Nintendo fans of Arizona, put your 2DSes on pause for a second and listen up. We fully understand that Super Mario 3D Land is addictive as hell, but y'all might want to take a break from handheld gaming (or any other sort button-mashing activity, for that matter) over the next day or so. No, really.
Frankly, your thumbs are gonna need to rest up as much as possible if you plan to check out the Play Nintendo Tour when it stops at Arrowhead Town Center in Glendale this weekend, since you'll be using 'em plenty at the colorful three-day video gaming event.
The company that brought the world Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and Kirby will bring these icons to the Valley as a part of an "immersive gaming playground" that will visit the Glendale mall from Friday, July 25, to Sunday, July 27.
Gamers of all ages can get pictures with life-size costumed versions of the famed Nintendo characters when they aren't busy conquering one of eight different 2DS titles -- including Yoshi's New Island, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and both Pokémon X and Pokémon Y -- that will be available for free play at the event.
Admittedly, the event is largely geared towards younger gamers, teens, and families, but since the 2DS and other Nintendo hand-helds are popular with a certain segment of adults, you can bet that there will be a few 20- or 30-somethings in attendance.
A half-dozen themed 2DS gaming stations will be set up, each of which will resemble a different Nintendo-esque setting (like the pipes of the Mushroom Kingdom, giant Poké Balls, or egg-shaped chairs of Yoshi's Island) where gamers can relax and play.
You can also pretend to pull a mockup of The Legend of Zelda's famed Master Sword from a stone (a la A Link to the Past), attempt to win a stuffed Nintendo character from a claw machine, and score other giveaways.
And those who happen to be aces at Mario Kart could go home with some prizes. A separate competition area featuring high-def big screen TVs will be home to a weekend-long tournament dedicated to the popular racing game.
Participants off all ages can put their skills to the test on Mario Kart 7 for the 2DS in qualifying rounds with the best drivers advancing to the finals where they'll play the newly released Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U.
Just remember to be wary of those darned turtle shells (especially the deadly blue spiny ones) or maybe even the now-infamous "Luigi Death Stare."
The Play Nintendo Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 25, and Saturday, July 26; and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 27, at the Arrowhead Town Center in Glendale. Admission is free.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.