While my family have well and truly been bitten by the deadly amiibo collecting bug, until now this had been the territory of my two boys rather than my daughter. Although we all play Super Smash Bros. she rarely gets the game out herself.
However, the arrival of Mario Party 10 and the related Super Mario amiibos has tipped the balance somewhat. One way I can tell this is that the amiibos have started migrating into her room rather than remaining in their usual habitat, the living room.
Having not tracked closely with Mario Party to date (not quite sure how we missed it, really) the board/video-game crossover mechanics worked well and felt fresh. Coming to this with a bunch of amiibos in hand further blurs the physical-virtual divide.
In particular, placing the amiibo on the Wii U GamePad and then flicking it off to trigger the dice roll works a treat. The kids have come up with all sorts of theories of how best to do this to get a higher roll. I'm pretty sure it's just random but this kind of interaction is again the sort of thing they invent when playing board games.
While there are plenty of other modes in Mario Party 10, it's the amiibo boards that they seem to play the most. Being able to store items in the figures is another nice touch and again feels like you are playing a physical game rather than just something on the screen.
Equally, playing Mario Party 10 has gotten my daughter more into Super Smash Bros. This mitigates some of her concerns over Peach being "a bit stereotyped" by having full-on smash moves that are effective and "are cool".
Another positive has been the support for old amiibos in new games. Because we already owned Bowser for Super Smash Bros. we could bring him straight into Mario Party 10 with no further purchase necessary. Having one loved toy figurine travelling with kids from game to game is a bit part of what I love about the amiibo proposition as a parent — not only in terms of value but the level of enjoyment the kids get from each figurine.
It's not all been smooth sailing, though. At one point she inadvertently overwrote her brother's hard won Super Smash Bros. Mario save with her Mario Party data. Not the best moment in sister-brother relations, although I think he has just about forgiven her now.
I had thought there would be some kind of data backup for this scenario, or the ability to accumulate character progress from one game to the next, but currently this isn't the case. I expect Nintendo will provide an update at some point to enable you to backup your data - otherwise we could see sibling relationships collapse on a global scale.
In the meantime I gave in and purchased a second Mario character in the new Super Mario pose. This not only solves the arguments but also led to the children saving pocket money for the other amiibos in the new line.
Trying out the Toad amiibo unlock in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was much more positive, though. This works a treat and for me is the essence of what makes amiibos a better value proposition than Skylanders or Disney Infinity. Buy one figure and benefit from that in multiple games.
We'd played a bunch of Mario Party 10 with our new Toad amiibo (amongst others) and it took some persuasion to get the kids to go back and try him in Treasure Tracker. Once we did though, they were hooked.
As you likely know already, Toad unlocks a new game mode in Treasure Tracker where you have to find and tap on a pixilated Toad icon on each chapter. This sounds kind of superfluous at first but in the family it worked a treat. All the kids, regardless of their age-ability, could join in keeping an eye out for Toad's increasinly sneaky hiding places.
While extra suits in Mario Kart 8 and weapons in Hyrule Warriors are a nice extra, this new game mode felt like a genuine bonus for purchasing the amiibo figure. My hope is that we see ever more inventive ways of rewarding amiibo ownership as time goes by.
Top of my kid's list is a Virtual Console reward of Super Mario World on the 3DS for owning all the Super Mario amiibos. Or there could be additional levels in Luigi's Mansion 2 games for owning all the poses of Luigi amiibos. Or how about physical Nintendo Club style rewards for completing other amiibo collections?
These are a few of their ideas on how amiibos can carry on being fun and interesting, why not share your ideas in the comments?