March 2019, total sales reached 2.97 million.[23]


Year Award Category Result Ref
2018 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards Control Design, 2D or Limited 3D Nominated [24][25]
Game, Music or Performance Based Nominated


  1. ^ Workman, Robert (January 12, 2017). "1-2 Switch Announced For Nintendo Switch". WWG. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Byford, Sam (January 13, 2017). "1-2-Switch is Nintendo's weirdest party game yet". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Sanchez, Miranda (January 12, 2017). "1-2 Switch Announced for Nintendo Switch". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Seedhouse, Alex (January 13, 2017). "1-2-Switch Will Let Nintendo Switch Liven Up Parties". Nintendo Insider. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  5. ^ Hongoltz-Hetling, Matt (March 30, 2017). "Billings Farm Challenges Nintendo to Milking Competition". Valley News. Newspapers of New England. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "1-2-Switch for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  7. ^ Whitaker, Jed (March 7, 2017). "Review: 1-2-Switch". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  8. ^ Marchiafava, Jeff (March 2, 2017). "The Switch Gets Its System Soiler - 1-2-Switch - Nintendo Switch". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  9. ^ Dayus, Oscar (March 2, 2017). "1, 2, Switch Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  10. ^ Pearce, Alanah (March 2, 2017). "1-2-Switch Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  11. ^ McFerran, Damien (March 2, 2017). "1-2-Switch Review". Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  12. ^ Koopman, Daan (March 8, 2017). "1-2-Switch Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Roberts, David (January 13, 2017). "1 2 Switch is a WarioWare-esque game where you face your opponent directly". GamesRadar+. Future plc. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  14. ^ McFerran, Damien (January 13, 2017). "Nintendo Introduces 1-2-Switch, A Party Game Which Asks You To Ignore The Screen". Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  15. ^ Skipper, Ben (January 13, 2017). "Nintendo Switch launch game 1-2 Switch's cow-milking mini game is udder filth". International Business Times. Newsweek Media Group. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  16. ^ Frank, Allegra (January 13, 2017). "1-2-Switch is not the killer app the Nintendo Switch needs". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  17. ^ Martin, Matt (January 13, 2017). "Nintendo Switch: hands-on with Nintendo's unique and pricey new console". VG247. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  18. ^ Madsen, Hayes (January 13, 2017). "7 Baffling Switch Decisions That Nintendo Is Making (Page 5)". Twinfinite. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  19. ^ Arnold, Cory (January 20, 2017). "1-2-Switch is not the next Wii Sports". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  20. ^ Frank, Allegra (March 31, 2017). "PETA takes aim at Nintendo for 1-2-Switch's milking minigame". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  21. ^ Makuch, Eddie (April 27, 2017). "Nintendo Confirms No Major E3 Event This Year, Reveals 1-2-Switch Shipment Numbers". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  22. ^ Arif, Shabana. "Super Mario Odyssey Hits 10 Million Sales". IGN. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Nominee List for 2017". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.

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