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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!