Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move

The object of "Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis

The object of "Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move" is to guide Nintendo characters on the straight and narrow. (Credit: Handout)

Minis on the Move is a deceptively undemanding game that makes use of Nintendo's environment-shifting "minis" brand.

For those who missed previous installments, the minis are diminutive, windup figurines that represent well-known Nintendo characters. They walk forward, they don't stop and it's up to the player to control and tinker with the paths in front of them. That about covers the basics.

Minis on the Move consists of a primary puzzle game and a host of minigames that players can unlock as they advance through the game. The main concept is simple: Players guide toy versions of Mario, Princess Peach, Toad, Donkey Kong and others around blocky terrains.

At first, this entails nothing more than putting the right directional paths in front of the always-moving characters. Yet the game gets complex quickly, and does so without overwhelming the gamer. Every couple of puzzles, a new element is added -- be it cubes that rotate, bombs that can blow up cubes, cubes that come equipped with springs that will send the characters flying over spikes, cubes with hammers or cubes that can generate all-purpose, multiuse cubes. That's just a fraction of how much the environment can be manipulated. After all, there are 240 stages in the primary game. That's a lot of cubes to play with.

The toys walk slowly, blocks don't fall too fast, and most of the layouts are easily viewable on the 3DS screen.

RATING E for Everyone

PLOT More in the Mario-Donkey Kong puzzle canon

DETAILS Nintendo 3DS download, $10

BOTTOM LINE Wind up and play

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