Enjoyment of Build: Seeing the fishing rod come together is a fun process, with lots of di erent bits and bobs to manage, although at times it’s di cult to get your rod to look like the one on the Switch screen, where every part looks just a bit firmer (don’t worry too much if the holes you feed the reel through won’t stand up straight).
Fiddliness: The fishing rod is extremely cool, and during the build process there are numerous “Oh, that’s how they’re going to do that” moments (the thin ‘sound’ tab used to simulate the creaky reel is
How Easy to Break: The rod seems sturdy, although when stretched out it’s quite long and thin, and I feel like the odds of a small child using it as a makeshift lightsabre while playing are pretty low. One of the central contradictions around Labo is that it’s obviously designed with children in mind – the excellent tutorials encourage the builder to ask their parents for help – but if your child is particularly young, Labo is not going to survive their play sessions.
Gameplay: The little fishing game included in the Variety Kit is great fun, like Ridiculous Fishing meets Sega Bass Fishing with the Dreamcast Fishing Controller. You lower your hook with the Toy-Con reel, dance it around a bit to attract fish, and then reel in hard once something bites, making sure to slack the line and fight against the fish as you’re going. There’s a real sense of connection between the string of your rod and the string on the screen, and the novelty lasts long enough for you to make an attempt at catching the bigger fish that rest towards the bottom of the game’s digital ocean.