A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that New Super Luigi U is an expansion to New Super Mario Bros. U that offers dozens of new levels, most much harder than anything encountered in the original game. You must own the original game to play this expansion. It has the same kind of mild cartoon mischief and violence as in Mario games past -- expect lots of shell-hopping and fireball flinging -- and little else to worry about. Keep in mind, though, that Luigi, like Mario, is a Nintendo icon and that there is plenty of merchandise out there bearing his visage that will likely become a lot more appealing to kids who play this game.
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What's it about?
An expansion to New Super Mario Bros. U, NEW SUPER LUIGI U puts players in the shoes of Mario's fraternal, lime-loving twin and offers eight worlds worth of redesigned levels -- dozens in all -- that are both shorter and much harder than most found in the original game. The countdown timer is set to 100 for all levels, which leaves very little time for casual exploration. Complicating matters, players will encounter harder enemies that show up in more devious locations -- like right where you want to land after a tricky jump. And the terrain can prove extremely challenging, especially in later levels where firm ground is often nowhere to be seen, forcing players to pull off miracle moves as they leap from one quickly moving platform to another, avoiding enemies along the way.
Luckily, Luigi can float in the air a little longer than his bro -- which gives players a bit of breathing room for longer jumps. Still, this is one hard game. It can be downloaded through the Wii U online shop or purchased on disc in stores as of August 25, 2013. The original New Super Mario Bros. U is required to play.
Is it any good?
New Super Luigi U basically serves as a challenge mode for veterans of the original game looking for something that will really put their running and jumping skills to the test. Talented players should get a real kick out of it. Less skilled players can have fun, too, so long as they use the boost mode carried over from the main game, which allows a second player to use the GamePad to create platforms in the sky, making some of the more frustrating levels a lot easier.
However, if you want to play with a few friends, each controlling a character, you can expect some headaches. The extreme and relentless difficulty of some levels makes it nearly impossible to communicate quickly enough, which means you'll likely perish multiple times before finding success. It's a good expansion with at least six or seven hours' worth of fresh content, but it's not without caveats.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork. What sorts of strategies do you use to communicate quickly and efficiently with your friends while playing games? Do you get frustrated if your co-players don't work cooperatively with you?
Families can also discuss whether stressful games that require split-second timing might help develop skills that you can use in other areas of your life. Can you think of any real-world activities in which the ability to think quickly and make fast decisions might come in handy?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Communication: friendship building
Thinking & Reasoning: solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: $19.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: June 23, 2013
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.