Earlier this week, the aNb Media/TTPM got a hands-on demo with the latest addition to the Nintendo Labo line. Already garnering accolades for its merging of tech, gaming, and hands-on creative play, the new Nintendo Labo VR kit elevates the play with the addition of VR gaming experiences that will have players soaring like a bird, feeding hippos, painting like an elephant Picasso, and feeling like superheroes by stopping an alien invasion.
Nintendo Labo: VR Kit launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch system on April 12 with dozens of simple virtual reality experiences for kids and families to enjoy together. Like the previous Nintendo Labo releases, players build different DIY cardboard creations with this kit that will then be used for gameplay. These include the Toy-Con Elephant, Toy-Con Camera, Toy-Con Bird, Toy-Con Blaster, and Toy-Con Wind Pedal (for added effect).
Some games allow players who aren’t looking into the Toy-Con VR Goggles to interact with the on-screen experience. For example, if one player is exploring the in-game ocean and taking photos with the Toy-Con Camera, another person in the room can wear the Toy-Con Snorkel and step in front of the Camera to make a bug-eyed fish swim quickly toward the player’s face.
The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit offers a variety of games and experiences that work with the different Toy-Con creations, including:
- Ocean Camera (Toy-Con Camera): Dive into the deep blue virtual sea and complete objectives like taking photos of sea life. The ocean is full of surprises.
- House Camera (Toy-Con Camera): Interact with the strange creature living in the house – which some people may recognize from the Nintendo Labo: Variety Kit! – and complete missions by taking photos in its mysterious home.
- Marble Run (Toy-Con Elephant): Try to complete physics puzzles by using various objects to guide marbles through rings. You can even create puzzles of your own to challenge friends and family.
- Doodle (Toy-Con Elephant): Create colorful 3D artwork by moving the trunk of the Toy-Con Elephant through the air, using various in-game tools and styles to bring your creations to life. Once finished, show off your masterpieces on the TV by docking your Nintendo Switch. An additional multiplayer game lets you take turns drawing and guessing each other’s drawings.
- Bird (Toy-Con Bird): Soar through the sky on a bird’s back, collecting items and helping baby birds hatch along the way. Players flap the wings of the Toy-Con Bird to fly and simply tilt it to turn.
- Bird Dash (Toy-Con Bird, Toy-Con Wind Pedal): Compete in timed challenges by racing through checkpoints as you fly through the sky. The Toy-Con Wind Pedal is used in conjunction with the Toy-Con Bird to deliver an extra boost of speed, while also sending a surprisingly strong puff of air toward the player that enhances the sense of flying.
- Blaster (Toy-Con Blaster): Battle an alien invasion and giant bosses in an on-rails experience that requires sharp reflexes and a keen eye.
- Kablasta (Toy-Con Blaster): Challenge a friend to competitive hippo feeding. Yes, hippo feeding! Fling different types of fruit toward the hippos to lure them to your side of the pool and score the most points.
- Hop Dodge (Toy-Con Wind Pedal): As a frog, jump as high as you can on an ever-growing stack of balls while avoiding obstacles and heading soccer balls. The wind resistance from the Wind Pedal will make you feel as though you’re actually experiencing a breeze.
But perhaps more exciting for experienced Nintendo Labo users is that along with the launch of Nintendo Labo VR comes two completely new additions to the gaming experience.
VR Plaza, designed to work with all Toy-Con creations, is where players can go to play 64 unique bite-sized games and experiences, such as platformers and puzzlers. While the majority of these games can be played only using the Toy-Con VR Goggles and Nintendo Switch systems, there are some two-player games that can be played in 2-D, such as a soccer match-up.
The Toy-Con Garage VR is a new programming tool that joins the original Toy-Con Garage, allowing players to create their own VR games and experiences as well as modify and explore the programming of existing VR Plaza games and experiences. Toy-Con Garage VR is the same tool that the development team used to create everything in VR Plaza.
Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will launch in retail stores on April 12 with two primary configurations, one that includes all Toy-Con creations and one that includes a smaller selection of projects to get started for those testing the waters with Nintendo Labo.
- Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will be available for MSRP $79.99 and includes the Nintendo Switch software and materials to build all six Toy-Con projects as well as a Screen Holder and other accessories.
- Nintendo Labo: VR Kit Starter Set + Blaster will be available for MSRP $39.99 and includes the Nintendo Switch software, plus all the components to build the Toy-Con VR Goggles and Toy-Con Blaster, as well as the Screen Holder and other accessories. The Starter Set is a great entry point into the world of Nintendo Labo VR.
Players that own the Starter Set can purchase two optional expansion sets for MSRP $19.99 each through the Nintendo Store to expand their experience:
- Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 1 includes the components needed to build the Toy-Con Elephant and Toy-Con Camera.
- Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 2 includes the components needed to build the Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Bird.
“Nintendo Labo is inherently designed to encourage imagination and creativity in people of all ages by blending real-world and virtual experiences,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing. “This new kit takes that concept a step further by layering in virtual reality to bring the Toy-Con creations to life and encourage family-friendly, pass-and-play experiences.”