The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit is a box full of cardboard, rubber bands, strings and dreams.
Today Brian and I unboxed the Variety Kit and built the simplest of its five projects: the RC Car. The result is less of a car and more of a cute little critter that chugs across your table thanks to the Joy-Cons’ HD rumble capabilities.
The car is steered via touch controls on the Nintendo Switch screen. You can also use sliders to adjust the frequency of the rumble on each Joy-Con, which gives you a rudimentary way to control speed and direction. The Variety Kit includes patterns for a second car, if you have an extra pair of Joy-Cons lying about.
It’s a simple concept, but this project did a good job of communicating the potential of the Labo as we put the car together and explored what it can do.
Very little of the interface in the RC car game on the Switch was explained, which leaves you free to explore the virtual buttons and switches at your own pace.
Our time with the Labo was brief, and I don’t know if the joy of discovery will be sustained over hours of play. But I experienced genuine surprise and delight at what Nintendo has accomplished with this one example from the Labo collection.
The two RC cars are one of several projects that are included with the Variety Kit. The others are a fishing rod, a house, a motorcycle and a piano. These each have their own games, and the Labo cartridge includes something called the “Toy-Con Garage” which lets you customize Joy-Con functionality.
Yeah, that means you can make your own games.
We’ll be building and exploring all this and more over the coming week.
You can watch us unbox the Variety Pack, as well as build and race two RC cars, in the embedded video above. Stay tuned to Polygon for a full review, and make sure you subscribe to Polygon’s YouTube channel for more Nintendo Labo videos.