Birthdays and holidays can be expensive if you’ve got a gamer or two in the family. Fortunately, if your giftee is a Wii U owner, there are a number of inexpensive games and accessories available.
If you’re looking for gifts below $30, we’ve got plenty of suggestions. And you can get them from Amazon, taking advantage of their same- or next-day delivery through Amazon Prime. Alternatively, you can pop down to your local Walmart or go onto the Nintendo website – prices will vary but not too greatly.
As it’s Nintendo, there’s swathes of Mario and Luigi (and other big franchise names), but if the person you’re buying for doesn’t like the plumbing duo, you might as well give up on them.
Many Wii U launch games are now at pretty low prices, but ZombiU has to be one of the cheapest and best of the originals.
Zombies are big right now, largely due to The Walking Dead, so vast amounts of related games have flooded the market – but few are as creative and ingenious as ZombiU. It’s a normal battling-the-undead game… until you die. When you respawn, you actually inhabit another body, another survivor, and your old avatar becomes a zombie that’s creeping up on you.
ZombiU - Nintendo Wii U
Two Screens, Twice The Fear - Feel the tension mount as you try to keep an eye on your TV and controller screen. Price: $6.36
Not exactly an exciting present, but certainly useful.
How many times have you lost a stylus? For the Wii U, for a tablet, for a 3DS? At night, the Gaming Fairy (8-Bit, naturally) silently teleports into your house and steals styluses in order to construct herself a house. That, or maybe they’re just under the sofa or something.
A pack of multi-colored replacements are ideal; whoever’s going to lose a bright yellow stylus easily? What’s more, these work on several systems, including the 3DS, which any respected Nintendo fan is going to own too.
When it comes to gaming calendars, there’s not a great amount of choice readily available. Still, there’s your standard Super Mario Bros. (admittedly, very cool) ones, even Animal Crossing, but The Legend of Zelda 2016 Calendar is perfect for any fans of gaming and art.
Block color means the calendar stands out on your wall, while wonderful character designs reflect the vibrant, upbeat visuals of the franchise.
As an alternative for your LoZ fan, consider the Hyrule Historia, a beautiful hardback detailing the history of the franchise and chronicling the character designs across different platforms. Released first in Japan to celebrate The Legends of Zelda‘s 25th anniversary, international fans were clamoring for a translation, and this is the stunning result
Amiibos have flooded the market, most of which are available for below $20. The Mario Classic Color Amiibo is a particular favorite. But you need a guarantee that the individual you’re buying for has that select game, so instead, why not go for this, a contender for Coolest Gaming Gift Ever?
It only holds six Amiibos, but that’s more than most displays – and who really cares when the product looks as awesome as this does?
Fans of Nintendo new and old will love this, especially if they’re well acquainted with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and co.!
LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes
Everyone loves Marvel. And if that statement’s not true, I feel uneasy about society.
Seriously though, they’re huge, as is LEGO. This game combines the two.
Oh, you want to know more? LEGO is no longer just what you used to play with as a kid; it’s no longer just the enemy of bare feet: it’s big business. Collectors love it, children love it, and big children love it. Their gaming range is known for being very puzzle-centric, but this adds super-powers to the mix. Ever wondered what Chris Hemsworth would look like made of multi-colored bricks? You’re in luck.
Generations grew up with decks of Dungeons and Dragons (itself inspiring a plethora of video games), and if you want to instill a love of quality card-games into a youngster, this is a safe bet. Inspired by retro video games, you’re a villain, trying to create the deadliest dungeon imaginable. It only takes about 30 minutes to play, so nobody will get bored over the festivities.
It’s this or Cards Against Humanity, and this one’s more family-friendly.
Super Mario Maker GamePad Protector
HORI Super Mario Maker GamePad Protector for Nintendo Wii U
It’s hard not to fall a little in love with Super Mario Maker, enabling fans worldwide to indulge in their fantasies by creating their own levels.
The GamePad, however genius it is, looks a bit boring, so why not brighten things up a bit with this handy protector? It’s made from plastic, so will stop a bit of natural wear and tear. You need not worry about scratching the controller any more… but I’d still advise against dropping it from any great height!
This NES Remix Pack throws short challenges at you based on a selection of much-loved iconic video games from the early years of Nintendo. This is a compilation from two previous releases, so you don’t get full titles (mostly available as download from the eShop anyway), but instead snippets of big franchises with their characters mixed up.
NES Remix Pack
Take on a gauntlet of short, rapid-fire challenges from over 25 classic NES games! Price: $23.55
Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Excitebike: they’re all here. They’re not especially difficult, but will nonetheless entertain ages 8- 80 across Christmastime and beyond. It’s also available on the 3DS as the Ultimate NES Remix.
K’NEX Mario Kart Standard Bike Bundle
K'NEX Nintendo Mario Kart Standard Bike Bundle
Build Mario and Luigi and their Standard Bikes from Mario Kart Wii Price: $22.99
These are great little sets to rival even LEGO. Yep, it’s K’NEX: essentially LEGO for grown-ups interested in construction. That makes them sound more boring than they actually are. Because these aren’t your common-or-garden packs of rods and connectors – it’s Mario Kart!
Surely one of the best-loved gaming franchises in existence, there’s something for everyone when it comes to Mario Kart. Like zipping between opponents and looking snazzy at the same time? Go for Toad. Enjoy being evil and smashing competitors off the Rainbow Road? Bowser it is. Given up on life? Baby Rosalina’s your girl.
This double-pack of build-your-own figures is a great gift for someone who likes the more traditional choice, Mario or Luigi. The pair are on the bikes introduced for 2008’s Mario Kart Wii, and are the most expensive of the lot. Alternatives including Yoshi, Toad, and Diddy Kong are typically below $10, while bigger K’NEX sets – Bowser, Koopa Troopa, and Wario – are around $20.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Backwards compatibility allows gamers to indulge in the number of fantastic Wii games that were released between 2006 and November 2015. It means you can pick up Wii titles at lower prices, great stocking fillers in case your recipient missed them the first time around.
When it was unleashed on the world in 2009, the world fell in love with Super Mario Bros. Wii. Fun, colorful, and full of mushrooms, it encapsulates everything the Italian plumber stands for. Anyone who plays it is guaranteed a laugh – and that’s exactly what you want at Christmas.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New items include the propeller suit, which will shoot players high into the sky with just a shake of the Wii Remote Price: $25.99
Even though Nintendo is gearing up for the NX launch, the Wii U will not be abandoned.
If you’ve got money to burn, there are a number of great games available – ones that will rekindle a love of gaming – but you’re not always in search of a big present. Sometimes, you just need to top up that stocking, so to speak (do people still hang stockings for the festivities?).
So what other smaller presents have you bought a Wii U fan? Picked up any bargains? Let us know below!