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Nintendo developed an interest in developing software that centered around building and development around the late end of The New '10s with the development and release of Nintendo Labo. One of the features of those four kits was a mode called the "Toy-Con Garage", a Game Maker studio with a built-in visual Programming Language which effectively allowed for the creation of entire video games but was very complex and intricate, making it difficult for amateur players to use.
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Enter Game Builder Garage.

First announced on May 5, 2021 and released on June 11, 2021, Game Builder Garage is effectively a standalone counterpart to Labo's Toy-Con Garage, but with a vast suite of tutorials included to explain how to use the software to develop video games. The first trailer for the video game showed gameplay of a simple platformer as well as a space shooter but hinted that games of effectively every genre can be made. The software also includes a sharing feature to share games online. The game has support for all controllers and their features along with support for a USB mouse and keyboard.


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This game builds upon the following tropes:

  • Alice and Bob: Played straighter than straight. The two tutorial orbs are literally named Alice and Bob.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: If you attach a Texture Nodon to a character, it will simply flip the texture when the character turns around.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The Nodon are literally the game's programming nodes and each of them have different personalities based on what they can do.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you are stuck on a checkpoint puzzle, sitting around for a while will prompt Alice to ask if you want to review her guide to refresh your memory. Failing that, waiting around a bit more will give you the option to skip the puzzle entirely.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each Nodon has a different color depending on what their job is. Input Nodon are red, Middle Nodon are green, Output Nodon are blue, and Object Nodon are orange. Three Middle Nodon with functions not related to programing directly are colored grey.
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  • Context-Sensitive Button: Every button on the Switch's controllers can be assigned to do whatever a creator can dream up with the Button Nodon.
  • Cutting the Knot: Extra Checkpoint 41, "Ten-Second Challenge", requires the player to set up a timer so that the Person auto-punches when Y is held down in order to make their way through the barrage of Boxes and reach the Apple at the end of the level. However, if the player button-mashes fast enough, it is possible to get to the end within the 10 seconds without making any modifications to the game.
  • Edutainment Game: The seven tutorials are designed to walk players through what it takes to make a game along with how to actually use the garage's features. At its core Game Builder Garage is an educational game that shows the player how to create video games and then has the tools to allow the player to work themselves.
  • Fairy Companion: Bob is a talking pointer who walks the player/programmer through the game's seven programming tutorials. Another pointer named Alice joins in between tutorial sections for extra tips.
  • Game Maker: Not Nintendo's first in general, but it is Nintendo's first standalone IP of such.
  • Guide Dang It!: The seven tutorials and Alice's Guide don't elaborate or use every single Nodon in the game- only those used to construct the seven example games. One particular example is the Marker and Bullseye Nodon, which get virtually no focus in any of the example games and have extremely vague descriptions in the Nodonpedia.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Invoked in the Extra Checkpoints. The final checkpoint, "Perplexing Paradox", simply requires you to connect a Button Nodon and the Puzzle Clear Nodon so that pressing the button lets you win.
  • Mascot Mook: The Nodon are strange beings that inhabit the Garage and can become the elements of the game you are building.
  • NOT!: As befitting its name, the NOT Nodon will often pepper its speech with this phrase.
  • Oop North: The Object Nodon speak with Yorkshire accents.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Alice the pointer is pink and has a feminine name, whereas her counterpart Bob is blue and has a masculine name.
  • Press X to Die: This trope can be invoked by connecting a Button Nodon to a Destroy-Object Nodon, itself connected to and set to destroy the player character's Nodon.
  • Programming Game: Takes the Labo Garage to a new level by including heavy tutorial functions to explain how to use the tools and create a new game! The game uses the Nodon not only as programming nodes to create simple if/then statements but also as the items and characters to use within the created game.
  • Sandbox Mode: The Free Build Mode is where the player can actually build their own game.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Bob's voice is noticeably high pitched and energetic.
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