Mario is the overrated brother. I mean, I don’t dislike him, but I’m honestly tired of him outshining Luigi, who is the digital embodiment of everything precious and pure in this world. I submit to you exhibit A: Luigi’s Mansion 3 as proof.
I was a relative latecomer to the Luigi’s Mansion series. I never played the first one, but on a whim one day some years ago, I picked up Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS. I was pretty into it from the opening sequence, and now it’s probably one of my favorite 3DS games of all time.
Still, when Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch was released, I didn’t buy it immediately. I kept telling myself, “yeah, I’ll buy that the next time I need a new game to play.” But I didn’t. So my wife removed me from the equation and picked it up for my birthday back in August.
I really should’ve gotten it sooner.
Everything Great About ‘Dark Moon,’ But Better
If you’ve never played a Luigi’s Mansion game before, here’s a quick primer: You play as Luigi, who is typically pretty scared of everything. So it only makes sense that he somehow always ends up in haunted places (they’re not always mansions!) with the task of finding and capturing ghosts using the Poltergust 3000 ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner.
Together with Professor Elvin Gadd—E. Gadd, for short—Luigi ends up on a quest to save Mario and other classic characters, who always end up getting captured by ghosts. In every game. So my man Luigi has to put his fear behind him and trudge forward to save his older brother and friends.
By and large, the Luigi’s Mansion series are action adventure puzzle games. You traverse whatever building you’re in (be it a mansion like the first and second games or a hotel like the third), solving puzzles and capturing ghosts. They’re not overly complicated, though many of the solutions are pretty well hidden.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 builds on the puzzles of the last two games by introducing a new element: Gooigi (rhymes with Luigi). Gooigi is a gooey, uh, thing (?) that lives in the Poltergust 3000 and can help Luigi out when he needs an extra hand. While you can’t technically control both Luigi and Gooigi at the same time, you have to use both to solve specific puzzles. For example, some puzzles or boss battles require both Luigi and Gooigi to suck up ghosts with both Poltergusts (yes, Googi has his own, gooey Poltergust).
Note: It’s worth noting that Gooigi technically made his first appearance in the remake of the original Luigi’s Mansion for the 3DS, but that was released after LM3 was announced so I give it credit for Gooigi.
Pair that with the added features of the Poltergust 3000, like a suction cup shooter, and LM3 is loaded with all sorts of new, fun stuff. And if you’ve never played any of the Mansion games before, it’s all very intuitive and easy to get started with. It’s a “Mario game,” after all.
Lighthearted Fun for the Whole Family
While Luigi’s Mansion 3 might be a game about ghosts in a haunted hotel, it’s far from scary. That makes it fun for the whole family, especially when you pair it with multiplayer mode. Two players can join in on the main game—one as Luigi, the other as Gooigi—but there are also other games modes for multiple players.
First, there’s the ScareScraper, where up to eight players (two local) work together to beat levels and work their way up the tower fighting ghosts, collecting cash, and other various tasks. The higher you get, the harder it becomes.
There’s also ScreamPark, which allows up to eight players (all local) to play minigames. Because it’s not a Mario Game without minigames, right?
Finally, I want to touch on replayability because this game has it. There are tons of secrets and side objectives to tackle. Each floor has six hidden gems that you can find—either on your first playthrough or after you defeat King Boo. There are also hidden Boos in each level, but you can only find them after completing that floor and then revisiting it.
The whole game took me about 12 hours to complete without taking the time to find each gem. On average, I discovered half the gems on each floor, so now I’m going through, floor by floor, to collect the gems and boos. The best thing about this is that random ghosts still show up as you progress through, so you don’t get a free ride through each level when revisiting. It continues to add a bit of surprise in completed levels.
Conclusion: Just Play It Already
Ultimately, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is such a great title and loads of fun to play, either solo or with friends/family. It helps if you’ve played the previous games, mostly for backstory, but it’s easy to pick up and play regardless of your Luigi’s Mansion history.
Plus, you’ll get unlimited satisfaction every time you clear a room, and Luigi exclaims, “I did it!” with pride. He’s precious.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Catch ghosts, save Mario, Princess, and Toadstools, and a lot more in this lighthearted and family friendly spooky game!