LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens for Wii U

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally out on several platforms. We’re working through the Wii U version and it’s our new favorite game.

lego star wars force awakens cover

When my boys were 4 and 2 years old, our family got its first Wii console, and the first game I purchased was LEGO Star Wars, the complete series. In the game, your favorite Star Wars characters explore and fight their way through each major scene of all 6 of the first Star Wars movies. One night I was awake until 3AM playing the game all by myself!

The first thing I said to my kids after we saw The Force Awakens in December was “I can’t wait until the Wii game comes out!”

star wars rey jakku

LEGO Star Wars Returns

Imagine my joy when we returned home from our summer travels to find a copy of the game for Wii U in the mail. I received a complimentary game for the purpose of this feature. My association with Nintendo is going strong after seven years. As a parent, I appreciate that games for the Wii U and DS models are imaginative and easy on the violence. As a player, I take great delight in the humor, inventiveness, and creativity that goes into them.

Blaster Battles

After years of playing the original LEGO Star Wars for Wii, I have to say I felt like a bit of an old timer when playing LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It took me a while to get used to some of the more complex maneuvers. For example, a cool new feature is that in certain scenes, you can crouch down and dodge laser shots in a fire fight, and then pop up and move your nunchuk button to put a target right on your enemy, and fire with the B button. (It took me a while to get the hang of this. That’s a lot of sensory input and output. My kids, of course, figured it out right away and they are rock stars at it.)


Building is more nuanced in this game, too. When you encounter a pile of hopping bricks, in the old game you press Z and your character builds a contraption to complete a task that gets you to the next step, like making a bridge or pulling down a ladder. In LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you can build not just one contraption, but a selection of a few different options, made obvious by the glowing outlines that appear when you approach the pile. The trick is to aim your character at the right spot while pressing Z, otherwise you’ll build the wrong thing.

As you might expect, the advancement in the graphics quality is notable, but it’s not the star of this edition. No, the main thing that draws me as a player is the storytelling, and in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, creator TT games made a point of employing the snarky sense of humor that the LEGO games are now known for. You might see a stormtrooper hanging out in the jacuzzi, or falling asleep at his post. Or a character will be drinking a milkshake (random) when you meet him. Or a bad guy will draw a weapon on you, only to realize that it’s…a banana.

Side note: I love that when you “kill” a bad guy, all he does is fall apart into a pile of digital LEGO bricks. When you “die,” the same thing happens to you but then you pop right back up after a few seconds. This is typical of the LEGO for Wii games – no blood, no guts, just the joy and satisfaction of smashing stuff and getting “coins,” or little digital LEGO studs that count as money.


Harrison Ford’s video game debut

Star Power

The game also features original dialogue from key members of the theatrical cast, providing the most authentic Star Wars experience for players, including Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Max von Sydow (Lor San Tekka), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and other top stars from the film.

If the original LEGO Star Wars gave me so many years of enjoyment, I can only imagine that LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens for Wii U is going to be a family favorite. You can buy it for Wii U at any major retailer (suggested price $49.99) and it’s also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, PC, Mac and on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Super Mario Comes to Yogurtland

Nintendo and Yogurtland are offering Super Mario-themed flavors, decorations, and a sweepstakes for a limited time this summer!

yogurtland super mario kids

It’s time to power up with Nintendo flavors for the summer! Every few weeks, Yogurtland will roll out a new themed flavor. When we visited as guests of Yogurtland, we encountered Mario’s Chocolate Gelato, Goomba’s Iced Coffee, and Yoshi’s Honeydew on the wall. Only the first two were working when we got there. I did have a chance to sample the honeydew right before we left, though, and I wish the machine had been functional when we arrived, because it was very refreshing on a super hot summer day!

yogurtland super mario iced coffee

While the kids heaped their Mario-themed bowls with chocolate, I opted for Gooma’s Iced Coffee topped with Heath bar crumble, and a sour cherry candy (but one of the boys took that and ate it before I could).

The biodegradable spoons are also Mario-themed, including Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Bowser, and Princess Peach, as is the colorful display on the store front.

yogurtland super mario storefront

And right there on the tables, you can see how to enter the Game On sweepstakes! This contest features a grand prize of a Wii U System and one year of free Yogurtland yogurt with a variety of other instant prizes to be awarded daily.

yogurtland super mario sweepstakes

These kids are obsessed with Super Mario Bros. 2 at the moment (in between bouts of Minecraft and YouTube surfing), so getting them out to have a sweet treat at Yogurtland that tied right into their gaming was a perfect summer outing.

yogurtland super mario kids table

I look forward to trying Princess Peach Tart – the Yogurtland site has a handy “flavor finder” so you can see which local locations are serving up the flavor you’re looking for. Or you can see which flavors are being served currently at your local store – here’s the list of available flavors at the Westlake location. Which one is your favorite?

Yogurtland Westlake Village
111 S Westlake Blvd
Westlake Village, CA
91362 US

Kirby Planet Robobot: Game Review (Guest Vlogger)

kirby planet robobot boxOur family got a chance to play and review the new game, Kirby Planet Robobot for Nintendo 3DS, after we attended Kirby’s launch party in Los Angeles in June. The lovable pink hero returns in this sci-fi adventure: a villain has taken over Planet Popstar and threatens to mechanize the world. In this game, Kirby and familiar friends return, so players who loved them in past games will revisit their favorites. But there are new features, like Robobot Armor, added copy abilities, and the chance to tap a compatible amiibo figure for Kirby to inhale its capabilities and use them in Story Mode. Plus, you can play Team Kirby Clash, an RPG-style mini-game, with friends if you have additional systems and copies of the game.

Special to Agoura Hills Mom for this post is my son, Kyle, a boy I spawned and grew so that I could feature game reviews on my websites. (Not really, but it sort of sounds like Kirby inhaling an ability, doesn’t it? A little?) Kyle made this video in gamer-speak so that you would understand and know the coolest features of this new game before you start playing.

Kirby Planet Robobot kept both kids entertained while we were on a recent trip across the country. Our connecting flight got delayed 3.5 hours (I know) but this gave the kids the opportunity to play through Kirby Clash and declare it “super fun, Mom.”

boys playing Nintendo 3DS at airport

We recommend!

(Please take a second to “like” this video and subscribe if that’s your thing. Kyle worked long and hard on this one! Okay so did I but I’m much more proud of his work.)

Thank you to Nintendo and KidzVuz for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own (and Kyle and Brady’s).