Developer Nintendo and publisher Next Level Games released “Luigi’s Mansion 3” for the Nintendo Switch, combining chills and thrills with mystifying puzzles sure to delight all players.
Like other Mario-based game franchises, “Luigi’s Mansion 3” follows a storyline similar to its predecessors while introducing new characters and a new location.
The player controls Luigi and navigates various levels to save his friends, which is different from previous games wherein he only had to rescue Mario. This is the first game that has ever led me to ask myself, “Would I traverse a haunted hotel to save my kidnapped friends from ghosts?”
The puzzle-based game requires attention to detail for progression, often requiring the player to find keys and search for hidden areas. Some of the puzzles were difficult, and I found myself looking up solutions often to advance in the game.
Admittedly, puzzles are not my favorite part of Nintendo games. I spent too much time finding the solutions to progress through the game to a point where it felt like work and no fun.
Though the puzzles felt plentiful, the combat mechanics provided a chilling yet hysterical approach to gameplay.
To defend himself, Luigi finds a high-suction vacuum cleaner –– with a seemingly never-ending battery life –– during the tutorial and uses it as a weapon to suck up ghosts and collectables.
Developers introduced a new feature to the game called “Gooigi,” which Luigi can use to create a slime-based clone of himself to navigate narrow areas and pass through objects like cell doors and thin passages.
The most fun I had in the game was the thrill of the boss fights. Each ghost had silly animations, and they often scared themselves, adding to the humor of the game.
My favorite boss was the security guard ghost, who reminded me instantly of Paul Blart from “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” The fight was quick and fun, and it fully utilized the new Gooigi mechanic to slip through the security bars and complete the fight.
Like other Nintendo games, there are certain aspects of “Luigi’s Mansion 3” that just seem silly, like the musical score that sounds straight out of a detective movie, and the fact that Luigi had a pet dog that is also a ghost before coming to the haunted hotel.
Despite the silliness, the creepy, mystifying ambiance sets the tone for a haunting yet kid-friendly adventure.
Being the first HD “Luigi” standalone title in years, the graphics are an obvious improvement, utilizing the power of the Nintendo Switch. I will say that the game is easier to play on the TV screen because it is easier to find smaller objects and collectibles.
My sole disappointment with the game is that it lacks replayability. Sure, there are collectibles to go back and find after the game’s final level, but there is really nothing else in terms of solo content.
Overall, “Luigi’s Mansion 3” features a traditional Nintendo feel with a solid gameplay experience and fun new mechanics. Other than the puzzles, the game features fun and intensive moments that surpassed my expectations.
Metacritic Score: 85
IGN Score: 8.3
The Arkansas Traveler Score: A