Nintendo's done it again with Labo, completely upending expectations with a semi-educational, DIY gaming spinoff for the Switch.
With Labo, younger gamers will literally build their own peripherals out of cardboard, then slot the Switch and its Joy-Con controllers in and play custom-made games.
For the grown-ups among us, the potential for magically tactile gameplay experiences is tantalising. Indeed, we're already imagining some ambitious Labo spinoffs using popular Nintendo IP.Zelda
Nintendo tried the whole 1:1 motion-controlled swordplay thing with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on Wii, which for my money is the worst 3D Zelda game ever made. But that's not to say that Nintendo shouldn't return to the concept further with Labo.
Imagine making your very own Master Sword and Hylian shield out of cardboard, fitting them with a Joy-Con each, and engaging in battle with Ganon and his minions. This wouldn't necessarily be a mainline Zelda experience, but a super-immersive sword combat spinoff would do very nicely indeed.Splatoon
Nintendo's Splatoon series is essentially virtual paintball, so why not let us make our own Shooters and indulge in some immersive splatting action?
It would essentially be Nintendo's take on the whole AR weapon games that we saw so much of at CES recently. You'd build a Splattershot Jr. (for example), slotting a Joy-Con into the handle for aiming and shooting. The Switch itself would slot on top, like a sight.Metroid
The concept of this one is similar to Splatoon. We can well imagine an atmospheric first person action-adventure in which the Switch is slotted securely into a cardboard recreation of Samsus's arm cannon.
Again, we're not expecting the full Metroid experience here - we're more than happy for Metroid Prime 4 to fill that void in traditional style. In fact, we insist. But an atmospheric shooting gallery spinoff could be brilliant.Wii Sports
The best game for the original Wii was arguably the one that came free with every console. No other game throughout the Wii's life exploited the potential of its unique motion controls as well as Wii Sports.
We'd love to see a similar casual sports compendium for Nintendo's latest console that used the Labo concept to craft tennis rackets, golf clubs, boxing gloves and more. Switch Labo Sports, perhaps?Cruis'n
Cruis'n USA was an arcade racing game that made its way to the Nintendo 64 in the mid '90s. It was made by Midway but published by Nintendo, and Ninty seems to own the rights since Midway went under.
In truth, Cruis'n USA wasn't particularly great, and nor were any of the subsequent licensed arcade games. However, we've included it here because we can just imagine making a working dashboard - with steering wheel and gearstick - out of cardboard. Also, the Switch really needs a straight up arcade racer to call its own.Donkey Konga/Jungle Beat
Donkey Konga was a quirky rhythm action game that launched for the GameCube back in 2004. It was most notable for featuring a special bongo controller that allowed you to pound along to the game's beat.
It was followed up a year later by Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, which used the bongo controller to play a hilariously unorthodox 2D platformer. We'd happily play a souped-up take on both using a set of self-made Labo bongos.Read more: 9 Switch games to look forward to in 2018
Want more? Check out our growing collection of Nintendo Labo features!