Last month, Nintendo surprise-unveiled Labo, a series of games and funky cardboard add-ons for Nintendo Switch. Trickles of information about Labo later emerged, but there were still plenty of questions about how add-ons, which are intended for kid gamers and set to release April 20, will work.
The biggest info dump came on Thursday when Nintendo released three new videos that offer details about what Labo is and what the first two kits include.
The first video is a Labo overview that shows what the kits look like and how, exactly, you assemble them.
Each Labo kit comes with an interactive instruction manual that displays on the Switch’s screen. It contains videos that show the step-by-step process required to turn Labos from sheets of cardboard into working Toy-Con contraptions. Some of these kits are pretty complex, so video walk-throughs will come in handy. The piano alone takes over an hour to assemble. Curious gamers can also watch videos included with the Labo kits to see cutaways showing how the Toy-Cons work.
The Toy-Con Garage section of the software lets players program their own games. Players can tell the game what input you to perform on the Joy-Con controller and then program the desired output. These should encourage kids to explore the basic tenants of programming, which could come in handy down the line.
The next two videos shed light on the first two Labo packages: Variety Kit and Robot Kit.
Nintendo is calling the Variety Kit “Toy-Con 01,” presumably in an effort to encourage customers to collect all of the sets. The Variety Kit comes with everything you need to make the piano, fishing rod, house, motorbike, and remote-controlled car.
Each of the cardboard constructions has an accompanying mini-game in the Labo software. There’s a racing game for the motorbike, a fishing game for the rod, and a Tamagotchi-like game about a digital pet living in the house. Some of the games include creation tools, so you can design your own courses in the motorbike game and program your own songs on the piano.
The Robot Kit is a little easier to wrap one’s head around than the wide-ranging Variety Kit. This Toy-Con uses cardboard and strings to effectively turn players into giant robots. Once the player is strapped in, with strings starting in the hands, feeding through a cardboard backpack, and ending down at the feet, they can move around and wreck virtual cities in the included game.
Depending on the gestures the player does, the robot can fly, turn into a car, or grow to the size of a skyscraper. The kit also comes with a visor, letting the player enter into a first-person view.
We still don’t know how much replacement cardboard sheets will cost when kids inevitably wreck their Toy-Cons. Nor do we know when or what other Labo kits may be available later on.
What we do know is that the Variety Kit costs $70, and the Robot Kit costs $80. Both will arrive on April 20, along with a $10 Customization Set to spruce up the Labo with stickers and stencils.