Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit: Car

Earlier this year, Nintendo released one of their most creative ideas in a long time for the Nintendo Switch.  In fact, I read somewhere that TIME Magazine named it one of the best inventions of 2018!  That was Nintendo Labo, and the sets came with sheets of foldable cardboard and a game that showed you how to build them into toys where you could attach Nintendo Switch controllers to them and play with them.  A couple of months ago, they released a new set called the Vehicle Kit, which lets you build a steering wheel and gas pedal to drive a car, as well as controllers for a submarine and airplane flight stick.  My brother Jeff and I FINALLY finished building them all, so this holiday week we’ll take a look at them, starting with the car.

The game is set up the same way as the other kits.  There are three parts.  In “Make,” they give animated instructions on how to build the cardboard controllers.  The next mode is Play, where you can play games with the things you’ve built.  Finally is Discover, where you can read about how the inner working of everything you just built actually works, as well as how to decorate and learn about the features of the Switch controllers.  Although most of this stuff is the same from the other sets.  The sets cost about 70 to 80 bucks, which seems kind of steep until you consider it comes with a full game as well as color printed perforated cardboard sheets.  I used to be in the printing business so I know how costly that gets, so the price really isn’t bad for what you get.  Plus the Vehicle Kit has more game content than the other sets.  Here’s a bigger picture of the box.

There are two things you need to build to get the car working.  The first is the gas pedal.  It’s just a platform for you to put the JoyCon into, so you can push it down with your foot.  The JoyCon will sense how it’s being tilted and tell the game how fast to go.  You use it for all of the other controllers you build in this set.  The neat thing is that after you build the gas pedal, you can play a game with only it, too!  You can just use the gas pedal to play a slot car mini-game with lots of tracks.  Just make sure to take off your shoes before you use the pedal!  Here’s a shot of the gas pedal and steering wheel

The steering wheel is the other part to the car.  You make a special holder called a ‘key’ to put the other JoyCon in, and use it to switch to the different vehicles you can drive.  All the vehicle controllers have dark housings with reflective tape inside, and the IR camera in the JoyCon reads those stickers to tell the game what to do.  For the car, insert the key into the steering wheel hole in the center.  Steer just as you would a car.  There are levers on each side of the steering wheel.  These levels also have knobs at the end that you can twist to switch to different tools on the car that you use in Adventure Mode (more on that later).  These tools include a gas hose for when you need to refuel, window wipers, a radio, and a saw.  There is also a pull cord.  When you pull it out, the game says, “There’s a snake in my boots!”  Just kidding!  You get a turbo boost when you pull the cord.  If this all sounds pretty complicated, it is!  In fact, this is the most complicated set my brother Jeff and I have built.  My brother Jeff even recommends that if you haven’t done Labo before, that you start with the other sets first and work your way up to this one.  As an example, here’s a shot of the inside of the steering wheel.  Look at all that stuff in there!

Aside from a rally racing mode, the other game you can play with the car is Adventure Mode.  This lets you drive around an island, separated by different environments (meadow, beach, canyon, snowy mountain, city, etc.).  Each area is about the size of Hyrule Field from Ocarina of Time, and there are ten all together.  Each area has eight objectives for you to do.  Most are just exploration and fetch quests, but they’re pretty fun.  Just make sure you refuel at gas stations so you don’t run out of gas, and the car is the only vehicle that can tow things.

And that’s all for now!  Tomorrow we’ll look at the controller you build to steer the submarine!  –Cary

One Response to “Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit: Car”

  1. Gotta refuel your Labo!!

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!