The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes knows it’s dangerous to go alone, so the game invites your friends and family to go along with you.
The new Nintendo 3DS release takes place in the kingdom of Hytopia, where a witch has replaced the princess’s stylish clothes with a drab unitard that she can’t remove. (The horror!) It’s up to the heroes of the land to save the princess…’s awesome fashion style.
This lighthearted take on Zelda is a one-of-a-kind co-op title that takes teamwork between friends and family to save the day. Here are six things you should know before you pick up the game.
This isn’t your typical The Legend of Zelda game. The text is full of whimsy and slang (I never thought I’d see “adorbs” in a Zelda game), and most of your gameplay takes place online with two other players. Also unique to Tri Force Heroes, Link’s outfits can grant special abilities, so you might find yourself wearing a certain Legendary dress or a Goron-themed outfit.
Teamwork can make or break your dungeon crawl. When you enter a dungeon with two other heroes, you have to work together to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Unless you and your kids are playing together in the same room, chat between teammates is limited to just the icons you select with your stylus, which makes for unique and safe online play. (And if you are in the same room, be prepared to hear a lot of, “Mom! Totem! MOM! Come on!”)
Your friends don’t need to buy the game to play with you. Thanks to the new Download Play feature on the 3DS, local players can join you without having to pick up the game if you’re the team leader.
Don’t worry about playing too far ahead—your friends can jump in any time. The story isn’t completely linear, so your friends can join you in a beginner dungeon even if you’ve already completed it. You’ll get more collectibles to buy more costumes, which give Link special abilities, so it’s a win-win.
Nintendo provides safeguards against team members who might be trolls. The absence of a chat system beyond the adorable icons means you and your kids won’t be reading anything untoward, but there are still ways that other players can troll you (like throwing you into a pit). You can add these “false heroes” to a blacklist so they won’t be in your team again.
You can play solo. Even with the blacklist in place, if the idea of you or your kids playing with strangers online makes your heart race, there’s an option for solo play so you can complete the game without connecting to the Internet. It’s not as enjoyable of an experience, as Z on GeekDad will tell you, but it’s nice to have a choice.
If you’re looking for a new, well-designed co-op game to play with the kids, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a fantastic option—especially for Zelda fans. The game is now available for a retail price of $39.99.
GeekMom received a promotional copy for review purposes.