Nintendo are giving the creativity back to the people with their latest weird and wonderful invention – Nintendo Labo.
Essentially build-your-own cardboard accessories for the Switch, Nintendo Labo will (at launch) be available in two different kits – the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit.
Each kit will enable you to make Toy-Cons – yep, you read that right – out of your Joy-Cons and Switch console, building everything from fishing rods to motorcycles in the comfort of your own home. There’s no chance of being card-bored here.
Labo is aimed at the whole family, meaning these cardboard kits need to be super simple to put together. Thankfully, they are. We spent a considerable amount of time last month going hands-on with Nintendo’s paper-plain concept, and came away with the impression that anyone can do it.
The only Toy-Con we actually got to build ourselves was the very simple RC Car; one piece of cardboard, intricately folded, that then has the Joy-Cons attached to either side. The Joy-Cons’ vibrations are what are responsible for moving the ‘car’ – pretty cool, right? Building your first Toy-Con is one of the most satisfying things you will experience.
Arguably the best part about Labo is its ease of use. We’ve been told that the more complex Robot Kit can take up to four hours to put together, but the instructions are almost impossible to mess up. While you’re crafting your cardboard creations, there are step-by-step directions that you can play/pause/stop at your own pace on the screen of the Switch, ensuring you never miss a step. They allow you to fast-forward, rewind, and even adjust the angle at which you’re watching. Even your dad could do it – which is kind of the point.
At our hands-on session at the Pumping Station at Scienceworks, it’s hard to tell who was having more fun – us or the many children that had been brought along to enjoy the day. Having had time with the motorcycle, fishing rod, piano, house, and RC car – all of which are included in the Variety Pack – we have to say our favourite was the fishing rod. Although we can’t vouch for how complicated things are to put together, feeling feedback from a mackerel on the end of a rod made of nothing but cardboard, a rubber band and a piece of string is nothing short of magical. We can only imagine how much more rewarding everything is going to be if you’ve built it yourself.
Remember when you were a kid, and the most fun you could have was building a cardboard fort of your own design to play in? That’s essentially what Nintendo are going for with the Labo. With endless possibilities for creativity, you – and your kids – can make, play, and discover to your heart’s content.
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