Nintendo Labo is a low-tech housing for the high-tech joycons. I’ve played it. I made others play it. Here’s some raw notes.
I didn’t get an opportunity to observe how different people built the toycons. But I did see them play with the final controllers.
- You fold together cardboard, and nicely arranged tabs and pieces combine to form the “toycon” controllers.
- Tabs that seemed irreversible can actually still be popped open and closed many times. Corrugated cardboard is quite good!
- You then play games using these controllers.
- There is motion sensing tech in all joycons, and infrared sensors to detect other objects.
- The discover section actually teaches you everything in an entertaining way if you’re not an engineer. You could definetly nurture some kids with this.
- Most experiences are quite complete. You definetly feel that the cardboard has become a controller
- Incomplete toycons: Motorcycle doesn’t suit large hands, turning in the Robot kit was a necessary compromise.
- Most players find a reasonable experience in each game.
- For fishing, most players don’t spot animation/sound queues immediately (if you do, fishing becomes very simple). Are they immersed?
- I didn’t expect 1v1 RC cars to be HOURS of fun.
- People love the robot, but don’t have the endurance to jump back in. (or perhaps the appeal is limited. how can I tell?)
- The main purchase factor is willingness and time to build. Obviously this gears it towards kids.
- The variety kit felt like good value for money.
The robot kit only provides itself, which is hard to recommend, but was new and interesting.
- There is still an air of novelty around the toycons… you’d need multiple uses for each toycon, i.e. you’d want to see them more as controllers than toys.
- Example: the piano could have controlled a pinball game, and that would have provided more replay value. (Not everyone will use the toycon garage)
- No advertisements demonstrate longevity/repairing (open close tabs, sticking on reinforcing cardboard from anywhere). It was a liberating feeling when I taped a stolen flap from a tissue box onto a bent RC car’s leg to make it work again.
- Some of the cool toycon feedback (all rubber band components) could have been demonstrated more. We never saw the motorcycle handle snap back when released in the initial reveal trailer.