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Nintendo reminds us that games don't have to be anything but fun, sometimes

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Over the decades, video games have grown to become a thoughtful, sometimes intense form of expression; a way to allow people to experience lives and events they never could before.

The blossoming art of games and game making, though, can sometimes overshadow the basic reason for games to exist in the first place: they can provide a happy, maybe thoughtless diversion.

Games as fun — just fun — still exist in a myriad of ways, but no one has mastered the craft of making happy little interactions as much as Nintendo.

I was reminded of this in a recent visit to the company's New York City's offices.

The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes is the sort of game you have to work at to not enjoy. While the game can be played on your own with two AI-controlled companions, the way it's meant to be played is with three people cooperatively.

The game relies on your ability to not only play the game as one of three Links, but also to communicate and plan with two co-players to do things like form a walking totem pole of Links.

I found myself trying to get through two different areas with two other reporters. By the end of our session we were laughing and joking about our misadventures and complete, abject failure at even the easiest of levels.

triforce

The play-through of the level started as many such challenges begin: With a lot of talk. But the culmination of my time at Nintendo was watching one of the people from the company trying to complete a level designed by the same member of Nintendo's Treehouse group that designed the killer levels for the Nintendo World Championships last month.

The level was shown off at San Diego Comic-Con, we were told, and almost none of the hundreds of people who played it were able to beat it. But one of the people who could was in the room with us right now. So we asked him to prove it.

The video above is a compilation of his attempts and the final, time's up conclusion.

It's not just Nintendo that can make a game as fun to watch as it is to play, but they seem to nail that aspect nearly every single time. The company's games, Wii U and 3DS are also a reminder that not all games need to have deeper meaning, or lead to thoughtful introspection. Sometimes they can just be fun.