Dungeon & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara 1
Image: Capcom

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 swaps the pen and paper for some good ol' fisticuffs...

So, what's it called?

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, which is a compilation of two classic arcade titles from the '90s — Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara.

Who made it?

Capcom enlisted the help of Iron Galaxy for this compilation, which has some pretty good porting pedigree under its belt, including multiple with Capcom. It worked on the Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Darkstalkers Resurrection, Skyrim for Switch (and VR), and it even helped Retro Studios out on the recent Metroid Prime Remastered.

The studio's most recently-developed title, Rumbleverse, was rumoured to be coming to Switch, but the battle royale brawler (which received good reviews and word-of-mouth) had its servers shut down six months after it released.

What's the premise?

Quite simply, both games are side-scrolling beat 'em ups, but they have a few differences. Tower of Doom lets you pick from four characters (a cleric, dwarf, elf, and fighter) and you battle through various dungeons against popular D&D monsters. It can get a little tricky as monsters can use the same moves as you.

Shadow over Mystara adds the thief and magic-user to the party, as well as differing costumes, meaning your friends can pick the same character as you (two clerics? why not!). The sequel adds special moves, and you can stock up on items between stages in various stores. In both games, there are a number of choice-based paths you can take, which give you different routes and enemies.

Why should you play it?

The Wii U version isn't the only version you can get, but it might have been the most difficult to develop. But it eventually made it, and it's a darn good collection of two classic beat 'em up action RPGs.

Like all good compilations, this isn't just a package put together and signed for shipping — it's full of concept art, new challenges, exclusive content, and tons of gameplay options. It's a loving port that looks back at the history of these two titles. The customisable House Rules are a fantastic addition, so you can turn this into an actual arcade experience with lives, difficulties, and all sorts of traps for you and some friends. And yep, there's local multiplayer.

What happens when an Elf, a Cleric, a Thief, and a Fighter walk into a bar? Well, they get into some gorgeous pixel art fights.

How much is it?

This is part of Capcom's big eShop sale in North America, meaning it's only $2.99. In the UK and Europe, it's still full price, but for a mere £11.99 / €14,99, you're getting two arcade classics.

We'll be back for the final day with one more 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.