Star Fox Guard
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 Star Fox Guard, a curious entry in the Star Fox series that's still worth a look today.

So, what's it called again?

Star Fox Guard. Yep, it's a Star Fox game where you guard stuff.

Who made it?

Bayonetta and NieR:Automata developer PlatinumGames, who also made Star Fox Zero on the Wii U, with the help of Nintendo. It started out as the 'Project Guard' prototype before Nintendo retooled it with the Star Fox team.

What's the premise?

You're playing as Slippy Toad, the space-faring amphibian, in a Tower Defense game. Instead of shooting up spaceships, you're instead defending bases that are owned by Slippy's uncle, Grippy Toad. You need to watch out for attacks from Combat and Chaos robots — which attack the towers and distract you, respectively — all from your monitor.

It's one of the clever (and few) games on the Wii U that actually utilises the GamePad to really great effect.

Why should I play it?

If you're a Star Fox fan, this should be a no-brainer. But regardless, Star Fox Guard is completely different from any other Star Fox game that came before it, so it's a really interesting piece of history in the franchise.

Changing up the on-rails shooter gameplay to a tower defense game is a simple but inspired choice, and it also demonstrates PlatinumGames' experience with the Wii U GamePad. The campaign itself might be pretty simple, but there are 100 missions to keep you and your amphibian friends busy. It's an underrated gem.

The game was originally bundled with the first print run of PlatinumGames' other Star Fox game, Zero, on a (separate) physical disc, so it will still technically be findable once the eShop closes. Nintendo also produced a standalone boxed version, although that was really just a code in a box.

So, to be 100% clear, you can still find the original Zero-bundled disc version secondhand. But who wants to sit around and wait for postage all day when you can get defending right away?

How much is it?

$14.99USD / £12.99 / 14,99€ on the Wii U eShop — a steal for 100 missions, for sure.

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.