Following a relatively quiet week for digital releases, the virtual floodgates have flung themselves open as a deluge of exciting new software roars onto the North American eShop. And there are some big names making themselves known, too. We've got the excellent The Escapists 2 bringing its jail-hopping antics to the party; the punishing yet invigorating platforming of Super Meat Boy and the charming sketch world of Draw A Stickman; EPIC 2.
There's even a new addition on the Wii U eShop for our American and Canadian chums in the form of Jolt Family Robot Racer. Who says we don't have the old school fans covered as well?
The Escapists 2 (Team17, $19.99) - Bust out anywhere, with anyone on the Nintendo Switch. Team up with another inmate for local two player split screen mode, taking a Joy-Con each to either team up to break out, or work against one another to determine who’s the quickest convict to make an escape. Find out more in our The Escapists 2 review.
Furi (The Game Bakers, $19.99) - Fight your way free in this ultra-responsive, fast-paced sword fighting and dual-stick shooting game. Feel the tension and adrenaline of one-on-one duels against deadly adversaries: you will need absolute focus and skill to defeat each of the guardians. Find out more in our Furi review.
Super Meat Boy (BlitWorks, $14.99) - In this tough as nails platformer you play as an animated cube of meat who's trying to save his girlfriend (who happens to be made of bandages) from an evil fetus in a jar wearing a tux.
Rally Racers (System 3, $9.99) - Wacky cartoon racing at its best, Rally Racers is an action packed family racing game that's fast and furious fun for all. Cars bash and battle each other to racing glory, picking up special weapons, boosts, recruiting race mates from the opposition team, performing stunts and completing challenges to be first over the finish line.
Of Mice and Sand -Revised- (Arc System Works, $9.99) - This game puts you in charge of a desert craft and its rodent crew. Brave an alien planet, and turn your squeaking subordinates into first-class shipmates, all in the name of adventure!
Moorhuhn Knights & Castles (Young Fun Studio, $29.99) - Finally, Moorhuhn strikes back! Get set, aim, fire ... and never neglect your own cover. Fight against the AI, your friends ... or your enemies! Pure Moorhuhn action!
Energy Invasion (Evgeniy Kolpakov, $2.99) - Energy Invasion - an arcade game inspired by the classic Breakout. Unlike the original game, your ball does not break blocks on its own, but can launch missiles in a chosen direction.
Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2 (Hitcents, $6.99) - Imagination is the key, as you enter a magical storybook land full of mystery and wonder, unusual creatures and enigmatic puzzles!
ACA NEOGEO Art Of Fighting 2 (HAMSTER, $7.99) - Twelve fighters compete to be crowned as the strongest one in the "King of Fighters" ultimate fighting championship. We didn't quite feel that the game lived up to its immense promise when we reviewed it back in 2008 when it landed on the Wii Virtual Console, but we'll take another look now that its made the jump to the Switch.
BRAWL (QubicGames, $9.99) - Step into the darkness of The Emporium with 8 unique characters, each with a rich back story and a surprising plot-twist. Fight your way to the end using different play styles, from pure brutality as a Wrestler to hiding in shadows as an elusive Thief. (Available from 12th Jan)
Azkend 2: The World Beneath (10tons, $7.99) - Step aboard a fantastic adventure! Enjoy amazing match-three gameplay and discover one of the most astonishing worlds ever imagined. (Available from 12th Jan)
Gunhouse (Other Ocean Interactive, $14.99) - Load your guns! Rain death from above! Protect your valuable orphans! Defeat giant, improbable bosses! Gunhouse is part puzzle, part active tower defense, as you make big combos to launch a hail of bullets and special attacks at the alien invaders who would like nothing better than to consume your delicious orphan friends. (Available from 15th Jan)
InnerSpace (Aspyr Media, $19.99) - InnerSpace is an exploration flying game set in the Inverse, a world of inside-out planets with no horizons. Soar through ancient skies and abandoned oceans to discover the lost history of this fading realm, where gods still wander. Your greatest journey is within. (Available from 16th Jan). This looks like it's shaping up to be a great game, find out more in our interview with the developer PolyKnight Games.
Nightmare Boy (Badland Games, $9.99) - This story takes place in Donorok, in the state of Noctum. After the King of Noctum, Aster, disappears, chaos rules over the world. The relationships between Monsters, Mongos and Dreamers are completely unstable, and Donorok - the land so heavily affected by the chaos - slowly absorbs terrain from the surrounding regions. (Available from 16th Jan)
Energy Balance (Evgeniy Kolpakov, $2.99) - Energy Balance is a number puzzle. You have to swap power units in such a way that their sums form correct chains both vertically and horizontally. The game is easy to learn, but very hard to master. So, are you ready to peep under the hood of an alien spaceship? (Available from 16th Jan)
Dragon Quest Builders (Square Enix, Free) - Gather, craft, and build the kingdom of your dreams to restore the ruined world of Alefgard! As the legendary Builder, you’ll construct rooms, towns and defenses while fighting monsters. The full version of Dragon Quest Builders launches for Nintendo Switch on 9 Feb.
Operation COBRA (StickBit, $2.99) - You find yourself stranded in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by mud. You have no chance of escaping this zombie-filled island. Your only chance of survival is to fight off the zombies.
Pokémon Crystal Version (GAME FREAK Inc) - 17 years from its original release, the 2D Nintendo eShop release invites you to explore the Johto region again – or for the first time. The Pokémon Crystal Version game is now available for pre-purchase in Nintendo eShop, with a launch date of 26 Jan.
Wii U eShop
Jolt Family Robot Racer (Cooply, $5.99) - The game at its core is a competitive platformer that’s all about maintaining momentum with skillful navigation. The players compete to be the last robot standing.
DLC / Add-On Content
- Pokkén Tournament DX Battle Pack (Nintendo) - $14.99
As always Nintendo Of America wants you to browse the eShop and check out the official sales and deals website for discount details.
We weren't lying when we said this is a big week for digital downloads. Question is, which games from the vast list above are you looking to add to your collection? Sound off below and let us know which new software will be keeping your Switch or Wii U in constant use...