Preview: I spent too much time on the crane game in Link’s Awakening for Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is one of my least favorite Zelda games.

Don’t get me wrong. I can see the appeal for the game and why so many people across the globe love it. But the game never appealed to me as a kid. Something about its story, pacing, and gameplay always put me off of the title.

So why, after playing the Nintendo Switch version, am I now in love? And why have I drained so much time into the crane game mini-game? In fact, no. I didn’t need to ask that. “Trendy Game” is addicting.

Just… one… more… go…

Zelda: Link’s Awakening Dream Shrine and Ocarina Gameplay (Nintendo Switch)

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At the time of this writing, I have sunk roughly six to ten hours into the game, completing a handful of dungeons. I’ve mostly been spending my time trying to find as many secrets as I can (there is a lot) and backtracking to previous areas after I get a new item to collect those pesky heart pieces.

Of those hours spent in the beautiful world, at least two (maybe three) have gone into Mabe Village. Specifically, coming back to the crane game at any given notice to collect another Mario-themed toy, piece of heart, or collectible that pops up there now and again. Its become an addiction at this point.

With each toy you win, before a new one unlocks, you need to find a place for it to go around the town. I currently have a Blooper in my possession and can’t find out which house or resident needs it and it is driving me nuts.

It was only after getting stuck with a toy with no home and dragging my lifeless, rupeeless body out of the starting town did I realize there was more to the game than merely gambling. Imagine that? Here I was thinking it was a crane-game simulator after all those hours spent going back and forth.

No, but really, this game is pretty fun

Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening – Checking out Mabe Village (Nintendo Switch)

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Crane games aside, Link’s Awakening is a humble little return to the Zelda series.

For those who joined the series at Breath of the Wild, Link’s Awakening takes us back to a time long forgotten, when the Zelda formula was about exploring a world, entering dungeons in a particular order, and getting an arsenal of weapons to aid you in your quest.

Link’s Awakening on Switch is a like-for-like remake of the classic portable game from the Game Boy era. If you played the original game, you’re going to storm through this one in a breeze too.

If you didn’t play the original, however, you might find that all of the dungeons in the game are incredibly short in comparison to previous entries in the series. While this might be a sticking point for some, we get that with the pick-up-and-play advantage of the Nintendo Switch. It makes sense to have smaller dungeons players can go through at their own pace during short car journeys or travel without the need to invest too much of their time into completing them.

Well, I say that, but half the time I found myself lost on where to go or what I was doing next as the game doesn’t offer you a sense of direction. Thankfully, there is a mechanic in-game in the shape of a Telephone booth you can walk into and get advice on where to go next. This mechanic helps anyone like me who gets utterly lost.

We won’t go into greater detail on our thoughts about the dungeons, secrets, and more though as we plan to save that for our review closer to launch— so look forward to that. I will say though, for someone who doesn’t have much love for Link’s Awakening, I am having a blast.