‘Nintendo Land’

Remember how “Wii Sports” was the game that finally got grandma to play? “Nintendo Land,” a collection of minigames set across 13 attractions inside a Nintendo-themed amusement park, is the follow up to that.

We were shown two of the minigames and assured there are many more. Both were excellent examples of the asymmetric gameplay that Nintendo is promising. The first was a fruit collection game set in the “Animal Crossing” world. Four players race around town, shaking trees and collecting fruit. Some trees require cooperation to rattle, and while you’re trying to talk someone into help you, the GamePad player can send two minions for a shakedown of his own. Controlling two minions — one with each joystick — the GamePad player can see everyone’s location on the touch screen. If he catches someone, they lose their fruit, points and respect of their peers (well, maybe not that part). Fun, but not deep.

The second game was “Luigi’s Mansion” inspired. Four Miis are on a ghost hunt. Each packs a flashlight to catch the GamePad player’s ghost, but no one can see it without the rare flash of lightning. The GamePad player has to rely on the chaos of the group to single out players and make them faint. Still-conscious players can revive others, but are themselves vulnerable while that’s going on.

Takeaway: These two minigames were fast and fun, but it remains to be seen if the rest will be as intuitive and inviting as the “Wii Sports” catalogue was.

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