Nintendo has always been a big supporter of the puzzle genre, not only by releasing the latest and greatest versions of classic puzzlers like Tetris, but also by attaching their classic franchises to a variety of other puzzle games. Dr. Mario, Pokémon Puzzle League, and Yoshi’s Cookie are all great examples of quality puzzle games that gained an extra boost in popularity with the addition of recognizable characters. Considering this, what Nintendo franchises deserve a puzzle game of their own> Here’s a brief list of ideas Nintendo needs to start production on right away.
Samus has appeared in pinball form, but the famed bounty hunter deserves her own puzzle game to show she can do more than blast aliens and bounce around for high scores. The name should be rather self explanatory for this game – a Metroid themed Tetris. What will make Metroid-Tris stand out will be the developer; Team Ninja generally does two things, fast action and hot babes, so this puzzler will show their more cerebral side. The gameplay will be classic Tetris, only now the falling blocks will be Samus contorted into the various block shapes the gaming world knows and loves. However, in a loving homage to both Metroid and Team Ninja’s history, as the game progresses, Samus will lose more and more of her armor. She will start in her full power suit, strip down to the sleek and sexy Zero Suit, and finally wind up in the classic bikini from the original game. Naturally this would have to be a 3DS game; Tetris always works well when on the go and those 3D graphics would be great for Team Ninja’s brilliant jiggle physics!
The Legend of Zelda: Water Temple Edition
The Zelda franchise has always incorporated puzzles, but they have always been broken up by all that sword fighting and exploration. What the world needs is a Zelda solely built around the series’ brilliant puzzles, and seeing how the Water Temples always deliver some of the hardest and most creative puzzles, it only makes sense to devote an entire game to their moist awesomeness. Think about it, every temple would be a Water Temple, every boss would be a mini Water Temple, Hyrule itself will be a giant Water Temple, and Ganondorf would transform into yet another Water Temple for the final fight. And just to add to the old school challenge, the Iron Boots and Zora Tunic will be kept in a separate inventory screens, so every time they need to be equipped the player will have to pause the game.
The Lost Franchises
Remember The Lost Vikings? It was a classic puzzle game featuring three vikings who had to use their unique abilities to work together and get through traps and enemy-filled levels. The Lost Franchises would play very similarly, only with classic Nintendo characters waiting to make their comeback. The great thing about this are all the possible characters; one of the balloon fighters from Balloon Fight could fly, Ness from Earthbound could use his psychic powers, Pious Augustus from Eternal Darkness could summon Lovecraftian horrors, and the Ice Climbers could… climb ice. Whichever characters wind up in the game, the ultimate objective for them will be to make their way through the puzzling floors of Nintendo’s HQ, in an effort to reach Satoru Iwata’s office and beg for a new game in their respective franchises.
Professor Donkey Kong and the Quizzical Banana
The Professor Layton series has proven to the world there is a market for adventure games featuring a variety of puzzles, classic adventure elements, and a duo of problem-solving gentlemen. Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong should ride the wave of popularity and star in their own puzzle solving adventure. One reason why Professor Layton is so good is because the gameplay and writing match up with the gentlemanly genius of the titular character, so it only makes sense the same would ring true for Professor Donkey Kong. Replace the Victorian setting with the jungle, logic with bananas, cunning with barrels, and the witty dialogue with various grunts and yelps. Sure, it wouldn’t be quite as challenging, but it wouldn’t be Donkey Kong any other way. Oh, and of course DK would wear a top hat.
If you happen to have any awesome ideas of how to turn your favorite Nintendo franchises into great puzzle games, be sure to share them in the comments section.