A little while ago we posted an article, which you can read here, about the Gameboy games we wanted to see on the 3DS. While it’s always fun to hope for favorites no one likes the waiting game. This is especially true when there’s a whole slew of games ready for download, the nearly entire library of DSiWare titles. Since there’s such a backlog instead of five we’re going to show you ten DSiWare titles worth downloading from the eShop. In no particular order:
Dark Void Zero: If you’re a retro game fan this is the title made for you. Used as a marketing tool to promote Capcom’s Dark Void, this title became a DSiWare favorite while the big budget console version has fallen in to the mystic realm of forgotteness. With gorgeous 8-bit graphics, tight and simple controls, and chiptune music only Capcom could produce this is the best NES game you never played. You even need to blow out a cartridge to begin. The game wears its heritage like a badge of honor, including it’s retro “Nintendo hard” difficulty. An excellent title for any action fan.
Nobody does retro like Capcom.
Cave Story: Is there any bigger Cinderella story in gaming than Cave Story? Well maybe Minecraft, but that’s a different discussion. The bottom line is Cave Story is an instant classic. Experiencing this action/adventure is a must for any game player. The DSiWare version boasts an unlockable mode to play the stellar soundtrack while keeping the spot on controls, simple but stirring story, and wealth of weapons and upgrades that have made the game a favorite. Polished visuals and an ever present map make exploring the subterranean world even more fun. If you’re unsure about buying the full retail Cave Story 3D, sinking a few dollars to play this version should be your alternative of choice.
Art Style: PiCTOBiTS: In all honesty, ANY of the Art Style games are good downloads. Of all of them PiCTOBiTS steals the show the most for it’s unique twist on the falling block puzzle game and it’s presentation. Instead of trying to match falling blocks into patterns on the bottom of the screen, your goal is to take those blocks on the bottom and fill in patterns that fall from above. Once completed any leftover blocks are added to your pool at the bottom while more patterns continue their downward journey. All those patterns you do complete get sent to the top screen where each block begins to fill in an 8-bit Nintendo sprite. The puzzles each end up building a character as familiar as Mario or Link to as obscure as the nameless batter from Baseball. Topping off the package is a soundtrack by chiptune band YMCK and what may be the best credits song in video game history.
Ivy the Kiwi? Mini: Legendary Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka returned to the world of character based platforming games with Ivy the Kiwi? As the title suggests this is a miniaturized version, featuring only fifty levels, as opposed to the full retail versions’ 100 levels. Don’t think this makes it a cheap knock off. The presentation retains the storybook charm and the mechanics are as simple and satisfying as ever. Unable to move herself, you must use vines to guide the little bird through each level. Filled with a wonderful charm the levels each pose various threats as well as collectible items as you work your way through. A great game for any platforming aficionado or fan of Kirby: Canvas Curse.
Charming, challenging, and fun, Ivy the Kiwi is a great game.
Mighty Flip Champs: A puzzle/platformer that could only be done with two screens. Alta is a young girl with a magic wand that can flip the various screens onto each other like shuffling cards. Each screen contains various paths and the only way to get to the exit is by flipping through each one to find the complete path. When one screen shows you your current whereabouts the other shows the next screen to be flipped giving you an idea of how where you are will translate to where you will be. While it starts off fairly simple, if that sounds simple, it quickly gets more complex as breakable and disappearing blocks are added into the mix. The game has a solid soundtrack and a unique art style that revels in the ridiculous. This is a game with loading screens that show a jet pack enabled cat and collectible bonuses take the form of cows. Come for the surreal humor but stay for the mind-bending puzzles.
Dragon Quest Wars: Unlike the massive and epic quests of the Dragon Quest series this spin-off has a different flavor. Rather than offer an RPG experience this game goes the strategy route. Choosing from a group of Dragon Quest monster staples like the Chimera, Golem, and ever popular Slime you arrange them on a battle grid to fight an opposing force of monsters. Adding layers to the basic idea are the monsters various strengths and weaknesses and the ability to call different commands to each monster. The basic Battle Mode includes local wireless and wi-fi fights. A Survival Mode is also present for those looking to tough it out through battle and battle. While not a classic Dragon Quest game it does hold itself to the high standards of the series and simple to understand gameplay make it a title anyone can enjoy, but it helps to be a strategy fan.
How could you NOT want something this adorable on your 3DS?
AlphaBounce: Block breaking games are classic. From Breakout to Alleyway to Arkanoid everyone has played at least one of them before. But you’ve never played one like AlphaBounce. A hybrid of block breaking game and RPG, yes RPG, AlphaBounce gives you over 100 different upgrades to break forty different types of blocks. Three playable characters, corresponding to three difficulty levels, travel through the galaxies across hundreds of levels to break blocks and find minerals. With so many levels, the developers even claim to have over twenty five million of them, it’s easy to get lost in play, which is certainly not a bad thing at all. If you thought the addition of power-ups in Arkanoid was a big step for block breakers than AlphaBounce is a huge mile wide leap.
Dr. Mario Express: If there’s one genre synonymous with handheld gaming it has to be puzzle games. Tetris helped ship the original Gameboy and both the PSP and DS had memorable block fallers with Lumines and Meteos. DSiWare gives us Dr. Mario Express. Essentially an enhanced port of the Gameboy version of Dr. Mario it retains the classic virus killing fun of the original while improving the presentation by leaps and bounds. Dr. Mario himself is proudly in 3D as he tosses the Megavitamins down the bottle while the viruses dance happily with fluid animations. You also have the choice between remixes of the classic Fever and Chill songs. While there is no multiplayer mode the classic arcade styled mode and the option to battle the computer will still provide plenty of value for the puzzling on the go.
Zenonia: Hailing back to the classic age of 16 bit RPGs Zenonia offers over forty hours of play for eight dollars. That’s one heck of a value. Added on to that is a series of systems that alter the game. There a hunger system so make sure you pack food, a weight system so you need to be mindful of how much you carry, and the old standby the morality system. Three different class types and the ability to allocate skill points at each level offer a wealth of customization for you character and as mentioned over forty hours of questing will ensure that an RPG fan is going to find lots to enjoy. A charming story and often funny dialogue doesn’t hurt either.
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge: I said this list was in no particular order, and it’s not, but I couldn’t resist saving the best for last. Of all the games on this list this should be the one to download first. This is an incredible game in every sense of the word. The graphics have the Wayforward touch of beautiful animations, detailed sprites, and stunning backgrounds. The music, composed by Jake “virt” Kaufman, is memorable and flavored with Arabian touches unlike nearly any game on the market. An action/platformer that plays like a modern version of Castlevania II, Risky’s Revenge features hidden items, weapon upgrades, and NPC’s that offer hints and directions. There’s still plenty off the beaten path to discover and unlike Simon’s Quest the NPC’s are actually helpful. The price tag is a bit large but for the quality game you get it’s a steal. Don’t miss this one.
Who'd have thought a girl so spunky would have the best DSiWare game there is.
Please know that this is by no means a complete list. With so many titles we couldn’t fit all of them in one article. Other games worth a look include the rest of the Art Styles series, Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again, X-Scape, Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ, Trajectile, Photo Dojo, Mighty Milky Way, and Pop Plus: Solo.