Just when you thought the Switch was a big deal it will be getting even better in April this year with the introduction of Nintendo Labo. This new range of creation tools will let you make Toy-Cons in real life that will create new ways to play games on your Switch. In a nutshell, it is pretty cool and we cannot wait to get our hands on them all.
What Is Nintendo Labo?
The whole Nintendo Labo initiative is aimed at kids who love to build things. Each Nintendo Labo kit will come with a range of cardboard cutouts that will need to be assembled and put together with other objects to create one final Toy-Con masterpiece. The creation does not end there though, as there are other materials that will be needed too, like string and paper. All of this will be included in the Nintendo Labo box, so you will not need to spend any extra money on anything.
The whole idea behind these Nintendo Labo kits is to bring even more life into the already-fantastic console and its hardware. We have expressed in the past just how awesome the Joy-Cons are and the portability of the Switch and Nintendo Labo will use all of this to its full advantage. If it is sliding the screen into a piano you made to play music or using the Joy-Con 3D Rumble feature as a movement method for a robot you made – the sky is really the limit.
The creation method spans further than just building your creation. You will be able to buy a separate stencil pack and draw patterns on paper to paste them on your creations to really make them stick out. If you don’t want to spend any more money then the Nintendo Labo cardboard itself has thick black lines on it perfect for colouring in the blocks to make each piece stand out even more.
Each Nintendo Labo kit also comes with a wide range of games included to play on the Switch. Each game has been designed to fully take advantage of the different creations you will make throughout the process.
How Does It Work?
Using the Switch as a screen the game will teach you how to build your Toy-Con in a unique 3D viewing model. You will take each cutout out of its slide and follow the instructions to build it. Folding where it tells you to folds and sliding pieces into slots where needed. All this will result in your very own homemade DIY Toy-Con.
The Toy-Cons you create will then have specific indicators on where you need to place what. You Switch’s screen will go in one place and the Joy-Cons in another. Some Toy-Cons will not even need the Switch’s display to work as you will be using it for the game itself. Some games will also not need the Switch’s screen as the Joy-Cons will do all the work. Once you have placed all the hardware where you need to, then the games will begin with each one challenging you in a unique way.
All the Toy-Cons are brought to life with IR indicators that send signals to the Joy-Cons that then send a signal to the Switch and display the action on screen. For example, pressing the key on the piano will then send what key you pressed to the screen thanks to the Joy-Con scanning the Toy-Cons with its built-in IR indicator.
What Toy-Cons Can You Create?
There will be a wide range of Toy-Cons you can create and it all depends on the Nintendo Labo kit you buy. The Variety Kit will include a bunch of Toy-Cons to create, while the Robot Kit will only contain the objects to create an awesome robot body suit Toy-Con. Take a look at all the items below that come included in the Variety Kit.
Toy-Con RC Car: Insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into your newly built RC Car and control its movement using touchscreen controls on the Nintendo Switch console. The HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC Cars are included.
Toy-Con Fishing Rod: Construct the Fishing Rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch console. Catch one of many exotic fish shown swimming on the Nintendo Switch screen by casting your Fishing Rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook. Once you feel a vibration from the Joy-Con inserted in the reel, you must tug the Fishing Rod upward and crank the reel quickly to try and complete the catch!
Toy-Con House: By inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House, you can interact with, play games with and feed a cute creature on the front-facing Nintendo Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR Motion Camera on the Right Joy-Con inserted on top of the House.
Toy-Con Motorbike: Insert each Joy-Con into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Nintendo Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.
Toy-Con Piano: After assembling a beautifully crafted 13-key piano and inserting the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con, you can experiment with your own musical creations by pressing different keys. You can even insert different assembled knobs to create new sound effects and tones!
As for the Robot Kit. Some images below give you a sneak peek of what you can find inside. The game included in this kit will see you walking around a city defending it from monsters and smashing a few buildings while you are at it too.
Toy-Con Robot: With this Toy-Con, you create a full-on wearable robot suit. You need to insert the left and right Joy-Con controllers into the backpack and visor to assume control of the robot, which is shown on the TV when the Nintendo Switch console is docked.
When Can I Play It?
Both the Variety Pack and the Robot Pack will release on 27 April 2018. The Variety Pack will cost $70 (about R850) and the Robot Pack $80 (about R970). So expect to pay around R1000 for them in SA. There is no word from Nintendo whether or not it plans on releasing more of these Nintendo Labo kits in the future but right now we all hope so.
What are your thoughts on Nintendo Labo? Drop us a comment below and let us know.