Nintendo’s 4th Toy-Con release is absolutely massive.
It was just over two weeks ago Nintendo made the unexpected announcement of the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con: VR Kit. Yesterday, the company dropped a huge 7-minute trailer that gave us a more comprehensive look at the enormous collection of immersive minigames we have to look forward to when the 4th edition of Labo hits store shelves April 12th.
Here is a breakdown of everything the new trailer has revealed about the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit:
MULTIPLE GAMES PER TOY-CON
The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is composed of cardboard VR Goggles which house the Nintendo Switch tablet. This VR display can then attached to a variety of cardboard attachments in order to operate and enhance a corresponding game/experience. Not only did this trailer gives us a better look at what we’ll be playing using these unique peripherals, it also revealed that each attachment will work in conjunction with multiple games.
The Toy-Con Blaster features both an action-packed alien shooter, as well as a light-hearted turn-based competitive experience. In the shooter, players will use the pump-action Blaster to fend off an attack from an invading alien armada. For long-distance shots, they’ll be able to use their homing function to lock-on to far-away targets. By rotating the Joy-Con controller located on the side of the weapon, they’re also able to stop time and line-up their shots, similar to Red Dead Redemption’s ‘Dead Eye’ feature.
In the two-player competitive game, players hand-off the blaster as they each take turns trying to round up the largest herd of hippos by sucking up fruit and blasting the produce back into the mouths of the hungry animals.
The Toy-Con Camera features two environments in which players can zoom-in and snap photos of various wildlife, scenery, and hidden easter eggs. In the underwater environment, players will capture pictures of exotic marine life–such as sharks, schools of fish, and crabs. For a more adorable photo session, visit the home of an insanely cute cat-like creature as it goes about its business rolling around on the floor, falling asleep, and eating various fruit by violently shoving strawberries down its open face-hole. Each environment features a variety of challenges to complete, such as capturing certain characters/creatures while in certain poses, or discovering hidden easter eggs.
Then there’s the Toy-Con Wind Pedal. Arguably the strangest game of the bunch, the Wind Pedal is used for a stacking game in which players players help a frog dodge an incoming assault of colorful balls generated by mechanical teddy-bears. Stepping on the pedal not only triggers the frogs jump animation, but also produces a realistic gust of wind.
Next up, the Toy-Con Bird. The Bird features two triggers located on both sides of the Toy-Con device, which allow players to flap its corresponding cardboard wings. Unsurprisingly, this peripheral is used in tandem with a bird flying simulator where players explore a lush island in search of food to feed their hatchlings. Triggering the wings builds altitude, while rotating and tilting the headset itself controls the steering. There’s also a time-trial mode which adds the Wind Pedal Toy-Con into the mix, allowing players to increase speed for a better time.
Finally, the Elephant. Using the joy-con equipped trunk, players can participate in a Tilt Brush-style 3D art experience and draw custom works of art in a 3D space. There’s tons of customization to be had using a wide assortment of tools and effects, such as erasers, shape tools, and lighting effects. A second game mode, Marble Run, introduces a challenging puzzle aspect in which players select and move various objects to lead a marble to its goal. Twisty tubes, trampolines, fans, and anti-gravity machines will be at your disposal. There’s even the option to create your very own puzzles from scratch.
INTRODUCING VR PLAZA
The games listed above are just the tip-of-the-iceberg for Nintendo Labo: VR. VR Plaza opens up an absolutely massive catalogue of 64 individual VR games and experiences to choose from, including alien abductions, driving simulators, music creators, and a physics sandbox; just to name a few.
TOY-CON GARAGE VR
64 experiences not enough action for you? Toy-Con Garage returns once again to Nintendo Labo, this time bringing with it a slew of new options allowing players to develop, program, and share their own custom-made VR games and experiences. Garage VR simplifies the coding process by replacing conventional programming procedures with easy-to-use ‘branching dialogue.’ Players can customize terrain, goals, obstacles, enemies, and a variety of other game elements to create everything from a lunar rover driving simulator, to a Quest-based adventure game–all without any prior game development knowledge.
Although Nintendo has been primarily advertising the aforementioned peripherals, this trailer indicates that we’ll have multiple other VR Toy-Con attachments to play with, or at the very least the ability to modify existing ones. At a certain point in the video, one player can be seen wearing some type of basic face-tracking mask which allows them to control an in-game counterpart in real-time; the other player then uses the VR Goggles to follow the characters movements and nail them with various projectiles. Not only does this point towards additional cardboard peripherals, but the potential for multiplayer asymmetrical gaming experiences as well.
There’s also a brief second during the trailer where it appears as though a live-action video is being played on the tablet, hinting at the possibility of support for 360-degree video.
Although Nintendo Labo VR Kit may have been initially advertised as a simplistic VR gaming experience for the Switch, this trailer shows a much deeper commitment to the immersive sector by Nintendo. The 64 game VR Plaza alone makes this an experience worth checking out, but the ability to modify existing Toy-Cons and ‘program’ your own custom VR games could turn this light-hearted side project into a robust platform.
Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will be available April 12th for $79.99. The full kit includes the software and materials required for all six Toy-Cons, the Start Set + Blaster bundle features the Toy-Con Goggles, Toy-Con Blaster, Screen Holder, and Safety Cap for $39.99. Of course you could always expand your VR Kit as you go along, beginning first with the Starter Kit and then picking up either $19.99 Expansion Sets at a later time.