Game review: ‘Luigi’s Mansion 3’: Creative, cartoonish haunted house is a blast for players young and old

Game review: ‘Luigi’s Mansion 3’: Creative, cartoonish haunted house is a blast for players young and old


Luigi’s Mansion 3 (NIntendo)

Parents need to know that “Luigi’s Mansion 3” is a comical, lighthearted haunted house game exclusively for the Nintendo Switch that sees Mario’s brother exploring a ghost infested hotel. He’s pretty scared, flinching at the slightest sound, teeth chattering whenever he sees something spooky. But he faces his fears in order to take on the hotel’s unnerving matriarch, who has captured and frozen his friends in paintings. Puzzle-like locations and ghosts force him (and the player) to put on his thinking cap and figure out how to defeat them. Violence is cartoonish and mild, involving only a vacuum cleaner that Luigi uses to grab onto and suck up ghosts, whacking them on objects and other ghosts to weaken them. But parents should note that this game can prove a bit tricky thanks to some tough puzzles that could leave players stumped. An on-call hint system is helpful, but doesn’t provide guidance in every situation.


“Luigi’s Mansion 3” begins with Mario’s easily spooked sibling receiving a special invitation to visit a luxurious hotel with his friends. But things go awry once he arrives. His pals are captured by the hotel’s villainous proprietor, who freezes them in paintings. Worse, it turns out the hotel is brimming with ghosts eager to scare Luigi senseless. It’s up to Nintendo’s green-clad hero to search the place floor-by-floor, sucking up spirits with his trusty vacuum cleaner while trying to locate and rescue his chums.

Play is broken into a couple of elements: exploration and ghost battles. Players need to use Luigi’s growing arsenal of paranormal gadgetry — including a dark light that reveals secrets, a suction cup that can latch onto physical objects, and a Luigi clone made of green goo (controlled by either you or, in cooperative play, a friend) who can do anything Luigi can do — to examine every nook and cranny of the hotel to ferret out secrets and discover collectibles. Once in a while, Luigi’s searching will reveal one or more ghosts, which is when combat starts. Outside the story mode, cooperative and competitive multiplayer games allow groups of up to eight players locally or online to work together to solve puzzles and face off in mini-games that challenge teams to hunt ghosts and collect coins.


The first thing many players will notice about “Luigi’s Mansion 3” is its beautifully drawn world rich with details. Each room is loaded with stuff to investigate and appreciate, from realistically flowing curtains and bedsheets to suspicious paintings and crevices. The whole game is absolutely brimming with personality, from themed rooms — including a movie set, a restaurant, and luxury suites — to memorable temperamental ghost bosses who become irate in funny and delightful ways when Luigi disturbs them.

These environments and characters have been cleverly built around the game’s exploration, puzzle, and combat systems. Players must constantly think about Luigi’s range of abilities and how they can be used in order to find secrets and overcome obstacles. It’s all about curiosity and experimentation — and the delight you feel when you discover something new. “Luigi’s Mansion 3” is creative game design at its best, and will be most rewarding to players who enjoy taking the time to investigate everything that the game will let them do.


Recommended for ages 8 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Positive messages: 3 out of 5

Positive role models: 3 out of 5

Ease of play: 3 out of 5

Violence and scariness: 1 out of 5

Language: 0 out of 5

Consumerism: 1 out of 5


Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Price: $59.99

Developer: Nintendo

Release date: October 31, 2019

Genre: Action/Adventure

ESRB rating: E for comic mischief, mild cartoon violence

Find it on Amazon


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Parents need to know that Pokemon Sword/Shield are adventure role-playing games exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. This game brings a pair of young Pokemon trainers across a new region as they attempt to become the champion of the land, defeating rivals and amateur collectors to prove they’re the best in the land. Combat is the focus of the game, and Pokemon launch a variety of attacks at each other in combat ranging from punches and breathing fire to blasts of energy and jets of water. But enemies, when defeated, either fade away or disappear into a shimmering pool of light, and no blood or gore is shown. Some female characters wear tight or revealing clothing, but otherwise, no inappropriate content is included in the game. Parents should know that there’s a larger focus on teamwork and cooperation in this game than previous titles in the series, and players can partner together with other gamers to defeat Pokemon or trade creatures between each other.

Parents need to know that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a science fiction action/adventure game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. The game’s set within the expansive Star Wars universe, shortly after the events of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. Players take on the role of a young fugitive Jedi on a quest to try to rebuild and restore the Jedi Order. Action is constant, with frequent killing shown onscreen and some intense moments of violence in cutscenes, though no blood or graphic gore is shown. The game emphasizes timing in combat and presents a relatively high degree of challenge, especially at higher difficulty levels. The word “bastard” is heard in some dialogue.

Parents need to know that “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” is an action/adventure game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s a remake of the 1993 Game Boy game of the same name. The game has a cute cartoon presentation and some mild fantasy combat that sees Link using a sword, arrows, and bombs against cartoonish fantasy creatures such as giant spiders and skeletons. There’s no blood, gore, or graphic content. Link’s a traditional hero, helping those in need, using his wits to solve puzzles, and defending himself from aggressive monsters. Figuring out what to do next can be a bit tricky in some areas, but kids may take away the lesson that perseverance pays off, and learn to approach problems as fun puzzles to be solved. The dungeon maker missions could inspire creativity and an interest in game design. Players can also use amiibo that are sold separately to unlock additional content.

Parents need to know that “BurgerTime Party!" is an arcade game exclusively available for the Nintendo Switch. The game's a reboot/remake of the classic arcade game BurgerTime, with a new presentation, new gameplay elements and new co-op and competitive multiplayer features. The point of the game is having players rush to build giant hamburgers while avoiding getting caught by discarded toppings chasing them down. There's very little violence, apart from dropping burger parts on top of enemies or taking the ground out from beneath them. Multiplayer options allow players to work together in teams to build burgers and even to take on the roles of the enemies, coordinating with other to stop the chefs in their tracks. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.

Parents need to know that “FIFA 20” is the latest installment in the long running soccer franchise for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The game builds on the content of the previous year’s game, while also including a new street soccer mode for players that don’t always want to play in arenas. There’s no inappropriate content within the game, although the unmoderated gameplay during online matches could expose players to inappropriate content. Players will find product and company logos are on characters, as well as ads posted on billboards along the sidelines of the pitch. The game also comes in three separate modes, with each providing unique content, and while players can play to earn credits for the Ultimate Team, they can also pay real money for new gear, athletes, and items.

Parents need to know that “NHL 20” is a hockey simulation game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As you might expect from a hockey simulation, gameplay can be mildly violent at times, such as body-checking someone or engaging in a fistfight on the ice (just like the real sport). No blood or gore is shown during these brawls. Players will also see a lot of ads for products like Gatorade, Tim Hortons, and others posted on arenas, on players, and even on the ice. Players will also have the option to pay real money to purchase players, gear, and other items for the Hockey Ultimate Team mode.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News