Are you sick and tired of your boring 3DS home menu? Do you stay up at night and cry sometimes because all of the other kids have cool menus and you don’t? If only there was a way to avoid this tragedy with some sort of décor or theme. Well, your wish has been granted my friends. Nintendo Badge Arcade is finally here and its ready to put a little pizazz in your life!


Remember those claw machine games that were full of stuffed animals? I spent many quarters on those things. Desperately trying to grasp the toy I “needed” so badly, but then forgetting about the cheap thing a couple days later. That’s sort of what Nintendo Badge Arcade is, except this time what you’re trying to get is a ton of different Nintendo themed badges. The game is free to download but it cost real money to play. So I wouldn’t necessarily call it free. “Infinite” is probably a more accurate word for the price.  However, as much as I hate micro transactions and such, this sucked me in a bit. Actually, more than a little bit.

To give you a better idea of what Nintendo Badge Arcade is, think stickers that you can place on your 3DS home screen. But not just any stickers, these are NINTENDO stickers! Characters and scenery from pretty much every Nintendo game, that also includes games available on the eShop. There are new choices every day and you can scroll through quite a few different game themes when deciding what stickers you want. After you’ve collected a few you can press the home button and move your badges around on the lower screen. You can create scenes or decorate your folders as well. Some of the badges can even replace certain icons like your camera or miiverse apps.


Even though I tried to fight it I couldn’t help myself. Five minutes into Nintendo Badge Arcade and I had spent $7 of real money on something that is literally nothing. I was surprised with how enthralled I was with this game (or app, I should say).  $1 will get you 5 tries at the Badge Arcade. You can also pay bigger sums of money to save time ($2=10 tries, $3=15 tries, $4=20 tries). You get a rewarding feeling each time you get a badge. Even a better feeling when you can knock a few into the drop zone in one try!

It’s weird, the whole thing is pointless. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just never cared about decorating my home menu. But Nintendo Badge Arcade has a way of making you care. It makes you want to come back everyday like a grandma stuck on a slot machine. Whether your coming back to see if there’s a free play or to see what new badges are available, there’s a surprise everyday! Including random theme giveaways. This gives you a background theme from a specific game which is usually around $1.99 in the theme shop. So it’s not all bad unless you waste 5 tries trying to get a specific Link Between Worlds badge (like I did, and I wanted to smack myself.)

I think what I find appealing is the way the badges look. Like they were pulled straight from the game. There are also some that are drawn like cartoons while others resemble art from a game manual. Once you have a good sized badge collection the Pink Bunny (he’s a bit chatty) will build statues in the badge arcade lobby in your honor. The more you collect the bigger your statue. Theres also a place to go where you can see your whole collection and which badges you need to complete a certain set. So there’s a few small extras to keep you occupied between plays.


While this is definitely not a game everyone will get into its something that the hardcore Nintendo fans can appreciate. Hopefully in the future there will be trading features available so if you have a few duplicates of one badge you can trade with friends for one you don’t have. That’d be pretty awesome! (hint, hint Nintendo). If you have a little self control and a lot of extra change, Nintendo Badge Arcade can be pretty fun. The first 5 tries are free so I recommend checking it out for that reason alone. But be warned, once you start, its hard to stop.