Category: Nintendo

Wii’re here for anything relating to Nintendo and its platforms. Look to the tags for anything more specific.

Nintendo’s Many Video Game References to Hanafuda (and Karuta)

I really doubt this list is complete, though I did my best to include as much as I could. If I find more stuff I’ll add it, and feel free to leave a comment if you can think of anything yourself!

Appearances in Nintendo Games

Game Boy Camera Japanese version has this picture in the B Album

Pikmin 2 had you collecting real-life items, including a hanafuda deck

Hanafuda is available to play in both Clubhouse Games …games (as well as Clubhouse Games Express: Strategy Pack and the Japan only like, reduced version of clubhouse games called Daredemo Asobi Taizen). In the DS versions, it is called Koi-Koi, as that is the actual name of the game, and hanafuda is the name of the cards.

This card shows up in Quite Puzzled microgame from the Japanese version of WarioWare: Touched! (It was replaced by a western playing card in the international versions)

One of 9-Volt’s microgames in WarioWare Gold is based on hanafuda

These hanggliders in Mario Kart Tour are based on a real deck Nintendo produced, see below

There were a bunch of Hanafuda items added to Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

In Super Mario Odyssey, Bowser’s Kingdom Sticker features some Mario themed hanafuda cards. Also its industry is hanafuda cards according to the in-game map –

The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit house has this picture of Napoleon from one of Nintendo’s hanafuda deck boxes

Digital Appearances in Other Nintendo Stuff

Streetpass Mii Plaza got a hanafuda themed speech bubble

Swapnote got hanafuda themed stationery

There were also four hanafuda 3DS themes
Hanafuda –

Mario Hanafuda – (I love the Mario theme remix here : )

Club Nintendo Hanafuda –

Pokémon Hanafuda –

Real-life Hanafuda Merchandise

The Game Boy Micro got a hanafuda faceplate

And so did our other faceplate wearing system, the new 3DS!

Hanafuda themed keychains that you got from pre-ordering Giftpia in Japan

Nintendo Company Guides – 2014, 2015, 2019 Huge thanks to for documenting these!!

The entire 2014 book is based around hanafuda with many of Nintendo’s old toys drawn in hanafuda art, I highly recommend checking out the post at to see all the photos! Here’s a sample

2015 –
2019 –

My Nintendo Europe offered postcards based on the Napoleon Mario deck (they also sold the deck itself at the same time)

Nintendo themed Hanafuda Decks

You can find a list of hanafuda decks that Nintendo has produced here:

Of course, the best ones are the video game themed ones
We have the Mario Napoleon set

Better images at that link also pointed out these two promo images that have teeny little hanafuda cards, what a treat

Pokémon hanafuda deck

This set of Pokémon x Mario cards (I had trouble finding good photos)

Kirby also got a Hanafuda set ^^

Finally, Club Nintendo offered another set of Mario themed hanafuda cards – This set is unlockable to use in Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics!


In Kirby Super Star Ultra there is a sub-game based on karuta card games, a different kind of Japanese playing card

There was a first party DS game based on the karuta card game uta-garuta called Touch de Tanoshimu Hyakunin-Isshu: DS Shigureden
(thanks Torchickens 💚)

Club Nintendo Japan made an Animal crossing Karuta deck

More resources for the exceptionally interested

For more general information about hanafuda and where it’s showed up in video games over the years (and where I got a lot of info from)

Both NoA and NoE have PDFs of how to play Koi-koi currently up on their websites: – NoA – NoE

Play Nintendo Japan got a short webcomic about hanafuda

It has this cute art of Mario and Toad playing!

If you’re interested in Nintendo’s history with card games in general I recommend this post!

If you enjoy this stuff, I personally loved reading the Wikipedia article about karuta, which explains the many kinds of Japanese card games and where they came from : D

There’s a bunch of not Nintendo hanafuda video games floating around too, I’m not that concerned with them, but you can find lists here or here if you’re interested though. I support that decision.

Bonus non-Nintendo hanafuda sighting (this is my list I make the exceptions): The Hatsune Miku Project Diva games that have Close, Open, Demons and the Dead – In the music video, there are hanafuda cards scattered on the ground

Thanks for witnessing!

All Nintendo Wii U Box ‘U’ Designs

As far as I’m aware this list is COMPLETE. However, if you know that I have missed any, PLEASE let me know and I will add it!

Incomplete list of sources:
huge thanks to u/Golden_tears on reddit for compiling a huge chunk of these
This is the list I used to figure out what all the box variations were and yes I checked them all, if it’s “missing” here it’s because it has the same design as one of the ones above

Unfortunately I compiled these images awhile ago and didn’t keep track of my sources but I did use google images, youtube unboxing videos, and ebay and yahoo auctions listings in order to find them all. Some of them took forever (read: 15 minutes) to track down!

Also worth noting is that there are some special Wii U boxes in Japan without U logos  – Dragon Quest X and Monster Hunter 3G HD were the two I found, but I didn’t check every box in every region so there may be more.


Thanks for witnessing!

Cooking Mama physical art-tech by Constance Ye

Some days you can’t be happier about the people you follow on Twitter because they add great stuff to your feed.  That’s how I found out about this project Constance Ye is working on!  Connie is an undergraduate student, studying Computer Science and Fine Art at Carnegie Mellon University.  She’s working on this awesome gaming art-tech featuring Cooking Mama where you can physically prepare foods along with the game.  Check out the video below or go to the whole Twitter thread here.

To see more of what Constance has created check out her blog at and also her Github about this project.

My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

I’ve got two logistical E3 nightmares to tell you about today, one that’s really happening and one that I just dreamed up in response to the former. Further below you can read Polygon’s summation of Nintendo’s elaborate plan to get more people playing Smash Bros. at E3 next month in June. But basically, it involves an email process that starts weeks in advance of E3, to reserve a ticket, for a chance to play one of two versions of the game.

Now for my elaborate nightmare scenario which is much, much cooler. Unfortunately, the linchpin is that we live in a perfect world where wifi isn’t total crap at overpopulated venues. That caveat aside, how amazing would it be if you could bring your Switch to Nintendo’s booth and simply download their E3 demos? I imagine they could hard-code the downloads to destroy themselves after 10 minutes (whether you launch the game or not), disable in-game screenshots and videos, and lock it to your Switch’s MAC address so you can’t repeatedly hammer their wifi to download again. They could even barricade their booth like a Faraday cage so you have to be inside to get connected. Want to play something again? Now you get in line for a demo station.

They’d never loosen the leash like that on super early products, and the technical hurdles would be immense, but it’d be an amazing way to try out Nintendo’s E3 lineup. People would flip out when suddenly they’re playing the latest Smash Bros. or Metroid (or Star Fox Kart?!) with their own hands on their own Switch. They’re already part of the way towards my dream; Nintendo staff will be on the lookout for people playing on their personal Switches and will be handing out exclusive tchotchkes. Just make the tchotchkes a little slip of paper with the wifi password and we’re practically living my dream! Bah. Instead, here’s that boring thing that Nintendo is actually doing:

“To shorten the time fans will need to wait in line to try it, Nintendo invites E3 attendees to reserve play slots ahead of time for just this game,” the company announced. “This should provide fans with a faster, smoother experience so they can play the Super Smash and spend more time enjoying the rest of the June 12-14 show.”

Registered E3 2018 attendees will receive information from the event’s organizers starting June 5, in an email that outlines all possible opportunities to reserve play time with Smash Bros. Only those who sign up in advance will be able to play the game at the show; they’ll receive their tickets as a QR code upon successful registration.

The tickets will entitle players to checking out one of two modes: “for fun,” Smash Bros.’ more casual type of match, and “for glory,” which is a heated, elimination-based fight. You won’t be able to choose both, mind you; at the time of registration, you must choose which of the two you’re prepared to try out at E3.

Bloomingdale’s Nintendo Collab Underwhelms and Overprices

Bloomingdale's Nintendo Collaboration Underwhelms and Overprices

Nintenclothes are back in the spotlight with a new collection, this time from Bloomingdale’s. First up, forgive me for being a dude who doesn’t pay more than $25 for a pair of pants when I say wow, these prices: $45 for a fannypack, $50 for an inflatable pool ring, and $200 for a short sleeved shirt. Even if I loved these designs I’d have to stick with appreciating them from afar, and that leads to my bigger concern.

Dana pointed out this collection to me and we both agreed there’s something low-rent about these high-end items. “It’s just pixels and shit” were her exact words, and I can’t deny it on most of these 82 items. I’ll give it to ‘em, they sure made a lot of stuff but some of these designs are barely on par with the fare you can find at Walmart: a pixel heart with the words “Game On” above it in script font, a shirt that simply says “Nice Play” with a heart in place of the ‘A’, and a sweatshirt with rainbow stripes on either side of the word “SUPER”.

Bloomingdale's Nintendo Collaboration Underwhelms and Overprices

P.S. If you bought all three of those you’d be at $385.

Elsewhere there are tops, bottoms, and accessories that barely evoke the concept of graphic design, nevermind a connection to video games or even Nintendo. Rainbow stripes, dual tone stripes, checkerboards, and polka dot patterns are lumped in here as “gamer wear” and priced up to $200. It isn’t all bad though, there a few items I really dig the look of.

Most of the short sleeved shirt patterns are simple but appreciable, with the Donkey Kong design being the most elaborate. These mushroom swim trunks are also pretty good and the black-and-white “camo” version is frantic and rad. The one thing I might actually have bought is this assortment of Sugarfina candies in Mario Cloud, Yoshi Egg, and Strawberry Mushroom varieties. Unfortunately they’re either sold out or include one of the fun animal-derived ingredients that I avoid.

Bloomingdale's Nintendo Collaboration Underwhelms and Overprices

These aren’t so bad… still, it’d be $282.

Personally, of all the unexpected fashion crossovers we’ve seen so far it was Uniqlo that hit the best balance of design and price. Take a look at my last roundup and let us know which was your favorite or if there’s a Bloomingdale’s piece you’re already adding to cart.