This week in the Nintendo eShop: Azure Striker Gunvolt gets animated, Parascientific Escape has a second premonition, and Donkey Kong throws a tantrum in a toy factory.

Where’s good ‘ol Atlus when you need them? The cobwebs and tumbleweeds continue to build up in the eShop’s discount aisle this week. Still, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up Tadpole Treble – a refreshingly new take on the rhythm genre that tasks players with swimming through a melodic river of sheet music. Its art style is nothing short of beautiful and highly reminiscent of something you’d find in a children’s storybook– and the songs themselves are addictively catchy and original. It’s available now through February 16th for $5.99 (40% off).

WII U DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE

Plantera (Ratalaika Games, $4.99) – Plantera is a clicker in the vein of AdVenture Capitalist or Cookie Clicker where you slowly grow your own garden and breed plants and animals to earn coins using produce. Personally, I don’t fully understand the appeal of the idle gaming genre, finding the lack of input or strategy from the player extremely boring. At least this one has adorable creatures, charming sprite work and a colorful, cartoony art style to distract you from its monotonous gameplay. If, like me, you feel the genre is better suited for portability then you’re in luck, as a purchase here gets you a free copy on 3DS as well.

Y.A.S.G. (LSA Games, $1.99) – Y.A.S.G is a fairly straightforward old school arcade shooter where you defend your planet from stranger danger. With only a brief description, handful of screenshots and lack of gameplay footage, I can only assume it plays somewhat like classic Asteroids with the key difference being once your onscreen planet is destroyed, it’s Game Over. Despite allowing for a wingman to join in on the fun, I don’t see anything special worth writing home about here. I can’t say I’m particularly enthralled by the ‘90s flash game art style either. Even at just two bucks, this feels too much like a gamble.

Words Up! Academy (CoderChild, $2.99) – Prove your mastery of language by challenging a prestigious Academy of illustrious wordsmiths in this charming take on word scramble gameplay. With tens of thousands of words to discover and six game modes to master there’s more than enough content for word-slinging aficionados to enjoy. My personal favorite addition would have to be the inclusion of vocabulary from six different languages, serving a perfect companion to anyone picking up a second or third language.

BRICK RACE (RCMADIAX, $1.49) – Rounding out this week’s Wii U offerings is RCMADIAX’s grammatically infuriating BRICK RACE. You may recall my strong feelings for this Atari Street Racer knockoff back in August when it bafflingly released on New (yes, New) 3DS systems. For the price of a cup of coffee, you might as well just go get that cup of coffee. Once again, steer clear from this one.

WII U VIRTUAL CONSOLE

Mario vs Donkey Kong (Nintendo, $6.99) – Spiritual successor to 1994’s Game Boy masterpiece, Mario vs Donkey Kong casts players once again as the world’s most negligent plumber in pursuit of something other than repairing busted royal thrones and leaky warp pipes. This time Mario is in hot pursuit of famed hotheaded gorilla Donkey Kong through a toy factory, who’s stolen dozens of Mini-Mario toys in an envious rage of jealousy. (Seriously Mario, about that day job…) Unlike its many Lemmings inspired sequels, this first entry marked a welcome return to the retro arcade stylings of Nintendo’s gaming roots, combining unique platforming and puzzle mechanics in classic fashion. It’s also packed full of content, featuring 48 levels, hidden challenges and unlockable extra modes that are sure to provide hours of fun.

WII U SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS

Tadpole Treble ($5.99 | 40% off) until 2/16
Shadow Puppeteer ($10.49 | 30% off) until 2/23
Toki Tori ($0.67 | 66% off) until 2/10
Toki Tori 2+ ($3.74 | 75% off) until 2/10
Swap Fire ($10.49 | 30% off) until 2/15
B3 Game Expo for Bees ($3.99 | 20% off) until 2/22
Word Search by POWGI ($6.39 | 20% off) until 2/16
EDGE ($0.67 | 66% off) until 2/10
RUSH ($0.67 | 66% off) until 2/10
Citadale ($2.50 | 50% off) until 3/9
KEYTARI: 8-bit Music Maker ($3.99 | 20% off) until 2/15
Mortar Melon ($2.99 | 50% off) until 3/9
Dungeon Hearts DX ($4.99 | 50% off) until 3/30
Rorrim ($2.50 | 50% off) until 3/9
Swords & Soldiers ($1.01 | 66% off) until 2/10
Stone Shire ($4.99 | 37% off) until 3/2

Check Nintendo’s website for the full list of deals available.

3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE

Plantera (Ratalaika Games, $4.99) – Also releasing today on Wii U, Plantera is a clicker in the vein of AdVenture Capitalist or Cookie Clicker where you slowly grow your own garden and breed plants and animals to earn coins using produce. Give it a shot if twitchy games aren’t really your thing, or you simply need something to relax to or fill the void during those long morning commutes. Don’t forget, Plantera is one of the few games on Nintendo platforms featuring cross buy, meaning a purchase here gets you a free copy on Wii U as well.

Parascientific Escape: Gear Detective (Circle Entertainment, $5.00) – The second episode of the Paroscientific Escape series following last year’s Cruise in the Distant Seas has finally been localized for western audiences! Gear Detective continues the escape-the-room visual novel gameplay stylings of its predecessor, only this time with a new setting and cast of characters. Slip on the gumshoes of detective Kyosuke Ayana as he attempts to find a serial killer threatening the quiet neighborhood of Camellia Hills using PSI abilities. While it doesn’t quite meet the production values of the Zero Escape series, there’s a fairly gripping story and enjoyable gameplay system buried beneath the mountain of grammatical errors and constant misspellings.

3DS ADD-ON CONTENT

Azure Striker Gunvolt: The Anime (Inti Creates Co, $2.99) – After a slight delay over the holidays, the brand new anime based off the hit action adventure series is finally upon us! Clocking in at just under 22 minutes, this standalone adaptation gives fans a deeper look into the awesome world of Azure Striker Gunvolt, featuring both the original Japanese voice cast and a brand new English dub. Little else is known about the OVA itself, other than it being created by superstar anime studios LandQ Studios and presented in a way that fans of both the original game on 3DS and those experiencing the series for the first time can enjoy. Be sure to check out the official reveal trailer to see if it’s up your alley.

3DS SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS

Toki Tori 3D ($0.67 | 66% off) until 2/10
The Legend of Kusakari ($2.49 | 50% off) until 2/23
Cube Creator 3D ($6.99 | 12% off) until 3/2
Pixel Paint ($2.99 | 25% off) until 2/23
Epic Word Search Holiday Special ($3.99 | 50% off) until 2/23
Soccer Up 3D ($1.97 | 34% off) until 3/2
Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai ($6.74 | 25% off) until 2/23
Van Helsing sniper Zx100 ($3.33 | 50% off) until 2/23
Word Search by POWGI ($6.39 | 20% off) until 2/16
Snow Moto Racing 3D ($5.99 | 25% off) until 2/16
Strike Force Foxx ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/2

Check Nintendo’s website for the full list of deals available.

 
What games will you be downloading this week? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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Written by Matthew Weidner

When it comes to playing and writing about video games, Matthew aspires to be the very best, like no one ever was. Writing for Nintendo Wire and the thought of one day finally achieving a perfect, no death Super Meat Boy run fills him with determination.

Matthew Weidner