Parents' Guide to

Play Nintendo

By Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Flashy, but young gamers will need persistence to get tips.

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What you will—and won't—find in this website.

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Although Nintendo has tons of games for its Wii and DS platforms, the Play Nintendo sub-site emphasizes its most popular and accomplished offerings such as Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8, with other games such as The Legend of Zelda, Captain Toad, and Animal Crossing thrown in for good measure. New amiibo action figures that interact with the games also are prominent. State-of-the-art navigation, super bright and appealing visuals, and a panel-style layout make moving around easy, but many elements, such as "Five tips for becoming a Pokemon artist" or the "Bragg Report," are actually thinly disguised promotions. Others are more satisfying, such as the multiepisode tutorial videos "Super Smash Bros 101" and "How to Win at Super Smash Bros" that come complete with clear demonstrations on how to perfect moves such as rolling, dodging, and using shields.

Some elements are entertaining or even educational; the section for parents goes over topics such as the positive benefits of gaming and balancing screen time with playtime. For the most part, however, some elements are a tad boring by Nintendo standards. For example, a Mario Kart Party Starter never finishes loading. Product announcements can be out of date, such as the one for two Pokemon-based advance demos that have already been released. The Stargazer game was interesting although not what you would expect from Nintendo: slow and subtle. Quizzes, polls, activities, and concentration-style matching games are only mildly interactive, lacking what kids normally expect from Nintendo: arcade-style fun. A few demo games would be a welcome addition to bring a bit more oomph to the offerings. Overall, Play Nintendo highlights a lot of amusing content, but its heavy emphasis on showy marketing may keep some parents and kids away.

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