Badges?!! I’ll Sell you Badges: Nintendo Badge Arcade

Written  by:  J.H.  Longman

Well it’s been out in Japan for quite some time and since the 12th of November, Nintendo Badge Arcade has been free to download in the eshop, but other than the initial free download and a couple of free plays here and there, that’s the only part of it that is free. It’s time to talk about one of the latest games to come to the 3DS.


One huge plus about that gamer that is worth mentioning from the get go is the biggest quality going for this game is its honesty. Nintendo Badge Arcade is not a free-to-play game, but a free-to-start game and it tells you that from the very beginning. Telling you that you do have to pay to play and admittedly that is a bit of a put-off, constantly having to pay out and pay out, just so you can get a couple of extra turns to pick up some badges that you don’t actually need, or even want half the time but you grab them just for the sake of it.


From the beginning we meet a very excitable pink bunny whose facial expressions constantly change, depending on where the conversation goes, such as happy or frightened when talking about Bowser being sighted in the arcade. And this bunny is quick to set the record straight and tell us all about the badges and how to play, giving us five free turns to get started on gathering our badges, but honestly there is just nothing to this game. Take away the badges and the possible themes you can later unlock and all you are left with are two single grabber machines. One you have to pay to use and the other you can only use once a day, as part of a free practice session and should you do well enough you can earn yourself a single free turn.


As for actually getting the badges it’s more a case of luck, whether or not they are placed in a position you can grab them or just knock them down the “rabbit hole” and that is pretty much it. The game calls itself an arcade, but it’s not really, it’s just a grabber machine, there’s no slot machines, no mini-games you can pay to play, like the mini-game from Super Smash Bros Wii, that would have been a great addition and help bring people in. As nice as some of the badges do look, especially on the home screen, for that one dollar, euro, or pound you spend to play, you could easily buy a theme for twice that and having a more stunning visual complete with sound effects, such as the A Link Between Worlds theme. As far as it goes, honestly it’s not a game, it requires no real skill, no button mashing and no real effort to pay, but plenty of effort to play, importing funds here and there and I’m sorry Mr Bunny Rabbit but cute or not, for me personally, the game has no true appeal. Sure I’ll most likely keep it downloaded on my handheld and take up its offer of free plays, but that’s all.

And with that, it’s time for a quick list of Pros & Cons:


-It is upfront and honest from the get go.

-For the “I don’t want to pay” gamer, free turns are available, be it practice mode and winning a single turn, or are lucky enough to just get the randomly assigned free turns.

-When the bunny isn’t trying to get you to pay out, or genuinely being annoying, asking tedious questions, he can be a little cute, but just a little.

-The badges do look good and make an addition to the home screen, if you get the ones you want.



-The game is a complete wash, constantly having to pay to play, it’s not a real game, its a glorified app and would be better off released as one of Nintendo’s mobile games. Put the freemium game where it belongs, with all the other freemium games.

-There is no real gameplay and challenges.

-There is a lack of variety regarding games.

-The bunny quickly loses his charm.

The badges and the themes you can get, in all honesty they really aren’t worth it.

It is fun, and can appeal to a lot of people, such as collectors with a bit of change in their pockets but it isn’t a game for everyone, we all have our own personal preferences, plus just because you have to pay to play it, you only have to pay if you choose too, you can easily live off it as a free player, grabbing badges whenever possible, just be grateful for the ones you do get, as opposed to saying “Yeah but it’s not Bowser.” Without further ado, Nintendo Badge Arcade flies in at a low, but pleasant enough and enjoyable 5.4/10.0 pink bunny ears. The game is free to download and you really can just take it or leave it, it really is up to you.

As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of my own and it is encouraged for you to make your own.