Reviews Wii/Wii-U/Switch

Game Refraction: Jennifer’s Top 5 WiiU Games of 2015

The year 2015 was another year filled with a splurge of new game concepts and tons of sequels to all time classics. The WiiU had a successful year with the release of several popular games throughout the year, a feat that Nintendo has not been able to accomplish for many years. Though there were many WiiU games that I indulged in this year, here are my top 5 picks for WiiU Games of 2015.

5. Mario Party 10mario-party-10

This game is just worth playing simply because it’s a familiar game that most people have played at some point in their gaming journey. While Mario Party 10 continues the tradition of the Mario Party Series, it has a refreshing new experience in the form of the two new modes, Bowser Party and Amiibo Party, alongside the enhanced graphics of the WiiU platform. The great thing about this game is that the game play experience is never the same due to the countless random outcomes that can occur from mini games or even the dice block rolls, but even that the game is formatted so that it can be a thrilling experience for someone who wants to play alone. While it perhaps is not a game that I would constantly be coming back to over time, it is one that is a fantastic pick for a gaming night with friends or for a lazy day gaming perk.


4. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping StarsMario-vs-Donkey-Kong-Tipping-Stars1

This is a challenging puzzle game that takes the simplistic environment styles of the original Mario vs Donkey Kong game stages and incorporates them into more modern styles. The idea of the game is to march toy characters safely to the end of each level by removing and connecting limited provided vertices between platforms. When playing this game I really felt like I was back in my childhood playing Lemmings, having to ensure your “toys” all make it safely to the level exit door without falling doom to a hazard or getting stuck in pitfall. While the concept of the game is simplistic, it provides a challenge for the mind that leads to endless hours of game play. I am a stubborn gamer and so I spent a lot of time trying to ensure I could pass a level, even though at times I should have walked away for a break to refresh my mind. Definitely a good game to download if you are looking for a challenging game with appealing graphics.


3. Kirby and the Rainbow CurseKirby_and_the_Rainbow_Curse_Wii_U_gameplay_screenshot

I have always had a soft side for the pink little creature Kirby, so this game was a must for my collection. The gaming environment carried on the classic clay modelling style of previous Kirby games. The game incorporates puzzle dynamics wherein the gamer uses the WiiU touchscreen to create a “rainbow” line to guide Kirby (who is stuck in a ball form) through the level, collecting fruits/items and avoiding pitfalls and to the safe exit on the other side of the level. I do admit that for some of the more challenging levels I just did the wild scribble of rainbow as to try and not miss any items, but the game apparently has a feature of only giving you so much rainbow to use and also drawing a rainbow line over a pitfall does not protect Kirby. The most complex part of this game I found is that on the TV screen you see the gaming environment (pitfalls, items, exit, etc…) but on the gamepad touchscreen you just have a coloured screen and thus you have to draw the rainbow lines on the touchscreen while not being able to see the environment level there, but watch where the lines show up on the TV screen. This lead to a lot of frustration cause its almost like a guessing game of where your rainbow will actually go, and sometimes it would just graze a pitfall and I’d have to start the level over again. This game is perfect for even the newest of gamers as it doesn’t involve a lot of skill, but is a perfect pick for anyone looking for a challenge.


2. Super Mario Makersuper-mario-maker-image

Anyone who has played a Super Mario Bros game, whether it be the classic NES version with the 8-bit pint sized hero on a mission to save the Princess from endless Bowser castles, to the 3d graphical Super Mario BrosU…. this game is made for everyone. There is endless amount of content contained in this game, and with worldwide online gamer made platforms uploaded daily; there is never a shortage of gameplay available. The main concept behind the game wherein you have the opportunity to let your mind roam free and make a platformer level that can have the most wild designs and unexpected outcomes is something that I have been wishing for most of my gaming life. Even more exciting than having the option of 4 fan favourite Mario game designs for your level, is that you can place items and enemies that were developed in later games in the Mario series and place them in the old designs as if they belonged (anyone ever actually see Boos in classic Super Mario Bros??). Besides the designing concept of the game, I enjoy that there is an actual “game inside the game” in the form of the 10 Mario Challenge that allows you to play some outlandish developer designed levels to earn medals, save the princess and to get your creative juices flowing. This game is a must have for any Mario lover and is a constant thrill every time I play it. As an avid lover of games that require me to “play, create and share”, this game will be one to continue to be on the go long into 2016.


1. Yoshi’s Woolly Worldwoolyworld_movev_md

One word….YOSHI!! This classic, loveable dinosaur companion of Mario has broken out into another classic title on the WiiU that leaves you with the warm and fuzzy feeling (literally cause everything is made of wool). This game was delayed several times during its development, as it was due to release early in Q4 of 2014, but was held back until Q4 of 2015. But it sure was worth the wait. In this platformer, you are tasked with travelling through the knitted Craft Island to find the hidden yarns (and various out items) to “re-knit” the woolly Yoshi’s pulled apart by Kamek, and ultimately reach Bower’s castle and show him your fuzzy wrath. The environment, music and level design is very much like that seen in other Yoshi titles such as Yoshi’s Story, but is still appealing to the gameplay experience as all dynamics are developed around yarn and knitting. Like instead of eggs, Yoshi pops out balls of yarn, and platforms are made of knitting needles. So cute! The best part of the game I found was that as you find all the yarns in each level, you get a unique Yoshi that you can play as, but if you have any Amiibo, you can scan it in and receive a unique Yoshi that is designed and looks like that Amiibo character. This can lead to a lot of choices in Yoshi’s to play as. But even more, there is a “special” Yoshi in each world that if you find all of the flowers hidden in every single level, it will unlock. These special Yoshi’s are crafted after Nintendo gaming consoles, so like GameCube Yoshi or WiiU Yoshi. As a completion gamer, I am going to be keeping this game on the go as 2016 comes as trying to ensure finding all of the hidden items is not an easy task, but i am up for the challenge. Whether you are looking for a game that is all around cute and classic Yoshi or a game that provides a new gaming experience, this is definable the one to get.


I look forward to seeing what Nintendo has in store for the WiiU in 2016. Until then, I have some amazing titles that will surely keep me entertained while I wait 🙂

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