Five 3DS Games to Play on Your Summer Road Trip

It’s summertime, and that means it’s road trip season. Sitting in a cramped car for hours on end is no one’s idea of fun, but thankfully we have Nintendo 3DS to distract us from traffic and uncomfortably hot or humid weather conditions. Here’s five 3DS games to play on your summer 2016 road trips. (Be sure to check out our “Five Wii U Games to Play During Summer 2016” feature.)

1. Pokémon X & Y

Being trapped in a car is restricting, to say the least. One great way to combat that feeling is to play a game that gives you the freedom to explore diverse locations while also letting you enjoy a truly unique experience. Pokémon X & Y meet both of those criteria in spectacular fashion, and more so than any other Pokémon title before them. The locations in X & Y range from treacherous mountains and beautiful beaches to snowy landscapes and boisterous cities, with every newly discovered area feeling just as fresh and exciting as the last. In addition to more than 700 Pokémon to discover, there are new Mega forms for old favorites such as Charizard, Alakazam and, my personal favorite, Tyranitar. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the series or brand new to the franchise, Pokémon X & Y is sure to make your road trip far more bearable.

2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the perfect low-stress road trip game. Everything about the game invokes a sense of glee and relaxation — from the world in which it takes place, to the colorful cast of characters, to the perfectly orchestrated soundtrack. New Leaf has more than enough content to get you through a long car trip, too, with tons of activities such as fishing, bug catching, and gardening. There’s loads of goodies to collect and plenty of furnishings available to spice up your home’s interior. If you’re looking for a more laid-back game to immerse yourself in during your road trip, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the game for you.

3. Mario Kart 7

Roads are so restricting. You have to go a certain speed limit, stay in one lane, and stop at red lights and stop signs. Where’s the fun in that? Luckily, Mario Kart 7 fixes everything that’s boring about being stuck on the road — glide over passes, take shortcuts underwater, or pelt the guy that cut you off. Mario Kart 7 has 17 playable characters, 18 items, and 32 courses to explore. And to put you in the summer mood, tracks like Cheep Cheep Lagoon, Daisy Hills, and DK Jungle help prep you for basking in that warm sunshine. Take your road rage out on a cast of Mario characters this summer with Mario Kart 7.

4. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

If you’re craving a high stakes adventure to keep you busy, look no further than Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The Monster Hunter series is known for pitting the player against a plethora of dangerous monsters in treacherous environments, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is no exception. MH4U makes this list due to its sheer immersion factor. The game’s world is so rich and deep that you might forget you’re even on a road trip. Between a dozen weapon types, 98 different monsters, and hundreds of different armor customization choices, it’s very easy to get lost in all of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate’s content. For a truly exhilarating challenge, give it a try this summer.

5. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a delightful 2D platformer starring Shantae, a half-genie who has lost her abilities and must rely on agility, hair, and an arsenal of tools and weapons acquired over the course of her journey. The game’s art style is very reminiscent of classic Game Boy Advance titles like Wario Land 4 and Advance Wars — detailed backgrounds set in contrast to a more pixelated foreground — which creates a cool layered effect that adds an element of depth to the visuals. The gameplay of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse never grows stale, thanks to the gradual introduction of new items and fresh mechanics as the game progresses, making it a perfect candidate for this list. From start to finish, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse will keep you engaged and entertained with its progressive gameplay and whimsical art style.

What 3DS games are you planning to play this summer? Let us know in the comments section below. Have a great summer, everyone!