It’s time to get your origami skills happening once again, as the latest Nintendo Labo fold it then play experience hoons in.
Why “hoons”? Well, this one’s all about the vehicles. There’s a steering wheel and accelerator combination, a flight controller and also a submarine setup.
As with the other two Labo kits, the first bit of fun is in the assembly. This isn’t accomplished particularly quickly, due to both the often alarmingly complex cardboard manipulations required, and the software. For also like the other two Labo kits, the instructional software is incredibly hand-holdy. This will be good for some, but surely a simple “get on with it” button (beyond the still time-wasting fast forward function) could easily be added for those who just want to build the thing and get playing?
So, you’ll need to put aside a good four hours to build the main attraction, the steering wheel and accelerator. If you want to get the most out of the packed-in game, you’ll need to build everything, which will take around eight hours.
Needless to say, hitting it all in one session will have you cursing cardboard for all eternity.
Once you’ve completed your cardboard masterpieces and jammed your Joy-Cons into parts thereof where the sun don’t shine, it’s time to have some game-flavoured fun.
The included game has more heft to it than previous Labo releases, offering a large-ish island to venture out on and explore in vehicular style. Meet people, solve mysteries and just hoon around in your car, plane or submarine (just insert your cardboard key into whichever module you wish to use). It’s good fun for a few hours. Then there are a handful of simpler racing games to add to the value, along with a cool battle mode. For multiplayer fun you’ll require at least one more Vehicle Kit though. There goes another eight hours (and another $99)…
What surprised us is how accurately this Vehicle Kit replicates real driving, offering more responsiveness than some real cars that we’ve driven over the years (do note that we’ve been behind the wheel of some utter crud boxes in our time.)
The feature that really makes this kit pop though is its compatibility with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Adding to the realism of racing control in a way that waving a disembodied plastic steering wheel around in mid-air just can’t come close to, it really is a blast. However, we have one caveat: if you play Mario Kart like we play Mario Kart then a cardboard steering wheel/accelerator combo is not going to last long at all.
While the original Variety Kit was the most overall fun Labo outing yet, this Vehicle Kit is easily the most useful, and offers the most longevity. Well, at least for as long as the cardboard holds up.
Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03 Vehicle Kit is available now for Switch.