(Pocket-lint) – Nintendo has been one company that’s produced some weird, wonderful and wacky gaming gizmos over the years.
However, Labo isn’t the first wacky concept Nintendo or its partners have brought to market over the years. There are plenty of other accessories and a smattering of, loosely termed, games that brought about a double take.
So take a look at the following and we’re sure you’ll be giggling as much as us. You might even still have one of them in the loft.
During the 90s, anything with laser in the title was going to get attention. Unfortunately, without real laser guns it was also going to be met with disappointment.
The idea was a headset that allowed voice controls and laser focused interactions. In reality, the plastic headset was essentially a light gun with a mic. Your voice was used to take a shot and you aimed with your eye, but any noise would make it fire. It also only worked on one game.
We all know this light gun as it came with the NES and worked with Duck Hunt. Classic.
The Robotic Operating Buddy was designed to give gaming lone wolves a robotic friend to play alongside. It physically controlled the second controller for two player gaming without another human needed. No, really.
The idea was to urge shops to stock the console, showing it was aimed at children. As a result R.O.B. came bundled with the first wave of NES consoles. The fact it only worked with two games – Gyromite and Stack Up – meant it didn’t last long, obviously.
This two-foot long beast made the NES Zapper gun look like a pea shooter. It was essentially the same as the light gun, allowing for aim and shoot gaming, but giant.
This rocket launcher style gun took six AA batteries and needed to be rested on the shoulder to hold it up. A commanding weapon indeed. Sadly it only worked with 12 compatible games including Yoshi’s Safari, Lemmings 2 (yeah, we know) and the bundled Super Scope 6.
Wally Bear and the NO! gang
This cuddly skateboarding lead character was created as part of a campaign to help children say no to drugs and alcohol abuse.
While the game may not have moved too many hearts or minds, the campaign around it was still going strong 15 years after its release. This involved a helpline number for children with drugs and alcohol issues. So a worthwhile title then, even if it looks crazy by today’s standards.
This ridiculous accessory essentially acted as a holder for a NES controller. The idea was that it would change the angle of fingers allowing for faster button bashing. That’s it.
The Speedboard was discontinued after just a few months after release.
The name alone was enough to send most people running to their nearest game retailer to get their own Power Glove. But like most great ideas from the late eighties, the reality wasn’t quite so great.
While the glove did well in terms of sales, there were very few games and it was imprecise, making it tough to use. The device used microphones and speakers to detect movement of fingers. Buttons could be set to do different things like fire more quickly. But without games to support it there was little use.
A cool idea, a ahead of its time perhaps.
Wall Street Kid
The title alone should be a dead give-away that this was going to be a dry game about trading.
The idea was to make lots of money and go on dates as well as buy expensive items. Great lessons for the kids here then.
A resemblance to a young Donald Trump on the cover is not lost on us either.
The Adventures of Bayou Billy
If Redneck America was to be released as a game in Japan, it would be this. And it was. The cover alone gives away plenty on how this rootin’ tootin’ title was all about saving the girl and being a real man while doing it.
Gameplay was broad, with fighting, driving and shooting required to save the lass. You could even jump between the NES controller and light gun for shooting stages. Not all bad then.
Once upon a time Domino’s had a mascot, called Noid. And thanks to Nintendo and Capcom, this fella even got his own game.
The 2D action platformer let you control the claymation Noid who was sent to stop his evil duplicate from destroying New York City. The game actually looks okay, complete with boss battles. And if that wasn’t enough, the title came with a $1 Domino’s pizza coupon. Yum.
A Boy and his Blob: Trouble in Blobolonia
Yup, that was the actual game title. Need we say more?
The lead character is nameless and teams up with his shape-shifting blob buddy to save the world. This is done via a platform puzzle-based gaming style. The game was actually hailed as original in its gameplay style and it even got a sequel on the Game Boy.
Nintendo Labo VR
Nintendo Labo VR is a cardboard build-it-yourself virtual reality kit for the Nintendo Switch. There are various designs available including birds, elephants and more. It’s a bit bonkers and is a bit of a gimmick that quickly loses its appeal, but certainly quirky.
Roll & Rocker
Despite the clever, yet largely irrelevant name, this product did not do well. The idea was to make the gamer the controller.
By standing on the tilting platform the person could become the D-Pad. The normal controller was plugged into the unit for A and B button access.
Unfortunately, this largely didn’t work on most NES titles as it malfunctioned, a lot. But maybe the idea paved the way for the dancing pads that followed a decade later, so not all bad then.
When Nintendo decided to take a trip into the virtual world of 3D gaming in 1995, the Virtual Boy was born. Before dying on its proverbial behind soon after.
This was a console in itself which used a fixed headset to transmit a mostly red coloured 3D image to the viewer. A controller was also attached for playing terrible games like Mario’s Tennis. The console had just 22 games released in its lifespan and was destroyed by critics.
With only 1.26 million units shipped it’s now considered a valuable collectors item.
This grotesque looking controller wasn’t made by Nintendo, but it sure appeared as an optional accessory for a Nintendo console, which is an odd one it itself.
The Chainsaw Controller was designed specifically for Resident Evil 4 on Nintendo GameCube and claimed to improve the overall experience of the game. Though not all users agreed.
Donkey Kong bongos
Back in the hazy days of the Nintendo GameCube, DK Bongos were released alongside various music games including Donkey Konga, Donkey Konga 2 and Donkey Konga 3. The bongos were a simple design – thump on the left drum to move left and the right drum to move right. Other movements could allow users to pull off backflips, swing on vines or jump between walls.
Writing by Rik Henderson and Luke Edwards. Editing by Adrian Willings.
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