1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 *stops for breath* 12-13-14-15-16-17 Switch!
Last week, we were invited to play six of the minigames included in upcoming Nintendo Switch collection/tech showcase, 1-2 Switch. Aside from “who thought of the Milk one, and are they alright?”, the biggest question we came away asking was, “how many more of these are there?”
As it turns out, we’ve already been shown quite a few – for a split-second or two at least. During a Nintendo Treehouse stream, it was revealed that the cutesy, colour-coded lifestyle shots from the 1-2 Switch trailer (below) were taken from the minigames’ tutorials, which means we can reasonably assume that every shot we saw is a different game.
Naturally, I went frame-by-frame through the whole trailer, chopped out each tiny segment as a gif, and tried to work out what they are. For reference, we’ve already played Quick Draw, Samurai Training, Ball Count, Milk, Safe Crack and Copy Dance, while the Treehouse showed off two more; Eating Contest (use the Joy-Con sensor to phantom-chomp as many sandwiches as possible in 10 seconds) and Table Tennis (play a game of table tennis using sound alone).
That left 17 more to work out – here’s all we’ve seen of each one, alongside what we think the game could be, and what it’ll be called. Oh, and just because I kept going “hey! That looks like…” while I looked through it all, I’ve pointed out a celebrity lookalike in every one. I’ve also organised them by easiness to guess, just so everyone knows exactly how much they can make fun of me when the game comes out and I’ve gotten some wrong. Here we go:
The Easy – We’ve got a good idea what these are
What we’ve seen so far: Guys, I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be baseball. Probably of more interest is that scoreboard in the background, which looks very similar to the in-game graphics for Table Tennis – there are 10 slots for runs, two for strikes, and two for outs.
What the game could be: One player throws a ball, the other has to judge speed (probably based on sound, like Table Tennis) and hit it. The first player to hit 10 home runs wins, but three strikes and you’re out, three outs and you lose. You know, kind of like baseball.
Our guess at a name: Baseball
Celebrity lookalike: Andy Murray, but for baseball
What we’ve seen so far: Well, this doesn’t look a huge change from Samurai Training, although there are a couple of key differences. For a start, the screen shows that each player has five lives, and that second shot shows both players attacking and blocking (seemingly either swiping up or across) in the same round.
What the game could be: Both players take swings at one another vertically or horizontally – holding the Joy-Con still in the opposing direction counts as a block. Whoever lands five hits first wins.
Our guess at a name: Sword Fight
Celebrity lookalike: Violent Kristen Schaal
What we’ve seen so far: So we have stationary Joy-Con, a Switch screen that says “Ring!!” on it, and then those Joy-Con get picked up. Seems pretty straightforward.
What the game could be: Both players lay their Joy-Con down until a phone rings – whoever gets their remote to their ear first wins.
Our guess at a name: Ring!!
Celebrity lookalike: Humdrum timeline David Byrne.
What we’ve seen so far: Air guitar by two men with varying dress sense. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen leather shorts before. The Switch screen seems to light up intermittently, probably on the beat.
What the game could be: The game plays a call-and-response guitar riff, with each player strumming along – whoever has the best rhythm wins.
Our guess at a name: Rock Out
Celebrity lookalike: Justin Hawkins from The Darkness. This might be cheating, as I haven’t seen Justin Hawkins since 2006, so it could actually be him.
What we’ve seen so far: Two business-casual LARPers thrust their respective Joy-Con, while bolts of coloured magic push against one another, Harry vs. He-Who-Is-Called-Voldemort style, on the Switch screen.
What the game could be: After a countdown, both players push their Joy-Con forward as hard as possible – whoever pushes it (and the accelerometer inside) hardest wins. The other is potentially immolated by an eldritch blast.
Our guess at a name: Wizard Battle
Celebrity lookalike: Everyone in the background of the Harry Potter films who got given dollar store costumes because no one would ever see them.
What we’ve seen so far: This one was so short that, in gif form, it’s begun to warp my brain. Sorry if that’s happened to you too. Anyway, it’s two people standing still, holding their Joy-Con on flat palms.
What the game could be: The game presents a yoga pose, and both players have to replicate it, trying to hold their controller as still as possible. Shake too much and you lose.
Our guess at a name: Yoga
Celebrity lookalike: Any faux-marble statue sold in those shops that seem to get by on just selling incense and “home mushroom growing kits”.
What we’ve seen so far: Another slight similarity to a game we’ve already seen – this looks a little like Copy Dance (even featuring the same two actors from that game’s tutorial). However, this time, they’re dancing simultaneously and, when they stop, the lights in the room on the Switch screen go dark.
What the game could be: Both players have to dance as music plays, going totally stationary when it stops. Whoever moves first during a silent section loses.
Our guess at a name: Musical Statues
Celebrity lookalike: Well, that matte, functionless disco ball looks like The Traveler from Destiny, I guess? I’m beginning to regret this section.
The Hard – We’re applying some guesswork
What we’ve seen so far: This is one of the slimmer clips we have to go on – there’s no Switch screen in sight, so all we have is that uppercut and raised block. Incidentally, there are no boxing gloves in sight, making this representative of illegal underground bouts, which is pretty gritty for Nintendo.
What the game could be: Initially, we’d suspected that one player throws a punch, the other has to block in the right direction, but that’s functionally identical to Sword Fight (tentative title) above. Perhaps it’s reduced to a single punch, swapping who throws it each time, rather than a live fight.
Our guess at a name: Boxing
Celebrity lookalike: IGN executive editor of news, Andrew Goldfarb. If you’re squinting, like, a lot. Basically you just have to imagine him.
What we’ve seen so far: Two guys (the clown thing is probably, hopefully incidental) trying to mess with the other’s Joy-Con. The Switch screen seems to show a pair of spinning plates on sticks.
What the game could be: Taking something of a queue from genius-level party game Johann Sebastian Joust, each player has to press a button on the other’s Joy-Con, without having one pressed on theirs. Thing is, that could easily descend into physical violence, which Nintendo would probably not want to be advocating, making this a little tougher to call.
Our guess at a name: Balance
Celebrity lookalike: John Wayne Gacy Jr.
What we’ve seen so far: Two chatty men pretend to shave with their Joy-Con. I can barely tell what that is one the screen but, weirdly, it looks very similar to the screen for the game I called Rock Out.
What the game could be: If that is the same overlay as for Rock Out, that might make this a rhythm game of some kind. Maybe your shaving strokes need to be in time with the buzz of an electric razor from the screen, with a player losing by going at the wrong time and setting off a yelp of cut-based pain?
Our guess at a name: Close Shave
Celebrity lookalike: Low-level members of the Epsilon Program from GTA V.
What we’ve seen so far: This one’s very hard to tell – the screen’s obscured, and the Joy-Con seem to be doing very little here, besides being thrown into a final pose. What the game could be: I’m going to hazard a guess that this is somewhere between Copy Dance and Yoga, asking players to take a set pose simultaneously, and marking them on accuracy.
Our guess at a name: Catwalk
Celebrity lookalike: Two-fifths of a Spice Girls album cover.
What we’ve seen so far: Watched too many times, and this begins to look… unsavoury. Ignoring that, it looks like players take turns thrusting (stop it) the Joy-Con, while, going by the gentleman’s face, the Switch itself makes a racket.
What the game could be: Similar to Eating Contest, players will be tasked with banging in (stop it) as many nails with an invisible hammer as possible in a set time limit.
Our guess at a name: Hammer Smash (STOP IT).
Celebrity lookalike: I refuse to answer this one, because I have stopped it.
What we’ve seen so far: In a beautiful, appropriate quirk of journalism imitating art imitating reality, this gif can actually make you feel seasick. Get past that, and these two very stationary pirates sport looks of concentration rather than exertion, and the Switch screen displays two treasure chests.
What the game could be: Ignoring the fact that this could be a re-skin of Safe Crack (that game includes two safes, full of gold bullion, on the screen), it’s what’s under the treasure chests that interests me. It’s a stretch, but the chests seem off-centre with the floor – perhaps the Joy-Con accelerometers control the sway of the ship, and you’re trying to smash the other player’s chest open to spill the contained booty? (Stop it.)
Our guess at a name: Pirates’ Treasure
Celebrity lookalike: Rick Moranis.
What we’ve seen so far: A spiritual companion to the last one, in that basically nothing is happening. That red-and-yellow flag on the screen indicates an area of beach patrolled by lifeguards.
What the game could be: If we had to hazard a guess based on very little, perhaps this take a Wii Fit idea, and has players running on the spot and/or doing air front-crawl, with the fastest player getting to an at-risk member of the public in the sea?
Our guess at a name: Lifeguard
Celebrity lookalike: IGN executive editor of news, Andrew Goldfarb, again.
The ??? – Look, who knows, alright?
What we’ve seen so far: I’m going to ignore the fact that it looks a bit like the guy on the left is maybe cutting a line of Bad Drugs, because I just can’t see Nintendo going down that path. Which, honestly, leaves us with very little. The screen shows what could be hotplates and degree temperatures, but they look very strange. I’d guess that the lady on the right has already finished her task, and indicated that to the game by putting her Joy-Con down. The moment the guy looks distressed, a puff of steam emerges from his side of the screen.
What the game could be: Umm. Well, perhaps what we’re not seeing are pans of food on those hot plates, which the players are stirring before indicating they’re ready to serve.
Our guess at a name: Let’s Cook
Celebrity lookalike: Nintendo Switch Karen, from the original Nintendo Switch advert. I mean, it’s probably is her, but just in case.
What we’ve seen so far: Well, this is the only game that seems to include only one player, and the Joy-Con attached to the screen. Essentially, it looks completely different in approach to every single other game we’ve seen. Maybe it indicates a single-player component of some kind?
What the game could be: Basically, one of those robot babies they give to teenagers at schools in sitcoms, except even more gamified. Maybe if you don’t get to the baby’s cries in time, the console bricks itself. True jeopardy.
Our guess at a name: Oh God, The Baby’s On Fire
Celebrity lookalike: The Nvidia Shield. Wheeeeeeey!
What we’ve seen so far: I’m not going to lie, all I see here is the woman on the right throwing a fascist salute.
What the game could be: I don’t really want to think about it.
Our guess at a name: Rally
Celebrity lookalike: Umm.
Joe Skrebels is IGN’s UK News Editor, and he has suffered repetitive strain injury on his brain. Follow him on Twitter.