Nintendo Badge Arcade (3DS)

BADGE_BOXNintendo has a new free-to-play game on the 3DS, and it’s an arcade full of crane games!  You can grab badges of various Nintendo characters, and even use them outside the game to decorate your Home Menu.  Since it’s free, I decided to download it and write a little review!

Anyway, even though downloading it is free, you do have to pay to play the crane games.  It costs a buck for five tries.  However, there are ways to get free plays, which we’ll go over later.  The crane games are simple.  Just press and hold the A button to make the crane move, and release it to make the claw go down and grab whatever is below.  If you pick up a badge and it drops down the chute, you win it!  The game is physics-based, so if even if you don’t grab a badge, if you knock the other badges around enough, they could fall and tumble into the chute anyway, and that also counts as a win!  You can choose from different crane machines every day, and they may have different badges next time you check.  There are even different crane games that involve a hammer or dropping a bomb to hit or blow up the badges to try to get them into the chute, but most of them are just the regular cranes.  If you remember the bonus stage from Kirby’s Adventure where you get extra lives by picking up Kirby plushes in a crane game, that’s what Nintendo Badge Arcade is like.

There are TONS of badges you can collect, and they are all based on Nintendo games and characters.  I’ve seen Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, Pikmin, Splatoon, Tomadachi Life, Kirby, Boxboy, Swapnote, and many more!  If you win a badge, you can place it on your 3DS Home Menu by dragging it to one of the empty spots where icons or folders go.  You can decorate your Home Menu this way.  The badges kind of remind me of those collectable pins you can buy and trade at Disney World theme parks.  In a way, I kind of wish the Nintendo Badge Arcade was real, but it’s a good thing it’s not because otherwise I’d go broke if those pins really were real!  If you get all the pins in a set, you can even see them arranged on a background in your collection, so that’s another way it reminds me of those Disney pins.

Aside from the crane game section, there are other areas you can visit in the arcade.  There is the practice crane game, which gives you five free plays a day.  You won’t win any pins, but sometimes you can win free plays from it.  Also, the little pink bunny who works at the arcade and acts as your host, sometimes he’ll just give you a free play randomly, too!  In fact, I play this game every day and I think there was only one day I didn’t get at least one free play.  Other areas in the arcade include a place where you can view your collection, an elevator that takes you to where you can buy special theme background for the Home Menu, a Miiverse bulletin board, and a help desk.

Aside from the obvious nickel-and-diming aspect of the game, the only other problems I had were that it takes a long time to load, as it always pulls up your Nintendo account and has to be connected to the Internet to play.  And if you get any free plays, you have to use them right then, you can’t save them up for later.  Finally, I wish they’d give you a few more days to collect some of the badges, but oh well.  As a Nintendo fan, I’ve still had lots of fun trying to get as many badges as I can.  I’ve gotten 70 plus badges as of this writing, and I haven’t even paid any real money, I’ve gotten all that through free plays.  As long as you’re OK with knowing you won’t be able to collect ALL the badges in the game, you might have fun playing this, too, and not have to pay a single red cent!


Kid Factor:

Reading skill is helpful for the text, but most importantly, parental supervision is highly recommended because they make it so easy to pay real money to play the crane games.  It only costs a dollar for five plays, but they can add up quickly.  Nothing violent or objectionable here, and the game is rated E for Everyone.

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