Recently, I was invited by Nintendo of Canada to attend a very special Nintendo Holiday Showcase exclusive preview event in New York City. Located in the heart of the city, at this exclusive event I was able to play some of the Nintendo Switch‘s top video games for the holiday.

If you are a Nintendo Switch gamer or know someone who is, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of fantastic games coming this holiday starting in October. Let’s take a look!

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Ever since Super Mario Bros. Wonder was announced, I’ve been dying to get my hands on the game. So, it’s no secret that I literally ran to play Mario and gang’s latest 2D adventure. Let me tell you, it’s pure bliss! The game looks fantastic on the big screen and the animations in the game are top notch and really set it apart from any of the other Mario games.

My time with the game consisted of 2-player local multiplayer, which at times was chaotic in a good way. You can play as virtually any of your favourite Super Mario Bros. characters including Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toads, Toadette and Daisy. They all pretty much play the same, what sets them apart is when you use Badges. More on that later!

Additionally, you can choose to play as several different colour Yoshis or Nabbit. What sets these characters apart is that they don’t take any damage. They are perfect for casual or players who are just starting out.

New power-ups

During my playtime with Super Mario Bros. Wonder I played as Daisy and Mario and got to experience a few of the game’s new power ups including the Drill Mushroom and Elephant Fruit. I played a level as Mario called Jewel-Block Cave, which introduced me to the Drill Mushroom.

This new power up allows you to drill into the ground or ceiling to avoid enemies and maybe even find a few hidden secrets. Moreover, with the Drill Mushroom you can drill into crystals that are scattered throughout the level to get power-ups, coins and even allow you to get to new areas. The second power-up that I experienced was the Elephant Fruit.

With this fruit your character turns into an elephant and can cause a lot of chaos and trouble. You can use your elephant trunk to smash through bricks, attack your opponents and even suck up water to water flowers. And, as an elephant you can push certain items that are normally too heavy.

Badges give you new abilities

Remember the Badges I was talking about earlier? These are what really set each character apart. You can collect these badges throughout the game and use them for new powers. During my play, I was able to collect and use the Parachute Cap Badge.

This gives you the ability to glide through midair and float slowly downward using a huge cap as a parachute. It’s quite funny to see and watch as your character glides through the air.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is sure to be a hit this holiday season

Without a doubt, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is going to be one of if not the game of the holiday across all platforms. Look for my full review of Super Mario Bros. Wonder when the game launches on October 20, 2023!

Pre-order Super Mario Bros. Wonder on Nintendo Switch

Detective Pikachu Returns

Having never played Detective Pikachu on the Nintendo 3DS, shame on me, I was excited when Nintendo announced Detective Pikachu Returns for Nintendo Switch. What really intrigues me about the game is that it’s a direct contrast to the Pokémon role-playing games. Detective Pikachu Returns is an adventure game that has a heavy focus on storytelling and is much like the animated series.

In this game, for the first time, in addition to playing as Tim Goodman you can also choose to play as Pikachu. What makes this different and unique is that while playing as Pikachu you get to have actual conversations with other Pokémon you come across. So instead of getting a summary from Pikachu of what the Pokémon are saying while you play as Tim Goodman, you get to have fully fledged conversations and interact with Pokémon in a different way.

Pikachu has the demeanour of what I would call a middle aged man who gets grumpy and annoyed sometimes by the littlest things but has a heart of gold. Not only is Pikachu charming and hilarious he also looks so cute and his voice has a certain charm that I just couldn’t get enough of.

In the 30 minutes I spent with the game I had to put my thinking cap on and use my puzzle solving skills exploring and talking to other people and Pokémon to find out more clues to a problem I was trying to solve.

Detective Pikachu Returns provides a new experience

Overall, my time with the game had me even more intrigued and wanting to play. While Detective Pikachu Returns might not end up being as popular as other Pokémon games like Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, I think it will surprise a lot of people in a good way who are looking for a new experience. Look for my full review of Detective Pikachu Returns when the game launches October 6, 2023.

Pre-order Detective Pikachu Returns on Nintendo Switch

Pre-order Detective Pikachu Returns Digital Download on Nintendo Switch

Sonic Superstars

My second most anticipated game this holiday, just slightly behind Super Mario Bros. Wonder, is Sonic Superstars. Next to Mario, I’m a big Sonic fan and love Sonic 2D games the most. Sonic Superstars is a brand new 2D Sonic game with 3D characters with bright and colourful graphics. The game supports up to 4 players in local multiplayer fun and includes your favourite characters such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles Amy and more.

As opposed to Super Mario Bros. Wonder, each of the characters in Sonic Superstars plays differently. For example, Amy can double jump and has a hammer she can use to smash enemies. On the other hand, Knuckles can glide across the screen and climb walls. Additionally, each character has different powers that are granted by the Chaos Emeralds.

Playing as Amy I had the ability to climb and swim up waterfalls in the game. You activate these powers by pushing up on the right thumbstick on the controller. There are several different slots that you can fill and equip.

The two levels I played were filled with nods to past Sonic games like the epic Orca Whale chase in Sonic Adventure. The level designs are all new and have the charm and appeal of previous 2D Sonic games. The graphics and animations in Sonic Superstars look really good and the game’s opening anime cutscene is drop dead gorgeous.

I think 2D Sonic fans are going to fall in love with Sonic Superstars this holiday season. Look for my full review of Sonic Superstars when the game launches on October 17, 2023.

Pre-order Sonic Superstars on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Inspired

At the Nintendo Holiday Showcase, there was a cozy little section called Nintendo Inspired that really caught my eye. Usually when we think of a gaming room or gaming area, we picture a name brand gaming chair, flashy neon lights and a pro controller. However, what Nintendo shows us with their Instagram channel called NintendoInspired is one of the many ways your gaming area can be so much more.

As you can see from the picture below, this setup is Animal Crossing themed. Not only do you get a warm fuzzy feeling from just looking at it but everything is accessorized and flows perfectly. From the Blathers plushie to the Animal Crossing lamp to the special edition Nintendo Switch Lite featuring Animal Crossing leaf designs.

Nintendo Switch has a strong line up of games for everyone this holiday season

It’s clear to see, and no surprise, that the Nintendo Switch has a strong line up of games for everyone this holiday season. From Super Mario Bros. Wonder, to Detective Pikachu Returns, to Sonic Superstars and a whole lot more! Let me know in the comments section below what game on Nintendo Switch you are looking forward to playing the most this holiday season.

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Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.


  1. Thanks for all the insight on the upcoming games! I also never played Detective Pikachu and I owned it for the 3DS LOL. I cant wait to play Super Mario Bros Wonder when it arrives. I love playing Mario games with the family and this one looks like its going to be epic. To also have a new Sonic game in a similar style is pretty sweet as well. The holiday season cant come fast enough!

  2. Jon! These look amazing! I’m so excited for Super Mario Wonder! I’ve tried a few times to get into Sonic games to limited success, it’s been a few years though. Maybe this is my chance to try again!

    This holiday season is going to be great for Nintendo, and for gamers!

  3. I’m looking forward to Mario Wonder this holiday season! I got some time with it at PAX West in Seattle earlier this year. Such a fun 2d Mario game. Reminded me of the fun I first had with family playing the New Super Mario Bros Wii.

  4. Great article, Jon! I’m even more excited about the upcoming Nintendo titles now. I especially can’t wait to play Super Mario Bros. Wonder. It might sound silly but I really want to find an elephant fruit so I can water flowers with my snout. XD


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