Fans of Nintendo’s collectible amiibo figures will soon be able to bring their toys to life in Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge, a Nintendo-developed puzzler launching this month for the Wii U and 3DS in Japan.
A side-scrolling puzzle-platformer in the vein of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge features dozens of playable levels and exclusive content unlockable via specific amiibo figures.
In Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge, players scan NFC-equipped amiibo figures in order to summon custom characters who wander the game’s puzzle-like levels. As in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games, characters automatically travel across dangerous terrain filled with enemies and hazards, and players must use nearby switches, platforms, and gadgets in order to guide them to the exit safely.
Certain characters boast unique abilities, granting access to level segments that are otherwise unreachable. Nintendo Life reports that some levels can only be unlocked with specific characters, giving players incentive to assemble a large collection of amiibo figurines.
Originally released as optional content for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo’s amiibo figures are now compatible with a wide variety of games for the Wii U and 3DS. Scanned figures now unlock exclusive costumes in Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario Maker, along with trainable AI-controlled partner characters in the recent Mario Tennis Ultra Smash.
Specific amiibo figures also unlock exclusive gameplay modes and content in compatible games. A recently launched Shovel Knight amiibo unlocks an exclusive co-op mode in Yacht Club Games’ 2D platformer Shovel Knight for the Wii U, granting access to a major gameplay feature that’s otherwise inaccessible.
Mini Mario & Friends amiibo Challenge launches digitally in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U on January 28th. A North American release date is not yet known.