Nintendo Switch coupled with Nintendo Labo might just be the perfect combination to satisfy the curiosity and entertainment needs of our inquisitive little guys. Challenging, rewarding and most of all, fun, this new take on gaming ticks all the boxes!
Nintendo have been entertaining the world for a long time (longer than we realised actually – they were founded in 1889!) – and us personally since the days of the fabulously entertaining ‘Game and Watch’ of the 1980s! The Game Boy, NES, Super NES and Nintendo 64 allowed us to carry our childhood fun through our teens, and Nintendo’s amazingly fun gameplay has always kept them at the forefront of entertainment regardless of the competition that they faced. As young adults we played on the Wii, a console that we’ve held onto to this day. And it was this console that introduced the next generation, our little guys, to the wonderful world of Mario and Nintendo!
Nintendo’s latest offering is called Nintendo Switch which was released in 2017, and like all Nintendo consoles its innovation and super fun gameplay made it immediately stand out in the crowd. For those who haven’t yet experienced Nintendo Switch, it consists of a console which is a 6.2 inch and very much a specific gaming tablet (like phablet sized) that can either sit inside the dock and be played on your TV, or work in handheld mode using the controllers (called Joy-Con) on either side of the console. On some games, you can even remove the Joy-Con and play two-player using the console in tabletop mode! For those of us familiar with the Wii controllers (the controllers react with movement), Joy-Con are motion-sensitive so that they can be used in the same fashion as the Wii Controllers.
It wouldn’t be Nintendo without Mario, and one of the key software launches for Nintendo Switch was Super Mario Odyssey, all new but unmistakably Mario and fantastically fun. And probably the most enjoyable racing game is back again – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is visually amazing and it’s still just as much fun as ever. Even though there are already over 1,000 titles for Nintendo Switch, we haven’t spent too much time with others – our little guys are absolutely crazy for Mario so they are quite content with these two titles (for the time being, at least)!
But we just had to introduce them to a fantastic new experience (and one that probably wouldn’t have come out from anyone other than Nintendo) called Nintendo Labo (pronounced Lab-oh). Nintendo Labo really is an amazing idea and one that squeezes even more fun out of this fantastic console. It’s also kind of ironic that one of the most impressive and fun bits of technology you might have in your house can team up with something completely inert – pieces of cardboard – and evolve into such an impressive hands on, thought provoking and constructive experiences!
Nintendo Labo is essentially cardboard sheets that you (following fantastic and simple on-screen instructions) construct into shapes, creations and tools, which interact with the console and the Joy-Con to create something new. Although your Toy-Con creations look really cool, it’s important to note that you need Nintendo Switch to use them. It’s a similar principal to turning your smart phone and some cardboard into a VR experience (which a lot of us might be familiar with), but Nintendo Labo does this on a different level to create fishing rods, cars, robots, a toy piano and heaps more!
Due to the great layout and instructions, the Toy-Con models are not too difficult to construct, but can become quite complex and time consuming, so a little focus is required at times. The kids will have a great time doing it but the younger guys might need a bit of patience and maybe some help from an adult (or should that be the other way around?)! It’s best to take a bit of care with construction so that you get the most out of your Nintendo Labo! And it’s a fantastic activity to engage the whole family! As these amazing Toy-Con creations are cardboard, they are easy to personalise and the kids will love getting to them with colours or stickers!
Make, Play, Discover is the motto and once built, more opportunities for fun open up! And it’s not just the fun in playing a game, or making music or driving a car – it’s the fun of exploring and discovering just what your new creation can do – like making your own race track by moving a Toy-Con Motorbike through the air, or designing your own fish to include in your fishing game, or interacting with the House that you’ve just made! And that, for us, is the real draw in Nintendo Labo – the fun just keeps on evolving!
Brisbane Family Explorers