Wii U eShop Reviews

PENTAPUZZLE (Wii U eShop)

PENTAPUZZLE (Wii U eShop)

PENT-UP PUZZLE

There's nothing inherently wrong with simplicity. When used well, a minimalist approach can be a refreshing way to get back to gaming basics; the recent 50 Pinch Barrage!!, which charmed us with its intuitive and straightforward approach to Pitfall-style platforming, stands as an excellent example of this. However, with the popularity...

Elliot Quest (Wii U eShop)

Elliot Quest (Wii U eShop)

Quest for glory?

The Nintendo Web Framework has opened the floodgates for indie developers on the Wii U, and while the HTML5-based system is flexible and user-friendly, the games that have been released so far have been mediocre at best and atrocious at worst - until now. Ansimuz Games and PlayEveryWare's Elliot Quest, created with the Impact...

Trine Enchanted Edition (Wii U eShop)

Trine Enchanted Edition (Wii U eShop)

First time Trine

The Trine series is a bit of an anachronism on the Wii U. The first game we received, Trine 2: Director's Cut, was not only the sequel, but an expanded version of it. Over two years later we now receive an enhanced edition of the original in Trine Enchanted Edition. Chalk it all up to magical dimensional tiddlywinks if you wish, but...

Don't Touch Anything Red (Wii U eShop)

Don't Touch Anything Red (Wii U eShop)

Really though, don't touch 'em

Games are not often as straightforward in their titles as Don't Touch Anything Red. This simple infinite-runner style puzzle game is a test of cunning, reflexes, and one's ability to avoid touching red things. Though the premise and presentation are simple, and there's not a lot here, this self-explanatory title is...

OlliOlli (Wii U eShop)

OlliOlli (Wii U eShop)

We're stoked

OlliOlli isn't really a skateboarding game. The skateboard aesthetic provides a lovely minimalist visual style to navigate the tiny pixel skateboarder through, but there's no open world to explore and experiment in, nor is it filled with free-form choices. Mechanically rock-solid, OlliOlli is a 2D on-rails experience with meticulously...

GravBlocks+ (Wii U eShop)

GravBlocks+ (Wii U eShop)

Try to keep up (and down, left, and right)

Falling block puzzlers aren't necessarily a rare experience these days. What isn't commonplace, however, is such a puzzler that throws a twist on the formula that enhances and refreshes the experience. GravBlocks+ (itself an enhanced version of the Android game GravBlocks) tries its hand at mixing up the...

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (Wii U eShop)

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (Wii U eShop)

We tip our hats to you

Despite Mario and Donkey Kong largely getting along with one another these days, there's still the ancestral drive to kidnap women in red dresses burning in DK's DNA, and so we get the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. The latest entry, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars has ditched the different 3D perspective of the previous...

Paparazzi (Wii U eShop)

Paparazzi (Wii U eShop)

Snap judgement

Indie developers seem to be doing a great job of delivering games with local multiplayer to the Wii U eShop as of late. From Chariot to GetClose: A Game for RIVALS, Sportsball to Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, affordable — and quality — entertainment with the intention of livening up a living room is readily...

Blek (Wii U eShop)

Blek (Wii U eShop)

Pure and Simple

Every so often a video game will emerge which further dissembles the division between games and art; it's fair to say that Blek is one of those titles. Its miminimalistic, unsophisticated presentation and engaging puzzles garnered it resoundingly high praise following its release on iOS and Android, and resulted in developer Kunabi...

Rock 'N Racing Off Road (Wii U eShop)

Rock 'N Racing Off Road (Wii U eShop)

Not-So-Super Off Road

EnjoyUp was clearly inspired by the classic arcade racer Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off Road when developing Rock 'N Racing Off Road, an old-school, top-down racer. But while the game looks like a modern update to Super Off Road, it's not nearly as fun or memorable. Unfortunately, Rock 'N Racing Off Road is a disappointing...

Puzzle Monkeys (Wii U eShop)

Puzzle Monkeys (Wii U eShop)

Fun as a barrel thereof

Ever since Tetris introduced gamers to the joys of skydiving shapes, block-dropping puzzlers have fallen into place on nearly every console and handheld under the sun, and for good reason: they're simple to learn, endlessly replayable, and - when done right - utterly addicting. Seeking to fill a simian-sized gap in the Wii...

Dolphin Up (Wii U eShop)

Dolphin Up (Wii U eShop)

Tony Hawk's Pro Porpoise

Every once in a while, a game comes along that you didn't know you wanted. Rawkins Games' Dolphin Up is one such title, providing a surprising amount of entertainment with an extremely simple concept. Being a port of a mobile title from a few years ago, its simplicity comes as no surprise — and, with a few more additions,...

Tri-Strip (Wii U eShop)

Tri-Strip (Wii U eShop)

Geometry Bores

Tri-Strip is a puzzle game about placing strips of triangles into a grid to make squares, which clears up space and nets you points; using the stylus, touchscreen and a single button, you can strategically drag, drop and rotate pieces into open spots. It's a style of play that requires a little bit more hesitation and thought when...

Frenchy Bird (Wii U eShop)

Frenchy Bird (Wii U eShop)

Avian aggravation

From the title alone, it's pretty easy to tell that Frenchy Bird is yet another in the line of Flappy Bird imitators released on the Wii U eShop. Yet whereas some of its competitors have been content to merely replicate the feel of the original, Frenchy Bird makes the bold move of replicating it with personality. Goofy music,...

Citizens of Earth (Wii U eShop)

Citizens of Earth (Wii U eShop)

Citizens, Unite Up!!

ATTENTION ALL RESIDENTS OF THIS FINE, BLUE PLANET WE CALL EARTH! Permit me a moment and I'll show you that role playing games don't all have to be about swinging swords and finding mystical artifacts. They don't have to use that tired old fantasy setting we've grown so used to, or even star a typical protagonist! Here, your...

Breezeblox (Wii U eShop)

Breezeblox (Wii U eShop)

Breezy

One of a growing number of indie titles appearing on the Wii U eShop, Breezeblox is a block-rolling puzzle game from début developer Brennan Maddox that, on first glance, seems to owe more than a little to mobigame's cube-based classic EDGE. Beyond the minimalist aesthetic and Cartesian conceit, however, they're very different games, and...

Midnight (Wii U eShop)

Midnight (Wii U eShop)

A decent par

Atmosphere holds a lot of weight to a game's appeal. Case in point: for all the popularity of gritty military shooters and edgy, hyper-realistic open world games today, there seems to be a sizeable demographic of players wearied by the very thought of jumping into these genres. Beyond disinterest in their gameplay, their lack of...

uWordsmith (Wii U eShop)

uWordsmith (Wii U eShop)

Limited lexicon

Word games are rather less common these days than in their most prolific period, but if you're going to build one the Wii U seems like prime real estate for doing so. uWordsmith takes advantage of the GamePad to create a simple yet snappy style of wordplay, but some setbacks make it less than letter perfect. Three modes exist in the...

Electronic Super Joy: Groove City (Wii U eShop)

Electronic Super Joy: Groove City (Wii U eShop)

Groove it or lose it

Electronic Super Joy: Groove City is a weird game. The plot involves a giant robot stripper that loses her laser nipples, and you're trying to get them back so she stops destroying Groove City in a resulting fit of rage. The story matters very little beyond setup purposes, as the majority of the dialogue is delivered through...

Family Tennis SP (Wii U eShop)

Family Tennis SP (Wii U eShop)

Not without its faults

If there's one thing that Arc System Works - with this game published by Shin'en Multimedia - can't be accused of, it's of sticking to one genre. Over the years it has displayed a competent ability to develop quality beat 'em ups, side scrolling fighters and even racing games, such as Final Lap, a game that dates as far back...