Nintendo Force Magazine-the Nintendo Power revival!

If you were a Nintendo fan in the 90s, there’s a good chance you loved Nintendo Power. I had a subscription all throughout the N64 era, and before that read the all the issues in the days of the Super Nintendo at a close friend’s house. I used to rollerblade to our neighborhood mailbox the last few days of every month hoping my new issue had come! How I miss those times (and the awesome NP Player’s Guides as well). If you’re as nostalgic for the magazine as I am, you need to check out Nintendo Force magazine, the spiritual successor to Nintendo Power!

Final issue of Nintendo Power and the Switch premiere issue of Nintendo Force magazine
The final issue of NP and my first issue of Nintendo Force when the Switch released!

Started in 2013 just after the final issue of Nintendo Power, Nintendo Force magazine is helmed by a talented team of Nintendo enthusiasts. It’s a bi-monthly publication, and there are several subscription options. You can opt for digital only, physical only, or a various combinations of those. NF has an amazing suite of features, some of which are very similar to Nintendo Power, and some are unique to them! I only just found them a few years ago, but it’s become one of my favorite magazines to collect and read. I want to share why I love the magazine so much. Hopefully you’ll become a subscriber too!

Nostalgia in layout form

Okay, let’s just start with the covers. GORGEOUS. I can’t wait to display these when I get the new game room set up! From cover to cover, each each of Nintendo Force magazine is meticulously arranged with obvious love and care. It’s very visually appealing and simply a joy to read when it arrives in my mail every other month.

A collage of Nintendo Force magazine covers
Some of my favorite Nintendo Force magazine covers! Glorious.

They also have an “inbox” that’s reminiscent of the old Nintendo Power “Player’s Pulse”. I’ve written into nearly all of them (because it’s just so fun!) and love hearing input and stories from other fans. I actually won a copy of Mega Man 11 for my write-in one month! (winners are chosen at random from the published comments) It will always be an extra special item in my collection.

Mega Man 11 Nintendo Force issue and Switch box

New News

Similar to Nintendo Power, Nintendo Force covers all the latest Nintendo news! If you’re subscribing to the print version (like I do, because physical forever!), you may know a lot of it by the time you read it. But you know what? It’s still great to read in print. Partially because I love reading something not online, but mostly because I love all of the NF editors. They’re generally very witty, enthusiastic, and clever. Their coverage is a joy to read!

One of my favorite sections with news is the “collector’s corner” that features awesome Nintendo collectibles. It’s not the best for my wallet, mind you, but it’s a delight, even for items you’ll never buy.

Nintendo Force Collector's Corner sample
You’ve got to appreciate that photo of the Kirby plushies!

I also really enjoy the thorough reviews for download-only games, many of which go overlooked by larger publications. The indie scene on the Switch is one of my favorite things about the console, and it’s great to see such attention paid to them (like Shantae, one of my favorite series) in Nintendo Force magazine!

Sayonara Wild Hearts download review from Nintendo Force
I found one of my favorite indie games through Nintendo Force! (please listen to the amazing soundtrack)

Retrospectives aplenty

Nintendo Force magazine does a great job with retro throwback as well. There’s a phenomenal section on games “left in the past” that have never been re-released, and one for those never translated. Then there are in-depth profiles from characters throughout Nintendo’s history.

Axem Rangers feature from Nintendo Force
Any game magazine that features the Axem Rangers from Mario RPG immediately gets +1000 points.

Each issue also has a “featured subject” that is usually very entertaining (the most recent as of this writing was “peanut butter and chocolate” for gaming genre mashups!). The theme serves two purposes. First, to introduce and highlight a new Nintendo release (in this case Age of Calamity, a genre blend of musou and Zelda). Second, to allow a deep retrospective into Nintendo’s history of other games or characters sharing the theme. This is aways something I look forward to savoring!

Nintendo Force Peanut Butter and Chocolate Feature
Such a fun idea. I learned a lot of genre blends I’d never heard of before!

And a dash of whimsy, just like Nintendo

There are so many other fun things in each issue. Lots of unique comics. Features of interesting creations from the Nintendo fan community. Lighthearted yet authentic and deep interviews with game developers, journalists, and super-fans.

Ring Fit adventure comic strip
I love Ring Fit Adventure, and this is just hilarious!

And perhaps best of all, a sweet, sweet double-sided poster! Gosh I’ve missed these things. They’re beautiful, and the NF team takes care to both craft them and ensure they’re mailed without being bent. Again, I can’t wait to display some of these in the new game room!

Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Nintendo Force poster
This poster for Mario’s 35th anniversary is amazing! A brilliant throwback to the NES with such fun craftsmanship.

Join the Force!

I’ve had so many conversations with friends on Instagram about Nintendo Force magazine, because many haven’t heard of it! If you’ve read this far, you need to go check them out and subscribe (especially if you’re a Nintendo fan). I guarantee you won’t regret it at all!

Are you a fan of Nintendo Force magazine? Did you have fond memories of Nintendo Power from back in the day? Is there another retro game magazine you love? Let me know in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “Nintendo Force Magazine-the Nintendo Power revival!”

  1. Totally agree re print magazines. I subscribe to Retro Gamer for that reason. They include some great extras too, like an entire (slim) new issue of Super Play magazine to commemorate the release of SNES Mini. NF looks excellent though.

    I liked rather than loved Sayonara Wild Hearts, but I LOVED that Queen Latifah was the narrator. She was the soundtrack of my 1992.

    1. I’ll constantly sing the praises of NF from the mountaintops! I also subscribe to Retro Gamer and a few other retro-themed mags and did a separate posts on my favorites too 🙂

  2. I’m here for the Super Mario RPG screenshot and Metroid NF cover.

    I think the posters are a major selling point for me. That’s something you just don’t see anymore. And crap the Mario 35th anniversary poster takes me back… (searches for back copies).

    I never subscribed to Nintendo Power way back when, but when there was a special feature on a game I liked or something like the 100th issue, I definitely took notice.

    Who knows, maybe Nintendo will get back into the magazine game at some point. But honestly with quality work from folks like this, do we even need it then?

    Ok off to find that Mario poster!

    1. I love that Mario poster too, and would love to see a new 2D Mario in a similar retro art style! I doubt Nintendo will ever go that route though 😅 A man can dream!

      Since Nintendo revived NP in podcast form I feel like they probably don’t have interest in a physical magazine again? But also when has Nintendo done what we think they’re going to 😂 Regardless, I’m so glad we have Nintendo Force!

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