Game/accessory: Nintendo Labo Variety Kit
By: Nintendo Switch
Price: € 69.99 (Eu) , £59.99 (UK), $69.99 (USA)
The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit or Toy-Con 01, released on April 20th in most places and later in Europe. Toy-Cons are creations made from modular cardboard made to use with the unique functions of the Joy-Con technologies.
The Variety Kit comes with five different constructions: 2x RC Cars, 1x Fishing Rod, 1x House, 1x Motorbike and 1x Piano.
In this post I will be talking about the House. Please check out my first post where I gave an overview of the Labo software and process while talking about the RC Cars. My previous posts about the Fishing Rod and House are also available.
The Motorbike was one of my last creations. It has an estimated completion time of 90-150 minutes. The first steps are to create the two different handlebars. This project was slightly trickier than others due to some odd shape parts. However most of it was pretty standard. Both handlebars have an internal part to create a kind of sliding button. I am concerned about the longevity of those parts lasting, but they are quite stiff. The right handlebar has a brake, which has very limited movement but functions well. The right handlebar uses rubber bands to enable it to turn towards you and back.
Afterwards a main body piece connects the two handlebars and is secured by pushing in the edges. Then an extra-thick stick is pushing in the middle, before the whole piece is put into the outer shell. There is also a headlight piece that goes on the front. Finally we make the tank and dashboard. The tank connects to the extra-thick stick which allows it to turn, and comes with an extension piece for older gamers. The dashboard uses the sponge stickers to hold the Switch in. After testing out the Motorbike, you can make a Minibike and Scanner. Both are very simple to make and use the left and right Joy-Con respectively.
The Switch screen goes into the dashboard, while the left and right Joy-Con go into their handlebars. I have discovered that you can play with the Joy-Cons in your hand, but it isn’t that comfortable. Turning left and right is done by tilting the handlebars. I didn’t remember this until later. Given she was twisting the main body to turn I am surprised how well my sister did. The horn can be used to distract the other drivers in front, slowing them down. The Motorbike has two sections in Play, the Circuit and Stadium. In both modes you can change the camera to first-person, just behind or overhead.
The Circuit has three Grand Prix each with three tracks. There are three speed options 200cc, 400cc and 600cc. You can also choose between 1-3 laps. This leaves lots of play-ability to the tracks as you have each speed which each lap number option. With the Minibike you can create your own tracks. You can save up to three which will make your own Grand Prix. In which you can choose whether there are 6, 8 or 10 total racers.
The Stadium is a three-minute balloon popping mode. It has an outer area with some track on it and a large grassy area. With the Scanner you can scan anything into the grassy part of the Stadium. You could be creative to create the right hills and slopes, or you could scan a figure. The Scanner does have trouble with a person so you have to be pretty still.
The Discover section has eight parts. The first of which is how to ride the Motorbike, and then how to drift. After that it teaches you how the Motorbike works. Like a lot of Labo pieces it uses the gyroscopes in the Joy-Con for movement. Then it teaches how the brakes work (by pressing the R button). It warns to keep the tabs to hold the Joy-Cons closed to ensure the brakes function.
It explains how to make tracks, first with the Toy-Con Minibike or free-hand or with the Motorbike. After it shows the advanced track settings. Lastly it explains how to use the Toy-Con Scanner which uses the IR Camera.
The build was probably the least interesting to me as nothing was new at that point. There is a fair amount gameplay wise but personally I’m not that interested. I had also presumed that the scanner and minibike could work to make a custom track but they are two separate functions. Due to the custom track and IR camera functions there are no online features. I also wish that I could save more than three tracks.
As with all the Toy-Con creations my little sister had a great time with the Motorbike. She did feel that the vibrations made her hands sore. The handlebars are also rectangular, which could add to the discomfort. This is probably going to be one that holds a child’s attention the most, gameplay wise. She did not want to stop playing when I told her it was enough.