Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch

mario kart 8

Mario Kart is one of those games which turn a room full of strangers into a room full of new buddies- or at least rowdy racers.  With equal parts skill, luck, and know how, Mario Kart has consistently been a gem of this gaming’s generation.  The latest in the franchise, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, dare I say may be the brightest gem so far.  With almost all characters unlocked to begin with, this game is built for multiplayer.  As the Switch will show you, it is easy to grab a controller and play.  Each player takes the mini controller for their racer and plays.

The game runs at 1080p, and the graphics are spot on- levels pop with textures and colors, with characters smoothly running along the tracks.  Every track from the Wii U version of the game is included, including DLC, which makes a glorious return. Plus, the Inklings appear as all-new guest characters, along with returning favorites, such as King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr.  My personal favorite is green Shy guy, because he reminds me of Christmas., followed very closely by Dry Bones.  My son favors likes Link or Yoshi.

With tons of characters to choose from, everyone can pick their favorite without arguments.  Characters of different wights and sizes act differently and effect your controls, as do the type of vehicle and even the tires selected. Every track has character and originality, never facing two of the same type in a row.  Some new and some classic from previous Mario Kart games, but updated for 8 Deluxe.  The game also includes support for amiibo’s and amiibo cards, which unlock more content in game, allowing for even more customization.  Most of these options come in the form of the outfit for your Mii to use in race,  which are all cool to see and even more fun to use.

Mario Kart Deluxe 8 is available no for $59.99 from retail locations of via download fro the eShop.

Nintendo Selects – the perfect basket stuffer

This Easter, instead of filling the kiddo’s Easter baskets with candy and small plastic trinkets, why not fill it with something they will enjoy for hours and that they really want.  Check out the games from the Nintendo Select line, which include some of the most fun 3DS games at a great price.  Some of the titles include Kirby Triple Deluxe, Mario and Luigi Dream Team, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Luigi’s Mansion, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, and Yoshi’s New Island.  These games and many more can now be purchased for $19.99.  These are the same fun games which are well loved by all at a wallet-friendly price.

Kirby Triple Deluxe is all about the cute pink hero who must defeat King Dedede by traveling through many worlds.  Kirby’s chief move is the ability to suck up enemies and borrow their powers, until spitting them out and grabbing new ones.  What we really like about Kirby Triple Deluxe is the amount of content in it.  There are a total of 3 additional games included.  The first is Dedede’s Drum Dash, which is a rhythm based time trial game. Next is Dedede Tour, which lets you time attack through levels from the main story as Kind Dedede instead of Kirby, and last but not least the Arena, which is a continuous battle mode with bosses from the main story.  This game is a great way to get to know Kirby and all is about personality and powers.

Mario and Luigi Dream Team is a role playing game with familiar characters from the Mushroom Kingdom.  In this game you must battle your way through the resort world of Pi’ Illo and Luigi’s odd dream world.  The game is an action RPG where players take control of the famous brothers in order to rescue Princess Peach and restore the citizens of Pi’ illo from the bat king Antasma’s curse.  This game is a blast for Mario fans and is a fun way to change up the familiar game play of running and jumping by including strategy and a rich silly story.

These games and more are available now at retail locations and online.

Poochy And Yoshi’s Woolly World for 3DS

yoshi and poochy

Yarn Yoshi is back, and this time he has brought his woolly buddy Poochy, in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World.  Kamek the magikoopa has changed everyone into wool, Yoshi and Poochy are here to save the day.  This game is a retelling of Yoshi Woolly World on the Wii U, which includes over 55 levels of fun and also adds some new Poochy levels.  Every level has a craft feel, where enemies are yarn-abes and each texture and item is also craft based.

There is also an ability to enter Mellow Mode, where Yoshi sports his signature wings and can float about, and adds Poochy’s 3 little puppies to help find secrets and hidden passages.  This game is great for players of all ages, where experienced players will try to collect all the items available while beginners will be happy to beat each level.  New to this version are collectable pencil stamps which add materials to use in craft mode.  Craft mode is where you can create your own Yoshi patterns using various colors and materials gathered during game play.  You can make any pattern you like from a favorite sports team to a super hero costume design.  These Yoshi can then be shared as well.  Another neat feature is Yoshi feature, where you can watch animated shorts based on Yoshi and Poochy’s adventures.

The game also supports amiibos.  Yarn Yoshi unlocks a double Yoshi to make levels even more fun.  Taping the new Yarn Poochy lets you add Poochy to a regular level while tapping Poochy during Poochy Dash unlock extra challenges and thus bonus Poochy designs as well.  Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is available only on the Nintendo 3DS and is available for download from the eShop or at retail locations.  In addition to the regular edition, there is also an amiibo bundle where the game includes a Poochy amiibo packaged with it.

Fun New Video Games for Families

Nicer weather is on the way, but what to do while you are still trapped indoors? Check out these new video games and devices you can play with the kids.


Skylanders Imaginators is the newest in the proud Skylanders line of games.  Each game further expands on the previous, and lets real life toy-like figures meet and battle on the portal (game) and inside the game itself. Each character is unique and can be brought into the game with the included portal by simply placing the toy on the portal.  This newest iteration brings in a character creation element which makes for great fun and increased interactivity in a unique way.  The story follows the Skylanders as they try to defeat Kaos in his newest plan to destroy Skyland.  Kaos has found a new power called the Mind Magic and is creating an army of Doomlanders.  The leader of the good guys is Eon, and he calls upon Portal Masters to battle Kaos and his army.  But this time there are Sensei’s as well.  These sensei’s give you new powers for your Imaginators to use and be built with.  The new Nintendo system Switch has received its own version of this fun game, and now includes further mobility. You can also save your Skylanders’ figure stats and abilities to the system so you can play Skylanders on the go with your characters but without a portal or figures in tow.  This is a great new addition (and kind of a big deal)  and makes Skylanders able to be an “on the go” game as well.

Skylanders Imaginators

If you haven’t yet, you can also create your own Skylander that will be mailed to you in real life. My son flipped his lid over this, and your Skylanders fan will as well. It’s easy to do, just download the Skylanders Creator app from the iOS or Android store, and using the app, create an Imaginator character or transfer one from the Skylanders Imaginators console game to the app. Follow the directions, it takes just a few minutes once downloaded from start to finish. Any Skylander you created can be yours in real life- one of the cooler things we’ve seen in a while.  Highly recommend.

Nintendo Switch

Speaking of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has finally given us what we have been frothing at the mouth for, a new system!  Their newest console is the Switch.  It is both a portable as well as a use at home console, which I think is very neat.  It is easy to switch between the two, even in the middle of your current game.  The first thing you will notice upon opening up the Switch is there is not much in the box, a tablet and a stand, controllers, a few various controller accessories and cables.  This is exactly the point of the system- portability.  The tablet portion of the Switch is quite a powerhouse, with a crisp, gorgeous display.  The controllers are very responsive and are solidly built as well.  They do feel a bit small in Dad’s monster size hands, but are definitely still playable for long periods of time (especially when used in conjunction with the joy con grip, which turns the two small controllers into one bigger one for a more classic gaming feel).  It’s actually kind of telling of current gaming, all the different ways the Switch is played in our house.  My son loves playing portable, anywhere, from the kitchen to the bedroom, while dad loves the classic gaming feel with controller in hand on the TV.  The Switch’ s joy con controller can also act as two separate controllers for two players, which make for fun for all with the accessibility of a small controller with fewer buttons.  Non gamers will be easily  drawn into multiplayer games with the small controller making for a more fun multi-player experience.  The Switch is available now in stores and online retailing for $299.99.

breath of the wild
The Legend of Zelda has always been a fun franchise, ever expanding and growing with each entry.  The newest, Breath of the Wild, takes the player places they have never been in a Zelda game.  As Link, you will explore the vast area of Hyrule full of shrines, villages, friends, and foes, with fights being less of a button mashing event and more of a strategic battle.  What will strike the player in some of your earliest encounters will be how difficult this game actually is.  Do not expect to run into a fight, slash some baddies and hop out.  Each encounter is a lesson in sneaking, dodging, attacking, magic, and of course the ever important strategic get away (which does not always succeed).  As you progress through the game, your armor, weapons, and shields get damaged and break, needing to be replaced. Link himself learns new powers, abilities, and and gains friends.  This game also supports amiibos which can be a huge help.  The Breath of Wind series amiibos are all compatible as well as Wolf Link, and the Zelda 30th Anniversary amiibo to name a few.  When you use Wolf Link, you get a companion who will assist in battle and travel along side you.   Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is avilable now for $59.99 in stores and online as well as from the Nintendo eShop retailing for $59.99

yoshi and poochy

Yarn Yoshi is back and this time he has brought his woolly buddy Poochy in Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World.  Kamek the magikoopa has changed everyone into wool, and Yoshi and Poochy are here to save the day.  This game is a retelling of Yoshi Woolly World on the Wii U, by including over 55 levels of fun while also adding some new Poochy levels.  Every level has a craft feel where enemies are yarn and each texture and item is also craft based. There is also an ability to enter Mellow Mode where Yoshi sporty his signature wings and can float about, and adds Poochy’s 3 little puppies to help find secrets and hidden passages.  This game is great for players of all ages, where experienced players will try to collect all the items available while beginners will be happy to beat each level.  Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World is available only on the Nintendo 3DS and is available for download from the eShop or at retail locations.  In addition to the regular edition there is also an amiibo bundle where the game includes a Poochy amiibo packaged with it.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World

This gorgeous Wii U game is making its way to Nintendo 3DS. This version contains some new features, plus every stage available in the original. Exclusive new stages focus on Poochy: Players must time Poochy’s jump to collect beads, and Poochy Pups as they head for the goal. Poochy Pups are curious little helpers who jump on suspicious spots to indicate where players should look for secrets and collectables. Nintendo and Japanese stop-motion animation studio Dwarf are collaborating on 30 animated shorts featuring Yoshi and Poochy that will be included in the Nintendo 3DS version of the game. A yarn amiibo figure of Poochy will launch at the same time as the game.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo – Nintendo 3DS


Animal Crossing has long been a favorite of the the Nintendo franchises, where players have open creative control over their character, building rooms, homes, clothing and with this newest iteration, a city.  The newest version being called Animal Crossing: New Leaf Welcome amiibo.  You take on the role of Mayor, where you are able to effect your city in a few interesting ways, Public Works Projects and Ordinances.  Both of which effect the citizens of your town.  Public Works Projects let you collect funds from citizens and visiting players which are then used to build fountains, light poles, bridges, police stations and cafes.  Ordinances are laws which govern how your town runs from opening and closing time for your shops and cafes to encouraging players to plant flowers, this is a gentle nudge for your citizens.  The main component of Animal Crossing is customization.  You start out in a tent and slowly work up to a house, where each room can be customized with lamps, furniture, and other household items.  The player yourself can also be customized from your clothing, shoes, hat and accessories.  The next most exciting component of New Leaf is the ability to share and explore.  Players can now explore other towns and visit others homes, getting ideas for their own homes and towns as well as getting tips and pointers on how to run their own town. The Dream Suite allows you to download dream versions of others towns and explore them.  The Happy Home Showcase lets others view your home via StreetPass and their furniture.  Play Coins also have a usage in game where they can be used to buy fortune cookies, which can be traded in for special prizes and rare items.  On November 2, 2016 Animal Crossing New Leaf released and update to support Amiibo’s including Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda, and Splatoon as well as cards.  These Amiibo are then summoned as villagers and vendors to a new campsite.

Pokemon Sun and Moon for the Nintendo 3DS

If you have been under a rock for the last few months, Pokemon is back and in a big way.  With the recent release of Pokemon Go and the most recent release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, all your gaming needs can be met trying to catch them all.


In Pokemon Sun/Moon, you follow along a young trainer as he or she moves to a new region the Alola region, which looks like a tropical Pacific Island.  Upon moving here, you quickly start your adventure to become a Pokemon trainer, and one of the best ones there is at that.  You first pick out your starter Pokemon, choosing from Rowlet (Grass-Flying), Litten (Fire), and Popplio (Water). Each of these are cute little critters who pack a mean punch.  Whichever you pick, you are in for a good time, so no need to stress over this first choice.  As you progress through the game, you learn some new moves called “Z Moves”, which are a way for trainer and Pokemon to act in unison and perfect harmony to release devastating attacks on your opponents (which there are many of).  Your opponents range from the evil Team Skull, to wild Pokemon hidden in the tall grass and waters of the area, to other trainers- there are more then enough chances to try out your new moves.

This game is fun for gamers of all ages, although reading is needed in order to progress and make heads or tails of the story, so be aware those very young will not be able to get too far without some help from mom or dad.  Early readers should be ok with the game, however, the reading is not overly advanced.  Game play is also easy to pick up and understand, as the main mechanics are catch Pokemon, battle Pokemon, and continue on with your quest.

There are many side quests available along the main character’s journey, such as finding specific Pokemon in certain areas, to helping find special items or people in one place.  In regard to which game you should pick up (Sun or Moon) the real decision is which legendary do you like more- the sun based Solgaleo or moon based Lunala?  Other then that, the games are identical in story line and players from either version can trade with one another.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon retail for $39.99 each and certainly should not be missed.

Jotun Valhalla Edition and Axiom Verge for Nintendo Wii U

Today we are going to look at two of the plethora of cool Indie titles for the Wii U, Jotun Valhalla Edition and Axiom Verge.  An epic Norse adventure game and a mind bending side scroller which questions your trust in the programmers of the game.

nintendo games

First up is Jotun, Jotun Valhalla Edition follows the story of Thora, a Viking warrior who has suffered an inglorious death.  This means she can not enter Valhalla. As such, Odin offers her another chance to prove herself worthy of Valhalla by battling various gods and defeating them.  You begin the game in Ginnungagap, a Norse limbo which acts as your central point between various levels.  Each has lush hand drawn designs and characters.  Every level acts as a puzzle in itself, as well as an exploration chance to find a God’s weapon.  These weapons then make each boss battle easier to get through, some times, later in the game these are even necessary to defeat some tough baddies.  This game has a “new school”, artistic vibe and an old school, boss rush game play. It is perfect for new gamers as well as older ones.  What I really like about this game is its lush settings, designs, and the Norse driven story which is a relatively fresh area in gaming.

Axoim Verge video game

Next up is Axoim Verge.  Axoim Verge, looks familiar at first glance, a 2d side scrolling Metroid-vania style game where the hero explores a huge area piece by piece.  But that is where the similarities end. With nine massive non linear areas which are unlock-able,  tons of weapons, tools, and equipment (the most memorable of which is a glitch-er tool which, when used, causes game elements to break and either open up new areas, turn enemies into health power ups, or even have enemies turn into assistants).  This not only opens up new elements of game play and gives players a new way to analyze an area, but also opens up new portions of the area and has you question where this game’s setting is. Is it the future, an alien world, or a glitch virtual reality world?  Either way, we had a great time exploring it and can’t wait to unlock more weapons, areas, and tools.

Jotun Valhalla Edition is available now for $14.49 and Axoim Verge for $19.99 through the Nintendo eShop on the Wii U.