I picked up Nintendo Land on a whim. For my birthday we went and checked out this new used game store about a half hour away. And truth be told, I've kind of been bitten by the Wii U Collectors Bug lately. Please don't send help. So I was on the lookout for interesting Wii U games at a decent price. I knew I'd actually have some downtime for my birthday weekend, so a 'party game' seemed like a pretty natural pickup.
Nintendo Land turns out to be a pretty fun little game. It's y'know, a mini-game collection which can certainly be hit or miss. But I found that for the most part a lot of the games seem to make pretty cool use of the Wii U Gamepad. In fact, this game serves as a rather neat little demo of the console itself. There's tons of mini-games to check out, and we haven't done them all. But the ones we did play were mostly fun. It helps that they're based on existing Nintendo IP's. I feel like during this era, Nintendo got pretty into their back catalog via things like this or NES Remix.
The first mini-game we played was probably out favorite - one based on Luigi's Mansion. This one sort of reminds me of that Pac-Man game on Gamecube that connected to GBA's. What the heck was that? My memory's fuzzy. Anyway, one person is a ghost and the others are ghosthunters. So the ghost uses the Gampad and can "see in the dark," while the others are looking at the TV trying to hunt the ghost using vibrations on the Wii remotes for clues as to where he's hiding. I had fun sneaking up on my wife as the ghost, or doing my best to hide from her. And this made for a really cool way to show off ways to utilize the Gamepad effectively.
There was a racing game based on F-Zero that also uses the Gamepad in a rather cool way. We had fun with that one. And we spent quite a while playing the Pikmin game. Although in fairness, it doesn't feel all that unique - more like a mobile version of Pikmin with sort of casual co-op. But it was fun. Unfortunately, we couldn't try the Zelda mini-game since it requires the newer Wiimotes, and we have the old ones. Oh well, guess we'll need some new ones soon. But yeah, as far as mini-games go, this is a good time. I could definitely see this being a cool party game proper.