May Xbox Update Adds Groups, High Refresh Rate, and More

E3 is coming up quick, and the team is hard at work on a bunch of exciting new things that we can’t wait to show you in June. But before E3 arrives, we still have a chance to add in a few more exciting features onto your Xbox One that we think you’ll enjoy.  Some of these build on the new features we introduced last month; others are new ideas that the team has implemented for you, the Xbox Insider community. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect in the coming weeks:

120Hz Comes to Consoles

In April, we added variable refresh rate, 1440p resolution support, and auto low latency mode. But we aren’t done just yet. In May, we’re adding support for additional panel refresh rates. Gamers with gaming monitors and televisions that support a 120Hz refresh rate can now turn on 120Hz support for 1080p and 1440p output resolutions. This high refresh rate option means you can now take full advantage of displays with 120Hz capabilities.

Group Your Games and Apps

Our fans asked for new ways to organize their library of games and apps. In response, we’re introducing a powerful new enhancement to Pins which we call “Groups.” With Groups, you can create multiple collections of content made up of anything from within My games & apps. You can also assign custom names to each Group, organize and order them, and add individual Groups to Home. Groups will appear across My games & apps, Home, and Guide, so you’ll be able to access your Groups at a moment’s notice. Best of all, Groups are tied to your account, so they will automatically sync across multiple Xbox One consoles. We’ve started you off with a Group that should look very familiar — your Pins!

We’re doing something a little different with the rollout of this feature: Groups will not initially be enabled for everyone in the Alpha ring. In order to gauge interest and collect feedback, we will instead gradually roll out Groups over time within Alpha.

Trim Clips Directly in the Guide

Last month, we added a new sharing feature that helps gamers upload their captured screenshots and videos directly to Twitter. This month, we’re improving on the sharing experience even further; you can now trim your recent game captures directly from the Guide, so you won’t need to switch to Upload Studio to make a quick cut to your saved clips.

Improved Family Settings

Xbox One is also helping parents keep their family safe with updates to family settings. We’re adding a “Details” page where parents can easily find and manage all family settings on Xbox One. Parents will easily be able to tell which family and content settings are set up and configured. Important setting that are turned off or require attention will be flagged as well. Some settings, such as activity reports and screen time limits, can only be accessed through the web: We’ll identify those settings and provide links where parents can easily set them up.

Improvements to the Xbox Accessories App

We’re also modernizing the Xbox Accessories app to make it easier to navigate, and to look and feel more consistent with the rest of the Xbox One dashboard.

Intuitive Button Commands

We’re also making changes to some of the button commands throughout the dashboard. For example, you can now use the View button on Home to edit the order of blocks or reorder items within Groups.  Pressing the “View” button on the main tab of the Guide will also now display additional capture options. If you group your collections in My games and apps by letter, you will now need to select a letter to view all groups.

As usual, a subset of users may also see additional experimental features that we didn’t mention here. These features are only enabled for a portion of the Xbox audience to gauge interest and collect feedback.

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Hearthstone game director Ben Brode departs Blizzard

Hearthstone game director and longtime Blizzard developer Ben Brode has announced that he is leaving the developer to “take a crazy risk” and help start a game development company of his own.

Brode, who has worked on Hearthstone for 10 of his 15 years at Blizzard, shared all of this in a heartfelt post on the Hearthstone forums, tracing back the path his career has taken and thanking his coworkers and the Hearthstone community for their support.

“I was 20 years old when I started here. My first role was ‘Night Crew Game Tester,” wrote Brode. “Since then, Blizzard has been good to me. I got to cast esports events, announce BlizzCons, play in Rock Bands, write raps, and work with incredible people. But the biggest opportunity came in 2008 when I joined ‘Team 5.’ The Hearthstone Team.”

Brode notes that, while he has enjoyed his time with the Hearthstone team, he is looking forward to stepping out of his current role and getting back to hands-on development like programming, designing, and “actually creating things again” with the studio he is helping to start.

While his post doesn’t mention who will be at the helm of Hearthstone development following his departure, Brode shared that he isn’t worried about the future of the digital card game he helped put on the map. 

“I get too much credit by virtue of being a public face, but the 80+ people on the development team are still there, and they are the ones actually making the cards, brawls, events, missions, and features,” said Brode. “I am confident the game is in the best possible hands, and I’m excited to see where a new generation of leaders takes Hearthstone from here.”

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Blog: How the Rubik’s Cube inspired a laid-back Atari puzzler

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


[This is an excerpt from ‘21 Unexpected Games to Love For The Atari VCS’, available in the current game eBook Storybundle, which covers a number of classic VCS games that, untethered from nostalgia, may still be of interest to a player who didn’t grow up with the system. The Atari Video Cube is a laid back kind of puzzle game that’s not nearly as imposing as an actual Rubik’s Cube. It was developed before the Game Crash of 1983, but sold through mail order until Atari revived the VCS/2600 to try to compete with the NES.]

Atari Video Cube

1 player, joystick. 4K in size.

Created by an unknown developer working for GCC. Published via mail order in 1982 by Atari.

Accessibility: 4/5

In a sentence: It’s not a Rubik’s Cube, but instead you swap individual colored squares on the cube with the one you’re carrying and try to get each side all the same hue in this laid-back puzzle game.

Squares In The Mail

In the 80s it seemed like anything could become a fad. You think fidget spinners were big? One of the best-selling toys of the decade was a super-hard puzzle that very few people could complete. Rubik’s Cube was popular enough that it remains well-known today in a way that Cabbage Patch Kids and Beanie Babies are not, partly because it continues to be sold in various formats and sizes, and partly because there’s still a bit of magic about it. Twisting one around in your hands, it’s difficult to conceive how such a thing could even be invented, let alone assembled into a thing you can own for about $12.

Atari was a fad of comparable size right around the same time, so combining the two must have seemed like a paring as salutary as sparkly balls and disco. Atari had a coder from GCC, whose name does not come down to us, work on this interesting puzzle game that despite the name and appearances is actually not a Rubik’s Cube. It’s a great deal easier, and because of it, rather more fun.

Perhaps sensing legal trouble if it appeared on then-Cube-licensee Ideal’s radar, it was not sold at first on store shelves, but instead as a mail order-only product offered in Atari’s newsletter. When the VCS got its shadowy second life as a distant competitor to the Nintendo Entertainment System, some units appeared in shops at that point, possibly unsold inventory. atariprotos.com says that it was sold with Rubik’s Cube branding at this time, but I don’t remember seeing it myself. I presume they are accurate.

The Game

It’s quite simple. You have a person, like an elf or an imp and identified by the manual as “Hubie the Cube Master,” who lives on a cube, each face divided into a 3×3 grid, like a Rubik’s Cube. And like a Rubik’s Cube, each face’s sub-squares are colored, and also like a Rubik’s Cube, the colors are scrambled at the start of play, scrambled around the cube. There’s nine of each colored square; your job, like the puzzle, is to get it so that each side of the cube is a single color.

How you do this is how the game diverges from Ernő Rubik’s portable conundrum. Your cube-living gremlin moves between the squares of the cube according to how you press the joystick. You only see one side of the cube, the one the elf is on, at a time. When you move them off the side of the cube, it “rotates,” with a simple 3D effect, to show the next side. Your imp-person has free reign of the cube with one exception; they can change color through the game, but can never stand on a square that matches the color they currently are. You see, they’re shown in relief against the background of the cube color they’re standing on. If they were standing on a spot of the same color, they’d be invisible, and we can’t have that!

How do you change color, then? You can “pick up” the color on a spot when you press the button. Then the imp changes to that color, and the color they previously were is dropped and becomes the color of that square. Then you can move to another space, exchange colors there, and so on, always with the limitation that you can’t cross onto a space that’s your current color.

Slowly, space by space, you construct a “solved” cube in this way. It might sound easy, since at any time five kinds of spaces are walkable out of six, but as you solve spaces you start having to plan your moves a bit. Remember, solving a side requires filling it with the same color, you have to be that color in order to drop more of it into that side, and a side is hidden from your view until you walk into it. The result is that a kind of hidden wall of that color develops as you fill that side with more of the color you want it to have. The effect is even more confounding because of a clever little fact about the cube, that shows its unknown creator’s attention to detail….

Your task is made a little harder, and a little weirder, because of the geometry of cubic shapes. Think about if you had a cube in front of you. Of course, the Atari can only show it orthogonally, its sides parallel to the screen. Now take this cube, imagined in your mind’s eye, and rotate it so the side on its top is now facing you. This means the original side that was facing you, we’ll call it Side One, is facing the floor. This is just how the game does it, with a nifty 3D effect.

Now, turn it left, so the currently-viewed side is on the left. Side One is still on the bottom in this example, but it’s been rotated 90 degrees. Now, if you turned the cube “up,” to bring Side One back into view, it’ll be rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise from your original view of it! My point is, the Atari Video Cube obeys this rule; it’s not like a six-screen flat grid you can scroll around, your perspective on the squares can become rotated based on how you scroll them around.

Imagine if you were playing the game, and your elf-friend was tying to fill Side One with blue squares. You might see that the upper-left space on that side is the only one left to fill, so you leave the blue side looking for a new square. It could be anywhere. When you find it, unless you retrace your steps to get back to the blue side the same way you went away from it, that one space might not be on the top-left; it might be one of the other corners. If you haven’t paid attention to how you rotated the cube, you might have to pace around, trying each of the other corners, until you find the one that allows you entrance.

This may sound confusing, but it’s not that hard to get used to really. It’s nowhere near as difficult as an actual Rubik’s Cube, and the real point of it all is to work on optimizing your solutions. 50 puzzles are included on the cartridge, and you can play each either for lowest moves or fastest time. Note that they’re not selected by the Game Select switch, but by the joystick before the Reset switch is pressed. There are the usual number of game variations, which include modes that have the computer showing you an optimal solution to a cube, modes that “black out” the colors so that they’re only visible when turning the cube, and perhaps the most interesting, a mode that restricts movement to up or right, which requires different strategy to solving.

It’s a shame that the Video Cube didn’t make it to store shelves back in the glory days of the console, as it’s one of the most interesting cartridges available for the VCS. It’s interesting for being quite a “pure” game. There are no enemies, extra rules or needless complications. You’re free to keep playing until you solve a puzzle, and the only barrier to that is that of the colors posing obstacles, which is both more of a problem than you’d think, and still not so harsh that you’ll be stuck for long. It’s a nice unwinding kind of puzzle, something to flip around for a few minutes.

And that’s about all there is to say about Atari Video Cube. Sometimes, simple is best!

Notes

The source for the GCC credit on Atari Video Cube is atariprotos.com. That site also notes that Atari had in development a more accurate version of Rubik’s Cube, presented in perspective. From a technical standpoint it’s interesting, but it’s just not as interesting a game as Atari Video Cube.

Links

AtariAge  Manual

Also try…

Of course, Q*bert!

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Learn the secrets behind reviving BattleTech today at 4PM EDT

One of the game industry’s oldest and most lawsuit-friendly franchises, BattleTech went from being a ’90s staple of game licensing to a forgotten memory, before being resurrected a couple years ago by Shadowrun developer Harebrained Schemes via Kickstarter. Next week, the new BattleTech will launch on Steam to the general public, and we’ve been afforded the rare opportunity to chat with the developers right before the game launches. 

So today at 4PM EDT, we’re going live on Twitch with Mike McCain (who joined us previously during the BattleTech backer beta) and Mitch Gitelman (who’s been working on BattleTech-related games for quite some time), to talk about the launch of BattleTech, what they’ve learned during development, and why managing your mercenary company’s financial spreadsheets is just so satisfying. 

If you’ve got questions for McCain and Gitelman (and you should), be sure to join us at 4PM EDT and ask them in Twitch chat! 

And while you’re at it, be sure to follow the Gamsutra Twitch channel for more developer interviews, editor roundtables and gameplay commentary. 

Review: Ninja Striker! (Switch eShop)

Ninjas. Just like John Cena you can’t see them, but they are always there. Hidden, in your pop culture, in your anime, in your video games, lurking over your shoulder reading this review right now. The ’80s and ’90s, a time when Ninjas were at the height of their western popularity may be last century old, but can Q-Cumber Factory Ninja Striker! Turn back time and instill the discipline needed to become a successful ninjutsu master? Proceed reading silently and strike true.

Profoundly rooted in ancient 8-bit ninja platforming discipline, the game controls could not be simpler. The D-pad moves your character around the screen. ‘B’ jumps and pressing it again will, of course, perform a double-jump. The ‘Y’ will unleash a homing attack in your target of choice, followed by devastating melee strikes. Last but not least, ‘A’ will allow you to perform your character of choice’s individual ‘shinobi action’. However, in a brilliant showcase of the ancient art of misdirection, the game insists you disregard to play it as a straightforward, classic platformer that, at first contact, it appears to be.

Once you select one of the four ninjas available at the start of your quest, you are dropped in the dojo stage. Here, you will learn how the true ninja tackles stages: not setting a single foot on the ground from start to finish. This can be achieved by using and abusing your ‘Y’ dash attack to string along as big a combo as possible, moving swiftly between enemies all the way to the stage exit balloon. 

Picking up coins along the way will add to your combo counter, but getting hit will not only take one heart from your energy bar but will also understandably reset your combo counter back to zero. Due to enemy positioning and stage design, you will soon forget that you could indeed play this as a classic platformer and will be doing your absolute best to keep dashing from one enemy to the next and put your combo number into the hundreds. Better yet: it’s truly rewarding when you do manage to pull it off with perfect combination of skill and button timing execution.

Besides the dojo, the main quest is divided into six distinct worlds, each of them made up of three regular stages and one world boss waiting for you on level four. New enemies are introduced at a nice pace along your journey and you will need to learn how to deal with their own individual attacks, number of hits it takes to put them down and best position to attack them from. It keeps the experience fresh and prepares you to take on the world bosses. 

These boss fights can sometimes be conquered by brute force (i.e. spamming ‘shinobi action’ at them) but true ninja masters will use them to show off their skills by properly attacking and evading to achieve perfect victories. Every single stage will rank you from none to three starts, with factors like time to completion, number of hits suffered and combo scores taking weight when determining your outcome. Your journey can be completed under one hour, but getting those perfect three stars on every level will probably set you back a few delightful months.

The playable ninja roster effectively gives you four different ways to play the game, with each character using their own ninja quirks to affect gameplay. The Ninja is a balanced character, with no real weakness nor exceeding strong points. His shinobi action is a spin attack that you can use for both attack and moving through the air in the direction of your next victim. The Kunoichi is one agile lady and while her attacks do slightly less damage, she more than makes up for it with her flurry of kunai shinobi action for long range combat. On the subject of reach, no ninja can do it better than the wielder of the Chain Sickle. 

This ninja uses his weapon to quickly get within reach of anything an entire single screen’s length away. Last and for the occasions when you really need to dish out a pounding, the Mega Man robo master reject Ninja Robot will deliver mighty hammer strikes to foes and is even able to hover by double-jumping. But since his power comes at the cost of speed, you’ll need to often use its shinobi action that turns him into a rocket. These four distinct characters offer excellent gameplay incentive to master the game four times instead of just giving it a single playthrough.

Both the aesthetics and sound departments are a straight homage to the Master System. If you ever played or owned Sega’s humble 8-bit console, you will be immediately taken back to those simpler days of big pixel, bright primary colours and cheerful chiptunes coming out from your television. But make no mistake, any Master System would possibly melt with the amount of on-screen action going on at most of the time you’re comboing your way to the end of a level. While ninjas may be strong, never underestimate the power of nostalgia. Q-Cumber Factory nailed this to perfection.

The path of the ninja is a solitary affair so you will find no multiplayer here of any sort. It is always a shame to see games on Switch that lack this options, leaving only yourself as your own worst enemy when trying to achieve those perfect three star ranks.

Conclusion

Ninja Striker! is the Sega Master System game of your dreams you never knew you needed on your Nintendo Switch. Easy to pick up, nearly impossible to master flawlessly and thus like a true ninja it will take some dedication and discipline while you keep coming back to its charming mains quest. In either docked or portable mode, for five minutes or two hours this is a pure combo/score chaser that will keep you hooked to the screen for generations of ninjas to come.

Yoku’s Island Express Will Post Itself Onto Nintendo Switch On 29th May

Looking to add a splash of light-hearted colour to your Switch now that the sun shining? Well, you’ll be pleased to know Team17 that the charming puzzle-platformer that is Yoku’s Island Express is heading to Nintendo Switch on 29th May 2018 priced at £15.99/€19.99/$19.99

Yoku the dung beetle has arrived on Mokumana Island to take over the role of postmaster and he’s ready for the easy life, soaking up the sun and delivering parcels on a tropical paradise! However, something is amiss on the island so Yoku will have to use his plucky pinball-like skills to save the day.

You can also sit back and enjoy a nice behind-the-scenes video on the making of the game and explore the creation and the unique mechanics of Yoku’s Island Express. Let us know what you think about this colourful platformer and if you’ll be picking it up come May…

Feature: It’s Time For Former Tetris Champion Steve Wozniak To Reclaim His Throne

There’s been a lot of news as of late about some famous high scores and the shaky stories behind them. While we’re on the topic, we thought it might be a good idea to take the headwinds and revisit another famous video game record, perhaps the most famous Nintendo-related scores ever.

In 1990 and 1991, Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak submitted several high scores to Nintendo Power magazine for the Game Boy version of Tetris. He was featured three times; once via a letter which included photos and was duly printed in the reader mail section, once with a high score of 507,110 and once again with a score of 546,145 – this time with his name listed as Evets Kainzow (spell it backwards and you’ll get it).

The news of who Evets really was isn’t new. It made the rounds a few years back when Woz did a few interviews and disclosed the whole story. In short, Woz was so good that Nintendo Power only accepted and published his score once, and so to get listed again, he changed his name. Woz also disclosed his love of Tetris, and that he gifted Game Boys (which for many years had Tetris as the pack-in) when he’d meet with famous and influential people, including heads of state.

While that’s a great trip down Memory Lane, the story doesn’t end there. It’s very cool that such a well known person is such a passionate gamer with skills to boot, but what of that Tetris high score? Was it ever beaten? If so, when? We combed through Nintendo Power’s high score pages and found that Woz’s submission as Evets for 546,145 points was never actually bested – although someone came close and beat the 507,110 score that Woz submitted under his real name. In the mid-’90s, Nintendo Power changed the high score submission rules and offered challenges on specific games, rather than the chance to openly submit anything – so if anyone beat Woz after that, it was never recorded.

Fast forward to the new millennium and you’ll find that the Evets score actually stood for a long, long time. According to Twin Galaxies, the unquestioned, official, sacrosanct, universal, one and only high score registry, it took until 2005 for someone to beat the score set by Wozniak way back in 1990, which means that the Apple co-founder was world champ for over 15 years. 

To be fair to Twin Galaxies, they officially accept Woz’s score of 507,110; Evets Kainzow has no mention on the site. It most likely comes from the photographic evidence shown in Nintendo Power, combined with Woz’s celebrity factor. Steve Wozniak is currently ranked 8th in the world, and the current champion, Alex Holbrook, was crowned in 2017 with 752,668 points, backed up with video evidence of the score played on real hardware.

So, could Woz reach the top of the Tetris mountain again? We don’t see why not. As he states in his website post which is already a few years old, his best score was 702,000 and he wants to break the 750,000 marker. While there’s no proof of this score to verify it, 702,000 would move him up to third place, and a lucky handout from the gods of Tetris blocks could give him the top spot.

So we’re making the call right now to Steve Wozniak to get back in the game. Challenge the current high score and give game fans a new King of Kong-style battle to enjoy. We hope this little message does make its way to Woz, because whether he could break the current score or not, it would be interesting to see a comeback by someone so well known. 

If you’d like to see all of this information played out in video form, check out the video below. It features nostalgic scans of Nintendo Power as well as a few old commercials that showed how Nintendo tried positioning Tetris and the Game Boy as something for adults to enjoy. Among those adults you’ll see playing Tetris are of course Woz, but also Nester’s mother and one former leader of the Free World, who got his Game Boy from Woz personally.

Rumour: Ultra Shinies Could Be Set To Glitter And Twinkle In A Pokémon Game Near You

If you’re like us, there’s always that constant hope your time with Pokémon GO will lead to a super rare Shiny Pokémon. With their unusual colour schemes and patterns, these little critters are highly collectible and are number one on any seasoned trainer’s radar. But could the even rarer Ultra Shiny be ready to join the Poké fray in the near future? A recent trademark suggests it might be.

Spotted by eagle-eyed Twitter user @Pokexperto, the Japanese trademark was submitted by Game Freak and Creatures – a phrase that just happens to roughly translate into ‘Ultra Shiny’. Of course, there’s no official statement to go along with this, and could well be Game Freak simply covering bases by acquiring the trademark as a fail safe, but considering the continued popularity of the hit mobile game, expanding into Ultra Shinies does seem a logical next step. It could even be something to do with the purportedly eight-gen-centered Switch Pokemon game?

What do you think? Are Ultra Shinies going to appear in Pokémon GO, Pokémon on Switch or something completely different? 

Review: Arcade Archives Punch-Out!! (Switch eShop)

Fisticuffs were always a perfect subject for video games. However how to properly deliver the experience was a technical challenge due to limited technology the 80’s, with previous efforts opting for a side or top view of the in-ring action. Nintendo tackled this issue in Punch-Out!! by allowing players to control their pugilist from a third-person perspective with a cleverly designed wireframe torso enabling a better view of your opponent across the screen.

The controls are clean and simple to pick up: ‘A’ delivers a right-hand hook while ‘Y’ does the same for your left hand. Holding ‘down’ while pressing either button will deliver a body blow instead of going for the face. Pressing ‘up’ will raise your guard to protect your face and you can weave left and right by pressing either direction. Hit your adversary enough times while not getting hit yourself and you’ll fill up the bar on top of the ring screen – you’ll then be able to unlock the ‘X’ button, delivering devastating uppercuts that are the fastest way to bring your opponent to the mat. While some of weaker opponents might stay down after the first knock down, to win most of the times you will need to make them fall three times. Of course, your adversaries can take you out the same way. You will feel right at home if you ever played any other game of the series.

Even in this first entry in the franchise, it is actually your unique and ‘bigger than life’ opponents that steal the spotlight. On your way to becoming ‘World Video Boxing Champion’ you will face Glass Joe, Piston Hurricane, Bald Bull, Kid Quick, Pizza Pasta and the current champion Mr. Sandman. Each is a sort of ‘puzzle’ you need to ‘solve’ by paying attention to their moves and their ‘tells’ (during the initial loop, the eyes flash yellow when they are about to attack) and acting to block or counter the best way you deem fit. 

If you are familiar with some of those names, know that the strategies you picked up from other games will work here. You can still take down Glass Joe blindfolded and with one hand only while a perfectly timed gut punch at the charging Bald Bull will send him down to an immediate knock down. It might be a shorter roster than future entries, but the same trademark satisfying learning experience is still present.

Graphics were state of the art by 1983 standards with big, detailed sprites bringing your opponents to life and there was even space left to hide Donkey Kong inside the audience. The music is mostly made up of earworm-friendly jingles composed by newcomer Koji Kondo, already taking the first steps to become one of the world’s biggest renowned video game composers of today. Most impressive of all is the constant speech. Every match is narrated by a synthesised narrator whose colour commentary successfully manages to elevate the on-screen action to new heights and remains an impressive feat.

The original arcade used a unique layout that stacked two monitors on top of each other. The top one shows character portraits, round and time information along with the player’s score while the proper boxing action happens on the bottom one. HAMSTER solved this layout issued by simply putting the monitors side-by-side if you are playing in regular 16:9 landscape mode. It might take a little time to adjust to just having to keep up with one half the screen, but it is the only solution to properly emulate this one without resorting to having two very tiny screens on top of each other. You can, however, chose to play this in TATE mode, rotating either your Switch in portable mode or your TV/monitor to an upright position in order to get as close as possible to the real 1984 experience.

Like other HAMSTER releases the emulation wrapper gives you the chance to customize your experience, providing access to DIP switch settings and optional screen filters. When you are done playing by your lonesome you can test your video boxing skills against the world with the ever popular ‘Caravan mode’ and challenge the online leaderboards.

Conclusion

Punch-Out!! is not only a nostalgic slice of Nintendo’s arcade history, it just so happens to be one of the most enjoyable boxing games ever made, laying down the entire foundation not only for the whole series but for several other games adopting the ‘behind the boxer’ viewpoint. Over three decades later, it is still a joy to pick up and play, still proving to be extremely rewarding when you finally figure out your opponent’s ‘tell’ and proceed to take them to the floor. Until Pato Box steps in the ring, there is no other boxing alternative on the system and despite being content wise lacking when set side-by-side with later entries in the series, the core gameplay loop still delivers the goods. Short, sweet and straight to the point, just like Mr. Sandman’s right uppercut.

UK Schools Want To Bring The Cardboard Creativity Of Nintendo Labo Into The Classroom

Could Nintendo Labo and Nintendo Switch be the tools to help bring a new dimension to education? We’ve pondered that very same question on Nintendo Life, and now it seems some schools here in the United Kingdom see some real potential for the cardboard creations of Ninty’s latest project.

According to a report by GamesIndustry.Biz, Nintendo has been, “approached by several schools about getting Labo in front of their pupils.” We don’t know yet how many schools this refers to, or whether such a move would be enough to bring the UK Department of Education into the conversation, but it’s an incredibly exciting prospect nonetheless. After all, Switch has long held the potential to segue into education in a way no other console has been able to. From the basic engineering principles of building each kit, to promoting coding principles in the Toy-Con Garage, Labo could properly open the door for video games in schools.

So what do you think about the potential of using Nintendo Labo in schools? Does it have the potential to educate as much as does the power to entertain? Let us know what you make of it in the comments below…