Games: Luigi's Mansion 3 on Nintendo Switch offers kid-friendly ghostbusting kicks
Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch)
LUIGI'S Mansion marked the point when Nintendo's less famous sibling stepped out of his brother's considerable shadow, heading up a Gamecube launch title that only now – 18 years later – gets a second outing you can enjoy on the big screen.
Following on from the portable Dark Moon, this time the mansion is a haunted high high-rise hotel, where Luigi once again attempts to free his pals from the clutches of King Boo.
The Overlook this ain't, with cutesy jump scares and our star's scaredy cat antics bringing big-hearted fun to the ghost-hunt. As a plumber, Luigi is perhaps more used to ridding pipes of stools rather than ghouls but – armed with his demon-defeating Dyson – he must conquer each themed floor of the Last Resort by stunning ghosts with his flashlight before sucking them into his vacuum.
Professor E Gadd, of course, returns, with a base for Luigi to splash his earnings on upgrades such as ghost trackers and bones for Luigi's canine companion, Polterpup.
New gameplay modes include suction shots and tag-team play with his green ectoplasmic doppelganger, Gooigi, while the hostelry's furnishings are fully interactive. Cupboards become treasure troves, mirrors reveal secrets while spiders crawl from secret areas in a Metroid-esque puzzle box teeming with references to the Mario universe and wink-wink movie in-jokes, such as self-stacking chairs straight out of Poltergeist.
Boss battles are the real highlight here – each requiring their own strategy to defeat – while the entire game can be played in co-op or in a robust online multiplayer mode, offering up mini-games at the ScreamPark.
Burnished in Nintendo polish, the Switch is ransacked for every ounce of its power with nary a drop in performance. Kitted out in Disney-esque swank, Luigi's perpetually lily-livered mannerisms are pure charm, backed up by some phenomenal sound design and a jazzy synth-orchestra soundtrack that runs the gamut of styles befitting each level.
Those looking for Resident Evil-style frights will be sorely disappointed, but the kids will love its grotesquery without having nightmares. A wee-un friendly theme park horror with zippy gameplay, lively set-pieces and lashings of transcendental tomfoolery, Luigi's Mansion 3 is a goofily entertaining romp with enough carnival mayhem to keep ghost hunters of any age mightily entertained.
This is soul-sucking of the best possible kind.