Reviews - News

September2014

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review Tappingo 2

    Extended play

    When the first Tappingo hit the scene in early 2014, it brought a puzzle style that was simultaneously fresh and familiar. Combine that with an amiable price point and it was a pick to easily consider diving into. Now creator Hugo Smits is back with Tappingo 2, a new edition of puzzles for those who have thoroughly tapped all previous...

  • 74

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Mega Man X3

    A less than fitting farewell

    In 1996, the Mega Man X series parted ways with Nintendo hardware. Mega Man X3 is how it ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper. The first Mega Man X game got things off to such a solid start that it was almost inevitable that a letdown would come sooner rather than later. After all, with so little room for improvement,...

  • 37

    3DS eShop

    Review Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe

    Hammer time

    Though he might be best known for his platforming antics, Kirby is no stranger to spin-offs – from racing and pinball to madcap mini-golf, the pink puffball and his friends have been genre-hopping happily since 1993. Lately, Dreamland’s semi-benevolent King Dedede has spent some time in the spin-off spotlight himself, with his...

  • 19

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong Jr. Math

    Summin' it

    In among the Excitebikes, Super Mario Bros., and Ice Climbers of the NES’s North American launch sat Donkey Kong Jr. Math, an edutainment title seemingly designed so that hopeful tots could point to it on the shelf and Trojan-horse Nintendo’s new Duck Hunt-playing powerhouse into the family home, parents unsuspecting, under the guise...

  • Project Nintendo 64x64

    Celebrating 64 Nintendo 64 games over 64 days in 64 words

    Today we bring you something a little different, Nintendo 64x64 - a collaboration project between @N64Memories and Nintendo Life. Now, if you've been a reader of Nintendo Life for a while you'll no doubt be aware that some of our team are huge Nintendo 64 fans, so you can imagine their...

August2014

  • 31

    Wii U eShop

    Review Jett Tailfin

    The art of drowning

    So far this year, the Wii U eShop has allowed us to submerge our imaginations in the ocean with titles like Squids Odyssey and Abyss, two games we found to be rather charming and worthy of your investment. Yet, as we all should know, the ocean and the eShop are also filled with predators ready to take a big juicy bite out of your...

  • 48

    3DS eShop

    Review Demon King Box

    Put a lid on it

    Prolific publisher CIRCLE Entertainment’s latest eShop effort takes players down into the world of demons, where the once mighty Demon Lord now sits boxed up and bodiless. Unable to reconquer his kingdom alone, he enlists the help of several of the underworld’s finest fighting spirits; that’s where you come in. While it’s...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Life Force

    Forcefully fun

    Konami's 1985 hit Gradius is one of the most influential scrolling shooters of all time, so it was pretty tough to follow up. Rather than make Gradius II right away, the company decided to create a spin-off; Life Force — originally known in Japan as Salamander — hit arcades in 1986 and the NES two years later. Space shooters were...

  • 13

    DSiWare

    Review Amida's Path

    The road less traveled

    DSiWare releases are becoming fewer and far between, but there are still some interesting titles to be found for the service, and they're all accessible thanks to the 3DS eShop. Collavier Corporation's Amida's Path is a creative, fun game that combines strategy, action and light role-playing to create an experience that feels...

  • 19

    3DS eShop

    Review Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter

    Thor' real

    It’s not that space shooters don’t exist on Nintendo systems, but there’s certainly not enough of them to keep cockpit-hopping fans from feeling parched. 3PM Games took advantage of this vacuum by releasing Thorium Wars on DSiWare and now, just like the alien antagonists of the series, it's back with Thorium Wars: Attack of the...

  • 70

    Wii U eShop

    Review SteamWorld Dig

    Groundbreaking!

    The two hottest properties in indie gaming right now are Sweden and spelunking. From Amnesia to Hotline Miami to Goat Simulator to that DotA song, a hugely disproportionate number of big independent releases the last few years have come from Swedes; whether it's Cave Story, Shovel Knight,

  • 21

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge

    The chips are bringing us down

    Adding RPG elements to a beloved side-scrolling franchise may seem like a stroke of insanity, but Mega Man has enjoyed more than a few titles that play off this idea while still retaining the atmosphere and challenge of the core series. Even a certain red plumber has proved that the transition can pay off, fleshing out...

  • 84

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge

    Double draggin'

    There was a period from the late-'80s to the early-'90s when side-scrolling beat 'em up games were all the (streets of?) rage – from Double Dragon to Final Fight to Streets of Rage, we just couldn't get enough of punching hooligans in the face down long straight paths. Perhaps the most fun aspect of these titles was the multiplayer...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Mysterious Stars: The Samurai

    Bushi-no.

    The DSi’s touchscreen-and-stylus setup has inspired an impressive array of pen-and-paper puzzle conversions over the years, and this trend seems set to continue right into DSiWare’s twilight days. Collavier’s Mysterious Stars trilogy, as the most recent example, pairs classic connect-the-dots puzzles with children’s stories. It’s...

  • 45

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Cybernator

    Run-n-gun in space

    Konami's Cybernator isn't as well-known as run-and-gun titles such as Contra, but this SNES game is a quality offering with plenty of challenge, personality and replay value. The Virtual Console exists to let gamers relive (and experience for the first time) classic games, and Cybernator will be a breath of fresh air for anyone...

  • 19

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Xtreme Sports

    Like, totally awesome

    While WayForward is busy cooking up the latest instalment in the wonderful Shantae franchise, fans are sure to get a little bit impatient for more of that half-genie action. Although the original is available now on the 3DS Virtual Console, we’ve also recently been treated to something completely different in the form of the...

  • 15

    3DS

    Review LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids

    Cyberpunk ninja bricks

    It's a new month, which means that the team behind the ever-popular LEGO games has a new release to share with the world. Rather than building a game based off of a popular book or film series, the latest addition to the LEGO pantheon is based on the company's own Ninjago universe. Acting somewhat as a sequel to 2011's LEGO...

  • 32

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mega Man Battle Network

    Net neutrality

    While the Mega Man series is mostly known for its action platformer instalments, in a move to perhaps appeal to more audiences Capcom decided to try pairing the Blue Bomber with some other genres, first in the form of Mega Man Legends, an action RPG, and then again with this title, Mega Man Battle Network. Released on Game Boy...

  • 4

    DSiWare

    Review Mysterious Stars: A Fairy Tale

    Missed connections

    From sudoku and crosswords to mazes and more, pen-and-paper puzzle games have found a happy home on Nintendo’s recent dual-screened systems, especially as part of smaller, downloadable offerings. One of the latest examples of this trend is the Mysterious Stars trilogy, a set of DSiWare games that couple classic connect-the-dots...

  • 3

    3DS eShop

    Review Tangram Attack

    Making the cut or on the chopping block?

    Instead of piecing together various shapes to construct a square, like you would in a traditional tangram game, Tangram Attack is about slicing and dicing seven shapes from already-assembled asymmetrical designs. Since the outlines of these shapes are often masked by a single colour and a uniform pattern, the...

  • 26

    Wii U eShop

    Review SHUT THE BOX

    What's in the box?!

    It's strange how little a concept matters as long as the execution is done well; just recently we criticised Dahku Creations' Soon Shine for playing too much like a mobile game rather than a home console title. Yet here we are with SHUT THE BOX (which seems like it's yelling at you), created by one-man studio RCMADIAX of BLOK...

  • 15

    Wii U eShop

    Review Soon Shine

    Here Comes the Soon

    It's wonderful to see indie developers on Wii U find enough commercial success to produce more than one title for the platform, and two-man studio Dahku Creations has followed up June's Chubbins with a new family-friendly offering: Soon Shine. Our biggest criticisms of Chubbins were its torturous difficulty and lack of visual...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Anne's Doll Studio: Antique Collection

    Antique? Try "aged"

    Gamebridge's Anne's Doll Studio: Antique Collection is one of several titles in the Anne's Doll Studio "series," and like the other entries is a complete waste of time and money. A simple application in which you can dress up a doll and save it as an image file, users will find all there is to discover in Anne's Doll Studio as...

  • 32

    Wii U eShop

    Review Midtown Crazy Race

    Will drive you crazy

    You know when you’re playing a game and it’s all going well when, suddenly, it introduces some arbitrary racing section just to add a little variety? Until now you’ve been jumping around, exploring, but for the next half an hour you’re stuck trying to complete this side mission just to continue. The driving controls are...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Anne's Doll Studio: Lolita Collection

    Don't touch Lolita

    Gamebridge's Anne's Doll Studio: Lolita Collection is one of several titles in the Anne's Doll Studio "series," and like the other entries, is a complete waste of time and money. A simple application in which you can dress up a doll and save it as an image file, users will find all there is to discover in Anne's Doll Studio as...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Pop'n TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventures

    Jump'n TwinBee

    Although the TwinBee series is mostly remembered as a shoot 'em up franchise, it might come as a surprise that there were actually a few games which took on different genres. Rainbow Bell Adventures — which is coincidentally also the last game released outside Japan — tries its hand at platforming, bringing its own unique little...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Anne's Doll Studio: Princess Collection

    Evil princess

    Gamebridge's Anne's Doll Studio: Princess Collection is one of several titles in the Anne's Doll Studio "series," and like the other entries is a complete waste of time and money. A simple application in which you can dress up a doll and save it as an image file, users will find all there is to discover as soon as the title menu is...

  • 70

    3DS eShop

    Review Steel Empire

    The Empire strikes back

    Side-scrolling shoot-‘em-ups were a force to be reckoned with in the early ’90s, gracing every arcade and home system under the sun with seemingly limitless variations on Gradius-style gameplay. Perhaps surprisingly, given the genre’s popularity, they also tended to stick rather closely to each other in terms of theme;...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop

    Review Master Reboot

    Or Enaid Coll, if you prefer

    With its continual growth the Wii U eShop library is bringing us a diverse range of games across various genres, yet Master Reboot from Wales Interactive nevertheless succeeds in delivering something unique to the platform. Previously released on PC and PSN, it's an ambitious effort that has moments of brilliance and a...

  • 38

    Wii U eShop

    Review XType Plus

    The Citizen Kane of Web Framework games on the Wii U

    Note: XType Plus was meant to be released on 31st July along with online leaderboards, but due to a bug in the ranking functionality the game was delayed. It was reinstated on the European eShop on 6th August, and is awaiting a North American release. Nintendo has opened up the floodgates to...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop

    Review IQ Test

    Prepare to put on your dunce cap

    The Wii U eShop is filled to the brim with low-budget kids' games these days, and Ninja Pig Studios' IQ Test seems like just another to heap on the pile... but looks can be deceiving. Beneath the simplistic exterior, IQ Test is a real mind-bender: a series of trick questions designed to get you to think outside

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Ufouria: The Saga

    A Ufouric experience

    Retro-style indie platformers are all the rage these days, so you'd be forgiven for thinking Sunsoft's Ufouria: The Saga is simply another in the long line of 2D NES-inspired modern titles on the eShop like Shovel Knight, 1001 Spikes, and Insanity's Blade. Released in 19

  • 36

    Wii U eShop

    Review Ice Cream Surfer

    Ice Cream Snorer

    Shoot 'em ups aren't really a popular genre these days, but there seems to be a bit of a resurgence on the downloadable front. Not long ago we received Gaiabreaker, and now here we have Ice Cream Surfer, a game which had an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign, but nonetheless ended up being developed anyway. Upon launching the game...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review 101 Pony Pets 3D

    Horse play

    Selectsoft apparently buys its quirky pets in bulk. From dinosaurs to penguins, it's got your number; as long as it’s 101. Now its attention has inevitably turned toward the ultimate care-for-me-and-squee animals: ponies. 101 Pony Pets 3D takes a cue from A Certain Friendshipically Magical Brand by offering three different breeds of...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop

    Review Wooden Sen'SeY

    More training required

    The Wii U eShop, unsurprisingly, isn't short of options when it comes to platformers, especially as it's a genre typically associated with Nintendo systems and their gamers. Wooden Sen'Sey, published by Neko Entertainment, aims to capitalise on that popularity and remind gamers of old-fashioned difficulty; these are noble yet...

July2014

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Rabi Laby 3

    Return of the Rabi

    We would like to formally thank Silver Star Japan for developing Rabi Laby 3 as a 3DS eShop title. Not because this is the most interesting, original, or even fun game that we've ever played, but because the developer decided to circumvent the DSiWare service and release its new game on the current generation of Nintendo's digital...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop

    Review Super Toy Cars

    Straight out the toy box

    This summer, it could be argued that the demand for a non-realistic racing game on Wii U has well and truly been met, and another kart-style title is perhaps at the bottom of our wish list as a result. However, standing tall in the face of its moustachioed overlords, Eclipse Games has treated the eShop to an extra slice of...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 6

    Let battle commence. Awooga!

    Arriving on the same day as Mega Man 5 on the Wii U Virtual Console, Capcom has decided to grace us with the final NES entry to wrap up that era of the franchise. Released in 1993, when the SNES was already out and Mega Man X was on the verge of release, Capcom just couldn't let itself say goodbye to the NES and made one...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

    Full of promise, or just hot air?

    Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is in fact a remake of Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's first outing on the NES from 1993. While it isn't his original adventure (that honour goes to Kirby's Dream Land), it is the first instance in which he was able to use his now classic copy ability. The remake — which originally...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 5

    Proto Man problems

    Over a year ago, the first four Mega Man games were released on Wii U Virtual Console in quick succession. We don't know exactly what took so long for the remainder, but the fifth entry is finally here. As you might expect, Mega Man 5 is quite similar to the four games before it; eight new Robot Masters have appeared, and it's up...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Glory of Generals

    Inglorious

    The 3DS is no stranger to war games, and CIRCLE Entertainment has been a particularly prolific profiteer, with World Conquerer 3D, European Conquerer 3D and this latest effort, Glory of Generals, all hitting the eShop within the last year. A turn-based strategy game set in World War II, Glory of Generals attempts to stand out from the...

  • 25

    3DS eShop

    Review Strike Force Foxx

    Get to the chopper!

    Not to be confused with a certain furry-tailed Nintendo character, Big John Games' Strike Force Foxx is a helicopter rescue game starring humans. Heavily inspired by the 1982 computer game Choplifter, its retro roots show in its simple, action-oriented gameplay and tongue-in-cheek '80s action movie story. There is charm to be...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Bases Loaded

    America’s 8-bit pastime

    Is there anything more American than hotdogs and apple pie? Yes. Yes there is. It’s baseball. The answer is baseball. It’s a game that has permeated the American culture and inserted itself firmly into so many of our lives. As such, it comes as no surprise that there are a plethora of video games available based on the...

  • 41

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

    Blood relative

    After the success of the original Castlevania title on the NES system, Konami decided to change things up quite a bit for Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. Gone was the straight-ahead platforming action of the original, replaced with a much more rpg-flavored approach that placed more emphasis on item collection and exploration. While...

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Comic Workshop

    A work of art

    Nintendo platforms have never been strangers to art and drawing applications. From Mario Paint on the SNES to 2013's Art Academy: SketchPad for Wii U, there has always been room for artistic pursuits with Nintendo. It should also come as no surprise that the 3DS is already hosting yet another creation tool after the success of Art...

  • 27

    Wii U eShop

    Review GAIABREAKER

    Shoot meh up

    Although there are plenty of shoot 'em ups to pick from on the Wii Virtual Console, new games in the genre tend to be quite rare; as a result it's always exciting to see a new addition to a challenging field. Developed by a relatively unknown developer that's only dabbled in mobile phone games before, this particular shoot 'em up is of...

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Pick-A-Gem

    Pick up or put down?

    Jewel games are kind of a big deal right now. When we aren’t crushing candy we’re swiping crystals and arranging colours into pleasing lines to calm that casual OCD which mobile gaming has begun to inspire. It’s easy to get lost in the swarm of them on 3DS alone, so Gamelion studio’s latest release

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review Me & My Pets 3D

    Pet-thetic

    First thing’s first: the pets in Me & My Pets 3D are not yours. You are running a pet hotel, so they belong to others. Second, things are not in 3D as much as a flat, albeit layered, pseudo-3D. Third, the pets do not resemble real pets as much as colourful rocks that have been given GIF animations. For a game that seems to scream...

  • 13

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Bases Loaded

    Can this old timer still make contact?

    Back in the mid-to-late 80s, when the NES was the dominant force in video games, cyber sporting wasn’t exactly the complex affair that it is now. With modern controllers having about a dozen buttons and joysticks to manage, it’s common for every one of those to be utilized for numerous functions —...

  • 76

    3DS eShop

    Review Siesta Fiesta

    A breakout hit

    When you learn that a title on the 3DS eShop originally began as a concept for a smartphone game, there's an instinct to take a hesitant step back. On the other hand, Siesta Fiesta is proof that this route to the system can be a blessing — if iOS and Android games can be addictive and fun enough to keep millions of consumers amused,...

  • 29

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Pop'n TwinBee

    WinBee

    It's not particularly well known outside Japan, but for a while TwinBee was one of Konami's main shoot 'em up series. A lot more cutesy than Gradius and the like, its colourful graphics and characters were its biggest appeal. A while back the original TwinBee was remade as a 3D Classic, but now here we have Pop'n Twinbee, one of the few...

  • 65

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Pokémon Trading Card Game

    A rare source of fun or just an uncommon?

    It’s almost surreal nowadays to think that there was ever a time where portable gaming didn’t have Pokémon. When Red and Blue first hit Western shores in 1998, those 151 legends would bring with them a wave of merchandise, cementing the series in history as the cultural epidemic it really was...

  • 28

    DSiWare

    Review Anonymous Notes Chapter 4 - From the Abyss

    Four-ev-urrr

    The Anonymous Notes series is pretty meta, in a way. For games about eternally slaying monsters in dungeons, they never seem to stop emerging from the eShop themselves. If you’ve been following along with our reviews, it probably won’t surprise you to know that Anonymous Notes Chapter 4 - From the Abyss is very much like Chapter 3,

  • 12

    Wii U eShop

    Review My Arctic Farm

    Feeling frigid

    If you read our recent review of BiP Media's pet management sim My Jurassic Farm, you'll know what to expect with its sister release, My Arctic Farm: the exact same experience, but instead of T-rexes and triceratops (triceratopses?) you'll be raising penguins and polar bears. The long-running "My ____ Farm" series began humbly enough...

  • 99

    Wii U eShop

    Review The Letter

    Return to sender

    In The Letter, players take on the role of Michael Kennedy as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of his father. Through a series of hidden letters left by his dad – these are actually labelled “Hidden Letter” despite their pronounced placements in the landscape – Michael receives clues which he follows in his...

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mario Power Tennis

    Raising a racquet

    Originally released on Game Boy Advance in 2005, Mario Power Tennis is unusual in that it takes the tennis simulation genre and embeds it into a role-playing game experience. It’s a combination that works surprisingly well, with the biggest success being a player progression system which allows you to level up your character and...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop

    Review My Jurassic Farm

    Different skin, exact same game

    My Jurassic Farm is an exciting concept. Everyone loved Jurassic Park back in the day, right?! It would make a great video game! Sadly, the dino-management genre has been left relatively barren since the wondrous days of DinoPark Tycoon back in 1993. Is BiP Media's My Jurassic Farm the answer? No. No it's not. My...

  • 21

    Wii U eShop

    Review Internal Invasion

    Terminal

    Imagine a future in which all disease is cured through the aid of tiny nano-bots flowing through your bloodstream. There would be no need for medicine or doctor visits, as all illness would be taken care of internally. It's an incredible proposition that makes for an interesting sci-fi storyline that can be taken in so many directions,...

  • 21

    3DS eShop

    Review Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy

    Giro della Galaxy

    Last year’s Bike Rider DX was a pleasant surprise, bringing auto-scrolling precision platforming to the eShop in a charming, polished, pedal-powered package. Now, fresh from the first game’s world tour, our tireless cyclist returns to take to the stars in this space-themed sequel, Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy. Keeping the same great...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Adventure Island

    Skate and die

    Adventure Island started life as the SEGA-produced arcade title Wonder Boy, which itself was ported to several different home consoles and spawned a popular series of sequels with show-stealing box art. NES-owners missed out on the title, and would have to wait until Hudson Soft teamed up with original developer Escape to release a...

  • 46

    Wii U

    Review One Piece Unlimited World Red

    Not unlimited, but not bad

    Eiichiro Oda’s anime juggernaut isn't short of games on multiple systems, and quality can be distinctly variable; the unimpressive One Piece: Romance Dawn on 3DS, with its repetitive gameplay and questionable production values, is one at the wrong end of the chain. In that sense it's tough to know what to expect from the...

  • 9

    3DS eShop / 3DS

    Review Hidden Expedition: Titanic

    An exposition on the commodification of human tragedy

    On April 15, 1912, a passenger liner carrying no less than 2,000 travelers struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. Not properly equipped with the necessary amount of lifeboats and other safety equipment, when the ship sank the vast majority of passengers did not...

  • 54

    Wii U

    Review Wii Sports Club

    Wii Sports Club Assemble!

    Wii Sports Club began life as a rather interesting eShop initiative by Nintendo, as sports from the original Wii pack-in were gradually released with multiple purchase options — timed passes for a small amount or a permanent pass for fairly standard download price. With the set of five now complete it's hard to say how...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review City Mysteries

    Globecluttering

    Famous world locations are not a bad backdrop for a hidden object game, although the irony of priorities here must be noted. Eiffel Tower? Whatever. We’ve got a bowling pin and a screw to find! City Mysteries takes item-finding to the proud metropolises of New York, Paris, Moscow, and London, stuffing each scene with enough...

  • 43

    Wii U eShop

    Review Bombing Bastards

    Da bomb or just a bomb?

    Sanuk Games' Bombing Bastards isn't so much a Bomberman clone as it is an evil twin; it's an evil twin that is fun to be around and easy on the eyes, but it's evil nonetheless. Everything from its subversive premise to its ironically cheery visuals add to Bombing Bastards' slightly off-kilter feel, but it's the gameplay that...

  • 41

    3DS

    Review Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival

    Is the first 3DS entry a Dark Hole or a Monster Reborn?

    Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh series has a long and successful history in digital form, perhaps never more so than on Nintendo hardware – a relationship that stretches all the way back from the original monochrome Game Boy right up to Zexal World Duel Carnival, which is both the first 3DS Yu-Gi-Oh...

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review AiRace Xeno

    Kicking it into Xenogear

    The fourth entry in Warsaw studio QubicGames' downloadable AiRace series, AiRace Xeno is a natural progression of last year's AiRace Speed on the 3DS eShop – race three different futuristic aircraft at face-melting speeds through nine tough obstacle-filled tracks and try to beat your high score. It's a stripped-down racing...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review European Conqueror 3D

    Go ahead, mention the war

    European Conqueror 3D is a title that might inspire a bit of déjà vu in observant eShop gamers, coming less than a year after the release of CIRCLE’s slightly more ambitious-sounding World Conqueror 3D. Like its predecessor, this is a turn-based strategy game that takes cues from tabletop classics like Risk and Axis...

  • 79

    Wii U eShop

    Review Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition

    A luchador's life

    There have been a few examples, so far, of titles making their way to the Wii U as a 'definitive' version. Few have done so with a name quite as tongue-on-cheek as Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, with the game quite literally yelling the extravagant name at you when loading it up. This version — also on PS4 and Xbox...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Mysterious Stars: The Singer

    Only connect...

    Connect the dots, dot to dot, join the dots...whatever you called it growing up, the odds are pretty good you didn't think the game would be improved by a storyline. That's unfortunate, because that's the one thing Mysterious Stars: The Singer has to differentiate itself from an inexpensive book of similar puzzles. Well, no, that's...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review My Aquarium: Seven Oceans

    Fishing for something more

    Back in the heyday of the WiiWare service, an application titled My Aquarium was made available to all Wii owners through the digital distribution platform. It was so well received — as is evidenced by our review — that a second version was soon developed, appropriately and unsurprisingly titled My Aquarium 2. Now,...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Armillo

    Super Sonic Puzzle Galaxy

    There's been a lot of great eShop content as of late, but not many examples have been in the works for as long as Armillo, which was first announced way back in 2011. Now that it's finally here, were those years in development well spent? In Armillo, you take the role of the titular character, a space armadillo, who is...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop

    Review BrickBlast U!

    Bricked

    The Wii U's compatibility with tool-sets such as Unity and the Nintendo Web Framework has made the platform accessible to small, independent developers whose games would otherwise not be available on consoles due to high costs and other barriers. While this has made for some wonderful eShop experiences — Ittle Dew and Stick it to the Man...

  • 59

    Wii U eShop

    Review Wii Sports Club: Baseball + Boxing

    Swing and a miss

    Wii Sports Club has had a rather odd history to date. Released in increments that have been surprisingly spread out, it's attempted to recapture the magic of the Wii bundle title while throwing in Miiverse, MotionPlus controls and GamePad features. Online play has also been a vital inclusion, yet the piecemeal distribution and...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop

    Review POKER DICE SOLITAIRE FUTURE

    No poker face required

    POKER DICE SOLITAIRE FUTURE (or PDSF for the remainder of this review) is essentially the digital equivalent to one of those electronic pocket poker games that your parents or grandparents were hooked on during the ‘90s. Designed to be played on the Wii U GamePad, this budget download offers a solitary take on poker to...

  • 6

    Wii U eShop

    Review ZaciSa's Last Stand

    Can hardly stand it

    Last year's reveal of the Nintendo Web Framework was a welcome announcement to independent game developers interested in releasing their work on Wii U. The new platform was quiet at first, but in recent months we've seen an increasing number of games releasing on the eShop that were born of this development environment. Opening a...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Squids Odyssey

    Cephaloportable

    It might be said that Squids has come full circle. Starting on mobile platforms, The Game Bakers’ brand extended its tentacles to a console experience with Squids Odyssey on the Wii U, which we’ve reviewed. The same game has now found a home on the 3DS, returning to its portable roots with a few small differences. Squids Odyssey...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Plain Video Poker

    Plain dealer

    Here’s a reviewing conundrum: how does one approach a game that is determinedly designed to be average? This is the case with Plain Video Poker, which does away with pretence by using an adjective in its title that’s been reserved more often for yogurt and M&M’s than anything within the hyperbolic games industry. What this...

  • 15

    Wii U eShop

    Review Monkey Pirates

    Banana boat

    Despite all the doom and gloom that currently — and unfairly — surrounds the Wii U at the moment, it hasn't stopped indie developers from flocking to the system to release their games. Moreover, a good proportion of developers have even designed their games to specifically take advantage of the system; one only has to look at...

June2014

  • 29

    3DS

    Review Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

    A decent game in disguise

    After reviewing the absolutely horrid Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark on Wii U, it would be hard to get our hopes up for the 3DS iteration if it weren't for the name on the back of the box. Unlike every other version of the game, Rise of the Dark Spark on 3DS was produced by the handheld experts at WayForward...

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review SKYPEACE

    Doesn't soar, but not quite a bore

    SKYPEACE is a stage-based runner that finds you surfing it up in the in the sky, high above the clouds. As runners generally go, players will be aiming for a high score by collecting as many coins and significant pickups as they can, while avoiding incoming obstacles. Existing in a genre that overpopulates the...

  • 84

    Wii U

    Review Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

    Less than meets the eye

    Whether it's Batman, Gears of War or Zelda, it's always a gamble when a beloved series leaves the developer that created it in favour of a new one. In many of these cases it's because the publisher wants to churn out annual or semi-annual instalments in a profitable franchise, and one studio is not enough to carry this...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Toy Stunt Bike

    Batteries included

    The store aisle packaging that greets you when selecting Toy Stunt Bike from the 3DS menu is a telling sign of the game’s intended mood. This is a physics-based platformer alright, but the challenge is infused with those elements of joy, imagination, and mild cruelty everyone remembers from playing with their toys as a kid...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Cocoro Line Defender

    Doing lines

    If there's one thing French studio Moving Player knows how to do beautifully, it's presentation. Its new title Cocoro: Line Defender is inspired by Japanese watercolour-style art, with bright environments and striking dark outlines reminiscent of the 2006 classic Ōkami. Sporting a traditional flute-based soundtrack and characters with...

  • 23

    3DS

    Review Farming Simulator 14

    More farm than good

    Last summer Farming Simulator 3D trucked its way onto the 3DS, allowing gamers to establish and manage a flourishing agricultural empire on-the-go, without having to get their hands dirty or don a straw hat and suspenders. It was a game that we found to be enjoyable at times, but the omission of any tutorials or guides lent to a...

  • 85

    3DS eShop

    Review Shovel Knight

    This is the kind of shovelware we can dig

    Shovel Knight is the adventure of Shovel Knight, a knight with a shovel. That simple — and gloriously absurd — premise has somehow resulted in some of the strongest hype the 3DS eShop has seen yet. The good news is that the final product absolutely lives up to the lofty expectations; the even better news...

  • 110

    Wii U eShop

    Review Shovel Knight

    Digging for gold

    Yacht Club Games' faux-retro platformer Shovel Knight has become one of the most anticipated titles to come out of the crowdfunding craze. It's frightening to think that Shovel Knight might not have come to fruition without Yacht Club Games' highly successful Kickstarter campaign — games like this don't come around often. Yacht...

  • 34

    3DS eShop

    Review 2048

    4x4 for fun

    It should not be surprising any more when a mobile game gets ported over to a Nintendo platform. It happened with high-profile smart device mainstays Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, and we've also seen it with several lesser-known

  • 25

    3DS eShop

    Review Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition

    Another World, Another System

    Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition belongs in the download era, as the retail success story of the original truly laid the groundwork for narrative-driven, minimalistic and artistic games that are now becoming increasingly common away from high street shelves. When first released its cinematic flair was a...

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review Color Zen Kids

    Childlike innocence

    If you read our review of Color Zen on 3DS earlier this month or Color Zen Kids on Wii U most recently, you're in for a familiar ride with the latter title on 3DS. The laid-back colour-matching puzzler with the sweeping electronic soundtrack is back, and this time your children can play it on the go. The objective of the...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review ATV Quad Kings

    ATZzz...

    Some forms of racing get a bad rap for looking too “simple” but, in reality, require a great deal of strategy and focus. It should never be as simple as holding down the accelerator until the finish line, which seems a lesson unfortunately lost on ATV Quad Kings. Quad Kings is a purely single-player run with three modes. The largest of...

  • 6

    Wii U eShop

    Review Color Zen Kids

    Hopping into the kiddie pool

    If you read our review of Color Zen last month, you'll know exactly what to expect from Color Zen Kids. The soothing, touch-based colour matching puzzler has gained a more kid-friendly coat of paint – the colours are all slightly brighter, the puzzles are a bit easier and shaped like cute animals, and the memorable...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review ATV Fever

    Muddy goings

    ATV Fever is at its best when machines hit the dirt and one gets into the zone of navigating a track’s turns and bumps. It’s a good way to distract oneself from the strange choices made in the organization of the game off the track. But first, the racing. ATV Fever has a pretty simple control setup. There are no tricks; no...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop

    Review GEOM

    GEOMdude used Rock Throw!

    GEOM is another low-budget title on the Wii U eShop from a fresh studio — Andraconus — and brings to mind another relatively recent offering: RCMADIAX's Blok Drop U from earlier this year. Both are simple puzzle titles that don't really live up to expectations, but their price point being lower than the cost of a cup of...

  • 47

    Wii U eShop

    Review How to Survive

    Island-hopping and head-popping

    Zombies used to be so underground, man. Years ago the very mention of these rotted ghouls would have people scratching their heads in blissful ignorance, but now they’re shuffling, walking and running around like they own the place. The genre has been utterly exhausted to the point where now their inclusion in media...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Land

    Pac your bags, man

    Never before released for the NES in the west, Namco has dropped its Pac-Man platformer Pac-Land onto the eShop to celebrate the announcement of Pac-Man in the new Super Smash Bros. games. A departure from the simple, addictive gameplay the Pac-Man series is known for, Pac-Land attempts to expand the scope and appeal of its iconic...

  • 95

    Wii U eShop

    Review Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition

    An indie trailblazer

    If you want a cinematic, oblique, thought-provoking and relatively short-lived experience in the modern gaming age, digital stores such as the eShop and more notably Steam have plenty of content on offer. Independent developers — and bigger publishers that release smaller projects as downloads — now find it easier than ever...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop / DS

    Review Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?

    Brain food

    It seems like only yesterday that we got Game Boy Advance games on the Wii U Virtual Console, but now DS games have also joined the party. Curiously enough, Nintendo has chosen not to start off with one of their classic franchises, like Mario or Zelda, but has instead opted to go with one of their best-selling titles, the original Brain...

  • 13

    3DS

    Review How to Train Your Dragon 2

    How to train your dragon 2 do what?!

    Handheld versions of 3D console games are always a tricky task; most of the successful ones avoid straight-up ports that are inevitably inferior to their home console brethren, and instead build the portable iterations from the ground up with 2D handheld gaming in mind. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate did this...

  • 42

    Wii U

    Review How to Train Your Dragon 2

    Needs a bit more training

    How to Train Your Dragon 2, developed by Australian studio Torus Games and published by Little Orbit, is a throwback to movie tie-ins of yore. Most big action films these days opt for cheaper, often microtransaction-based game tie-ins on mobile devices, like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and

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