Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS)

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3ds) In-game Screenshot
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3ds) In-game Screenshot

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is an action-adventure platform game developed by Sanzaru Games and published by Sega for the Nintendo 3DS. It is part of the Sonic Boom spin-off franchise of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, along with the games Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal, and a television series. Originally planned for a release in late 2015, Fire & Ice was released in North America and Europe in September 2016, and was released in Australia and Japan in October 2016. It received mixed reviews from critics upon release.

Like the previous 3DS entry, Shattered Crystal, Fire & Ice is a side-scrolling platform game in which Sonic and his companions fight their way through various stages. In addition to Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Sticks, Amy was added as a playable character. Like the previous game, players are able to switch between characters at will in order to use their unique abilities such as Sonic’s speed, Tails’ flight, Knuckles’ strength, Sticks’ boomerang, and Amy’s hammer. A new addition to Fire & Ice was the addition of fire and ice elements, which apply both to the level environments and character abilities. For example, Sonic can infuse himself with fire to break ice blocks or surround himself with ice in order to freeze water, alternating between the two at will. The game also features various special stages, bonus minigames, challenge rooms, and local multiplayer modes.

Developer: Sanzaru Games
Genre: Platform
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: September 27, 2016

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Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS) Box Art Cover
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS) Box Art Cover

Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)

metroid-prime-federation-force-3ds-game-screenshotMetroid Prime: Federation Force is a cooperative first-person shooter developed by Next Level Games and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a spin-off of the Metroid Prime series, where the player assumes the role of a Galactic Federation Marine, featuring gameplay elements similar to those of Metroid Prime Hunters. It also includes a multiplayer soccer-based gamemode known as Metroid Prime: Blast Ball. It was met with mixed reviews upon release.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force plays similarly to Metroid Prime Hunters, which primarily focused on the shooting mechanics within the Metroid Prime series as opposed to the exploration. Like its handheld predecessor, Federation Force incorporates cooperative elements into the core gameplay. However, Federation Force lacks the touch-based controls of Hunters as well as the established scanning mechanics of the Metroid Prime series, which allowed players to analyze their character’s surrounding environment and discover secrets.

Blast Ball is a mode which offers three-on-three matches, where players in their mecha suits shoot balls into nets akin to both the real life sport soccer and the video game Rocket League. This mode serves as a tutorial for the control scheme and an in-universe exercise for the playable Marines.

Developer: Next Level Games
Genre: First-person shooter, Sports game
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: August 19, 2016

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Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS) Box Art Cover
Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS) Box Art Cover
Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS) Blast Ball Screenshot
Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS) Blast Ball Screenshot

Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)

Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS) Screenshot
Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS) Screenshot

Kirby: Planet Robobot is an action platformer video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the fifteenth main installment in Nintendo’s Kirby franchise. The game was released in Japan in April 2016 and in North America and Europe in June 2016.

Kirby: Planet Robobot follows a similar style of gameplay to the previous Nintendo 3DS title, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, taking advantage of the system’s 3D capabilities to allow Kirby to move between multiple planes in stages. Like most games in the series, Kirby is able to inhale enemies in order to absorb their powers, including three new Copy Abilities; Doctor, Poison, and ESP. Additionally, players can gain abilities and items by scanning in supported Amiibo figures. New to this game are mech suits known as Robobot Armor that Kirby can pilot, allowing him to destroy certain obstacles, lift heavy objects, and defeat large enemies. Like Kirby himself, the Robobot Armor can scan enemies to gain its own set of Copy Abilities that can be used to attack enemies and solve puzzles. Hidden throughout each level are Code Cubes, which are needed to progress and unlock bonus levels, and collectible stickers which can be used to customise Kirby’s Robobot Armor.

Kirby: Planet Robobot features two additional minigames; Team Kirby Clash and Kirby 3D Rumble. Team Kirby Clash in an action RPG in which up to four players choose a character class and work together to fight large bosses, earning experience along the way. Kirby 3D Rumble is a single-player game in which Kirby must travel along a 3D plane to inhale and shoot waves of enemies as quickly as possible. Clearing the main game unlocks two additional modes; Meta Knightmare Returns, in which players control Meta Knight through a harder version of the main campaign, and The Arena, where players fight multiple boss characters with limited healing items. The game also features support for StreetPass and Miiverse. There is also a harder variant of the Arena known as the True Arena, which has players fight bosses from Meta Knightmare Returns as Kirby, as well as a new, secret boss.

Developer: HAL Laboratory
Genre: Platform action game
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Rating: Everyone

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Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS) Box Art Cover
Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS) Box Art Cover

Splatoon (Wii U)

Splatoon (Wii U) in-game screenshot
Splatoon (Wii U) in-game screenshot

Splatoon is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii U, which released worldwide in May 2015. The game centers around characters known as Inklings—beings that can transform between humanoid and squid forms, and hide or swim through colored ink sprayed on surfaces using gun or brush-based weaponry. Splatoon features several game modes, including 4-on-4 online multiplayer and a single player campaign.

Splatoon is primarily a team-based third-person shooter which is playable by up to eight players in online four-versus-four matches, although the game also features local one-versus-one multiplayer matches and a single player campaign. Players control characters called Inklings, who have the ability to shapeshift between human and squid forms. In humanoid form, Inklings can shoot ink in their team’s color, which can be used to cover the environment or “splat” opposing players or enemies. Transforming into a squid allows players to swim through ink of their own color, even up walls and through grates, hiding from the enemy and replenishing their ink supply in the process. Conversely, enemy ink is much slower to move across in humanoid form, cannot be swum through in squid form, and can gradually deal damage. Players can use their ink to try and “splatter” their opponents, which will send them back to their team’s respawn point whilst also providing a large splat of ink. In all modes, except for the two-player mode, players can use the Wii U GamePad to view a map of the surroundings and instantly launch towards the location of another teammate, as well as use optional gyroscopic controls to assist with aiming.

Players go into matches wielding a primary ink weapon, each with differing statistics and traits, along with a secondary attack (such as ink-filled balloons, sprinklers, and disruptive fields), and a special attack that can be charged up by covering enough ground with ink. Primary paint weapons range from those whose firing patterns resemble various types of firearms, to melee weapons such as Splat Rollers, Inkbrushes, and Sloshers (Ink buckets.) Ink weapons are sold in sets that can be purchased with money earned from matches, with more sets becoming available to the player as they gain experience. In addition, players can customize their character with headgear, clothes, and shoes from the neighboring shops, with more items becoming available as the player’s level increases. Each item carries a “perk” that improves the player’s statistics, such as faster respawn time or longer special duration. Additional perks can be unlocked by gaining experience in battles. When encountering other players in the plaza, players can choose to order an item another player is wearing and purchase it the next day from a back alley dealer named Spyke for a higher price.

Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Third-person shooter, Platform game
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: May 28, 2015

Splatoon (Wii U) Box Art Cover
Splatoon (Wii U) Box Art Cover

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (3DS)

WayForward Technologies, Inc.
Shantae and the Pirates Curse (3DS) Screenshot

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (3DS). Embark on a brand new adventure with Shantae, the hair-whipping, belly dancing genie. Shantae gains new weapons she can use to solve fiendish puzzles, battle fierce bosses, and maybe regain her genie magic along the way! This is one adventure you don’t want to miss!

  • The third entry in the acclaimed Shantae series is her biggest adventure yet; sail the seas and discover cursed islands and labyrinths.
  • Critically acclaimed, with an 82% Metacritic score for the Nintendo 3DS version.
  • Upgrade Shantae’s hair, weapons and moves! Master the Pirate Gear, Flintlock Pistol, Pirate Hat, Scimitar, Risky’s Boots, and even fly using a cannon.
  • Laugh out loud at the weird, wild and wonderfully humorous cast of characters.
  • Unlockable Pirate Mode, discover multiple game endings for completionists and speed runners or check out an unforgettable soundtrack and incredible stereoscopic visuals.
  • *** Bonus Content! Includes “Super Shantae Nab!!” A new arcade-style game exclusive to this release!
  • ESRB Rating: EVERYONE 10+ with Mild Suggestive Themes and Cartoon Violence

Genre: Arcade Platformer
Publisher: WayForward Technologies, Inc.
Rating: Everyone
Release Date: October 23, 2014
System: Nintendo 3DS

Shantae and the Pirates Curse (3DS) Box Art Cover
Shantae and the Pirates Curse (3DS) Box Art Cover

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Screenshot
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Screenshot

Mario Kart 8 is a racing game developed primarily by Nintendo EAD, with Namco Bandai Games assisting, for the Wii U. It is the eighth installment in the main Mario Kart series (hence the game’s name) and, including the arcade games, the eleventh overall. This installment is the follow-up game to the Nintendo 3DS title Mario Kart 7. Like other Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games, this game can be purchased both physically at retail and digitally through the Nintendo eShop, with the digital version requiring 4949.8 MB (approx. 4.83 GB) of memory to be installed. The game was released on the last three days of May 2014 worldwide.

A prominent new addition is anti-gravity, allowing players to drive on almost any surface. Elements from Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 are reused, such as Bikes and 2-Player online from Mario Kart Wii, and gliding, underwater driving, and kart customizing from Mario Kart 7. In addition, ATVs join the returning karts and bikes as a new class of vehicle. The game also features more detail in courses, specifically Retro Tracks, which appear more redesigned than their original appearances. The game is also the best selling title for the Wii U, selling 7.50 million copies as of March 31 2016, surpassing sales of both Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.

Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Racing
Platform: Wii U
Rating: Everyone
Release Date: May 29, 2014

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Box Art Cover
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Box Art Cover
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Characters Screen
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Characters Screen
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Cups Screenshot
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) Cups Screenshot

Tetris (Game Boy Original)

Tetris (Game boy) Screenshot
Tetris (Game boy) Screenshot

Tetris is a puzzle video game for the Game Boy released in 1989. It is a portable version of Alexey Pajitnov’s original Tetris and it was bundled in the North American and European releases of the Game Boy itself. It was the first game compatible with the Game Link Cable, a pack-in accessory that allowed two Game Boys to link together for multiplayer purposes.

A pseudorandom sequence of “tetrominoes” – shapes composed of four square blocks each – fall down the playing field. The object of the game is to manipulate these tetrads, by moving each one sideways and rotating it by 90-degree units, with the aim of creating a horizontal line of blocks without gaps. When one or more such lines are created, they disappear, and the blocks above (if any) move down by the number of lines cleared. As in most standard versions of Tetris, blocks do not automatically fall into open gaps when lines are cleared.

As the game progresses, the tetrominoes fall faster. The game ends when at least part of a tetromino extends beyond the top of the playfield when setting in place. The player can normally see which block will appear next in a window off to the side of the playing field, but this feature can be toggled during the game. Points are awarded based on the current level and number of lines cleared. The level increases each time the player clears ten lines, as does the speed of falling tetrominoes. The player may adjust the difficulty before beginning a game by selecting a starting level and/or choosing to pre-fill the play area with a given number of lines of randomly placed blocks.

This version of Tetris includes a two-player mode, in which each player’s objective is to remain in play for longer than his or her opponent. Each player plays on their own Game Boy, with the two consoles connected via the Game Link Cable (A game pak for each player). During gameplay, when a player scores a Double, Triple or Tetris, one or more incomplete rows of blocks are added to the bottom of their opponent’s stack, causing it to rise.

Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: July 31, 1989
System: Nintendo Game Boy

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Tetris (Box Art Cover)
Tetris (Game Boy) Box Art Cover
tetris-gameboy-cartridge-cart
Tetris (Game Boy) cartridge
Tetris (Game Boy) Title Screen
Tetris (Game Boy) Title Screen

Video game play of Tetris (Game Boy)