Nintendo Labo Wrap Up

So over the past few weeks I’ve written several articles about Nintendo Labo.  But since these articles were so spread out, I figured I’d bunch links to them all here for easy access for people who want to read them all.  So dig in and check out all about Nintendo’s creative cardboard folding video games on the Switch!

Intro to Nintendo Labo!

My first article was just an intro to what Nintendo Labo is all about, plus a bit of unboxing pictures of the Variety Kit and Robot Kit.  You build five small things in the Variety Kit and one thing in the Robot Kit.  But we’ll get to each thing here in a bit.

Nintendo Labo RC Car

The first and most simple thing you build in the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is the RC Car.  It moves by making the JoyCons vibrate and you control it with the Switch screen.  But while it is the most simple thing in the package, it has a lot of features.  You can view a first-person view on the screen with the IR camera, make it follow reflective tape tracks on autopilot, and even battle another RC Car if you have enough controllers.  I was actually pretty impressed with it.

Nintendo Labo Fishing Rod

I was impressed with how the fishing rod was made, but a little disappointed with the fishing game you can play with it.  They could’ve easily added more features to the game to give it more replay value and staying power, like score attacks and timed fishing challenges, or at the very least new areas to fish in.  And one problem with all the games here is they don’t give you sufficient enough instructions to learn how to play once you’ve build the creations.

Nintendo Labo: House

Out of all the things you build in the Labo Variety Kit, the House is probably the weirdest.  It’s basically a demonstration on how the IR camera works, as you stick that controller in the chimney of the house, which is a dark space inside, and then stick things in the holes that have reflective tape for the IR camera to see and respond to.  I think Nintendo had a missed opportunity to have the house be something Animal Crossing related, but maybe that’s just me.

Nintendo Labo Motorcycle Handlebars

And speaking of missed opportunities, the handlebars you build let you play a motion-controlled motorcycle racing game and stunt stadium.  The racing is pretty generic, but still fun, and you can make your own tracks although it’s very hard to do.  Again, lack of good instructions.  But the missed opportunity comes with why Nintendo didn’t make this some kind of Excitebike game?  It also made me think of something else, too.  One of the very first, if not the first game to use a handlebar controller in an arcade was Paperboy.  If they put that game on Nintendo Labo, it would be the first time a home version of Paperboy had authentic arcade controls!  I know that would never happen, but it’s fun to think about.

Nintendo Labo Piano

The last thing you build with the Variety Kit is the most complicated, but also the most impressive.  It’s a working piano!  It works pretty much the same way the house does, as you stick the IR camera in a dark space in the piano and it reads reflective stickers to know what keys you pressed and such.  You can do all sorts of neat music making stuff with the piano, too.  You’ll just have to read the article to see!  But even though it’s the most impressive, it’s also the most delicate.  The piano keys are hard to get straight, and the stickers on the knobs tend to peel off easily.  It’s too bad, too, because the piano seems like something I’d enjoy messing around with more if it weren’t for that.

And that’s all you can build with the Variety Kit.  Not only does the game have fully animated videos in the Build Mode, you can play with what you built in the Play Mode and see how everything works in Discover Mode.  So it’s definitely educational.  You can even create your own “ToyCons” in Garage Mode, but I probably won’t have time to mess with that.  Just check out some videos online of what people have made, it’s pretty impressive.  So yeah, great game for kids, but really best for older kids who are mature enough to take care of their toys, as cardboard can break pretty easily.

So you may be asking yourself, “What about the Robot Kit?”  Well I think I’m going to treat that as a separate game review and do it later.  As of this writing, I’m only on step 2 out of 8 on building it, and with E3 stuff to do and all, it may be a while before I can finish it.  Plus it seems a bit more ‘game-y’ so I’ll just treat it as more of a game review than a feature.  So you should see that posted in about another month or so.  I’d like to thank my brother Jeff for helping me build these, and my other brothers for offering to help.  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section, and tell me your favorite Labo creations!   Later!  –Cary

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