'Nintendo Land' uses a theme park motif. Photo: AFP
Mario's excitable green companion Yoshi and legacy racing series F-Zero are due for an outing in Nintendo Land, the Nintendo Wii U's showcase title.
Just as Wii Sports was such an able demonstration of the Nintendo Wii's motion-sensing social vibe, so it is hoped that Nintendo Land will win over a Wii U crowd by giving gaming another shake-up with its use of a tablet-style GamePad controller.
Nine of the 12 mini-games had previously been featured in a September trailer for the game, but that left fans and press in the dark about the contents of the three remaining activities -- Captain Falcon's Twister Race, Octopus Dance, and Yoshi's Fruit Cart -- until the UK's Official Nintendo Magazine got hold of a fact sheet.
The Twister Race game maintains links to futuristic racer F-Zero and star pilot Captain Falcon, requiring players to "hold the narrow end of the Wii U GamePad upright with both hands to guide a high-speed wind-up vehicle toward the finish line."
Yoshi's Fruit Cart, on the other hand, breaks the pattern of most Nintendo Land games by presenting less information via the tablet-style GamePad screen than on the TV: "Guide Yoshi's cart towards the goal while collecting all the fruit along the way. The catch is that you can see fruit on the TV but not on the GamePad, a game-play mechanic made possible only using two screens."
The third revealed mini-game, Octopus Dance, doesn't appear to lean on established Nintendo characters or franchise: "Memorize the movement of the character on screen and re-enact the poses using the [GamePad's] Control Sticks or gyro sensor."
Six of the 12 are billed as being made for one player (or one-at-a-time at least), another three are single or multiplayer (up to five players, depending on the mini-game), and three are designed for multiplayer only.
Nintendo Land's mini-games
Animal Crossing: Sweet Day
Balloon Trip Breeze
Captain Falcon's Twister Race
Donkey Kong's Crash Course
Luigi's Ghost Mansion
Takamaru Ninja Castle
The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest
Yoshi's Fruit Cart
Nintendo Land will be included in the Wii U Deluxe Set when it debuts in North America on November 18, and in the Premium Edition for European and Australasian regions from November 30. The Japanese Premium Set includes access to the Dragon Quest X beta.
The Wii U also makes use of the older Wii's Remotes and can play standard Wii games as well as newer Wii U titles.