1-2 Kids! Nintendo's Switch Party Game Played with Toddlers

Ryan Thompson @Zoso1701

At time of writing, my boy and girl are two and four-years old, respectively. I enjoy the opportunity to include them in gaming, and Nintendo’s collection of mini, two-player, Joy-Con shaking games has given them more opportunity to play than I anticipated. Following are experiences we’ve shared with the games in 1-2 Switch!

Ball Count: Gently tilt the Joy-Cons back and forth, the kids can do that. I don’t think they understand the actual counting of the pebbles you can feel through the HD rumble. They’ll play it, but don’t get it, or care.

Milk: Both of my kids like the idea of cow-milking. We have a farm close-by and they’ve done it in real life. The up and down motion they can handle. Squeezing the two triggers along with the motion is challenging, and their fingers aren’t quite strong or dexterous enough to do this reliably. So, they enjoy cow milking, but are ultimately disappointed when they only squeeze a cup or two.

Telephone: This was the first game I loaded for the kids. Both got the initial round right away, and those little voices yelling “hello!” at the ring was incredible cuteness. Also, Daughter has totally bought in to the direction to look in the eye of her opponent and gives Brother this intense, wide-eyed stare. I love it. They just answer on any ring, so after the first round, they’re being disqualified for answering on the wrong tones.

Treasure Chest: Daughter was frustrated trying to find the direction to unravel a chain wrapped around a chest. Hard stop.

Quick Draw: I’m not ready to engage my kids with finger gunplay; let’s give that until five at least. My wife and I enjoy shooting each other, however.

Safe Cracker: Far too much precision required in feeling the subtle differences in vibration that indicate a correct combination number. 10 and 12 year-olds we played with got it, our little ones, not so much.

Soda Shake: I think this is my daughter’s favorite video game. This is the request I get the most; “Can we play the shaker game with the bubbles?” Of course we can honey, of course we can. Times Joy-Con has gone flying: 2 (one of those was me).

Baby: I’m not letting toddlers carry the Switch tablet.

Baseball: I was pleasantly surprised that Daughter and I had a great time playing this. Pitching was easier for her than hitting, but we had genuine back and forth air-baseball happening there.

Joy-Con Rotation: Frustrating for both kids. Hard to comprehend that any angular movement would result in a failure.

Gorilla: This one results in so much laughter. Both kids are great at “going wild,” the portion of the game where one bangs their chest wildly. Not so great is mimicking the rhythm of beats with their hand motions. That skill will come in time.

We’ve still more mini-games to play together, and I’m looking forward to  the rest of the games in 1-2 Switch! with the kids. For the attention span of toddlers, the time investment these require individually is perfect for keeping their focus. As motor skills develop, some of the frustrations the kids experience will fade away. It’s a guarantee we’ll be playing this for 1-2 years.

Posted on May 19, 2017 .