As you may know, we aim to provide interesting feature content on a daily basis here at Nintendo Life, whether through interviews, Soapboxes, Talking Points or more general articles like this that have a catch-all 'Feature' prefix. It's been challenging at Nintendo Life HQ, though, because the weather's hot enough to fry an egg on a car roof. Our brains are frazzled, and in the case of this writer his poor, pasty skin is in a continual battle with the burning, flaming ball in the sky.

Of course, Summer is a lovely time of year, and we shouldn't only focus on the woes of attempting to work in the heat. It's the time of water fights, trips to the beach, barbecues and outdoor sports. Activities like that only fill so many hours of the day, though, and there are still opportunities to kick back and play some games.

In celebration of the Summer — for those of you in the southern hemisphere it's winter, of course — we thought we'd kick off a little series of features highlighting some of the best games for this particular season. The criteria is simple: we're looking for excellent games that are either thematically appropriate or, alternatively, are perfect for short sessions of gaming on downtime from healthy outdoor pursuits. In this first issue we're listing four retail games and something a bit retro for each system, and in future we plan to produce a list of some of your suggestions and, possibly, an eShop-only list.

So, below are a handful of games we think perfectly suit some gaming time on a hot, glorious summer's day.

Wii U

Not only is Mario's latest 3D platforming adventure an outstanding game, but it's ideally suited to play sessions both short and long. With a typical level only lasting a few minutes, you can settle down to play through multiple worlds or simply dash through a few levels. It also has delicious, colourful visuals and fun multiplayer to keep a room full of people entertained.

This is the hottest game on Wii U at present, and is likely to play a prominent role in summer gaming for many. It ticks almost every box handsomely — though that Battle Mode will continue to divide gamers — and is an outstanding effort from Nintendo. Fun in local multiplayer, naturally, this also has a sizeable online community to ensure that you'll always find a race.

A title that truly embodies summer, as you collect fruit and explore some gorgeous environments, with flowers, rivers and more besides scattered around. With DLC content and stylus controls now thrown in, the summer months provide the perfect opportunity to catch up with what remains to be a terrific retail game on Wii U. You can play out multiple days in a sitting or take it literally and dip in for one day at a time over the coming weeks.

This Platinum Games exclusive struggled at retail, which is a desperately unfortunate scenario. Perhaps drowned by a rather inaccurate reputation of being overly difficult and inaccessible — it has a very easy mode, for reference — it failed to catch on. If real-time action/strategy, with the emphasis on action, sounds fun to you, then this is a must have. Stylish visuals full of vibrant colour, heaps of content and wacky humour, this is a gem; mission typically take between 30-60 minutes, so one a day should keep the blues away.

Every season of the year needs an adventure, and this SNES classic fits the bill. It's now a little over a year since it arrived on the Virtual Console, and for those yet to dive in now is arguably the perfect time.


As per the final entry in the Wii U category, this fits the bill as an adventure to tackle over the next month or so. This entry saw Eiji Aonuma and his team deliver some fresh ideas in structure, allowing you to determine your own path — to a degree — through the title. It's, in our view, up there with the very best Zelda titles, and a must for all 3DS gamers.

The slightly bizarre and wacky Mii-sim has found some sales success since its arrival in the West, with its madcap events on a sunny island seeming somewhat appropriate for the season. This is absolutely ideal for short play sessions, too; we suspect some are still gathering bells in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, meanwhile, an altogether different experience equally suited to short, daily bursts of play.

Mario played some tennis on 3DS first, but of his sporting appearances on the portable this is the standout. With ongoing online tournaments, excellent Community options and a variety of courses and challenges for single or local multiplayer, this offers a lot. It helps that it's a terrifically balanced, fun representation of whimsical Mushroom Kingdom golf, and a full round can easily be cleared in 30 minutes.

If you're looking for some intense action from your game time, then Masahiro Sakurai's brilliant title should scratch that itch. The controls will forever be divisive, but we're in the camp that supports them; they need some practice before they click. Whether jumping in new or revisiting this one, a sliding difficulty scale accommodates anyone, while short and entertaining levels are perfect for a quick burst of intense gaming. Still one of the top titles on the 3DS.

For our slice of retro goodness on 3DS, we're opting for the fantastic 3D Sega released from M2. They all have their charms, though for this list we let nostalgia take over with the Mega Drive / Genesis game that helped define the 16-bit era on the Sega side of the fence. You can go from start to finish in about an hour, which is well worth doing.

So there you go, ten games we think suit the summer nicely. Let us know what Wii U and 3DS titles you think best suit the season in the comments below, and we'll pick some suggestions for a follow-up feature. You can also choose from these options in the poll, too, so let us know what you think.

Which Wii U game from this selection is best for summer gaming? (497 votes)

Super Mario 3D World


Mario Kart 8


Pikmin 3


The Wonderful 101




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Which 3DS game from this selection is best for summer gaming? (483 votes)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds


Tomodachi Life


Mario Golf: World Tour


Kid Icarus: Uprising


3D Sonic The Hedgehog


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