Sure, everyone's favorite super angry man who's stained with the ashes of his wife and daughter that he murdered is back today, but another hotly-anticipated game-thing is out too. Nintendo Labo! The cardboard mess that will litter recycling bins in just a few months time.
Nintendo Labo is Nintendo's foray into the D.I.Y. culture, a scene that's been kept alive by vloggers, bloggers, IKEA, and everything in between for decades. Arguably, Tim Allen's career launched into space when he fit the D.I.Y. theme upon a bland sitcom. D.I.Y. bullshit will seemingly never go away, and Nintendo knows that, so they capitalized on it under the guise of "toys."
And that's what Nintendo Labo is, essentially. A glorified, eco-friendly, bundle of toys to go along with the semi-portable Nintendo Switch console. It's a genius idea, honestly. With Nintendo Labo, kids and adults can construct robot suits, RC cars, micro pianos, and guitars. Most significantly though, users can program and build their own creations too—projects outside of Nintendo's strict guidelines. (Think like an elaborate Arduino project.)
With that in mind, we decided to cook up a list of some things we hope are possible to make with the Toy-Con Garage in Nintendo Labo as we await our own bundle of future recycling to come in the mail.
Kratos' New Ax
A lot of dads this weekend are going to be busy playing the new God of War, a game where Kratos now has a shiny new ax firmly in his grasp when he needs to take down trolls. So what better tool to craft with cardboard than Kratos' ax? I can imagine the Gamer Dads in the games press' headlines on Monday: "While I Murdered Monsters and Stuff in God of War, My Dear Son That I Love Made a Cardboard Ax That Made Scary Noises When Swung Thanks to Nintendo Labo." You're welcome Gamer Dads.
This year, the Aibo returned: Sony's future robot dog that first debuted back in the late-1990s. But with its shiny, updated technology and refreshed look also came a heftier price tag: approximately $1,700. That's a big ask for most people in the world, unless you work in Silicon Valley or something. Hopefully though, Nintendo Labo can help users get their own budget version of the advanced robo-dog. The Aibo for the everyman. We haven't fully tested the Toy-Con Garage firsthand yet, but from what we gather, custom robots are programmable, so why not a shabby Aibo-like too?
The Return of the Nose-Picking Prototype
Nintendo Labo's origins were once not so eco-friendly, according to this Nintendo-sanctioned interview. Before cardboard, there was plastic and a lone nose-picking 3D-printed model. Of course, this proved to be cumbersome—not to mention a garbage dump's worst nightmare—and so Nintendo pivoted to something environmentally-friendly. With the Toy-Con Garage, the Nose-Picking concept can live again, as users can recreate the nose and finger and maybe even faux-boogers too from cardboard shavings. Anything's possible.
Billiards tables are not only expensive, they're impossible to move too. The table is one hefty slab of slate, essentially, with some felt tacked on to make it look nice. The felt is easy to scuff too, as you may have encountered at any local bar with a table at the ready. Nintendo Labo can maybe solve that though: with a makeshift billiards table, pool cue, and even cardboard balls to smack around the rectangular section. Heck, maybe even throw ping pong balls in there and scribble numbers on them to make things a little easier.
A Dance Dance Revolution Mat
I used to have a copy of Dance Dance Revolution for PlayStation 2. It came with this horrible plastic mat that would slide beneath your feet the more you played. There'd be whole songs where I felt that I was doing well, only to find the mat had shifted so far away that it would be comical to someone observing me. To solve this, when we had cardboard, I'd put it underneath the mat. I don't think it helped much, but it was the principle of it. I've been longing for a home console revival of Dance Dance Revolution for awhile now, and with the Labo's D.I.Y. efforts, maybe we're a bit closer to that reality. We'd just have to accidentally crush about a dozen Joy-Cons beneath our feet in pursuit of making the cardboard dance pad's buttons work.
Clothes Iron Sim
Kids love to pretend to be adults. They're given baby dolls that realistically "urinate" when they're toddlers, in order to instill a motherly instinct as young as possible for some reason. They're given Easy Bake ovens to learn how to "cook," sorta. And yet, young boys get left out of the adult simulating fun, so why not give them a pantsuit and a cardboard iron to faux-iron their clothes? Nintendo Labo can help make this dream a reality, with the plus of putting Joy-Cons into the cardboard clothes iron to rumble for funsies. (Side note: Props to my co-worker Matt Kim for this genius idea, and the billiards idea too.)
A Fake-Gun, I Guess?
One of my fondest memories is of my step-dad playing a Cabela's hunting game on the Wii and having the Wiimote slotted into this ridiculous plastic gun thing. It looked extremely stupid, and I even played some of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with it. (It hurt my arms, from what I remember.) So why not replicate that experience with Nintendo Labo? Heck, it'd be even cooler if it was operable within something like Splatoon 2, but as far as we know, that's practically not possible on the hardware (unless the Joy-Cons are horizontally placed with the buttons out for gyro-aiming while playing to be possible). We can dream though.