When Nintendo first launched the Switch in 2017, I was lucky enough to spend some time reviewing the console, as well as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a combination which immediately grabbed my attention. While the verdict was still out at the time, mostly concerning the number of games that would be available for the unit, those fears have quickly faded as the sales have continued to climb. So when the Nintendo Labo was teased in January, I immediately knew that it would either change the world of gaming in regards to peripherals and add-ons or it would fail miserably in a blaze of fire. When Nintendo extended an invite to a workshop for the Labo, I had no intention of missing out.
At the Nintendo Pop-Up Zone in Sandton, I entered a world made for kids – well, for those young at heart too. Upon entering the workshop area, I was excitedly greeted and presented with a sheet of cardboard to start my exploration. Having already seen a number of YouTube guides and how-tos for the Labo, I thought I would be fairly familiar with the setup and requirements. Building the first RC unit, I loved how easy it was to build and start moving around the prepared track. Even more amazing was the infrared capabilities of the unit, which was derived from the IR blaster within the controller, which actually creates an image outline of its surroundings, and can be displayed on the Switch’s screen, or be used to automatically track patterns and signs laid out. And that’s just the start of it all.
Having successfully completed the tutorial build in record time, I was ready for the next challenge. As I mentioned previously, I was well aware of the requirements of building with the Labo. Except, I wasn’t. The next build, which I had chosen to be the motorbike, would take approximately 90 minutes. The prospect was a tad daunting and not something I prepared for beforehand. Having gone through eight sheets of cardboard to build the rather intricate unit, I was ready to start racing. The Labo game itself may not be all that detailed, but the build of the cardboard is quite solid and has potential to do quite a lot more. The level of intricacy increases as you move through the different build options, the most advanced being the piano.
Not having had the time to spend building a 2-3 hour set, I made use of the pre-built unit to explore its capabilities. The basic setup provides quite a lot of options on its own, from the basic keystrokes to the selection of the different sound sets by means of swapping out the cardboard pieces, it’s all fun and games. But things quickly take a turn for the more creative and professional among us, with a set that is able to record your newly created beats, while creating your own tempo and backtrack, all by means of a few knobs and buttons you’re able to swap out to create the perfect setup. Here’s a quick demo of what is possible on the piano build.
The Nintendo Labo is only limited by your own creativity. The deeper you go, the more intricate you can get. And the best part, it’s not limited to the preset cardboard cutouts included in the kit either. There have been many examples in the few weeks since the international launch, with many creative projects taking place. None more so than the Labo wheelchair hack that has gone viral:
— 吉藤オリィ（オリィ研究所 所長） (@origamicat) May 1, 2018
I’m amazed as how easily it is to get into the Labo building the presets, which have a starting age of 6 years old. But for those willing to explore and go beyond their instruction manuals, there’s quite a lot to offer. And we didn’t even mention the Mech Robot Kit. Get down to the Nintendo Pop-Up Zone in Sandton to test out your creative skills with the Nintendo Labo.
Video coverage from our time at the Nintendo Labo for Nintendo Switch workshop at the Pop Up Zone in Sandton. . 🎥 = @call_me_blk . #Nintendo #NintendoLabo #NintendoSwitch #switch #NintendoSA #NintendoSwitchSA #toy #NintendoLaboSA #Toycon #cardboard #console #game #creativity #workshop #mech #robot #varietykit #makeplaydiscover #music #piano #nintendolabovarietykit #nintendolaborobotkit #nintendoswitchgames #videography #video #instagood #instadaily #instalike #instagram #happy . @nintendosadistributor @nintendo