Nintendo Labo is a simple yet innovative product line for Nintendo. At first look, it’s basically an expensive, well-marketed cardboard but after much testing, Labo is more than meets the eye. It is so amazing how Nintendo turns cardboard into interactive gaming! Nintendo uses the infrared sensor in the right joy-con to detect white stickers on the cardboard toy-cons, giving you a new gaming experience. Using technology, Nintendo combines the Joy-Con motion controls and HD Rumble, the IR sensor and Labo white stickers to allow the cardboard parts to know what it’s supposed to do.
For a box with 5 projects, it can be considered light-weight… after all, it’s filled up with cardboard and bits of plastics. One thing I love about Nintendo’s products is the way they package it. If you look at the Labo, even without the Nintendo logo, you know that it’s made by Nintendo. From the simplicity and vibrant colours to the way the toy-cons are positioned on the box cover.
Even the inside screams “Nintendo!” You’ll find the Labo game card that you can insert into your Switch and start checking out the instructions. But before we move into building the toy-cons, here are all the parts that’s in the box.
You’ll find the following parts in the box:
- Cardboard sheet x 28 (includes an extra sheet for customization)
- Different colour represents different projects
- Reflective sticker sheet x 3
- Sponge sheet x 3
- String (orange) x 1
- String (blue) x 1
- Grommet set (gray) x 1
- Grommet set (blue) x 4
- Rubberband (large) x 2 + spares
- Rubberband (small) x 6 + spares
Research & Product Breakdown
The variety kit (Toy-Con 01) that we got from PlayTrends consists of 5 items – RC Car, Fishing Rod, House, Motorbike & Piano. Each item takes a different amount of time to assemble. According to Nintendo, the longest assembling time (150 – 210 minutes) is used for piano.
However, it took us close to 120 minutes (2 hours) to put the piano together, 30 minutes shorter than the estimated time from Nintendo.
Estimated Duration Needed According to Nintendo
RC Car: 10 minutes
Fishing Rod: 90 – 150 minutes
House: 120 – 180 minutes
Motorbike: 90 – 150 minutes
Piano: 150 – 210 minutes
Each toy-con has its own set of activities and games for you to play. Some of the games good while some are too simple to my liking. But who know? You might like them.
Toy-Con RC Car
The RC car is easy to assemble as compared to the others. It looks as simple as it is to build. The alien look of the RC car is, to me, the most appealing factor of this toy-con. And yes, it’s an RC car without wheels because it moves using the vibrations of the joy-cons. Side note, the vibrations can be a little noisy.
Toy-Con Fishing Rod
Personally, one of my favourites because it’s so damn challenging! I’ve never gone fishing in real life so this is (virtually) good practice. It tests your patience, time reaction and fishing skills. I’d say it is not for someone who gets angry easily because when you are so close to reeling in the shark, your line might snap and you might flip a table.
There are a number of mini-games within the toy-con house that will keep you entertained. However, there isn’t a clear objective to the games other than winning prizes to feed your creature. I still think it’s a great game, especially for people who want to keep a pet without dealing with the extra baggage (pooping, grooming, etc) that come with it.
Based on other reviews, the House is a little mundane and boring. While that is true to a certain extent, I find that the House requires a little hand-eye coordination. So, due to these challenges and hidden gems, the house is an interesting game.
The motorbike brings racing games to a whole new level. You’ll have the full motorbike racing experience by tilting your body to make those tight turns. There are different tracks to race on, modes to try and difficulties to challenge. All in all, I feel the motorbike is the best mini-game in the whole variety kit.
The best part of motorbike toy-con? Using it on Mario Kart Deluxe 8! Mario Kart is amazing as it is but with the motorbike compatibility… IT’S GOING TO BE A WILD RIDE!
I love how I don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy and learn the piano. What’s even more amazing is the studio mode allows you to record a total of 8 tracks. So, with this simple cardboard, you can compose the next music track!
Here’s some music that I tried and failed to create:
Think Outside The Box
Nintendo went above and beyond in Labo. We got the variety kit that consists of 5 projects but it also comes with the toy-con garage. You can customise the joy-con for various actions and this is possible because the joy-cons are equipped with IR Motion Camera, gyroscopes and accelerometer.
After building, the play mode for that toy-con will be activated and you can start playing the game! There’s not much to explain about the play mode except… some games are better than the others.
Although the piano seems like the most interesting concept, I’d have to say the motorbike and fishing rod is the better games that I see myself playing for hours.
This is where the education begins. In discover mode, you get to learn the tiny details about the toy-cons and joy-cons. It explains how you can use Labo to the fullest so do take your time to explore. Nintendo did an amazing job at making it NOT boring.
Be A Nintendo Switch Genius
I spent a lot of hours in the discover mode so that I can be a Nintendo Switch & Labo genius! Not only do they teach you to use the Labo to the fullest, but you also learn about how the Labo and joy-cons work.
In the simplest and entertaining “classes”, the Labo characters teach you about IR motion cameras, gyroscopes, accelerometer, etc. That’s why I find the Labo so interesting! It’s not just about building projects and playing games… there’s so much more to it!
Great For Kids
If I were to have kids, this is something I’d get for them so that we can have some bonding time and build it together. The games are pretty simple to learn and addictive to play.
For us adults, it’s definitely a “once in a while” type of game but I can definitely see my younger self-spending hours annoying my parents with annoying cat music.
We are showing you the different places you can get it from so that you can decide which is a better option for you. For example, if you’re in Singapore and decide to purchase from Amazon, you will need to pay for international shipping and handling charges. However, if you’re located in the US or Europe, buying from Amazon would be the convenient alternative.
Why should one buy
Made for kids but it’s a whole lot of fun for adults! As a content creator, the Labo made my creative juices burst into a thousand rainbows! And it brings me back to the days where we would experiment arts & crafts projects in schools.
Personally, I enjoyed the process of building it more than playing the game itself but that’s just my thoughts.
One thing I have to point out is that I strongly believe the Labo is a great way to hang out with your friends & family. You get to see how well or terrible your partners are following instructions.
Also, special thanks to my friends, Kimberly & Desmond for helping me assemble!
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After the hours of researching, experimenting and reviewing, the team will let others (pro gamers & streamers) try out the product and take their thoughts into considerations. You will not only read our reviews but also opinions from reputable gamers.
Quotes from people
The labo is really great for family bonding, and fun for kids and adults alike. I might even try something crazy and stream the entire process of building the Labo kits.
– Kimbery Tay (Glxy Nyx), Twitch Streamer.