It’s the Amiibo based game that everyone was hoping for! The alternative to Skylanders and Disney Infinity that’ll really put Nintendo’s line of figurines on the map!
Oh, never mind. It’s a new Mario vs Donkey Kong title loosely inspired by the various Mario games and spinoffs already out there. Here’s a trailer showing the game in action:
In addition to that, the official website was also launched, complete with more artwork, screenshots and pieces of information about the game. So what can we tell so far?
Above: The various Mini characters in the game. Mini Mario can wall jump, Mini Luigi can jump higher, Mini Peach can float, Mini Toad can shrink, Mini DK can climb steep hills, Mini DK can cling on platforms then climb back, Mini Bowser can do a stomp to destroy bricks, Mini Bowser Jr can walk on spikes, Mini Yoshi can eat enemies and Mini Rosalina can… also jump really high.
Above: The numerous character abilities in action.
Above: It’s apparently compatible with both the Wii U and 3DS.
Well for starters, we can see that someone out there doesn’t seem to like poor Wario very much. Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Diddy Kong and Rosalina are all present and have levels based on the games they appear in, but poor old Wario is nowhere to be seen. Pretty disappointing on that front then, given that all these other levels are inspired by games like Donkey Kong Country, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and Super Mario Galaxy, and Wario’s appearance would have likely opened up the way to a Wario Land themed well to join them.
Above: Luigi’s areas are based on Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon (BG seems to show Gloomy Manor)
Above: Donkey Kong’s areas are based on Donkey Kong Country (especially Returns and Tropical Freeze)
Above: Yoshi’s areas are based on Yoshi’s Woolly World
Above: Rosalina’s levels are clearly based on Super Mario Galaxy. Nice Comet Observatory!
We can also see that unlike the last few games in this series, Donkey Kong isn’t being portrayed as a violent moron like his grandad in the arcade games. Instead, he’s blasting around jungle levels via barrel cannons and working alongside his pal Diddy Kong, in a way that’s a lot closer to the big ape’s portrayal in the Donkey Kong Country games (especially Donkey Kong Country Returns). That’s good news for anyone out there worried that Nintendo saw Donkey and Cranky as basically interchangable, and it’s at least keeping the folk at DK Vine somewhat happy as well.
Above: Though this enemy looks worrying…
Above: Barrel Cannons!
And the game also apparently comes free on the eShop, with the first codes being given out to anyone who buys a compatible Amiibo. So it’s pretty cheap.
So it’s certainly a more interesting game than the last couple in its franchise. That said however, we do question whether it’s a good choice for an Amiibo focused game. After all, it’s a niche puzzle game with a toy aesthetic, hardly the kind of mainstream title the Wii U needs to sell millions of units. Maybe a game where the characters were ‘real’ would have worked much better, like a big 3D action adventure title where Mario and co are running around different worlds based on Nintendo games and trying to stop some mysterious villain who’s interested in conquering the universe. Kind of like Skylanders or LEGO Dimensions, except more consistent in terms of quality.
Above: The levels do look surprisingly interesting though.
Above: The game’s world map, clearly split into sections based on different characters. The logos might be a bit much…
But either way, it’s still a better use of the Amiibos than most Nintendo titles, and it looks to be an interesting game to mess around with given how little it’ll cost. What do you think about Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge? Going to download it or buy it once it’s available?