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Review: Cube Tactics (3DS eShop)

Cube Tactics (3DS eShop)

Strategy cubed

Given their relatively low asking price, it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking that games on Nintendo’s eShop service amount to little more than short, throwaway experiences. You pay less and, therefore, you must get less value from that game, right? In terms of pure content, that may be true (unless you’re...

Review: Galaga (3DS eShop / NES)

Galaga (3DS eShop / NES)

Space: The Original Frontier

There are a few reasons so many early video games took place in space. While the most obvious one is budgetary — a flat black background being quite literally the easiest possible background to render, thereby making "space" a pretty natural choice of setting — there's a psychological reason as well: space is a...

Review: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)

A puzzling crossover to be solved

It's no surprise that the announcement of Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney back in 2012 in Japan caused quite a buzz among keen Nintendo portable gamers. The two franchises typify much of what made the DS a phenomenal success — even if Ace Attorney had its beginnings on Game Boy Advance — by...

Review: Inazuma Eleven (3DS eShop)

Inazuma Eleven (3DS eShop)

A Beautiful Game

In Japan Inazuma Eleven is an institution — a multi-modal soccer sensation spanning several sequels and spin-offs, a wildly successful anime adaptation, and even a collectable card game; it's also enjoyed a number of releases in Europe. It's captured hearts from Kyoto to Cádiz, and now Level-5 is aiming to complete that...

Review: Renegade (Wii U eShop / NES)

Renegade (Wii U eShop / NES)

GET LOST, PUNK!

What's the expiration date for nostalgia? Is there a certain amount of time that has to pass before we start looking fondly back at the old, often inferior, games of our youth? It's undeniable that some games have aged gracefully and are still just as good today as they were at their initial launch, but that's far from a steadfast...

Review: Yoshi's New Island (3DS)

Yoshi's New Island (3DS)

Dino-lite

Back in 1995, Yoshi's Island turned heads when it was announced as the successor to the masterful Super Mario World. Appearing to be more of a spin-off than a direct sequel, there was skepticism as to whether such a departure could live up to the Mario name and please fans of the series. Fortunately the unique gameplay mechanics,...

Review: Dr. Mario (Wii U eShop)

Dr. Mario (Wii U eShop)

One play a day...

It feels as if Dr. Mario has been a near constant presence — in some form — over recent years, but the oddity is that the Wii U Virtual Console release of the NES version is the début for that iteration over the most recent system generations. We've had fresh DSiWare and WiiWare releases, with the latter perhaps halting a...

Review: Pokémon Link: Battle! (3DS eShop)

Pokémon Link: Battle! (3DS eShop)

Match maker

DS title Pokémon Link — known as Pokémon Trozei in North America — was a fine example of how Nintendo has been able to diversify and expand the franchise in different directions. This download-only sequel — once again developed by Genius Sonority — continues that trend, but has more monsters to catch, locations to explore and...

Review: Evofish (Wii U eShop)

Evofish (Wii U eShop)

A fish out of water

The core premise of Evofish is based ever so loosely on the fundamentals of nature and evolutionary science. As a fish in the ocean, you must snack on fish smaller than you are while also avoiding larger predators looking to eat you. Doing so successfully will enable you to grow in size and “evolve” into a species that’s...

Review: Kung Fu Rabbit (3DS eShop)

Kung Fu Rabbit (3DS eShop)

Kung Fu-cious says hop

Today’s games industry has become infamous for its endless copycat efforts and yearly sequels, which tend to stick to a very specific template and only offer a modicum of improvement. Nevertheless, while it’s easy for us to call out these games for their lack of innovation (only for us to all then go and buy them anyway),...

Review: Weapon Shop De Omasse (3DS eShop)

Weapon Shop De Omasse (3DS eShop)

Well-crafted

Remember the Guild01 series from all the way back in late 2012? Of course you do. It’s the little eShop series that could. Defying all expectations, the Guild games jumped the pond from Japan and landed securely on the Western 3DS eShop stores, providing three indie games that span a variety of genres. The success of the original...

Review: BLOK DROP U (Wii U eShop)

BLOK DROP U (Wii U eShop)

In Soviet Russia...

Developed by the one-man team at RCMADIAX, BLOK DROP U represents the first eShop release to emerge from the Nintendo Web Framework platform, an HTML5-based approach that aims to deliver browser-bite-sized indie experiences direct to your GamePad. True to that concept, BLOK DROP U is a simple physics-based puzzler with a fun and...

Review: The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths (3DS eShop)

The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths (3DS eShop)

Just golden

When a cartoon series receives a download-only spin-off, with localisation that's crowdfunded, it's only natural to sound a klaxon of caution. Both scenarios apply to The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths, yet it's a pleasing tale of fulfilled expectations; it may not blow many minds, but we'll say early on that it fulfils its...

Review: Renegade (3DS eShop / NES)

Renegade (3DS eShop / NES)

Crime doesn't pay

The company known as Technos might be best known for creating Double Dragon and River City Ransom, but before coming up with either of its two big hits, it made a number of lesser known titles — of which perhaps Renegade is the most well-known. Renegade is actually the first game in the Kunio-kun series, which River City Ransom...

Review: Hidden Expedition Titanic (DSiWare)

Hidden Expedition Titanic (DSiWare)

The fun is also hidden

Thanks to the blockbuster movie of the '90s, the sinking of the Titanic seems to be less a tragic historical event and more a part of story-telling culture. Whether that bothers you is up to you, but Hidden Expedition Titanic merely pretends to include a story around the ill-fated ship, throwing some nonsense around a fairly...

Review: Tappingo (3DS eShop)

Tappingo (3DS eShop)

Pixel-by-numbers

Tappingo is a game for those who enjoy methodically teasing order out of an apparent mess. Really. When you begin one of the 100+ puzzles, the upper screen that displays your goal in progress looks like an NES sneezed on it. Yet by working out the numbered blocks on the grid below, colours and form fill in until you’re rewarded...

Review: The LEGO Movie Videogame (3DS)

The LEGO Movie Videogame (3DS)

Movie Mildness

Video game tie-ins have been haunting films since the inception of the interactive medium, especially when those films are deemed "kid friendly." Essentially used as a marketing ploy, video games based on motion pictures are usually ill-fated projects that never stood a chance from the very beginning. From Disney cartoons to sci-fi...

Review: Quell Reflect (3DS eShop)

Quell Reflect (3DS eShop)

A rainy day delight

Puzzle games are masters of covert time consumption. Some, like Tetris, keep players on their toes with an unrelenting pace and an addictive “one more try” appeal. Others, instead, offer a calmer, more contemplative experience, letting the player move at his or her own pace as they descend into the logic and rules of the...