Are Nintendo's cardboard kits the next Big Thing? Meet Labo

Create disposable contraptions with your Switch!

Are Nintendo's cardboard kits the next Big Thing? Meet Labo
| Nintendo Labo

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When other game designers have been emphasizing cutting edge graphics and grit, Nintendo has been off in its own little corner reveling in the art of play in its purest form. Its games are a delight because they take us back to our childhoods—they're fun for fun's sake, with no extra strings attached. Nintendo reminded us of this today with the reveal of Nintendo Labo, a new experiment in tactile games aimed at kids.

Nintendo Labo essentially gives you the materials to build cardboard Switch “controllers” that you can use for a series of new mini-games. Construct a piano, plug in your Switch, and you can create your own musical masterpieces. A slider in the game allows you to change how the music sounds. Or, build a fishing rod and see if you can find the catch of the day. The announcement trailer features quite a few gadgets, including a backpack that lets you control a giant mech.

Nintendo is reaching out to the young’ins for Nintendo Labo. It comes in two kits (as of now)—the Variety Kit features the aforementioned piano and fishing rod, along with an RC car, a motorbike, and a house. The robot suit is sold as its own Robot Kit. All of the tools required to build the various structures are quite simple—bits of cardboard, string, and rubber bands bring it all together.

There’s a lot of fodder for the imagination here. It lets kids feel like they’re building their own games, even allowing them to color the cardboard gizmos and decorate them as they wish, while providing some structure to keep things simple.

The first two Nintendo Labo sets launch on April 27.