Nintendo’s year of Luigi continues August 11th with the release of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, a colorful, feature-packed and engaging RPG for 3DS.  Once again, the brothers work together to rescue Princess Peach, but there’s a catch.  This time around, Mario will harness powers from Luigi’s dreams to prevail.

Thankfully, there’s a bit more to the story than the usual damsel in distress.  In addition to saving Peach, Mario and Luigi must help Prince Dreambert free the Pi’illo people from the clutches of bat-king Antasma.  

You’ll do this in both the real and dream worlds.  The former allows you to locate hidden items and power-ups that’ll prove useful in battle, while the latter lets you solve a variety of puzzles and topple enemies.

What’s especially cool about this is the option to mess with a sleeping Luigi on the touch screen.  Yanking his beard – pull back with the stylus and let go – works similar to a slingshot that propels Mario to new heights.  Tickling Luigi’s nose, on the other hand, causes him to sneeze, which pushes blocks into the foreground on the top screen; those are but two examples.

As for combat, fans of the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario franchises will easily adjust to the turn-based battles, where they select an item - a boot that instructs Mario to stomp bad guys, for instance – and tap the attack button at just the right time to add a little something extra to the maneuver.

There’s more to it than that.  Throughout the adventure, Mario will be able to spawn an army of Luiginoids to tackle enemies.  In one instance, you’ll balance Mario atop a ball of these little guys as they squash goombas and other critters.  

On top of that, select fights will let you turn the 3DS sideways like a book.  From there, a super Luigi with go toe-to-toe against a large foe. If per chance you get stuck, no worries.  The game will feature a Hint System that provides valuable tips, along with an Easy Mode for newcomers.

Throw in the series’ trademark humor and cartoon-style visuals, and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has the makings of yet another 3DS hit. Expect plenty of tips next month.