The best Wii U games to buy this Christmas – A parents guide.

Obviously what your child asks for at Christmas is always the safest choice, but if costs or content are a concern for you then this list is for you. If you want to surprise them with a top quality title they didn’t ask for, this is for you, and if they don’t yet own a Wii U and you’re thinking about buying one then let me assure you A Wii U is a surprise they won’t see coming and this is a list of the games you must consider buying first and foremost. They are sure to keep them, and quite possibly you, entertained over the holiday period and beyond.

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It’s always been easy to mistake a bad game for a good one by its cover and parents are famed for this, but trust me, you’ve come to the right place. The following games aren’t just the games parents can be assured are family-friendly, they are also the best games available for the Wii U in time for Christmas. It is an impressive collection of games that really makes owning a Wii U worthwhile. They are exactly the kind of games to keep everyone laughing and entertained at Christmas, these are the kind of games that make childhood Christmas memories.

Nintendoland

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Suitable for all
1-5 players
Out now

What is it: As the picture above suggests, it is 12 different games (not mini games) all of different genres. There’s a mini FPS, a great hide and seek/chase game, ghost hunting, sword fighting and a wholly new kind of puzzle game. They fully show off what makes the Wii U unique and multiplayer is incredibly fun.

Appeal: Like Wii Sports, this is aimed at everyone, or at least there’s something for everyone. It’s a great introduction to the Wii U, and this is exactly the game for everyone to play together. The 12 games are all pretty big, and with the variety they offer it’s a very safe purchase, even if it takes a while to appreciate. There’s potentially well over 100 hours of gameplay to be had, don’t brush this off as another mini game collection.

Pikmin 3

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Suitable for all
1-2 players
Out now

What is it: You play as miniature aliens travelling around garden-like levels fighting enemies and collecting resources with your army of Pikmin. You play against the clock and must breed and protect your Pikmin carefully while exploring these puzzle filled worlds aiming to collect all the different kinds of fruit you can find to take home as new food sources. Overall, it’s unlike anything else.
Appeal: As someone with many females friends I have noticed girls tend to really enjoy Pikmin. That said my brother is obsessed with World of Warcraft he’s 25 now, and Pikmin is literally the only other game he retains interest in. In terms of gaming experience, Pikmin 3 is very kind to casual gamers, you can take your time, but fans of strategy games and 3D adventures love the marriage of these two genres, many aspects of this game provide a very deep challenge. There is no age barrier with this game. Pikmin is great.

The Wonderful 101

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Suitable for 12 and above (but it’s hardly one to worry about)
1 player (plus multiplayer mode)
Out Now

What is it? You play as a team of 100 superheroes faced with defending earth from an alien invasion. Uniquely, you use your team-mates to forge huge weapons (like that fist) to fight your way through waves of enemies while aiming for combos and high scores, The game also comes with huge and crazy boss fights and plenty of rather epic action sequences peppered throughout. It’s sense of action really is stupidly epic, it’s fun to watch and play.
Appeal: Most certainly one for boys, particularly if they like comic books and action heroes as well as comical shows, because 101 has a strong comedy element. It’s also one for gamers, The Wonderful 101 is aimed at completionists and anyone who likes a challenge, this game is not really for casual gamers. This will be waste of money on the wrong audience but absolutely loved by those it caters to. There is a downloadable demo to try before you buy.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

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Suitable for all
1-2 player
Out in November

What is it: The latest Donkey Kong 2D platformer game, that once again comes with a huge graphical makeover and even bigger ambition.This game is aiming to be more cinematic and brings back Dixie Kong, a favorite not seen since around 1994. If it needs saying Donkey Kong Country games are among the very best 2D platformers.
Appeal: Just about everyone so long as they enjoy 2D platformers. It’s a huge treat for many older gamers and fans of retro games, but if we all fell in love with DKC back in the 90’s so will the new generation! There’s no doubt DK gains new fans year after year even if he hasn’t had a new game for a while. So basically DKC Tropical Freeze is a key reason to buy a Wii U it belongs in every Wii U owners game collection.
UPDATE: DKC:TF has now been delayed until 2014. However European customers can now look forward to Scribblenaughts Unlimited, a highly regarded game, in time for Christmas.

Sonic Lost World.

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Suitable for all ages
1 Player
Out in September

What is it: Sonic is a high-speed adventure game, levels play out a bit like obstacle courses with a rollercoaster like feel to them. 3D Sonic games don’t always turn out well, but all signs point to this being one of Sonics best games; Everyone who has tried it out are VERY positive about it. It’s also another Wii U exclusive. Sonic Lost world will be worth buying.
Appeal: All ages if there’s an interest in fast games and of course Sonic.

Super Mario 3D World

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Suitable for all
1-5 player
Out in December

What is it: The latest Mario 3D platformer, but for the first time the whole game is multiplayer. Like 2D Mario games you travel from one point to another and try to survive all manners of obstacles and platforming challenges. This classic linear feel is a departure from the style of 64, Sunshine & Galaxy, and is following in the footsteps of Mario 3D Land on the 3DS.
Appeal: It’s flagship game for Nintendo, so it is bound to be extremely good. It’s another game that just about anyone can enjoy, although it will be too complex for some, but the bonus this time is it’s the 3D Mario you can play together. This game is like the main reason to own a Wii U!

The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD

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Suitable for all ages
1 Player
Out in October

What it is: An adventure game with a RPG feel. You embark on a mission to save your sister which soon spirals into the usual saving Zelda and the world from Gannondorf.  I played this game some 10 years ago and it remains a favorite. Visually stunning and a truly well crafted experience.
Appeal: Platforming and RPG fans will love it, but Zelda isn’t for everyone, it’s a pretty complex game, most likely too much for most gamers under the age of 8, and not the best game for casual gamers. Let me stress however, Windwaker is one of the best games ever made for any console.

E-shop Games

Parents rejoice! E-shop can save you from a disaster! The E-shop is an online shop incorporated into the Wii U. It is home to downloadable versions of all these games and many more, as well as a collection of budget titles ranging from £4-£15 and many classic console titles from £3.49-£6.99) I’d advise parents to put some money aside for the kids to spend on the e-shop on Christmas Day, you can pay for games either with gift vouchers brought from stores or pay directly by debit/credit card.  There are a number of cheap titles that are worth getting and the reviews in the shop are a good guide.

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Kids will love Pokemon Rumble U
Older gamers and RPG fans will really enjoy Trine 2
Retro gamers will go mad for Toki Tori 2+  Ducktales Remastered & Earthbound
Everyone will enjoy the very accurate drawing app ‘Art Academy’ for just £3.49.
All these games are download only. Remember too that if you own a black Wii U, then you are eligable to a points system which means downloads frequently earn you £5 gift vouchers to spend in the E-shop.

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Other games to consider…

My guide has stuck to the cream of Wii U exclusive crop, there are plenty of other decent games. Wii U has the bulk of great of 3rd party games out there including  Call of Duty, Fifa, Batman, Assassins creed and Splinter Cell, and there’s other decent exclusives too, but all those games I’ve listed above I’d recommend you buy first and that is more of a majority opinion than just my own humble view…Still there’s nothing wrong with the following games if brought for the right person:

  • Rayman Legends (everyone, so long as you like 2D platformers. A highly rated game)
  • New Super Mario Bros U (Everyone)
  • Lego City Undercover (Youngsters who like Lego)

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  • Sega and Sonic All-stars racing Transformed. (Racing and Sega fans, all ages)
  • Wii U Party (Families & people wanting multiplayer games)

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  • Lets Dance 4 (Multiplayer and dance fans, sure hit with girls)
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (MMO, RPG and fantasy fans, mainly boys)

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  • Game & Wario (Nintendo fans, families, multiplayer gamers)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Sports fans, casual gamers, multiplayer)
  • Resident Evil Revelations (older gamers, horror movie fans)

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SHOULD YOU BUY A WII U?

Absolutely. It’s been a slow 1st year for the new console, but now there are more than enough exclusive games to make one worth buying and prices are dropping. 2014 is also looking rosy too, with Mario Kart and Smash Bros leading the hype. Don’t believe anything you might have read on Nintendos demise! The Wii U is no gimmick either, the new controller with its big touchscreen and various other features is rather ingenious and what it contributes to multiplayer alone is revolutionary. Local multiplayer has never been so much fun and its future has never looked brighter. The Wii U is not the Wii, it is so much better in all regards. The only thing they have in common is reasonable price tags. Below are some of the known games coming in 2014…

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THINGS FOR PARENTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT THE WII U.

  • The Wii U is a totally new console, it is NOT an add-on for the Wii. But it is backwards compatible with the Wii.
  • The Wii U is aimed at everyone, from hardcore to casual, older gamers to even the concerned parent.
  • You only use one gamepad (the controller with the screen) and you get this with the Wii U console.
  • The Wii U gamepad means you can often play single-player without the need of a TV, and that saves a lot of arguments!
  • For multiplayer you’re gonna need up to 4 of the old Wii-remote controllers and sometimes the nun-chuck attachment. Of course you can use your old controllers, you don’t have to buy new ones.
  • With the gamepad that means Wii U is not 4, but a 5 player console.
  • Keep a hold of your Wii balance board or get one on the cheap – Wii Fit is coming back soon with a bang and december will allow everyone a full 30 day free trial of the new installment for Wii U.
  • The Wii U has NO online subscription costs, it is very lite on micro transactions and paid downloadable content, and at a very modest price for the console, the Wii U is kind to your pockets.

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