Dillon's Rolling Western
Image: Nintendo

For the month before the 3DS and Wii U eShops close for new purchases on 27th March, each day we're going to highlight a specific eShop game for one of those consoles and give a short pitch as to why we think it deserves your love and attention — before it's too late. The chance to add these to your library will be gone for good soon and, for one reason or another, these eShop-exclusives are close to our hearts.

Today, Alana nominates Dillon's Rolling Western, a new debut IP for the 3DS that eventually made its way into Smash Bros., but this is where it all started.

So, what's it called again?

Dillon's Rolling Western, and it's the first game in a series that's exclusive to the 3DS at the time of writing this.

Who made it?

Published by Nintendo itself, the game is from developer Vanpool, which has a history in music and computer software. It's worked on the music of multiple Nintendo games before, and it designed the mini-games in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Most importantly, though, Vanpool is the developer of Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland.

Nowadays, Vanpool mostly helps HAL Laboratory on the Kirby games, having worked on Kirby Fighters 2, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe.

What's the premise?

You're an armadillo. That's all you need to know.

Okay, on a more serious note, Dillon's Rolling Western is a mix of action game and tower defense, and you must defend various villages from Grocks, monsters that look like walking rocks. Dillon (the armadillo) has the ability to roll into them, but the villagers might need to support him with some defense towers every so often.

You have three days to defend each village before you move onto a new one, but you don't need to constantly defend because the enemies only come out at night. Each day is split into three phases — daytime, evening, and night. During the day, you can explore, mine for resources, and just get a feel for the world. As evening comes in, you need to protect the town. Then, at night, settle down with a bite to eat or practice your moves.

Why should I play it?

There's not really anything else like this on the 3DS, and it's the beginnings of a very unique IP among Nintendo's catalogue. The game also got two sequels — Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger and Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers, the latter of which is available physically.

But this whole franchise is currently stuck on the 3DS and hasn't been rereleased anywhere else, which is a real shame. It's a simplified, stylised take on the tower defense genre, with a mix of anthropomorphic creatures and characters thrown in for fun. Who doesn't want to play as a gunslinging armadillo, anyway?

Also, you might recognise Dillon if you've played Smash Wii U, 3DS, or Ultimate, because he makes a cameo in the form of of a Trophy, an Assist Trophy, and a Spirit.

How much is it?

$9.99USD / £8.99 / 9,99€. The Last Ranger also comes in at the same price. If you want to complete the trilogy, you'll have to shell out $39.99USD / £34.99 / 39,99€ for Dead-Heat Breakers digitally, though.

We'll be back soon with another 3DS or Wii U eShop recommendation as part of this 'Countdown' series. Let us know below if you've already got this in your collection and share your thoughts. Also, feel free to nominate other games — we just might highlight those in the coming days, too.