This week in the Nintendo eShop: Naked children journey through the seven depths of Satan’s cellar, a trio of endearing Tomorrow Corporation titles ignites the Switch, and Picross 3D keeps Wii U on life support.
Capcom’s holding another monstrous sale for its infamous creature hunting series. 3DS owners can nab Monster Hunter Generations or 4 Ultimate for just $19.99 a piece. More Atlus games continue to trickle in the bargain bin, too, with both Etrian Odyssey remasters up to 40% off through the end of March.
In case you missed it last week, Swap Fire continues to be completely free now through early April. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s a pretty amazing Wii U exclusive first-person shooter with lofty ambitions to redefine the genre, designed with a heavy emphasis on couch-multiplayer co-op.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (Nicalis, $39.99 | available 3/17) – Grab a bible and dip yourself in holy water because the sinful abominations of Isaac’s basement are crawling onto the Switch tomorrow! The disturbing brain child of Super Meat Boy’s Edmund McMillen, The Binding of Isaac is an immensely addictive dungeon-crawler featuring tight and twitchy twin-stick shooter gameplay and enough nightmare fuel to keep Freddy Krueger in business for a lifetime. Randomly generated maps provide over 11,000 unique room configurations, each populated with an unprecedented variety of vile creatures and brutal challenges to overcome. As oxymoronic as it sounds, Binding’s creepy/cute art style is off-puttingly endearing in the best of ways: full of cute and cuddly looking monstrosities you’ll just want to hug, but can’t because they’ll definitely tear your face off. If traversing demented Zelda-inspired dungeons while fighting pungent poop monsters with the tears of a traumatized, naked child sounds too nutty to pass up, give Isaac’s bizarre misadventure a whirl.
SWITCH DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
World of Goo (Tomorrow Corporation, $9.99) – The first of Tomorrow Corporation’s terrific trio sliming its way to the Nintendo Switch is World of Goo: the award winning physics based puzzle game initially debuted as a WiiWare exclusive. With intuitive use of the touchscreen, players drag and drop living, squirming, talking globs of goo to build structures, bridges, cannonballs, zeppelins… basically everything including the kitchen sink, in order to safely direct them towards an exit. Different types of these gelatinous critters contain different properties, requiring tactful care and specific combinations to successfully complete levels. Its many clever puzzles are only further complemented by a witty, colorful presentation, making this a must-own title for all Switch owners who’ve yet to experience the thrills of getting goop all over their hands.
Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation, $9.99) – Did you ever just want to burn a bunch of stuff to see what would happen, but were worried what your parents or society would think of you? While you may be a deranged pyromaniac (and should probably get that checked out by a professional), Tomorrow Corporation’s Little Inferno might be right up your chimney. This avant garde affair about a child ordering goods only to burn them in a fireplace to stay warm is exactly as straightforward as it sounds. While that might sound a bit boring at first glance… well yeah, it kind of is. Though it’s the bizarre premise and creepy off-putting presentation of the whole thing that really helps sell it. Give it a try if you’ve got a few extra dollars left in your account to burn.
Human Resource Machine (Tomorrow Corporation, $9.99) – If Little Inferno’s premise baffled you from a “why does this even exist” standpoint then get ready for another game from the same developers built to confuse you from an entirely different perspective. You know those nightmares you still have as a fully grown adult, standing naked in math class and unable to solve complex formulas because, for some reason, you’ve been skipping class all semester long? Enter Human Resource Machine — the physical manifestation of your worst fears come to life. A visual programming based puzzle game, HRM comes packed with 40 programming puzzles involving rudimentary commands to perform a given task. In all seriousness, it’s a pretty awesome game that’s somehow able to distill the complexities of assembly programing into an easily understood visual metaphor. The Little Inferno inspired visual style was clearly used to avoid scaring off would-be players from giving it a fair shot — a wise choice given the fact that I, too, lack the ability to comprehend what I just said one sentence ago.
Arcade Archives – The King of Fighters ‘94 (Hamster Corporation, $7.99) – Arcade Archives, a series of emulated arcade machine games from the 1980s and 1990s, continues to release classic Neo Geo titles on the Switch this week with the King of Fighters ‘94. It’s the very first game in the flagship series featuring both original and popular characters from Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting duking it out in classic 2D fighter fashion. The game’s also generally praised for sporting a complex combat system, masterful matchup of fighters from various SNK franchises, and fluid, vibrant animations. Fighter fans might want to consider adding this to their growing digital Switch libraries without delay.
3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Sudoku Party (Lightwood Games, $5.00) – If logic puzzles are your cup of tea, the good folks over at Lightwood Games have got your back. Fans of Sudoku will appreciate the unique twist here: the addition of multiplayer co-op. That might seem odd for a game traditionally played solo in airports during four hour layovers, but rest assured it all works together surprisingly well. Beyond solving puzzles together, two players can also duke it out in a fierce competition of wits and fast-action gameplay. It’s especially awesome knowing the game supports both Download Play and online multiplayer options, which isn’t something generally seen in the genre. With over 1,000+ puzzles to keep your mind occupied, there’s no shortage of fun to be had. I just wish a little more effort was put into the game’s presentation. Those ugly Clipart inspired balloons in particular clash hard with the otherwise pleasantly flat aesthetic.
NEW 3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Double Breakout (nuGAME, $7.00) – Those of you following my weekly rants and raves for Nintendo eShop games may recall my lukewarm feelings for nuGAME’s slew of classic Breakout clones. Much like its first release back in December, there’s nothing particularly noteworthy in this ho-hum hybrid between Pong and classic Breakout. It features the same brief 20 levels, lackluster presentation, and minimal modes as its Wii U counterpart, making this an even trickier sell for anyone thinking about double-dipping. Plus, you’re already spending all your money on Isaac today, right? Good, glad we got that that settled.
Fairune2 (Circle Entertainment, Free) – RPG fans may want to dock their Switches and boot up their 3DS systems for a bit, as a pretty sweet RPG got the demo treatment today. For those that don’t know, Fairune 2 is a fantasy puzzle-solving adventure RPG that has you exploring maps, solving puzzles and beating up monsters. Its unique combat system has more in common with the Ys series than you’d expect from more traditional RPGs, consisting of little more than ramming into enemies headfirst and exchanging blows automatically. If it’s anything like its predecessor, expect more focus to be placed on puzzle solving than anything else. While it isn’t a particularly challenging game, there’s something unmistakably charming in its simplicity. I’m also personally a big fan of both the 8-bit aesthetic and upbeat, chiptune soundtrack.
WII U DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Sky Force Anniversary (Infinite Dreams Inc, $9.99) – In celebration of its ten year anniversary, legendary shoot ‘em up Sky Force soars onto Wii U today in super-destructive style. Originally rocking mobile phones back in 2004, this vertically scrolling shmup swaps its 2D aesthetic roots for a more modern 3D take that uses the entire 16:9 playing field to its advantage. Gorgeous graphics, intuitive controls and a powerful upgrade system makes this an easy recommendation for anyone seeking classic arcade action that will keep you busy for hours on end.
VRog (ByteRockers Games, $4.99) – Perfectly built with the Wii U’s capabilities in mind, VRog has players hopping between the lily pads of a serene pond as a hungry frog in search of their next meal. Using the GamePad’s gyroscope, you assume a first-person view while aiming your crosshairs on various types of bugs, all while avoiding being eaten by vicious predators yourself. It’s a pretty simple concept that looks like a lot of fun, especially for high score chasers seeking something a little different or with a more mellow, playful tone.
Double Breakout II (nuGAME, $7.00) – If there’s one thing the Wii U needs in these waning months of its life, it’s more Breakout clones. Rounding out this year’s quota for the brick breaking phenomenon is Double Breakout II: a sequel to last December’s two-player hybrid of both Pong and Breakout. Releasing today alongside the original’s 3DS port only further highlights the oversaturation of such titles flooding the eShop, meaning developers really have to differentiate themselves these days if they’re looking to catch the eye of the consumer. Unfortunately, nuGAME felt simply adding 20 more levels and nothing more to their uninspired prequel would cut it. They didn’t even bother to provide Nintendo with a unique summary, opting instead to simply cut and paste the original’s description verbatim. Save your money, folks.
Sudoku Party (Lightwood Games, $5.00) – The exact same game being offered on 3DS consoles today also makes an appearance on your Switch’s paperweight. Why you would ever want to play Sudoku on anything other than a portable screen is beyond me, but I guess it’s nice to have options. Personally, I’d grab the game on the go if you’re even the slightest bit intrigued. As stated above, the multiplayer hook seems like a creative way to inject some much needed personality into a traditionally stale genre, but the game’s poor presentation could use a facelift.
ACE – Alien Cleanup Elite (Nitrolic Games, $5.00) – Alien Cleanup Elite is a ’90s inspired arcade game… and that’s about all we know. Nitrolic Games left a pretty cryptic summary on Nintendo’s product page that does little to inspire faith in this crude Contra clone. It’s also labeled a first-person fighting game, which couldn’t be further from the truth after watching a gameplay video found in the depths of YouTube. At least it seems to feature some rogue-like elements to prevent the action from getting too repetitive, with two player co-op and online leaderboards rounding out the alien infested package.
WII U VIRTUAL CONSOLE
Picross 3D (Nintendo, $9.99) – The sudoku inspired, pixel art hybrid puzzler returns! Unlike regular picross, this 3D rendition presents a rectangular grid of squares that needs filling in to create a picture. Essentially, chipping away at blocks constructs an image in three dimensions. The DS’ stylus and touchscreen proved the perfect platform for showcasing this new style of puzzle mechanics, with over 350 individual problems to solve. Unfortunately, all additional puzzles obtained via Nintendo wi-fi connection are no longer available, making the Wii U version here slightly less superior. Still, the game should prove loads of fun for fans of creative puzzle solving.
SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS
[3DS] Monster Hunter Generations ($19.99 | 50% off) until 3/22
[3DS] Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate ($19.99 | 33% off) until 3/22
[3DS] Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ($9.99 | 50% off) until 3/22
[3DS] Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked ($9.99 | 66% off) until 3/20
[3DS] Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker ($19.99 | 50% off) until 3/27
[3DS] Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl ($19.99 | 33% off) until 3/27
[3DS] Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight ($29.99 | 40% off) until 3/27
[3DS] Etrian Mystery Dungeon ($19.99 | 33% off) until 3/20
[3DS] Code of Princess ($19.99 | 33% off) until 3/27
[3DS] Coaster Creator 3D ($6.99 | 12% off) until 3/23
[3DS] Turtle Tale ($1.49 | 50% off) until 3/23
[Wii U] Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ($13.59 | 66% off) until 3/22
[Wii U] Swap Fire (Free | 100% off) until 4/9
[Wii U] Darksiders II ($5.99 | 85% off) until 3/30
[Wii U] Tadpole Treble ($5.99 | 40% off) until 3/30
[Wii U] Soul Axiom ($5.99 | 60% off) until 3/17
[Wii U] Turtle Tale ($1.49 | 50% off) until 3/23
[Wii U] Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese ($3.99 | 20% off) until 4/6
[Wii U] Fit Music ($12.90 | 35% off) until 3/30
[Wii U] Dungeon Hearts DX ($4.99 | 50% off) until 3/30
[Wii U] Master Reboot ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/23
[Wii U] Wheel of Fortune ($5.99 | 85% off) until 3/30
[Wii U] Jeopardy! ($5.99 | 85% off) until 3/30
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!