Last month, Nintendo rocked the Internet to its core with the reveal of Nintendo Labo. This is a new, zany creation from the Big N that is basically the IKEA of video games. Nintendo Labo sets contain cardboard cutouts which must be assembled by the user. There are all sorts of items that can be made such as a fishing pole, house, R/C car, giant robot body-set and more. These items are called Toy-Cons and the special feature is that they interact with the Switch and Joy-Con controllers via software in very fun and interesting ways, essentially bringing the toys to life. While targetted at younger gamers, Labo has also been made with creative adults in mind who love to tinker around with things.
Nintendo recently held a hands-on event where media personnel were invited to try out Labo for themselves. One of these teams were Danny and Felia who run Nintendo Power Couple, a fairly-popular YouTube channel. They sat down for an interview with another YouTube channel, GameXplain, where they discussed their time with Labo.
The whole video is just shy of an hour long, but I gave it a listen and picked out a few key points from the discussion:
- The Labo cardboard is very sturdy (this concern was immediately raised after the initial announcement). So, each Toy-Con should be able to take a bit of abuse from rambunctious kids.
- Assembly instructions are included in the software in both text and interactive video form. They can be fast-forwarded or rewound so users can follow along at their own pace.
- Players are also able to try assembling the Toy-Cons without the instructions, although this could prove difficult for the more complex Toy-Cons.
- R/C Car Toy-Con is one of the simplest to build. It only took Danny and Felia 15 minutes to put together.
- The R/C Cars also make use of the IR sensor located in the right Joy-Con in very interesting ways. The sensor is able to detect heat signatures, allowing the R/C Car to follow a user when in automatic mode. There’s also a Night Vision mode. This thing has spy technology!
- The Fishing Rod Toy-Con, on the other hand, was a lot more complex due to it having a lot of moving parts. It took Danny and Felia an hour to build. Other teams were unable to complete it in time due to the complexity.
- Giant Robot Toy-Con is also very complex so it was already assembled for the teams to try out. It has weights in the backpack, arms and feet compartments which make the player really feel like the giant robot in the game. The weights also make it more of a workout experience.
- The ‘VR’-like headset of the Giant Robot Toy-Con causes the game to go in first-person mode when flipped down over the player’s face, which is said to be very immersive.
- Danny, who is 6″2, was able to comfortably play with the Giant Robot kit despite his height. The strings have a lot of length to them, so the kit can fit either kids or adults just fine.
- The Nintendo Labo software allows for multiple Joy-Con controllers to be programmed with custom settings, thus enabling players to make all sorts of cool custom creations.
- Nintendo Labo has been designed for kids ages 6 and up. Adults can find enjoyment with it too, but it’s really meant for those who have creativity and ingenuity.
- Due to some Labo sets being very complex to build, tearing them down will also take a lot of time. This could be an issue for those concerned about storage.
- Nintendo has designed the Labo sets to be visually-appealing, so they could serve as decoration when not in use.
- If you decide to toss out the Labo, it’s just cardboard so it’s eco-friendly.
- Nintendo didn’t mention replacement sets during the event, but extra materials are included in each kit like string. Extra cardboard is not included, however.
That’s about all the highlights I got. If you want to watch/listen to the video, here it is. It’s pretty entertaining how excited Danny and Felia were about their time with Labo, so definitely go ahead and check it out! Also, just to note, if you still think Labo is a dumb idea, then that’s because it wasn’t designed for you.