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Nintendo Labo: Bringing Back Creativity and Role-Playing with Cardboard
by Seth L.

Sometime in January, Nintendo announced the strangest peripheral product it will launch later this year, the Nintendo Labo. Nintendo has definitely got the millennials in our office scratching their heads going ‘what the cardboard???’ but little do they know, the uniqueness of Nintendo Labo is not in the material it is made of but with its aim to impart DIY creativity and imaginative role-playing, which we think it will be able to do perfectly…

WHAT WILL YOU CREATE?

First up, if you reckon playing with cardboard is not fun, then the Nintendo Labo may not be the thing for you. The Nintendo Labo is also definitely not made for hardcore gamers but more for kids, families and those adults that wants to recapture the simpler joy of yesteryears (ehem). Coming soon in April, Nintendo has two boxed kits for the launch: Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit and the Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit.

The Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit comes packed with five different interactive projects that you can make; a remote-controlled car, a working fishing rod, a mini pet house, a racing motorbike and a playable piano…

…and the Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit is a wearable project that is made up of a visor, backpack, hands and feet manipulation unit that lets you control a huge in-game robot for some building smashing mayhem!

MAKE. PLAY. DISCOVER.

So it's time to MAKE one. As Nintendo say, and we can attest, putting together a Labo kit is just half of the fun! The experience of putting together each unit is fully guided so you can’t possibly botch it up. Just punch out the pieces from their pre-scored templates and off you go, folding along with the animated video guide that you can download onto the Nintendo Switch. There no need for messy glues or dangerous scissors so these things are perfect for kids to put together, though they might need some adult help seeing some of the Labo kits are quite complicated.

After putting the Labo kits together, it’s time to PLAY! You are required to dock the Switch Joy-Cons into the different slots found on each Labo kits to activate certain functionalities, thus making the console a part of your play. All the Toy-Cons have either a fully playable game mode or just some minor manipulation that incorporates the Switch. So it's time for you to explore and have fun!

DISCOVER is the part where Nintendo lets you find out more about the inner workings of a Toy-Con and what you can do with them. It’s also the place where you’ll find the Toy-Con Garage that allows you to chain simple “if then” commands via a basic toolset to create programming for the Nintendo Switch and Toy-Cons. In theory by providing knowledge, inspiring creativity and technology interaction through the Toy-Con Garage, Nintendo would like you to attempt to make and program your own future Toy-Cons.

VERDICT

To be honest, it will be difficult for grown-ups like us here to slap on the Nintendo Labo and play pretend seeing how out of practice we are when it comes to imaginative role-playing but to Nintendo’s credit, the Labo does seems like it could impart to us a lot of fun and who knows, possibly help us jaded adults reclaim a bit of that joie de vivre .

Currently there are two Labo kits slated for the launch which you can pre-order on the Nintendo site, the Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit and the Toy-Con 02: Robot Kit, coming in at USD69.99 (RM275+-) and USD79.99 (RM 313+-) respectively. Pretty pricey for cardboard toys we would say but how do you put a price on hours of fun, imaginative play and DIY enjoyment? So please excuse us for now while we go rummage through the office for some cardboard to play with first while we wait for our Nintendo Labo to arrive…

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