This is just a quick post about a freebie that flew under the radar, Photos with Mario. The title is more of an app than a game, and although it's a free download the game's cards were originally included in $10 eShop cards that were first exclusive to Target stores but apparently eventually were made available elsewhere. Only three cards, each representing a Mario character, were released in the US (and the original "?" AR card also adds a couple of characters), although Japan got an additional three as well as a Pikmin and Animal Crossing set (with accompanying downloadable titles). In any case, you can easily download and print out your own copies of the cards here.
Overall Photos with Mario feels like a very basic extension of the AR capabilities of the 3DS pack-in title AR games. That title had a mode where you could scan in the character cards and take pictures of various Nintendo characters such as Mario, Kirby, and your Mii characters in various poses. Photos with Mario is very similar to that mode, although you can experiment with scanning two cards at once and get a couple cases where they interact with each other, and there are some additional features (you can find a complete run-down on the Mario wiki page). The characters have animations instead of static poses, but they're pretty limited, and it doesn't take long to go through everything the app and the six cards (+ the "?" card) have to offer.
All in all this is a cute little bonus for the people who bought the compatible eShop cards, but is otherwise pretty forgettable. More cards and more interactions would have made this more entertaining, but people who loved the similar mode in the original set of AR games would probably enjoy this as well.
AR with Mario with these Photos with Mario links:
- Hands-on at NintendoLife
- Official page at nintendo.com
- Official video highlighting all the features
- Handy list of all games featuring AR card compatibility on the official Nintendo site