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What is 'Nintendo Land'?

tech reviews Updated: Jun 07, 2012 13:47 IST

Console giant Nintendo hopes that Nintendo Land will turn the Wii U and its tablet-style controller into a word-of-mouth hit in the same way that the Wii Sports game helped drive the Wii's success.

One-time rival Sega experimented with its own mid-90s amusement park chain, SegaWorld, with outposts in the UK, Australia and China.

Nintendo Land, which is digital rather than physical, "gathers attractions based on many of our most popular original titles into a [virtual] Nintendo theme park," explained Katsuya Eguchi, who has also worked on Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort.

Presented during Nintendo's June 5 E3 stage show, the game is designed to introduce players to the Wii U GamePad and the kind of asynchronous multiplayer that it supports.

Donkey Kong's Crash Course, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, Luigi's Ghost Mansion and Takamaru's Ninja Castle were the five of twelve attractions that Nintendo chose to name at E3, with the last two given demonstration videos.

Luigi's Ghost Mansion was used to show off asynchronous multiplayer and looked a little bit like a game of Pac-Man.

One player, using the GamePad and its small screen, is an invisible ghost, while up to four others using Wii Remotes work together to locate, evade and defeat the ghost before it makes them all faint.

Takamaru's Castle, a single player attraction, was also given a slice of screen-time. It borrows its setting from obscure Japanese game Mysterious Murasame Castle, but in practice it's more like Duck Hunt or other shooting gallery games.

"Nintendo Land will launch at the same time as the Wii U hardware," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. The company isn't yet ready to narrow that down to anything more specific than "Holiday 2012," the last few months of the year.