Nintendo Labo: Make, Play, Repeat

Katelynne Collins

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Set to make its debut on April 20, the Nintendo Labo has gained the curiosity of gamers with its predominantly cardboard design. Starting at $69.99, the Nintendo Labo’s initial release will include a “Variety Kit” and “Robot Kit.” These kits will contain several cardboard accessories that can be used with the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers, which can be detached from the Switch’s touchscreen.
With the cardboard accessories provided in the “Variety Kit,” the player can construct a remote-controlled car, a toy piano, a fishing rod, a motorbike, and a house. In the “Robot Kit,” players can use the provided pieces to transform themselves into a robot by constructing a fake mechanical suit and using the Joy-Con controllers as sensors for each hand. The instructions on how to put together the pieces will be shown on the Switch after inserting the cartridge the kit comes with, allowing parents and their children to work together to construct each accessory. The player will be able to use the cardboard creation to play a video game specialized for it.
“I think it’s a great outlet for kids to develop creativity because the cardboard is so versatile. I also think assembling it will be really fun and kids will be able to see how each component comes together to create a fully functioning mechanism,” senior Jasmin Lim said.
Many are applauding the new product for its creativity and potential ability to let kids learn about digital technology, as well as basic engineering and coding principles. For example, after successfully constructing the toy piano, a child will be able to see how a camera attached to the piano transmits data, such as which sounds the piano will make, to the Switch.
“I think the Nintendo Labo will be a good device for children and gamers. I’m considering getting it,” sophomore Meagan Moore said.
However, the announcement of the Labo has attracted negative attention as well, with critics dissatisfied with its cost. Some are also concerned about whether the product will be able to last for a long time given its cardboard structure. Fortunately, Nintendo is planning to create replacement kits, but tape and glue are easy alternatives.
Despite concerns about the longevity of the cardboard, fans are anticipating how other players will customize each model, as the cardboard will allow artists to draw on it and design it as they please.
With Nintendo having plans for more individual kits in the future, their plans to allow children to have an outlet for creativity and curiosity will surely succeed.

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Nintendo Labo: Make, Play, Repeat