Bottom line: The newest game in the Luigi's Mansion series has you playing once again as the scared plumber. But this time, you'll be exploring a haunted hotel, using new fighting elements, and have the help of a gooey doppelgänger. You can even play the main story with two-player co-op. This game also includes multiplayer modes where up to 8 players can play together either locally or online.
Evolved mechanics from previous games
Fun to play with friends
It can be hard to properly aim the vacuum
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Luigi's Mansion 3 finally released for Nintendo Switch on Halloween 2019. I've been a huge fan of these games since the first one came out on GameCube back in 2001. As you can imagine, I've been desperate for another game in the series considering that there have only been three games released in the last 20 years with the sequel having come out about six year ago. Fortunately for me and other Luigi fans out there, all of our waiting was well worth it.
This lighthearted ghost adventure opens with Luigi, Mario, Peach, Polterpup, and three Toads heading to the Last Resort hotel for a luxurious stay. Shortly after falling asleep in their respective rooms, Luigi awakes to screams and discovers that not only has his longtime nemesis King Boo captured his brother and friends, but the entire hotel is infested with ghosts. With the aid of his Poltergust vacuum, his friendly ghost canine, and his gooey doppelgänger, Gooigi, he'll brave the floors of the hotel to acquire specters and free everyone.
You obviously don't expect this game to be a scary one, but what you might not realize is that this game is a comedy. Instead of shocking you with jump scares it surprises you with hilarious moments. It's hard not to like the scaredy cat plumber who plunges into room after room despite being openly terrified out of his wits. I don't know how many times I chuckled at the exaggerated expressions on Luigi's face. The game mechanics are familiar, but evolved from previous titles, and the game just feels like a natural progression for the series. I got this game bright and early on Halloween morning and have played through the entire game having collected all of the Gems and hidden Boos. This is one of the most fun games I've played in years. Here's my review for Luigi's Mansion 3.
One of the most fun games to play
Luigi's Mansion 3 What I like
Great puzzles Creative and clever
|Category||Luigi's Mansion 3|
|Title||Luigi's Mansion 3|
|Publisher||Next Level Games|
|Play Time||15-20 hours|
Luigi's Mansion games are somewhat similar to Zelda games in that you're basically put in different dungeons and must solve puzzles using your equipment in order to progress further in the story. What I love about Luigi's Mansion 3 is that it really offers some challenging situations without being super frustrating. Some of these I can figure out at a glance, but others have me scratching my head for a few minutes.
I often have to employ the Poltergust or Gooigi in ways that I wouldn't initially think of to find a creative solution. This makes it so that figuring out puzzles is both challenging and very rewarding. Just about everything can be interacted with in one way or another so it really makes you want to check everywhere.
Some of the biggest challenges come from collecting gems scattered throughout the hotel. Each floor has its own specific gem shapes for you to discover. Sometimes you can collect all of them while running through a floor the first time, but others require you to come back later after you've acquired something.
Evolved mechanics Poltergust abilities and Gooigi
Anyone who's played a Luigi's Mansion title before will feel at home with the third game's mechanics. As before, you use the Poltergust to vacuum up ghosts and just about everything else in the hotel. However, there are also a few new abilities up player's sleeves. Luigi can now shoot a plunger at heavy items and then pull on the plunger to hurl the object over his head. This usually results in the object exploding and revealing goodies.
He can also slam ghosts on the ground while sucking them up to decrease their health faster. One of the best things about this is that you can slam ghosts into each other thereby reducing several specters' health at once. These new abilities feel right and add enough difference from previous games to really make this game feel like the proper evolution for the series.
Players also get to control Gooigi, a gelatinous version of Luigi. In order to solve puzzles, take down enemies, or collect all the hidden gems you'll need to employ both of these characters in creative ways. It really helps switch up the Luigi's Mansion formula without straying too far from it.
Gorgeous visuals Floor themes and hilarious ghost antics
When the first Luigi's Mansion released on GameCube, I remember admiring the details of Luigi's gloved hand whenever he opened a door. The graphics have gotten even better with the Switch and there's still plenty of attention to Luigi's detail. For one thing, the stitching on Luigi's clothes look gorgeous and captivates me whenever there's a cutscene.
Then there's the hotel themes. I absolutely love stepping out onto a floor for the first time, not sure of what exactly I'll find. Everything just feels playful, like there really are a bunch of mischievous ghosts running around making fun of the fact that they're dead and messing with you. Each floor is designed beautifully, with a playful air about it. It really encourages you to dive into a new level and see what there is to discover.
Perhaps the best thing about exploring the hotel is that there are hundreds of instances when you'll come upon a ghost doing something that makes you laugh. It seriously just makes it fun to explore every inch of a room in case you find an undead spook doing something hilarious. I mean, if I was dead, I'd probably have fun with it too. Just when you think you know what's going on, the specter does something that subverts your expectations and makes you chuckle to yourself. If the ghosts themselves don't make you laugh, then Luigi's exaggerated, horrified expressions definitely will.
Playing with a buddy Gooigi and co-op
I wasn't sure if the local 2-player co-op would actually be any good or if it would be more like what you find with Super Mario Odyssey where controlling player 2 feels like it's just a way to appease someone that wants to play with you. I was happy to discover that while it isn't perfect, the 2-player co-op is actually pretty good.
After starting the game, you have to explore the hotel for a little bit before you find Gooigi and unlock 2-player co-op, but once that's done, you and a buddy can run through the floors together. Gooigi does have his limitations: he cannot walk on water, touch fire, or open doors. However, he's just as useful as Luigi when it comes to using the Poltergust vacuum. Sometimes Luigi gets attacked and the only way to save him is for Gooigi to do something. Additionally, some puzzles can only be completed by this gooey character. It really makes playing as player 2 a fun, inclusionary experience rather than a tedious affair.
While the co-op is great, it isn't perfect. There are situations where Gooigi might go somewhere and has no way of getting back to Luigi. To continue playing, you'll need to switch back to Solo mode for a second, call Gooigi back to you, and then go back to Co-op mode. Fortunately, this only happened to me a handful of times, but it was annoying whenever it occurred.
Multiplayer modes A surprisingly great party game
In addition to the main story, Luigi's Mansion 3 offers several party games. I initially guessed that these would be half-baked games that no one would want to play, however I was wrong. I loved being able to run around the ScareScraper looking for ghosts and Toads with friends. Additionally, the versus party games proved to be super fun. You get divided up into two teams: a team of multicolored Luigis and a team of multicolored Gooigis. Then you compete to see who can get the most points. These games had me yelling and laughing as I competed against my friends. It was definitely more fun than I was expecting.
Luigi's Mansion 3 What I don't like
Controlling the Poltergust Hard to aim correctly
I really, really like this game overall, but the main flaw is something that has been around since the first game; it can be hard to tell where exactly you're aiming your Poltergust vacuum. This proves to be especially frustrating when you're trying to suck up coins before they disappear, when you're trying to capture ghosts, or when you're trying to shoot an object. True, I noticed that the game was pretty forgiving and sometimes allowed me to suck something up without actually being fully aimed at it, but it still proved incredibly hard to reach certain things.
I would have liked the game even better if it was somehow easier to control the vacuum. That being said, I was able to beat the game easily enough with this issue in place. A good rule of thumb is to try and see where the light from the vacuum is pointing, this makes it a little easier to aim the nozzle in the correct direction.
A short adventure Doesn't take long to beat
When I was about halfway through the hotel, I felt that horrible feeling sink in. I hadn't started playing that long ago, which meant that I was going to beat the game soon. Unfortunately, this prediction was right. I finished the main story and collected all of the gems and Boos within 21 hours. That's pretty short compared to other games out there. That being said, every moment, every floor, and every boss was fun to encounter. The game provided ways to elongate the plot without making it feel like it was being spread thin and I thoroughly enjoyed my romp through the hotel.
Luigi's Mansion 3 Bottom Line
Luigi's Mansion 3 is a must-have for any Nintendo Switch owner. It's by far the most playful game I've been able to get my hands on in ages. The story is lighthearted, the characters are hilarious, the puzzles are challenging without being frustrating, and the game seriously just oozes charm. Just like a really good book, I loved every moment of it and I didn't want the plot to end. You definitely need to pick up a copy of the game if you haven't done so already.
Run through a haunted hotel in your search for Luigi's missing friends. You can play on your own in Solo mode or pass a controller to a friend and take on ghosts in local 2-player co-op. There are even several multiplayer party games to play with friends.
Defeat ghosts as you search for your friends
The newest game in the Luigi's Mansion series has you playing once again as the scared plumber. But this time, you'll be exploring a haunted hotel, using new fighting elements, and have the help of a gooey doppelgänger. You can even play the main story with two-player co-op. This game also includes multiplayer modes where up to 8 players can play together either locally or online.
Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.