Nintendo Wii U
This fall, Nintendo launched the hotly anticipated Wii U gaming console, the first update to 2006’s Wii. (Read more about the Wii U in TFK’s Gift Guide). The deluxe edition of the Wii U includes a copy of NintendoLand, which features a dozen mini-games that help you learn about the possibilities of the Wii U and the GamePad that controls it. First, you’ll enter Central Tower with your Mii, an amusement-park-like space where you can chose from 12 attractions, or mini-games, including Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, Metroid Blast and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day. You can play alone, as a team or competitively.
Many attractions feature familiar Nintendo characters you know and love. Your Mii becomes arrow-wielding Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, where you turn the GamePad to aim your arrows. In Mario Chase: The Great Getaway, use the GamePad to play as Mario and hide from the Toads in a maze. Like a true game of hide-and-go-seek, a second player can use a Wii Remote and the main TV screen to play as a Toad and chase Mario down, without being able to see what’s on the GamePad screen of the person playing Mario. In Pikmin Adventure, Olimar and the Pikmin team up to survive an alien planet. As Olimar, you can summon your Pikmin (including other players) during any moment of danger. (Included with the $350 deluxe Wii U set, or $59.99 separately)
New Super Mario Bros U
Nintendo Wii U
See Super Mario in HD for the first time in New Super Mario Bros. U, just for the Wii U. The familiar side-scrolling game brings fun new features to Mushroom Kingdom, as Mario and his friends try to rescue Princess Peach. Mario can take on a new form for gliding when he grabs a Super Acorn: Flying Squirrel Mario. Play alone with the GamePad, and the game will be mirrored on the TV screen and GamePad screen (you can even keep playing while someone else watches TV!). You can also play with up to five players using Wii Remotes. In the multi-player cooperative mode, the player holding the GamePad creates Boost Blocks to help other players navigate tricky stages or distract enemies by tapping them on the screen. Rescuing Princess Peach has never been so much fun! ($59.99)
Nintendo Wii U
Silly Rabbids! The Rabbids are up to new hijinks is Rabbids Land, a party game that takes advantage of the Wii U’s two screens. In the game, Rabbids have taken over an amusement park and plan to invade all the attractions in competitive fun. Players move around a giant board game to determine what attractions they’ll compete in to collect trophies. In one attraction, the GamePad player attempts to steal items from a gift shop, while the Wii Remote player monitors security cameras to catch the sneaky Rabbid. In another, the Wii Remote player launches fireballs by tapping to the rhythm of the music, while another player tilts the GamePad to dodge them. In another mini-game, one player blows air on the GamePad to launch penguins at a ship, while a player on the ship tries to block them with snowballs. It’s all wild and wacky fun! ($49.99)