SteamWorld: Tower Defense (DSiWare)

SteamWorld: Tower Defense (DSiWare)SteamWorld: Tower Defense (DSiWare)
Publisher: Image & Form
Release Date: 5th Jul 2010 (USA) / 9th Jul 2010 (UK/EU)

Notable perhaps more for being the very first game in Image & Form's incredible and expansive SteamWorld series than for being a absolute must-play release, SteamWorld: Tower Defense is a well put-together tower defence game, though it can get very difficult after only minutes of play time. It doesn’t do anything especially interesting or groundbreaking, but if you’re looking for a tower defence fix — or you want to see where SteamWorld started — then this might be for you.

Price: £4.49 / $4.99

Pyoro (DSiWare)

Pyoro (DSiWare)Pyoro (DSiWare)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo SPD
Release Date: 5th Apr 2009 (USA) / 3rd Apr 2009 (UK/EU)

DSiWare was mostly known for offering more stripped back, bite-sized game experiences compared to full retail releases, but games like Pyoro (or Bird & Beans in North America) proved that this wasn't a disadvantage. Developed in-house at Nintendo SPD and featuring Pyoro in remakes of two of the little bird's WarioWare minigames, the goal here is simple: beans fall from the sky and you run back and forth as the little red bird, who must eat as many beans as possible with its long tongue.

A game of Bird & Beans never lasts too long, but it almost perfectly manages to nail that "one more try" feeling. Also – after passing a certain score threshold – you get to play 'Bird & Beans 2', which puts a fun spin on the concept.

Price: £1.79 / $1.99

Mighty Flip Champs! (DSiWare)

Mighty Flip Champs! (DSiWare)Mighty Flip Champs! (DSiWare)
Publisher: WayForward / Developer: WayForward
Release Date: 1st Jun 2009 (USA) / 27th Nov 2009 (UK/EU)

WayForward is well known for the quality of its 2D platformers and that clearly shows through with Mighty Flip Champs!. This game takes advantage of the dual screens by letting you "flip" between different marginally different screens to clear levels.

Featuring over 40 levels and a ranking system based on how efficiently you cleared each stage, this one's got pretty long legs. And, for those of you that loved the concept, it received two sequels in Mighty Milky Way and Mighty Switch Force!.

Price: £7.19 / $7.99

Art Style: AQUITE (DSiWare)

Art Style: AQUITE (DSiWare)Art Style: AQUITE (DSiWare)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: skip
Release Date: 5th Apr 2009 (USA) / 3rd Apr 2009 (UK/EU)

The Art Style series made its debut on WiiWare, so it made sense that these puzzle games would make their way to DSiWare in some form. Art Style: Aquia (as it's also known) was actually one of the launch games for the DSi Shop, and it was arguably the best of the bunch.

Featuring simple block-pushing gameplay and a smooth art style (sorry), this one can be infuriatingly addicting once it gets its hooks in you. Also, for those of you that loved this series, there was a handful of other high-quality Art Style games released on DSiWare afterwards, so you might want to investigate those after this (we mentioned Pictopict above).

Price: £4.49 / $4.99

Reflect Missile (DSiWare)

Reflect Missile (DSiWare)Reflect Missile (DSiWare)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Q Games
Release Date: 4th Jan 2010 (USA) / 27th Nov 2009 (UK/EU)

Another excellent title by Q Games, Trajectile (or Reflect Missile in Europe) mixes Arkanoid with puzzle solving elements and the final product is something that's surprisingly solid. Trajectile features over 200 levels, each of which sees you using a limited number of missiles which you must use to destroy certain blocks. Some missiles reflect off walls, others explode, while others can drill through several blocks, and it's up to you to be as efficient as possible in how you utilize them. It's surprisingly gripping; this would be a fantastic game even as a standard DS release.

Price: £4.49 / $4.99

Zenonia (DSiWare)

Zenonia (DSiWare)Zenonia (DSiWare)
Publisher: Gamevil USA
Release Date: 27th Sep 2010 (USA) / 24th Dec 2010 (UK/EU)

There aren't many RPGs on DSiWare, and though Zenonia may have been a cell phone game first, it nonetheless stands out in the DSiWare library. The story follows Regret, a teenage boy who travels the world investigating the death of his father. Along the way you meet all sorts of colourful characters, fight enemies through the excellent live-action combat system, and can choose between good and evil paths at certain story points.

This is a surprisingly well-rounded RPG for the DSi, and one well worth a look for any fans of the genre.

Price: £7.19 / $7.99

A Kappa's Trail (DSiWare)

A Kappa's Trail (DSiWare)A Kappa's Trail (DSiWare)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Brownie Brown
Release Date: 14th Jun 2010 (USA)

A Kappa’s Trail is a bizarre game: you play as a little turtle/fish/sea creature and your objective is to escape the depths of the ocean to reach the land of the humans, but it’s a clever idea, and plays great in many areas where other DSiWare games seem to do the opposite. It’s a really neat and tidy game with great visuals and catchy music and even though the game can be very difficult in early portions, the overall product is worth seeking out if you like a little bit of quirk. NA-only, though.

Price: $4.99

Chronos Twins (DSiWare)

Chronos Twins (DSiWare)Chronos Twins (DSiWare)
Publisher: EnjoyUp Games
Release Date: 18th Jan 2010 (USA) / 14th May 2010 (UK/EU)

This began life as a GBA game and eventually got a physical release in Europe, but Chronos Twins DS was a DSiWare exclusive in North America. Not only does the game bring an interesting and unique gameplay mechanic to the table, it also manages to surround it with smooth controls and a lot of personality. The game might be a tad on the short side, but you're definitely in for a fun ride while it lasts. If you're up for something a little unique and different, this is definitely a game you'll want to check out.

Price: £4.49 / $4.99

G.G Series ALL BREAKER (DSiWare)

G.G Series ALL BREAKER (DSiWare)G.G Series ALL BREAKER (DSiWare)
Publisher: Genterprise / Developer: Genterprise
Release Date: 11th Jun 2015 (USA)

Another entry in the G.G Series, ALL BREAKER is a good example of how to execute an original concept in an impactful way. It introduces an interesting concept for an action platformer, provides a series of levels that properly explore the potential of that concept, and supports it all with excellent visuals and decent sound design. We'd suggest you go and pick this one up; it may not hold your attention for an extremely long period of time, but you'll likely be satisfied with the time you spend with it.

Price: $1.99

G.G Series ASSAULT BUSTER (DSiWare)

G.G Series ASSAULT BUSTER (DSiWare)G.G Series ASSAULT BUSTER (DSiWare)
Publisher: Genterprise / Developer: Genterprise
Release Date: 4th Jun 2015 (USA)

A rewarding and addictive little shmup, G.G Series ASSAULT BUSTER could be argued as being the finest entry in the arcade-focused series. The nature of the gameplay lends itself well to score chasing and the dynamic combat, upbeat soundtrack and excellent spritework all mix well into a satisfying whole. If you're going to pick up only one of the dozens of G.G games on the NA DSiWare store, we'd say this is the one.

Price: $1.99

Castle Conqueror - Heroes (DSiWare)

Castle Conqueror - Heroes (DSiWare)Castle Conqueror - Heroes (DSiWare)
Publisher: CIRCLE Entertainment
Release Date: 10th Nov 2011 (USA) / 22nd Dec 2011 (UK/EU)

There's very little that Castle Conqueror - Heroes doesn't get right. It's challenging, addictive and continuously surprising. While its adoption of a turn-based structure might have left some fans of the previous games scratching their heads, we think the gamble paid off in spades, and the end result is a strong title that's bursting with challenging missions. Castle Conqueror - Heroes is a great entry in a very enjoyable series, and an easy recommendation.

Price: £4.49 / $4.99