TechRadar Staff
2 hours ago

  Nintendo is a company which is famous for swimming against the tide, confounding expectations and doing precisely the opposite of what everyone anticipates.  While rivals such as Sony and Microsoft pour millions into developing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for applications within the world of gaming, Nintendo seems to delight in pushing in the opposite direction.  Just as the HD revolution was beginning in the middle of the previous decade, Nintendo released a Standard Definition console which used bizarre motion controls; the Wii promptly conquered that hardware generation with over 100 million systems sold.  When the shiny Sony PSP was on the horizon, Nintendo put its faith in touch control instead of powerful portable hardware, and emerged victorious with the Nintendo DS. Even earlier than that, it created a monochrome handheld in the form of the Game Boy and bested colour-screen rivals from the likes of Sega and Atari without breaking a sweat.

Fast forward to the present and we’ve just been served Nintendo’s latest curveball: Labo.  In its most basic form Labo is a series of cardboard kits which come flat-packed and have to be assembled by the player, with assistance from interactive 3D instructions which play out on the Switch’s screen.  These kits include a remote control car (it’s more like a bug really), a fishing rod and even a functioning piano. Each one takes between 15 minutes to two hours to fully complete.  Nintendo has effectively created a new way to play using one of the most basic materials available – it’s reminiscent of the way the late, great Gunpei Yokoi took the humble LCD display and created the million-selling Nintendo Game & Watch range of handhelds in the early ’80s.

It’s a move which is so deliciously Nintendo it’s a wonder we didn’t all see it coming. The instructions are then played out on-screen, with the model appearing in full 3D.

If you want to see the model from another angle or manipulate it, it’s simply a matter of using the console’s touchscreen. If you make a mistake you can rewind the step, or – if you’re really clever – you can fast-forward the process.

At some point, the game will ask you to place the Joy-Con or Switch tablet in the Toy-Con model. It’s this element that takes this concept to the next level. Read more from…

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