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Nintendo’s Latest Free-to-Start/Play Titles a Big Hit


I’m always skeptical of Free-to-Start and Free-to-Play games, and I should be. Some games really suck you in – Simpson’s Tapped Out for myself – and make you really want to spend money. And at times, it is easy to justify a few dollars especially if you are very committed. Nintendo has done an excellent job lately with their free-to-play model, and I hope it continues. For the hardcore fans, I can see the value in spending money, but for those looking for a casual experience, it is a perfect reason to keep whipping that 3DS out day after day.

Pokemon Picross

I’m terrible at puzzle games, and the Picross franchise is not different. But for some reason, I’m completely absorbed by Pokemon Picross. It could be because of the “Catch them All” mentality, but I don’t think so. The game limits the amount you can play by giving you an energy bar. Each move in a game requires 1 energy, so over time, your energy depletes. This is what keeps me coming back. With a current maximum of 300 energy, I can play through 2 or 3 puzzles before I eventually run out energy. When I do, I put the 3DS away and keep myself from getting frustrated. I’ll pick it up tomorrow.

This works so well. I have yet to get tired of playing, because I’m doing so in 20 minute spurts. To top it off, Nintendo has released an incredibly addicting title. Kudos to you Nintendo on offering this up. For those that want to pay, they can. Be assured that the money you spend will probably be well worth it. For those that just want a free-to-play experience, this is the PERFECT title for that.

Nintendo Badge Arcade

Nintendo Badge Arcade is incredibly addicting, and I really feel the desire to purchase credits to play. Everyone has at least seen a crane game, if not played one. That is the essence of Bade Arcade: you play a crane game with the goal of picking up badges that can be used to decorate your home screen.

Collecting is addicting, decorating your 3DS home screen is addicting, and the desire to spend money is growing on me day after day. This is a tough one for me to recommend. For completionists, you will want to spend money. Unlike Picross, you will probably spend less than 5 minutes a day playing this title, and perhaps it won’t be 100% worth it. It is free to start, but realize you are going down a dark, DARK road.


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel