The Nintendo Switch is doing very well in the console gaming market. Now the experience has been expanded with Nintendo Labo – a series of cardboard creations that make use of the hardware to create a more interactive experience. You buy the pack, take the cardboard sheets out and use the Switch’s screen to follow the instructions on what to build and how. The Nintendo Labo experience is unique and delivers something we have not seen in gaming and while the end experience lacks reusability, Nintendo is onto something here.
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We reviewed the Nintendo Labo Variety Pack that comes with a range of things to build. These include a piano, fishing rod, house, motorbike and an RC robot that you can move around using the hardware. The Variety Pack is one of two Nintendo Labo packs currently available. The other Nintendo Labo pack is a robot pack.
Nintendo Labo is designed with children in mind. The entire experience, from the building to the gaming aspect is simplified to a point where many kids can jump in. With that being said, Nintendo Labo makes for a fun adult experience too. It has a deep programming side to it, where you tweak a game’s actions and render its experience completely different from its intended use. Not to mention that just sitting and building these things make for quite a calming experience and then you can colour them in and decorate them too which is great for those people who love DIY.
In order to use the Nintendo Toy-Con, you need to make make it. Basically, you need to turn a flat sheet of cardboard into a 3D object using the included software as a guide on how to take a piece of board, fold it and slot it into different slots. Sometimes you need to strap elastic around it, and sometimes you need to take a few pieces, fold them and put them together to make something bigger.
The entire Nintendo Labo building experience is worth every minute of your time, as you go step by step through the creation process. Each Toy-Con takes a set amount of time with the piano being the longest. The software does a great job in explaining each step to you and it even repeats the same steps for multiple pieces of the same design.
Some of the Toy-Cons can be a bit intimidating at first. Especially when you take out 10-12 sheets of board and have no idea where to start, but the software holds your hand throughout the entire process. You can fast forward by dragging your finger across the screen and rewind if you feel that you missed a step. More Than Just Toys
At the end of it all, once you have created your Toy-Con the game software helps you place the console and the Joy-Cons into the slots you need to begin the gaming process. This turns the object into a living gaming experience and this is where the gaming side of Nintendo Labo starts. Be it flipping the Switch’s screen on its side to act as an ocean while fishing to sliding it into the piano as a music board, and even putting it into the house as it brings it to life, the Switch’s hardware and the Nintendo Labo creations go hand-in-hand to create magical experiences.
If you truly want to put it all to the test you can start the programming section of Nintendo Labo that sees you tweak different actions and outcomes in each game. From the sounds that the keys make to the response of a dial, you turn in a different direction. It is all a fun yet an advanced way to play with the experience.
Nintendo Labo is without a doubt a unique experience but it dies out fast. You can only fish for the same fish a few dozen times before you move onto something new and the best part about the experience, its creation mode, is only experienced once per Toy-Con. Sure, you could go and program the experience but its a little overcomplicated and unless you have a child who is interested in that sort of thing they will most likely ignore it. After a few weeks with the pack, the Toy-Cons are fun to go back to but we just hope Nintendo further expands the experience. For an asking price of R999, it pays for itself as it offers some great bonding time with you and your child or just something different to experience compared to other games on the market.