Tuesday 22 January 2019

Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit review: Folding gold

Nintendo Labo: Vehicle Kit (Switch) ★★★★★ Age: 7+

Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit
Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Ikea meets Lego meets Minecraft. Excuse the hyperbole, but that’s the potential of Nintendo’s left-field Labo construction kit, which offers you a box of flat cardboard and challenges you to make something with your hands. You know, like the good old days.

Labo isn’t just for children — beneath the friendly veneer lies a sophisticated, flexible system of models, interaction and even programming — but the ideal team for this involves a youngster and an adult. The Vehicle Kit follows in the wake of Nintendo’s first Labo efforts, the Variety Kit and Robot Kit, both of which were welcome for their delightful novelty but probably lacked something in longevity.

The latest kit (which like all the others requires you to own a Nintendo Switch) goes further in teaming several buildable models (corresponding on-screen to buggy, plane and submarine) with a credible game world.

Each vehicle takes up to two hours to construct but near fool-proof video instructions and the simple pleasure of folding and tucking bits of cardboard makes the time fly.

There’s a real tactility to playing with the vehicles, cleverly relating the actions of the models (a steering wheel, an accelerator pedal, a submarine console, an aircraft joystick, etc) directly to the movement of your digital buggy, plane or sub.

Younger children will need a hand but will relish the physical construction and magic of the digital link. Anyone older will sense the enormous possibilities beyond Nintendo’s initial designs, allowing you to improvise with household objects.

 

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

(Switch) ★★★★ Age: 15+

The name’s a mouthful and the contents of this remaster gives you enough to chew on for months. But Generations Ultimate isn’t easy to swallow in the wake of Monster Hunter World, which reinvented the venerable beast-slaying formula last January.

MHGU predates that overhaul and will try the patience of all but the hardcore fans with its arcane systems, punishing difficulty and ageing graphics — all of which were tolerable before MH World.

It’s still utterly involving if you buy into its quirks, but newcomers will be nonplussed.

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