We were guests of Nintendo at an exclusive VIP event, but all opinions and photos are my own.
My kids have had the original Nintendo 3DS for almost 4 years now and still play with it daily! They have about half a dozen games between them, but tend to stick to a couple of favorites – Maya loves Tomodachi Life, Maura’s just a teensy bit obsessed with Animal Crossing, and they’ve just discovered Pokémon.
This is why we were excited to get an invitation from Nintendo to “Be a Kid For a Day” at the Play Nintendo Tour and see all the adventures the new 3DS XL has to offer. We spent our Friday evening trying out the portable kid-friendly gaming system and exploring the Nintendo world at my favorite mall, Tysons Corner Center, where there was a surprise around every corner for kids (and kids at heart!)
The iconic Nintendo worlds from Mario, Kirby, Donkey Kong and more were brought to life in a big way! Each world we visited was themed around these classic Nintendo characters and games. The tables and chairs were different in every world, from bananas and mushrooms, to Mario Kart seats. The girls hopped into an egg to play Yoshi’s New Island and lounged on a giant banana while playing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. There were plenty of 3DS game systems set up all over the place so no one had to wait to play, at least not for very long anyway!
There were so many fun photo ops! Stacks of coins and a warp pipe at the New Super Mario Bros. 2 section brought back memories. The adorable Kirby was there representing one of the newest games, Kirby: Planet Robobot, and we even found a real life Poké Ball! I think my kids got tired of posing for me, but I saw Maya taking selfies when she thought I wasn’t looking. 😉
The best part? This 3-day event was FREE to the public so anyone and everyone could come and experience the magic of Nintendo. Maura took advantage and tried out every single game at least once. She wanted to complete her passport for a chance at winning a prize.
Maya was more of a floater, exploring every corner of the Play Nintendo area. She really liked all the themed merchandise, like the Vans X Nintendo collection. The shoes, the hoodies, the backpacks, oh my! It’s a great partnership… so much awesome stuff for the back-to-school season! You can find all this and more at vans.com/nintendo.
Visiting the Play Nintendo Tour was a fun way to spend our Friday night! As the girls are growing up I’m realizing that the opportunities to spend quality time together doing something we all enjoy are fewer and far between. It was nice to rekindle the magic of the Nintendo world that shaped my childhood and share it with them.
Maura came home with a new download of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for her 3DS, and Maya with new shoelaces for her sneakers. They may not be Vans, but she’s happy! Doesn’t it look like Mario and Luigi are jumping out of pipes? Too cute.
Sadly, the 12-city Play Nintendo Tour 2016 is coming to an end next weekend, when it visits North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Georgia, September 2nd – 5th. Go online to play.nintendo.com/tour for more information.
Will be buying anything new?
Out of all the games we played, Mario Kart 7 was the biggest hit, so I’ll definitely be buying that soon. Maybe for Maya’s birthday next month! Some of Nintendo’s most popular titles are under $20 right now, like Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Nintendogs, and Tomodachi Life, so right now might be the right time to add to your collection, too.
The new Nintendo 3DS XL
The Nintendo 3DS XL looks amazing and is quite an upgrade from our original 3DS!
The new Nintendo 3DS XL features:
- More power! Improved CPU performance means faster loading times, which means more time playing!
- Face-tracking 3D. Images on the screen adjust based on your viewing angle for total immersion in the game.
- A better browser so you can enjoy watching videos and surfing the Web!
- Easy data sharing. Transfer photos, music and files between a computer and the 3DS’s microSDHC card via wifi.
- An improved camera so you can get better photos in low-light situations.
- New controls! The C stick and new ZL and ZR buttons give you more options.
- Built-in amiibo support. No need to have separate reader for games like Animal Crossing!
- Backwards game play. You can play even more games, including nearly all games from Nintendo DS and DSi.
- Nintendo Video, which lets you download videos and watch them in 3D. Netflix and Hulu Plus, too!
- A larger screen. It’s quite a big bigger than original 3DS, with a screen that’s 90% larger, giving you a better view into the games you love. In this case, bigger is better!
Check out all the fun things the Nintendo 3DS system can do at nintendo.com/3ds. What’s awesome is that if the Nintendo 3DS XL is a little out of your price range, you’ve got other options. A New Nintendo 3DS bundle that includes the system and the Super Mario 3D Land game pre-installed is $150, exclusively at Walmart and Target. Also, the Nintendo 2DS just went down in price to $79.99! The girls are pretty good about sharing the one they have, but I may just take advantage of these great prices and get a second game system soon.
Play Nintendo at home
To extend the Play Nintendo Tour at home, we’ve been checking out the fun games and activities on the Play Nintendo website. Did you know that tour was actually inspired by the website? It’s a fun, engaging and age appropriate site for kids, featuring only games that are rated Everyone or Everyone Ten and Up. Visit play.nintendo.com to check it out!