Dragon Quest Wars
Image: Square Enix

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's thinking back to when Dragon Quest went all SRPG on us...

So, what's it called?

Dragon Quest Wars, a DSiWare-exclusive title released in 2009.

Who made it?

Intelligent Systems — strategy RPG experts of Fire Emblem and Famicom/Advance Wars fame. Square Enix, of course, published the game.

What's the premise?

This is essentially Dragon Quest chess. You can pick your lineup from six different monsters and then head out to battle. Every monster has its own strengths and weaknesses — Golems are really powerful but very slow, for example. While Healslimes are experts at regenerating health but don't do much damage.

Why should you play it?

For less than a fiver, you're getting a really unique Dragon Quest game from a storied studio that has local multiplayer (online has been discontinued). So if you're a fan of the series and haven't tried this out, for little more than a cup of coffee, you can have hours of fun.

The gameplay loop is incredibly simple, and there's no story to keep you tied down. You can just mess around with Akira Toriyama's charming little monsters in turn-based strategy battles for hours on end. The four-player Survival mode is also a blast as it makes the playing field much bigger. Just trying to make it to the other side can result in a lot of fun chaos.

The only other SRPG in the series is the mobile game Dragon Quest Tact.

How much is it?

You could grab it for 500 points back in the DSiWare days, but on the 3DS eShop, it's $4.99 / £4.49 / €4,99

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 these in your collection and share your thoughts. Not long to go now!