The most infuriating part of Bowser’s Fury is Bowser himself. King Koopa’s arrival can both ruin your day and grant access to previously inaccessible areas, meaning the bite-sized Bowser’s Fury is somewhat of a waiting game. But you don’t have to wait for Bowser to do his thing. You just need a Bowser Amiibo.
Amiibo, for those who don’t know, are official, real-world Nintendo-minted collectibles. They’re available in various forms—say, a card or a miniature figurine—and offer tangible yet minor benefits for the games you play. For instance, by using compatible Amiibo for Mario Kart 8, you could deck out your Mii in outfits inspired by characters like Kirby, Samus, or Yoshi. On the Switch, you need only tap an Amiibo against your controller, be it a Joy-Con or a Pro, to reap the rewards.
At various intervals in Nintendo’s latest Mario adventure—released last week as part of a bundle with the Switch re-release of Super Mario 3D World—Bowser swells to the size of a Godzilla, rains fire from the sky, and generally makes traversing the game’s open world a more dangerous endeavor. These outbursts can be annoying, a “point of abject irritation,” to some. But Bowser’s intermittent fury also presents an opportunity.
As you explore the world of Bowser’s Fury, you’ll see blocks with Bowser’s face imprinted on the side. Behind each set, you’ll find a Cat Shine (basically, the Shine Sprites of this particular Mario adventure). But the only way to break these blocks is by using Bowser’s fiery breath. When he tries to turn you into a pile of ashen denim and moustache hair, just stand behind the blocks, and his blast will destroy them. Collecting the Cat Shine will send him back into the sea, at which point you’ll have to wait until he rears his stupid face again.
Unless you have a Bowser Amiibo. You can use one to summon Bowser at will.
This presents an odd situation. Generally, Amiibo offer minor bonuses—stuff like costumes or items—rather than significant gameplay benefits. In this case, the Amiibo offers a pretty major boon. It’s not quite pay-to-win, but still, if you buy a Bowser Amiibo your game is easier, or at least more in your control.
A Bowser Amiibo currently sells for $13.