Nintendo is certainly not afraid to make announcements in left field. The Ambidextrous Switch console broke the tradition of the game console, and we all remember the ingenious assistant robot games of R.O.B of the late eighties. But Nintendo's newly released Lab accessory is not as high-tech, although it's much more fun.
Yes, this is the Nintendo Labo, a cardboard DIY accessory designed for curious minds. Along with the Switch console (sorry for the owners of Wii U), each Labo kit provides enough tools for children, and playful adults, to build their own DIY creations, such as a cardboard piano, a fishing rod or a manageable RC car, and the creations come to life.
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Nintendo Labo: Everything you need to know
The Nintendo Labo was launched in the UK on April 27, 2018. At the time of launch, there were two kits available, the & Variety Kit & # 39; (£ 60) and the & # 39; Robot Kit & # 39; (£ 70). They are essentially cardboard construction kits that interact with the Nintendo switch to play various games in a new, interactive and innovative way.
Nintendo states that the intention behind the Labo kits is to present the principles of engineering, physics and programming for players at an early age. There is also a third kit available, the & # 39; Set of customization & # 39; (£ 9), which contains stickers, ribbons and templates that can be used to further personalize the cardboard creations. Nintendo Labo games are available in Game UK, as well as in several other retailers, including Amazon and the official Nintendo site, although you will have to make international shipments to buy them from the latter.
What are the Toy-Cons and what do they do?
Each Labo kit comes with a set of modular cardboard sheets, specifically designed to interact with Joy-Con switches and controllers. Build the chosen accessory, such as the handlebar of a motorcycle or a fishing rod, in what Nintendo aptly calls a "Toy-Con" and connect your console and controllers to the designated areas.
What are the differences between Toy-Con kits?
Currently there are two Toy-Con kits available for Nintendo Labo: the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit. Confusingly, the packages are numbered as Toy-Con 01 and Toy-Con 02 respectively, but the kits within those packages are also known as Toy-Cons. Fortunately, these Toy-Contr have individual names instead of numbers, so it's much easier to differentiate them.
How many individual Toy-Contr's are there?
At this time, there are six of them. One of them, the Toy-Con robot, comes in the robot kit and is the only cardboard package included in the game, although it is much, much larger than the rest. The remaining five Toy-Contrs, all of which come within the Variety Pack, are the following: Toy-Con RC Car, Toy-Con House, Toy-Con Motorbike, Toy-Con Fishing Rod and Toy-Con Piano. Then there's Toy-Con Garage, a game (of some kind) that is compatible with all Toy-Cons.
What is Toy-Con Garage?
Toy-Con Garage is a universe of games apart in itself, and greatly expands the capabilities of Nintendo Labo. Found hidden in a dark area of the Labo game menu, this so-called "hidden game mode" allows players to literally create everything they want. Your imagination is the limit when you reuse the cardboard that Toy-Con builds to adapt to new and exciting purposes.
An example, seen in a promotional video published along with the announcement of the Toy-Con Garage, sees a Nintendo engineer spin a piece of cardboard. , a string, and a normal broom on a playable guitar.
The best toy cons from Nintendo Labo
1. Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con Piano
The Toy-Con Piano is a game that will directly translate into real-world skills. With eight keys that can be pressed, play the selected songs through the slot in Switch and you can learn to play some very basic melodies on a real piano or keyboard. It's like a pianist version of Guitar Hero, only better because the game translates into a real-world skill, unlike Guitar Hero, which for us only resulted in RSI.
In addition, you can compose multi-layered recordings of Songs that allow you to use the full range of piano notes, only divided into segments. Also included in the Toy-Con flat package are some tuning button add-ons that allow players to change the sounds of the keys themselves, such as cats meowing.
2. Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con Robot
The biggest and craziest invention of Labo by Nintendo Labo is the Toy-Con Robot. It is so large that it has to be sold separately from the other Toy-Contr that come in the Variety Pack, and requires four to five hours to build. Although it is only made of cardboard, this portable battle suit is incredibly complex.
The complete kit consists of a huge backpack from which the harnesses of the hands and feet are placed to track the movement. Then you put on a viewfinder that has a switch slot for the first-person display; It also works as a sensor to activate the Robot on screen that you will control.
In our practice with the Toy-Con Robot, we get into a futuristic metropolis, hitting the UFOs from the sky and causing all kinds of maneuvers. of mecha-chaos. It's a shame we did not have any more time, because the Toy-Con Robot comes with several different games, as expected, since it costs £ 70.
3. Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con House
If all the dollhouses were like that, children would be much more interested in them. The Toy-Con House is an infinitely customizable cardboard housing complete with accessories and mini-games, although at first glance it does not look like much.
Once the dwelling has been built, it fits the switch console inside and begins to experiment. With the tools that are included with the kit. It will not happen much with just one, but using two at a time unlocks minigames "hidden", including one in which you feed a friendly monster and see it change color and grow. There is a lot of fun and experimentation with Casa Labo, and we discovered that it is one of the most versatile Toy Cons
4. Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con Motorbike
The Toy-Con Motorbike kit consists of a set of mobile handlebars and a stand that allows players to run on a race track, steer the vehicle tilting from side to side, spinning and accelerating Using the right handle, like on a real motorcycle. Better yet is the multiplayer versus mode, where you can compete against bots or computer controlled vehicles controlled by other players. This is nice for a while, but by itself it does not lend itself to an infinite repetition.
Real fun comes with Stadium mode, which gives players the ability to create their own tracks using several highly creative methods. Using the Nintendo Switch IR technology, you can scan drawings, Lego constructions and even the real world environment around you to create an endless supply of hyperkey clues that translate quickly from one world to another.
5. Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con Fishing Rod
One of the simplest kits in the Variety Pack is the Toy-Con fishing rod. The part is certainly seen; When the switch is grooved, it seems that the fishing chain in the Labo is fed directly to the fishing line on the screen, and that they are directly connected.
Rotate the handle forward or backward does not really help to increase or decrease the line while in the water: this part is done by the movement of Joy-Con. The motion sensor only reacts by raising and lowering the bar itself, while the crank is used to pull any poor marine creature that you have managed to hook from the depths. The Toy-Con fishing rod is compatible with the Toy-Con piano, since you can place the switch and the cane on top of that, and then create customized underwater aquatic creatures to fill your virtual aquarium.
6. Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con RC Car
By far the simplest to build and easy to use, the Toy-Con RC Car is an excellent way to introduce young Labo to the concept. Made from a single piece of folded cardboard, the Joy-Cons switch fits on each side to create a customizable interactive hot-rod that will literally drive around the room in response to your orders.
Toy-Con's RC Trolley also has an automatic driving mode that uses the Switch's IR camera to navigate the environment; The reflective tape, included in the kit, can be used to mark a track. The RC Car also has multiplayer games. The flat pack comes with a second RC that can be built, so you can make each ride look unique, and then fight against them in the fight of & sumo & # 39; using the same Switch Console.
Nintendo Labo: More Toy-Contr are on the way
There may be a lot of fun to build with the existing Toy-Cons, but Nintendo has revealed that soon there will be even more Toy-Cons to put your hands in practice .
Toy -Con 03, also known as & # 39; Vehicle Kit & # 39 ;, contains numerous new and interesting constructions, which include control stations for an aircraft and a submarine within the game, and cardboard controllers also will be compatible with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. We will be updating this list of the best Toy-Cons once we have had the opportunity to test all the new Toy-Cons from the vehicle kit.
While you're waiting, you should see the next Nintendo video. , which shows the new vehicles and software included in the upcoming Toy-Con 03, launched on September 14.