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15 Best Nintendo Games of 2015




13. Affordable Space Adventures

Unique systems deserve unique games, and that’s exactly what Affordable Space Adventures for the Wii U delivers. A highly enjoyable stealth puzzler set against an interplanetary vacation gone horribly wrong, the game really excels at utilizing the gamepad to provide total immersion into the working operation of a damaged spaceship slowly recovering its many systems and trying to hang on long enough for rescue by a dubious travel agency. In order to successfully navigate through the eerily atmospheric landscape and the many treacheries along the way, the player must manipulate various aspects of the hobbled craft, from engine thrust to anti-gravity to landing gear, altering the strength of their outputs so as to avoid detection by various sentinels sensitive to emissions such as temperature or electricity. Using the gas engine around a robot that hates noise will result in a fiery, machine-gun death and a checkpoint restart, but successfully gliding your way past these remnants of an alien civilization produces sublime satisfaction.

The touchscreen not only works perfectly for this setup, with every system immediately accessible at your fingertips, but also makes a traditional controller option hard to imagine, especially with the charming DOS-style reboots, buzzing alerts, and other visual flares that create the illusion of an onboard computer. Everything in the game feels organic, from clever tutorials to a subtly told tongue-in-cheek story that culminates in the one of the most devilishly entertaining and inspired uses for Mii-verse yet. Combined with crisp visuals conveying a living, breathing planet, and a variety of inventive stages, the journey through the planet Spectaculon is a memorable one. When it comes to traveling the cosmos, don’t go cheap; Affordable Space Adventures is a game bursting with innovative ideas that could only be realized on the Wii U, making for one of the best and most distinctive experiences this year. (Patrick Murphy)

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The NXpress is a weekly podcast hosted at in which we discuss all things Nintendo. We stay clear from in-depth game strategies and keep things light. There’s plenty of nostalgia and feedback that will resonate with vintage game collectors; meanwhile modern games are sprinkled in and each week our show revolves around a central theme.