The Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit Is Packed With Fun for Kids Young and Old
Here's everything you need to know about Nintendo's latest Labo kit.
Earlier this year, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit would race onto store shelves on September 14. The kit lets kids of all ages construct video game controllers -- called Toy-Con -- out of cardboard, and then use them to play the games included on the kit's Switch software.
The Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit will let kids and adults construct a car’s steering wheel, a plane’s flight stick, a submarine control unit, a pedal, two keys, and a spray can. From there, they can insert the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers into the different Toy-Con to use them to play a variety of games.
Nintendo released a detailed overview video for the new kit, which explains how kids can have fun once they get behind the wheel.
First, an Adventure mode will let kids explore an open world full of pyramids, an archaeological dig site, a modern city, mountains, and more. Kids can interact with in-game characters and complete missions using all three of the in-game vehicles. A second player can get in on the action by using the kit’s extra key in a different controller. Just keep in mind, multiplayer gameplay would require you to own more than two Joy-Con controllers, since the two that came with the Switch will be used by a single player in their pedal and key.
While playing in Adventure mode, kids can choose which vehicle to control by placing one of their keys into the appropriate Toy-Con. When they want to switch vehicles, it’s as simple as moving the key from one Toy-Con to another -- the on-screen vehicle will automatically transform into a car, submarine, or plane, depending on which controller the player has activated.
Each vehicle also comes with special abilities for kids to play around with. For instance, the steering wheel Toy-Con comes with a cord kids can pull to pop a wheelie and make their car jump. The submarine Toy-Con has a button that lets players fire an anchor at in-game objects to interact with them. Finally, the plane’s flight stick Toy-Con has a trigger that allows kids to fire missiles from their plane.
Kids can also build a screen stand that attaches to the steering wheel Toy-Con, and can hold the Switch console when kids aren’t playing on the TV. When the Switch is in the screen stand, kids have the option to drive using gyro camera control, which lets them turn left and right by physically tilting the steering wheel Toy-Con (and, in the process, the Switch console).
Finally, kids will be able to create their own controllers using objects they may have around the house (not just cardboard), and use them to control their vehicles.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the game’s other modes.
- Rally - Kids can drive, fly, and dive through checkpoints while trying to beat the clock.
- Circuit - Players can race against in-game vehicles on a variety of tracks. While racing, kids can launch a mechanical arm from their vehicle to punch other cars out of the way.
- Slot Cars - This mode uses only the pedal Toy-Con. It challenges players to control the speed of a small car that automatically moves around a series of curvy tracks. Up to four players can race in the Slot Cars mode, but each one will need their own pedal. That means you’ll need multiple Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kits, or friends who have their own that they can use.
- Battle - Kids can compete in one-on-one car battles against either the computer or a friend.
- Paint Studio - Players can use the Spray Can Toy-Con to spray paint their in-game vehicle and customize its appearance.
- Discover - This area contains interactive tutorials that teach kids how the kit's Toy-Con work.
- Toy-Con Garage - This interactive playground of sorts lets kids program their own tools and games that use the kit's cardboard controllers (or even other items).
Don’t forget that the Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit will also be compatible with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, letting kids control every in-game vehicle in the kart racing game using the steering wheel, pedal, and key Toy-Con.
Nintendo introduced the first two Nintendo Labo kits -- the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit -- in April 2018. Players have created some amazing things out of the first two Labo building kits, from original games to beautiful music and beyond. Even if your kids aren’t interested in creating anything from scratch, they can customize the kit’s cardboard pieces using stickers, markers, glitter, and more to make their pieces stand out.
The Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit launches on September 14 for $69.99.