Parents' Guide to

Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Vehicle Kit

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Creative vehicle kit adds large new world to explore.

Game Nintendo Switch 2018
Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Vehicle Kit Poster Image

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The third installment of Nintendo's cardboard toy/mini-game collection puts players firmly in the driver's seat and gives them a large digital world to explore. The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Vehicle Kit builds on the strengths of the Variety and Robot Kits with their excellent step-by-step tutorials to help you construct controllers. It also brings along the great Toy-Con Garage, which gives hints on everything from how to play some games to decorating their controllers to programming new cardboard toys. But the previous kits were easily dinged for having mini-games that quickly became stale, along with controllers that didn't really interact with each other once built. This time around, the true standout is the Adventure mode, which uses every controller to fully explore a virtual world. You're dropped into one of 10 separate regions, each with a set of goals to accomplish, like escorting escaped cows back to their corral, blasting UFOs or balloons out of the sky, or freeing trapped creatures underwater. But you won't be able to complete each task in one machine; fortunately, by pulling the cardboard "key" out of one controller and slapping it into another, your vehicle seamlessly transforms from an off-road vehicle to a jet to a submarine.

This quick transition makes exploration very appealing, and you'll go hunting through each region looking for reasons to swap between each controller. On the other hand, the transitions between controllers highlight some issues for the kit. For one thing, the controllers are more complex, and test the hand-eye coordination of gamers more. That's especially true when it comes to balancing the easier controls of the off-road car and the more complex underwater turbines of the sub. What's more, the constant swapping really means that you need to play this game with the Switch comfortably docked and connected to a TV. There's only one screen stand attached to the top of the steering wheel, but it's very awkward to watch that small screen, especially if you need to switch over to the sub. It's worse if you have the controllers in your lap -- just spare yourself the frustration and dock the system. But these minor issues aside, the Vehicle Kit manages to bring a new, expansive world to Nintendo's cardboard creation franchise. Players interested in programming, creativity, or machines won't go wrong with this one.

Game Details

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