A flat piece of cardboard. The possibilities, in the pre-digital era, were endless. All you needed was a pair of scissors, a roll of Sellotape and some coloured pens and you were away. But Nintendo have gone one step further by incorporating cardboard toys into the digital realm.
Last year, Nintendo launched the Switch, a device that allows the player to ‘switch’ between two playing modes, from a console to a Gameboy-like unit. Nintendo’s latest iteration is Labo, which introduces a DIY aspect to gaming. It encourages players to start with a piece of cardboard and go where their imagination, and the kit, takes them. Whether that’s a piano, fishing rod or even a motorbike.
The cardboard templates designed by Nintendo come with digital instructions, which can be followed from your Switch device. Once the design is fashioned players attach the Switch console to power it, and the cardboard creation becomes part of the game itself.
Each cardboard kit comes as a laser cut flat sheet which players pop out and assemble into the particular template. Each kit only allows for the design it was cut for and it corresponds to a compatible game. The cardboard itself is not electronic, but the kits are detectable through the in-built infrared motion camera on the Switch as well as the removable Joy-Cons controllers which are attached to the kit itself.
For the launch in April of this year, there are six kits. The most interactive is the Robot, which allows the player to wear the cardboard creation and place the device into the kit’s headgear to see the game from the robot’s perspective.
Visit Nintendo’s website to find out more.