Nintendo Labo Variety Kit

Editor's rating:
9.0
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Reviewed by Bobby Brower
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We like

Promotes hands-on building and creativity

Allows children to get creative and constantly create aspects of the game

The technology is of a high grade that is fascinating to play with

The kit is inexpensive

Introduces kids to music and making music

Promotes interactive play that allows kids to be social

We don’t like

The Switch is sold separately

The controllers are sold separately

How it works

The makers at Nintendo have created a toy that brings together several facets of a child’s creative development. Nintendo created Labo, which is basically five interactive toys in one. The set comes with several items that require children to not only use their skills at building toys, but also including digital entertainment as a means of successfully playing with the toys to their full potential. The variety kit allows your child to not only use their creative skills at building their own toy, but they also place their controllers and their game player into the toy, which also helps them bridge the gap between the tactile and digital worlds. Your child will be able to be technologically savvy while also being fully in control of their play experience. With a low price and several hours of interactive fun, the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is a must have for any child who wants to be more than just entertained. 

 

Design

Design

The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is designed to be five toys in one that are built by your child. The kit comes with all the necessary cardboard cutouts to build the five toys including some extras that you can add to the toys plus the software you will need for downloading the games and using the cartridges. To use the digital interface portion of the game you will need to already own a Nintendo Switch and own your own Nintendo controllers. All of these items are sold separately and must already be purchased before buying the variety kit.

The five games have their own directions and their own cardboard pieces. When you open the box, you will see that each group of cardboard pieces is color-coordinated to the specific toy that those pieces help to build. Follow the perforations and folds on the pieces and you can begin to construct that specific toy.

Once the cardboard pieces have been opened and constructed you can then place your Nintendo Switch and the controllers into that toy and select the game you want to play that goes along with that cardboard construction. The kit also comes with other accessories and items that can be added to the toy and used to enhance the play experience.
The Toys

The Toys

The five toys that are included in the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit are an RC race car, a fishing rod, a house, a motorbike, and a piano. Each toy has its own specific way of being played and stimulates a different kind of sense and a different kind of skill and creative outlet for your child. Not only will your child be able to build their own toy, but they will also be able to play with it via digital entertainment and imagination.
The Toy Con RC Car

The Toy Con RC Car

The first toy that your child is able to build is the RC Car. The car looks like a small robot that can be controlled with your Nintendo Switch. On either side of the toy, you can attach both of the Nintendo remote controls. With the Switch, you will have an image on the screen of both of the remotes. When you press on one side, the toy will vibrate with HD vibrating technology that will allow one side of the toy to move causing it to turn and move in that specific direction. As you vibrate each side of the toy it will begin to move forward in any direction you choose. What’s more, is that on the sides of the remote controls are tiny cameras that will sync to your Switch device and the cameras have the ability to hone in on certain objects and move towards those targets.

On the Switch screen you can open up the controller to access the camera that is in the remote control and you can see what the RC Car can see as it moves around. The camera even has night vision, so if you were to turn off the lights in the room, you can still see what the camera sees with the night vision technology.

When the camera hones in on a certain object, you can put the car on autopilot and the car will move on its own towards that target.

If you have two sets of remote controls, you can then race another toy by using the same Nintendo Switch as a double remote control to make both cars move.

You can create obstacle courses and paths for your remote control car to go through as it moves towards a certain target. There are also bonus parts that can be attached to the car to make it unique looking to your desired theme and the extra parts can be used to move other objects or targets as the car moves along.
The Fishing Rod

The Fishing Rod

The next toy that your child can build and create is one of the more interactive toys, which is the fishing rod. The fishing rod game is so realistic it appears as if you are actually fishing through your screen.

When you build the fishing rod, you will place both remote controls in to the rod, and use the Switch as your body of water. One remote control is the crank for the rod, and the second remote control will be the handle of the rod that you hold. Take the fishing line and connect it to the Switch that you can place in a holder that rests in front of you. Once the fishing line is connected it will show up on the screen in the body of water. Once you start cranking the reel, the line will descend into the body of water and you can begin to fish. If you move the fishing pole from side to side the line will move on the screen in the water, but once the rod starts to vibrate, that means that you have a fish on the line, and you can start cranking the reel to bring the fish in. Once the fish is caught, you can then add it to your aquarium where you will be able to see all the fish you catch as you continue to fish. Sometimes, a bigger fish will come along and eat a smaller fish that is on your line, so make sure you are fast enough to get the fish on your line and out of the water. Visit aquarium mode at anytime to see all the fish that have been brought in on your line.
The House

The House

The house game is the next game in the series of games you can play with the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit. The house game is played exclusively with the Switch. When you open the story on your phone, you will see that a small, white, and furry creature has moved into the house. You can rock the Switch back and forth and the creature will roll back and forth across your screen. You can also shake the Switch and the creature will bounce around the room.

When you build the house for the Switch to be placed into, you also build a few other “blocks” that can be inserted into the house for more fun. When you put the blocks into the sides of the house or into the bottom of the screen, objects will appear. There are several blocks. One is a button block, there is a crank block, a cable block, and a key block. When the button block is in a light switch appear. The key block turns on a faucet that fills the room with water, and when you place a crank into the side of the screen, you can move a carousel that is in the house and it will rotate around as you crank. If you place two blocks into either side of the screen then the entire room changes. Anything that appears in the house the creature can play with and use as he runs around the room in the house. This game is a great way to get super creative as you have the ability to recreate the environment of the creature and get him to do a bunch of fun things. Each block represents a new challenge for your creature that will give you hours of entertainment.
The Motorbike

The Motorbike

The next game in the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit series is the motorbike. With the motorbike you can race around the tracks that are on the screen and use the cardboard handlebars to rev up the engine and go faster around the track. This is another game that allows the user to be as creative as possible as the accessories that come with this game allow you to build and create your own course with obstacles, road surfaces, landscape, jumps, and twists and turns that you create and build yourself. You can race around the course against the computer in a grand prix race. You can also take the motorbike that you build out of cardboard and create a course by waving the motorbike over objects that will pick up, copy, and paste the image onto the screen and make a course out of it for you. The possibilities are endless with this game as you can build, create, and race all in one application.
The Piano

The Piano

The final game in the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is the piano. The piano is one of the most creative outlets yet. You can not only play the piano and play songs that you recognize and love, but you can also hit the keys and have other sounds come out of them as well. The app expands and turns into a recording studio that allows you to write and create your own music. You can adjust the reverberation and change octaves as you use the keyboard to create your own melodies and layer the melodies as you can create the sound of your own band. The amount of music you can make is infinite as you can create as much music as you would like.
Price

Price

The price for the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is super inexpensive. For the price that you pay, you get endless hours of enjoyment, creativity, entertainment, and learning. It must be remembered that the price you are paying is simply for the cardboard building materials, accessories, and software. The kit does not come with the controllers or the Switch, so you will have to either purchase those items separately or already have them in your toy collection, so overall, the price may get high, but the actual kit is the inexpensive part that is the core of all the games.

Conclusion

The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is everything that a child needs to build their creative skills and effectively blend together digital technology with traditional game playing. The kit helps develop every aspect of a child’s creative and play development. By having to build the “molds” that their game player must fit into with the remote controls, your child will be using their skills at following directions to create the cardboard toys. This also gets them away from the screen as they use their minds and hands to play. Once the digital technology of the game player is introduced into their play, your child’s skills at understanding technology and successfully downloading software and utilizing it to perform game functions with the very accessories they helped to create expands their level of creativity and mental problem-solving. Finally, with interactive play, your child gets to share their creations with others as they race cars together and race motorbikes together as they learn about music, use their physical skills at fishing, and creating environments for a make-believe pet. With all of these aspects put together with a very low price, the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is a must-have for any parent who wants to keep their child busy and educated while enjoying the fun of playing.
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