This week in video games, March 12, 2018: Scribblenauts brings a party game to consoles

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      This week, a Nintendo Switch giveaway, Mario Kart will be coming to smartphones, and Heads Up Daily is Canada’s esports TV program. But first, Scribblenauts returns to consoles with a Showdown.

      Search for starites in new Scribblenauts Showdown

      One of the cleverest ideas was Scribblenauts, which was as much a word-puzzle game as it was a video game. The idea is that you collect “starites”, which are strategically placed in an environment, in the most creative way possible by combing nouns and verbs. Inputting fly and kite, for example, might knock a starite from the top of a tree.

      First published in 2009 for the Nintendo DS, the series has been on hiatus since 2013, but this week Scribblenauts Showdown brings the franchise to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.

      This new edition includes competitive multiplayer to the experience. Showdown is a party game for up to four players, while Versus pits two players head-to-head.

      There’s also a Sandbox mode for up to two players.

      Scribblenauts Showdown was developed by Shiver and published by Warner Bros. Interactive.

      Nintendo celebrates blockbuster year with Switch giveaway

      Nintendo’s Switch console was released a year ago and in that short time has become the fastest-selling video-game console in Canadian history, according to the company.

      By way of celebration, Nintendo Canada is monitoring your Twitter posts that are “inspired by Nintendo Switch” and will be giving away a Nintendo Switch system as well as one of every Amiibo figures currently available. There are about 140 of the toys that interface with Nintendo’s video games.

      You have until March 16 to get your entry in. The winner will be chosen by a random draw; full contest details are here.


      Mario Kart racing coming to smartphones

      Mario Kart, the family-friendly racing series from Nintendo, is coming to smartphones in the form of Mario Kart Tour. The new game was announced via Twitter and is releasing before the end of March 2019. Yes, that’s a year away yet.

      Also unknown is what operating systems the game is being developed for. Nintendo has three smartphone games available at the moment: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (Android, iOS), Fire Emblem Heroes (Android, iOS), and Super Mario Run (Android, iOS).

      Heads Up Daily brings esports to prime time television

      Watching gamers play video games is becoming more in vogue, and a new daily show on Super Channel looks to capitalize on that popularity.

      Heads Up Daily, or HUD, is hosted by Marissa Roberto and Brody Moore. The show previews and recaps esports competitions as well as presenting feature interviews with competitors and others involved in the video-game industry.

      HUD also airs on the GINX Esports channel.

      Games released or releasing soon

      • Darkest Dungeon, developed in Vancouver by Red Hook Studios, has debuted on Xbox One. The role-playing dungeon crawler is one of the most interesting and compelling games made in recent years.
      • The competitive first-person shooter Payday 2 has been deployed on the Nintendo Switch.
      • Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition, available for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One, collects all of the downloadable content and additions released for the popular role-playing game.