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Nintendo's Labo contest winners include a solar-driven cardboard accordion

Thinking outside of the box.

Nintendo has announced the winners of its Labo Creators Contest, with the top-ranking entries including a coin-operated sweet dispenser, a teashop time-management game, and, delightfully, a solar-driven accordion.

Nintendo's inaugural Labo contest launched in April, with the goal of finding the "greatest Nintendo Labo creations and customisations". Three categories were open for submissions (Best Decorated Toy-Con, Best Toy-Con Mod Using Toy-Con Garage, and Best Original Invention Using Toy-Con Garage) and the three finest entries in each have now been chosen.

Top entries for the Best Decorated Toy-Con category, which set players the task of dolling up their creations using "any craft materials you choose, as long as the Toy-Con creation still functions properly", include a diminutive cardboard treehouse, a Labo T. rex, and this elaborate Zelda-themed piano - complete with korok, diorama, and removable Master Sword.

As you might expect, entries in the Best Toy-Con Mod Using Toy-Con Garage category are a little bit more involved, drawing on the flexibility of Labo's surprisingly capable programming tools. These include a Bop-It-like creation in which you're tasked with twisting and shaking Labo as instructed to score points, as well as a home-repair-themed game of rapid responses.

Taking things in a more practical direction, however, is the Labo alarm clock. This elaborate entry, which even features an analogue-style clock face, can be set by inserting different physical knobs into the device and twisting them to wind the clock forward.

Last but not least is the Best Original Invention Using Toy-Con Garage category, which features some particularly impressive entries. These include a motion-controlled teashop time-management game, in which four tea pots fashioned out of card must be manipulated and poured as quickly as possible in order to satisfy the demands of customers and score points.

Don't Break the Line is another nifty game, this time started by inserting a coin. To play, you shift a lever up and down through one of three positions to catch a line as it races across the screen. Win, and you're awarded a handful of sweets for your efforts (and your cold, hard cash).

Most elaborate of all, though, is the solar-driven accordion, which uses the Joy-Con's IR functionality to check if sunlight can be seen through finger-holes then generates the correct, corresponding notes. There's also a second Joy-Con reading the device's rotation - the bigger the tilt, the louder the sound - and finally, touch inputs via the screen which can adjust the octave that the accordion plays. All of which looks something like this:

Following the success of its first Labo Creators Contest, Nintendo recently announced a second competition, which runs from July 19th to August 20th. There are different requirements depending on your region, with Nintendo of America asking for submissions for two new categories: Best Toy-Con Musical Instrument and Best Gaming Experience using Toy-Con Garage. Nintendo Europe, meanwhile, is looking for entries that fall under three, rather less specific groupings: Creations, Customisations, and Kids.

Winners this time around will receive a gorgeous, limited edition cardboard-themed Switch. Full details can be found on Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe's respective sites.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.