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Guide: The Biggest Wii U and 3DS eShop Games Coming In 2014

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

With apologies, this time, to your digital wallet

The second half of 2014 is almost upon us, and we have a clearer idea of what games will arrive before those New Year bells take us into 2015. We already brought you a guide to the biggest Wii U and 3DS retail games coming in 2014, so naturally we'll now do the same for eShop games.

Our goal with this list is to show a lot of awesome games that you'll be able to download in the coming months, with the eShop stores becoming an increasingly important part of Nintendo's systems. This isn't a guide to all downloads on the way this year — nor does it even include all those listed by Nintendo at E3 — as like our retail guide we're listing those that we consider the most interesting or 'biggest' games on the way, either based on play time we've had or what our eyeballs tell us from trailers. Some wonderful games are also excluded — such as Hyper Light Drifter — as they're either confirmed to have slipped from initially targeting this year and dropped into 2015, or seem very likely to do so.

So, with that clarified, let's get to it.


Wii U eShop

A colourful, humorous action platformer 'Metroidvania' experience, this is an expanded version of the original that's proved popular on systems such as PS3 and Vita. This has new areas, moves, local co-op multiplayer and off-TV play, so is the very definition of potential as a result. We recently wrote a preview for this one, and are certainly optimistic that this could be a stand-out on the system.

It's been a long time coming — three and a half years if you go back to development day one — yet this timed exclusive from Fuzzy Wuzzy Games is now just around the corner. Plenty of levels will feature a lot of rolling action, though there'll be some diversity to play as the adventure progresses.

Yet another intriguing multi-platform download title coming to the Wii U, the Nintendo system's version will use the GamePad's touchscreen for solving environmental puzzles with different colours of paint; there'll also be a new two-player co-op mode, with the character controlled with a standard pad and the GamePad player assisting with paint.

Released with some success on iOS, this title brings a pop-up book visual style, with the experience rooted in Japanese culture and story-telling. Designed as a relaxing, soothing experience, this is still on its way to Wii U and could be one of the store's most distinctive experiences.

An intriguing collaboration between KnapNok Games (Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party) and Nifflas (Knytt Underground), this is described as a "2D side scrolling spaceship simulator". Utilising the dual-display option provided by the GamePad, you control the various functions and mechanics of your ship on the touch screen, solving environmental puzzles as you go, while others can join in and help in local co-op.

One of the most popular 3DS eShop titles in the Nintendo Life community, this will get the HD treatment on Wii U, which is likely to catch the eye of game veterans and newcomers. You can check out our detailed interview with Image & Form to learn more about this version.

Confirmed courtesy of its inclusion in Nintendo's E3 trailers, this looks like an intriguing title that utilises the top and bottom of the screen to serve up some tricky and clever puzzles. Originally developed for PC, the simple aesthetic and soothing soundtrack could combine to provide a cerebral, enchanting experience. Not long until we find out.

A puzzle title coming to multiple platforms, this looks like a clever co-op experience in which two players control the same chariot and tethers to navigate tricky environments. Though ideally played with another, this one will also support single-player.

We've been yammering on about this one for a long time, originally created by WaterMelon as a new Mega Drive / Genesis title — Kickstarter funding made this HD version for Wii U a reality. Set to be a sizeable RPG already, this will also include extra 'Director's Cut' content; if you're a fan of lengthy retro RPG experiences, this should be on your radar.

In an era when fast-paced multiplayer experiences like Nidhogg can become a phenomenon on social networks, this is gunning for the same territory. Though a single player mode will be introduced, this is designed for up to four players (locally) to try to pierce opponents with their colourful, flying whale / unicorn hybrids — known as STARWHAL creatures. Games like this create serious buzz, and Wii U gamers will be able to join in.

Though this could slip into next year, it earns a spot due to Ronimo Games at least targeting a 2014 arrival. A sequel to the excellent WiiWare title that recently got a decent port on Wii U, this is a 2D, sidescrolling RTS (real-time strategy) title. The first game was one of the best titles of Nintendo's last generation online home console store, and we're optimistic that this will carry on that legacy.

Originally known simply as Two Brothers, this intriguing top-down adventure game with a Game Boy aesthetic has endured some delays coming to Wii U, with some doubts over a 2014 release. Nevertheless, it'll now come with some more content and polish, hopefully living up to expectations.

This is in the 'much anticipated and delayed' category, having initially been shown a great deal in other territories and since released on PC. Based on our time with this one it could be worth the wait, as it's a highly stylised adventure that makes clever use of magnetisation and unlockable abilities. We spoke to the developers about their vision for the series last year.

The Nintendo début of Italian developer MixedBag, this is a stylish adventure title in which you pilot a small craft through an alien world, attempting to find your way and unlock new abilities as you go. You can learn more in our interview with the developer.

We're been following this high-intensity twin-stick arena shooter with interest via the early-access PC version, and we're excited by what we've seen. With a stylish look but, more importantly, terrific performance, this continues to evolve and improve with every update; local co-op is a blast.


Wii U and 3DS

A high-profile Kickstarter success for Yacht Club Games — made up primarily of former WayForward staff — this is a console exclusive for Nintendo's systems; it'll also be on PC. This sneaks onto the list as it hits this week in North America, though the extra ratings and certification requirements of Europe mean that release in the region is still in progress. A retro NES-style platformer with charming visuals and features unique to the Wii U and 3DS versions, this has received nothing but praise from those that have played it so far.

The much anticipated — and admittedly delayed — third entry in the iconic WayForward series is also coming to the Wii U. Whichever system you play the game on this has plenty of lovely pixels, while promising multi-use weapons and a substantial map to explore; this could be one of the biggest experiences available on both eShop stores.

Originally a success story on Kickstarter, well-known publisher Atlus is confident enough about this Eden Industries project to have taken on publishing duties. A quirky RPG in which you're vice-President of the World and must promptly save it with the help of a substantial team, this was pitched as drawing inspiration from classics such as EarthBound.


3DS eShop

Inspired by Breakout and Arkanoid, but with platforming elements and a lot more colour, this is an anticipated title on the way from Mojo Bones. Set to deliver 60fps performance, multiple control options and more, it could be ideal on-the-go gaming. You can learn a lot more about this one in our interview with the developer.

The first entry in this series — brought to us by Goodbye Galaxy Games — went down well, blending Picross with its own twist in which you populate entire lines at a time to create images. Expect more of that puzzle goodness with some tweaks and improvements, as Hugo Smits explains in our interview.

For those that feel the 3DS eShop is best-served by simple, pick-up-and-play experiences, this title from MiniVisions should fit the bill. An anarchic single screen platformer in which you grab and throw objects and simply try to survive, it looks like rather silly fun.

A re-master of the original Moon on DS, Renegade Kid has delivered the first episodic release on the portable store, not to mention a rare FPS for the system. Episode 1 has already passed, and three more parts will complete the first 'season', with the second season expected to cover an all-new story. European release details are yet to be confirmed.

This title was revealed through a much coveted spot in Nintendo's pre-E3 trailer blow-out, an undoubted vote in confidence for the sequel to what we regarded as a rather good DSiWare game. It's an air combat game and, if it lives up to its predecessor, could be a rather promising release on the horizon.

The original Gunman Clive rather rapidly became a budget hit on the 3DS, so the announcement of the sequel is excellent news. This new entry promises four playable characters, more 60fps performance and use of the 3D screen and "more dynamic levels; run through collapsing buildings, jump between ships on a stormy ocean, ride a panda and much more". The trailer also showed a boss fight against a Tyrannosaurus Rex...

Coming only to the eShop, this includes the original series trilogy in one package, with stereoscopic 3D and improved visuals included. This is likely to tempt both veterans and those new to the series.

This action platformer from Renegade Kid has seen a few delays, though still seems to be set for a 2014 arrival. It'll have two-player co-op, two modes and plenty of cameos from other characters; here's hoping it's worth the wait.


So there you go, plenty of enticing eShop games on the way in 2014, which plenty more of promise that didn't quite make the cut here. Let us know which you're most excited about in the comments below, while you can check out Nintendo's pre-E3 trailer blow-outs, featuring some of these titles, right here and here.

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User Comments (81)

StephenYap3

#1

StephenYap3 said:

Honestly, the "Wii U and 3DS games" list are the only games I'm interested in so far, as well as Guacamelee.

ULTRA-64

#2

ULTRA-64 said:

What's happened to FAST racing neo? forgot with all the e3 stuff, have I missed something?

sinalefa

#5

sinalefa said:

There is a ton of stuff I am interested in. I feel like I have been waiting for Armillo and Siesta Fiesta forever.

Magrane

#6

Magrane said:

Looking forward to Shovel Knight and Gunman Clive 2! I'm big on platformers that are retro-based. This article alone makes me want to power up my Wii U..........

Shambo

#7

Shambo said:

I thought: let's take a quick look. Nothing TOO dangerous, not that much into downloaAAAH :O

I'm ruined.

Interneto

#8

Interneto said:

I only care about Shovel Knight.

EDIT: And Gunman Clive 2.

EDIT2: Maybe Treasurenauts too.

EDIT3: OK I WANT THEM ALL shots

Jahir

#9

Jahir said:

My Wii U have been seeing a lot of action lately and I think that won't change anytime soon... Damn/Thank you Nintendo.

unrandomsam

#10

unrandomsam said:

I want Shovel Knight but I also don't want to be messed around due to being in the EU. (Not sure how long I will be willing to wait before just getting it on Steam).

ULTRA-64

#11

ULTRA-64 said:

@Zyph @ThomasBW84 for some reason I thought that was nearly done. That maybe I missed it at e3 etc.
Has it been delayed or has it just been quiet for a while?

rbmoura85

#14

rbmoura85 said:

I wanna know when is Art of Balance coming!? Wasnt it suposed to have been released already?

bizcuthammer

#15

bizcuthammer said:

Can't decide whether to get Shovel Knight and Shantae for Wii U or 3DS. Leaning toward WiiU for SK, 3DS for Shantae (thats the console the game was made for is why). Also very interested in Citizens of Earth, Guacamelee, Gunman Clive 2 and Treasurenauts, and maybe Armillo. Depends on pricing and reviews for some of those.

Also to anyone who doesn't have SteamWorld Dig on 3DS, or simply doesnt own a 3DS but has a WiiU: get it when it hits WiiU (or now for 3DS). It is my favorite indie game i've played, and is worth all $8 and definitely more. Its a bit short and leaves you wanting more, but it has good replay value and is extremely addicting. I may even consider getting it again when it hits Wii U.

ThomasBW84Admin

#16

ThomasBW84 said:

@ULTRA-64 It's been pretty quiet, just snippets of info (supports motion controls and various controllers) and not much else. No real indication of release date - the website for the game said 2014 initially, though that's been taken away. Shin'en is working away, I'm sure, but there's just not enough to go on to know how it's progressing or even guarantee it for 2014 in an article like this.

Volmun

#17

Volmun said:

Nice to see Two Brothers still exsists - Sevral games here id realy like to get a hold of lol

Superstick

#18

Superstick said:

Shantae for me. Probably getting on 3DS though for the 3D. Unless the Wii U version is HD!

Sir_JBizzle

#19

Sir_JBizzle said:

Between XBOX One, PS4 and especially Nintendo, my wallet is going to hate me so much the back half of this year!! I want at least half of the titles listed here.

jariw

#22

jariw said:

I look forward to many of these games. BTW, I'm going to get Tengami because David Wise made the music. That's the only reason I need. ;-)

6ch6ris6

#23

6ch6ris6 said:

yes 3DS eshop delivers.

siesta fiesta, tappingo 2, gunman clive are instant buys for me. shantae, thorium wars and shovel knight might be something for me too.

IxC

#24

IxC said:

Guacamelee is such a bad game. I was unfortunate enough to get it as part of a Humble Bundle. It's really quite awful.

A lot to look forward to though. Armilo surprised with an astonishingly lower price than I was expecting. Will be picking that up for sure.

But where is QUBE? It's still scheduled for 2014, and we've seen footage of it. Arguably bigger than many games on this list, like iOS ports Tengami and Nihilumbra .

Xilef

#25

Xilef said:

So much good stuff on it's way... And this is only the 2014 games! I'm going to need a bigger SD card for my 3DS and get a hardrive for my Wii U.

Ralek85

#28

Ralek85 said:

Phoenix Wright and Gunman Clive 2 for me. Swords & Soldiers II once I get my hands on a Wii U. The first one was really fun, played it several times on multiple platforms. Any information if it will come to other platforms this time around too ?

Peach64

#30

Peach64 said:

Just Guacamelee and Steam World Dig for definite, but there's a lot there I'm keeping an eye on and waiting for reviews.

Iggly

#32

Iggly said:

The amount of games that are releasing both digitally and retail throughout 2014 & 2015 is ridiculous, but I guess people can stop complaining that the Wii U has no games. Plus there's the 3DS if you guys are still hungry for some games, amirite?

JaxonH

#38

JaxonH said:

Wii U
Nihilumbra
Armillo
Steam World Dig
Guacamelee
Assault Android Cactus
Swords and Soldiers 2
Teslagrad

3DS
Gunman Clive 2
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Siesta Fiesta
Tappingo 2

And we still have Shantae Half Genie Hero, Mighty Number 9, Earthlock Festival of Magic, Azure Striker Gunvolt, Hyper Light Drifter, Aztez, Oddworld New and Tasty, Oddworld Stranger's Wrath, Stealth Inc 2, Art of Balance HD, Fast Racing Neo and goodness knows how many others I'm forgetting about that are day-one must buys. Most are 2015, but who cares as long as they're coming! Some will be 2014 though.

Kaze_Memaryu

#40

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Wait, where's Hyper Light Drifter?
Also, why are all games on this list that I want constantly falling victim to delays? Shantae, Shovel Knight, and PierSolar all have no clear EU release.

Giygas_95

#41

Giygas_95 said:

Like @ULTRA-64 said, I really hope we see FAST Racing Neo in the near future.

Of these, I'm interested most in Shovel Knight, Treasurenauts, and the new Thorium Wars. I kind of like that they dropped the somewhat clunky tank and boat missions in favor of sky missions in this Thorium Wars game.

smikey

#42

smikey said:

That's 18 wii u games on the Nintendo life list with only 28 weeks left in the year so while most people won't want all the games between these & the retail games due out in a couple of months onwards surely 2014 is looking good for gamers now with 2015 looking even better still.

that's not even forgetting multiple games announced that aren't on the list for instance block drop is out in eu thiis week (I know it's cheap, not for everyone & already out in usa)

as i'm in uk if you add the e-shop games already released in the usa yet to make it here we've got over 20 & are virtually assured of getting 1 at least half decent (depending on individual preference obviously) e-shop game a week for the rest of the year.

For me personally I'll be buying every single e-shop game on wii u and picking up a lot of free £5 codes from the Nintendo premium service at the same time.

rjejr

#43

rjejr said:

Guacamele almost certainly and S&S2 is day 1, whatever day that is.

The rest, well they look ok, but I think I'm spoiled getting so many indies from PS+ the past few years, and playing free games on Android, that paying for indies full price day 1 just doesn't appeal to me. There's something to be said for the happiness I feel when a game I've been wanting goes on sale :-) Though I suppose having enough money to buy everything Day 1 would be nice also.

Nintendo does need to look into discounts for the Wii U and 3DS simultaneous release games though.

sketchturner

#44

sketchturner said:

Looking forward to:
Shovel Knight
Guacamelee
Forma.8
Affordable Space Adventures
Stealth Inc. 2
A.N.N.E.
Chromophore

sinalefa

#45

sinalefa said:

@smikey

Talking about Blok Drop U, they updated the NA version and it is a vast improvement. It has now saves, level select, sound effects and the graphics have been improved as well, particularly the saws that looked terrible in the original release.

Daisaku36

#48

Daisaku36 said:

I guess the only games on this list that don't interest me are 6180 to the moon, Siesta Fiesta, and Tapingo 2, all of the rest look cool to me.

brandonbwii

#49

brandonbwii said:

It always gets me to see all of these eshop games and none made by Nintendo while retail, all you have IS Nintendo.

SahashraLA

#50

SahashraLA said:

With alot of European retail titles getting special editions (dual disc Bayonetta and Pandora's Tower are most memorable, not to mention a MUCH more attractive MK8 deal) I'm glad to live in North America, what with all the indie goodness. Aside from the Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles, I've spent alot more time playing indies than retail.

FishClip

#51

FishClip said:

I wonder if we'll ever hear more about 90's Arcade Racer. I'm hoping it will come this year :/

KryptoKrunch

#52

KryptoKrunch said:

Tons of indie games coming to both eShops. This is a very nice list; my most anticipated are Gucamelee, Pier Solar, Moon and Treasurenaunts.

WinterWarm

#53

WinterWarm said:

I couldn't agree more with this list. I just got Moon Chronicles, at it is amazing, and, I admit, this talk of a second season is news to, but welcome, nonetheless.

iphys

#54

iphys said:

Looking to download:
Assault Android Cactus
Wii Sports Club Boxing
Siesta Fiesta
Tappingo 2
Thorium Wars
Gunman Clive 2
Steel Empire
Tetris Ultimate

biglittlejake

#56

biglittlejake said:

Disappointing. I really hope for some great classics to compensate that lackluster list of games. Or new great retail games.

NibelsnarfNoob

#58

NibelsnarfNoob said:

@Bryon15 Website still says Summer 2014 with no exact release date (last time i check earlier last week), so hopefully we'll hear something about it during July.

HAL9000

#59

HAL9000 said:

Nintendo - I NEED folders on Wii U... PLEASE!

Shovel Knight
Guacamele
Affordable space adventures
Chariot
Armillo
Swords Soldiers 2
Pier Solar
Tengami
Shantae
Nihulumbra
(you forgot Wooden Sensai)

XCWarrior

#62

XCWarrior said:

A lot of good eshop games coming for both systems. Next week is a biggie with Shovel Knight. Since it actually does Streetpass stuff, I think that's the version I'll be getting. Wish more games utilized streetpass bonuses.

cusman

#63

cusman said:

A couple of these I am already interested in. The rest will have to surprise me at review time or have positive recommendation from some of my WiiU friends to get my attention.

Finntendo

#64

Finntendo said:

Okay, someone explain to me what's the problem releasing Shovel Knight in Europe? What's their excuse..first they push the date and then they push european release even further.

But there are few others games to consider.. and been adding money to my card that I use adding money to eShop (my main doesn¨t work because Electron and Ninty really should put some kind of warning that it doesn't work)

noctowl

#67

noctowl said:

Usually not impressed by indie games, but this list looks pretty awesome overall. Hope a handful of them come before October 3rd though!

@IxC what are you smoking that guacamelee is a bad game? Or is that sarcasm?

jariw

#68

jariw said:

@Finntendo NoE has a separate lot check to NoA, and Europe has a different process for the age rating. However, some indie games manage to synch the NA and Europe release nevertheless.

Vader_MIB

#70

Vader_MIB said:

It's been a while since i bought something on 3DS eshop. Europe does not receive anything interesting these days... Where is Shovel Knight? :(

AcesHigh73

#71

AcesHigh73 said:

Lots of cool Wii U stuff on the way for me in the coming months! As a Londoner, I just hope that we're not left waiting too long for the likes of Shovel Knight and 1001 Spikes, etc. Then again, we're STILL waiting for Mutant Mudds Deluxe here, so I guess I can only remain so positive. Either way, as and when they do hit the eShop, I'll definitely be grabbing:

A.N.N.E.
Chromophore: The Two Brothers Director's Cut
Costume Quest 2
Guacamelee!
Hyper Light Drifter
Insanity's Blade
Mighty No. 9
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty
Paradise Lost: First Contact
Pier Solar and the Great Architects
Q.U.B.E.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
Shantae and the Pirates Curse
Shovel Knight
Stealth Inc 2
SteamWorld Dig
Swords & Soldiers II
The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup
Wooden Sen'Sey
1001 Spikes

Finntendo

#72

Finntendo said:

@jariw

I thought if it was about a rating, but since they've already pushed it further, I don't see how come it still can be "unknown" for Europe?

Oh well...there's the money waiting for it.

Garo

#73

Garo said:

I'm already seeing 10 must-haves and many more that I might end up buying once I see some reviews. My wallet is crying.

Barbiegurl777

#74

Barbiegurl777 said:

I heard that Kuma Tomo - 3DS is supposedly coming out this Oct/2014 along with Pokemon Art Academy - 3DS. I truly hope/pray that it is true because I want to play Kuma Tomo - 3DS on my american 3ds in the worst way with english localization for the game. :D :D :D

That will be my biggest 3DS game for 2014 if it's actually true... :)

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

ricklongo

#75

ricklongo said:

I wish they'd bring Gunman Clive 2 to the Wii U, too, as I'd love playing it on a big screen. It's about the only 3DS exclusive on that list that I'm 100% getting.

River3636

#76

River3636 said:

Well this is my break! I want some good fillers on virtual console this summer. Since SquareEnix hasn't even released Dragon Quest 7 or 10 or the Monster ones in North America. Waiting for Xenoblade feels like an eternity. I'm wondering when Capcom is going to release breath of fire or battle networks. I'm hurting for an RPG.

Mizzah_Tee

#77

Mizzah_Tee said:

@ULTRA-64 There's a theory that Fast Racing Neo has basically disappeared because Nintendo is having Shin'en rework the game into F-Zero for Wii U!

Danny429

#79

Danny429 said:

What ever happened to super smash bros.? Or is it just eshop games up there that won't be available as retail?

Gashole

#81

Gashole said:

...why don't I remember playing ANY of these?
What about Castlevania 3 in North America? You guys KNOW that's a better game than the ones above, right?

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