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.

Celebrity Sighting: Nintendo’s Kirby at Planet Robobot Party

Nintendo’s new 3DS game, Kirby: Planet Robobot, was celebrated at this cool party in LA!


My son, Kyle, and I got to take a summer afternoon to attend a party at a Los Angeles studio celebrating the release of Kirby: Planet Robobot, the new game for Nintendo 3DS. Of all the parties that Kyle attended with me over the years, this one might have been the most perfect for him. The first thing we saw was the giant blowup Kirby atop his star! He hovered over a half a dozen clusters of the perfect gaming setup. Bean bag chairs in Kirby colors of pink and yellow were arranged around gaming stations with 3DS systems loaded with Planet Robobot, just waiting for kids to come and play.



Kyle has been a Kirby fan for years. Here he is, ahead of his time, showing YouTube fans how to beat a level, 5 years ago:

Naturally, the moment we walked into the party, Kyle dropped into a bean bag and headed down the rabbit hole after Kirby in this latest adventure. I’ll be posting his review (and I’ll play the game too) next week, so check back!


The party was set up for kids and adults to enjoy. There were snacks as well as a table of pink and yellow candy.


There was a T-shirt making station where we could pick our favorite Kirby ability and have it printed right before our eyes. My favorite was Poison, not because I wanted to spray any noxious mists, but because I like purple.


Stars in the Room

Of course the gaming stations were the big attraction, but they were eclipsed for a short time by an appearance from Kirby himself!


Human celebrities were present too – there were a bunch of young actors and YouTubers, but the only one I met was the lovely Peyton List (Disney Channel’s Jessie and Bunk’d), who introduced the event.


Her brother Spencer read out some trivia questions about the game, and the kids who answered those correctly got tickets for door prizes. Kyle answered one (of course) and he won an awesome prize! A new Nintendo 3DS system and a copy of the game Planet Robobot! So check in (or tune in, he might be inspired to do his review on YouTube) next week for the game review!

From the adult side, I enjoyed the pink M&M’s and getting to reconnect with some of my fellow blogger friends, and also meeting new people. It was a colorful and fun afternoon!


This post is sponsored by Nintendo. All opinions are my own. And Kyle’s.

Disney Art Academy

art academy

Disney Art Academy is more than just a game. It’s like a little drawing school in your Nintendo 3DS!

My sons tested it for me*, and I am excited to get my hands on it. I love drawing and coloring and my niece is a big Disney fan so I’ll be making pictures for her with it!


The 11-year-old likes the guided lessons. The game characters, including Minnie Mouse herself, guide you through the steps of drawing characters. Then when you are finished, the game takes your drawing and puts it into a scene! You can share your artwork through Miiverse or social media, and even print it out.

The boy says: “It’s a pretty fun game. For artists who want to draw and like Disney. At the end it was really funny because they showed a variation of the picture.”



You can set your own pace and choose from 80 different Disney and Pixar characters – yes, including Elsa from Frozen. 

But we’re sticking with Ms. Minnie for now.

Disney Art Academy for Nintendo 3DS $29.99

*Product was Provided by Nintendo