It's the final North American Nintendo Download Update before the Holidays / Christmas, and it has some enticing games on offer. As is now the norm the Switch has a significant number of intriguing titles, and the 3DS also joins in with some tempting options of its own this week. Let's get to it!
TINY METAL (Unties, $24.99USD) - A title that does nothing to hide its attempt to fill the gap left by franchises such as Advance Wars, it offers stylish turn-based strategy allied to modern weapons and warfare along with a bombastic storyline. We were rather impressed with it in our TINY METAL review.
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL (Wired Productions, $12.99USD) - On the surface this looks like a modern-day reimagining of Cannon Fodder, with an isometric overhead view as you lead your tiny troopers into battle. It looks rather charming and promises various challenges and soldier classes; we'll head into battle and let you know what we think in a review.
Bloody Zombies (nDreams, $14.99USD) - A brawler that previous arrived in VR form, it's now been adapted to suit the Switch. It aims to server up 'freeform' combat within beat 'em up gameplay, as you go through London knocking the snot out of a variety of zombies; it also supports local and online co-op for up to four players. We'll get into a review, but in the meantime you can learn more about it from our interview with nDreams.
The Next Penelope (Aurélien Regard, $12.99USD) - Previously planned for Wii U, this is a half racer, half shooter and features some massive boss battles which - once complete - give you additional weapons to use. It's a stylish modernised take on Greek mythology that we rather enjoyed in our review.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (FDG Entertainment, $14.99USD) - As Lily, Knight of the Rose, you must go on a quest to save the Kingdom of Blossom from eternal darkness, collecting a host of weapons, spells, and more along the way. It has a top-down adventure approach that brings 16-bit Legend of Zelda experiences to mind; we'll see how it stacks up in a review.
Puzzle Box Maker (Bplus, $14.99USD) - An interesting arrival as it provides some basic tools for creating your own game stages, on which you can then try out an assortment of minigames. It has plenty of pre-set levels too, and does a solid job of providing accessible level creation. We gave it a recommendation in our Puzzle Box Maker review.
60 Seconds! (Robot Gentleman, $9.99USD) - Released on PC a little while ago, this has the premise of trying to gather supplies in 60 seconds before surviving for a long time in the fallout shelter. It seems to have some rather dark humour (unsurprisingly) and could certainly be a rather intriguing title on the system.
Heart&Slash (BadLand Games, $14.99USD) - This brawler is treated as a roguelike, so each run throws up different stage designs and weapon pick-ups. What's particularly neat is that there are "up to 75 different weapons and 60 different robot body parts", which all affect how you fight and play. In theory that should keep things very interesting, and we'll try it out in a review. Available from 22nd December.
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Stage Clear Studios, $14.99USD) - Originally released in 2014, this is a clever puzzle platformer in which a coloured 'magic marker' allows for various abilities. We'll see if it ain't heavy in a review.
Mom Hid My Game! (KEMCO, $4.99USD) - Previously released on mobile, this is a simple and rather quirky puzzle game in which you attempt to find and retrieve your GBA / DS hybrid on each screen. It's a charming title that can raise a smile, albeit its limitations meant we only gave it a limited recommendation in our review.
The Coma: Recut (Digerati, $19.99USD) - A manhwa-styled Korean survival horror, this is a remaster of the "indie cult classic" The Coma: Cutting Class, in which you have to survive and escape in a twisted version of High School. We'll face the horror and bring you a review soon.
RXN -Raijin- (KAYAC, $38.00USD) - Developed by Gulti, this is a vertically scrolling shooter that evidently goes big on its story, with three playable characters. One of the key selling points is that it's a 'wide-screen' shooter, designed to fill the entire width of the Switch screen. We'll try it out in a review.
Sparkle Unleashed (10tons, $7.99USD) - The second in this series to arrive on the Switch, it's a match-3 marble shooter; it promises 23 power-ups, 108 levels and a survival mode. Available from 25th December.
Frederic: Resurrection of Music (Forever Entertainment S. A., $5.99) — Previously released on PC, smart device platforms and Wii U, this is a music adventure game that certainly has an intriguing style, aiming to blend humour and classical music. We quite liked the basic idea but bemoaned technical issues in our review of the Wii U version, so we'll see whether this Switch iteration solves those problems.
FruitFall Crush (System 3 Software, $5.99USD) - A puzzle game in which you re-arrange fruit to match up within various shapes and confined stages. It has 75 stages and local multiplayer - we'll see where it's a tasty download in a review.
The Deer God (Level 77, $7.99USD) - A title we also saw on Wii U, this is a heavily stylised adventure that aims to deliver a positive storyline. The potential is undoubtedly there, but we were left disappointed with the end result in our The Deer God review.
Tactical Mind (QubicGames, $2.99USD) - It looks rather crude, but this tactical board game (that seems to be a blend of checkers and chess) may have some appeal in its gameplay and strategy. It has a single player campaign and 14 different maps for multiplayer.
Energy Cycle (Evgeniy Kolpakov, $3.00USD) - Rather simple visually, this is all about changing cell colours to force matches, though every time you change a cell it also affects those around it.
Pulstar (HAMSTER, $7.99USD) - This 1995 arcade release was the first Neo Geo game to feature pre-rendered graphics, the same kind of that were pushing the industry forward one year previously with Donkey Kong Country. Unlike its more hectic sequel, Pulstar is a far more slow-paced shmup, one that requires a different set of skills to tackle: enemy pattern memorization, navigation and the correct choice of weapons for each section are key for smooth sailing on this one.
Switch eShop Demo
Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical (Flyhigh Works, free)
Style Savvy: Styling Star (Nintendo, $39.99USD) - For fans of fashion, modelling or just cutely stylised games about clothes, this series is often hard to resist. This latest entry has some new tricks and styles to show off, and we loved it in our review. Available from 25th December.
Picross e8 (Jupiter Corporation, $5.99USD) - This series has been an ever-present on the eShop and consistently provides an enjoyable batch of new puzzles in each release. We shouldn't expect any new bells or whistles here, but it'll be an easy choice for Picross fans.
The Legend of Dark Witch 3 - Wisdom and Lunacy (CIRCLE Entertainment, $9.99USD) - An action platformer in the vein of retro Mega Man, this places you in the shoes of series regular Zizou, who returns to Earth to check everything is running smoothly only to discover another witch is running amok. Cue platforming, bullet hell gunfights and plenty of big bosses to take down. TLODW3 is also the first instalment to feature 3D effects.
New Nintendo 3DS eShop
Mom Hid My Game! (KEMCO, $4.99USD) - You can expect pretty much the same game as on the Nintendo Switch, just on a smaller screen.
As always Nintendo of America wants you to browse the eShop and check out the official sales and deals website for discount details.
Plenty of options to consider this week - let us know what you'll be downloading in the poll and comments below.