Ooh, you’re a card
A cynical Mario-hater might sneer that slapping a premium on cardboard is so very Nintendo, but we disagree: Labo is the Japanese giant returning to its toy-maker roots, and it’s brilliantly inventive. Each contraption (or ‘Toy-Con’) is assembled by following kid-friendly instructions on the Switch’s screen. With the Joy-Cons or console inserted, they spring to life and become tactile, digitally augmented toys.
To get your head around Nintendo Labo you’ll want to pick up the Variety Kit. It contains a selection of Toy-Cons, from a telescopic fishing rod to motorbike handlebars. Most straightforward of all is the wheel-less RC car (right): once it’s constructed, the two Joy-Cons attach to the sides, and you steer it by jabbing the touchscreen to make each controller vibrate.
Our favourite cardboard creation of all, though, is a fully functioning miniature piano. When you press a key, an infrared sticker on the back will reveal itself to the Joy-Con’s IR sensor, signalling which note to sound. There are even dials and buttons that let you mess with tone and add sound effects.
As if that wasn’t wacky enough, the standalone Robot Kit lets you don a full-body mech suit. Also making use of IR, it features a backpack, a head-mounted visor and attachments