Rhythm Heaven Megamix (3DS)
European 3DS owners might see this entry and rush to the comments section brandishing their physical copy, but this game was a digital-only release in North America. While that wouldn't be a huge issue on Switch, 3DS' region-locking makes playing import cartridges impossible on a non-modified 3DS, so now's the time to snap this gem up digitally while you can!
Collecting many of the series’ finest rhythm-based minigames in one place, this ‘greatest hits’ manages to feel like more than a mere compilation. Rhythm Heaven Megamix’s stylish presentation and energy is more polished than ever before, and although much will be familiar for returning fans, it’s an unfettered treat for newbies. Can anyone ever truly tire of the Chorus Kids? One day we’ll get that amiibo...
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Hydroventure: Spin Cycle (3DS eShop)
Hydroventure: Spin Cycle — or Fluidity: Spin Cycle in North America — has some control issues that can’t be ignored — there’s little doubt that the levels which require you to rotate the 3DS console through a full 360 degrees would be better suited to a tablet-style device, and these are responsible for some genuine moments of annoyance. Given the near-perfect structure, constant challenge, top-notch presentation and incredible longevity, you’ll quickly learn to live with any lingering interface complaints, though. Hydroventure: Spin Cycle successfully builds on the foundations laid down by its WiiWare parent and delivers a physics-based puzzle experience which rivals the very best the genre has to offer.
SpeedThru: Potzol's Puzzle (3DS eShop)
As with its WiiWare predecessor, Nintendo published this Keys Factory-developed puzzler and it is very much like ThruSpace, just with a graphical makeover. Your block floats forward through the air, you come upon large walls one-by-one, each with one or multiple shapes in them; you must turn and twist your block around and move it into the right position so it floats right through the gap. SpeedThru: Potzol's Puzzle (or Ketzal's Corridors in North America) can be cleared quite quickly and easily if you're not particularly interested in chasing high scores, although if you're addicted to big numbers, you could end up losing a lot of time with it.
Splash or Crash (3DS eShop)
Don't let the small number of levels put you off: Splash or Crash (or Kerploosh! in North America) is not something to be played through once and put aside. It sees the interiors of wells (the things you fetch pails of water from) re-imagined as gauntlets of foodstuffs, wooden barricades and fans. Reaching the bottom of a well isn't as easy as it seems, apparently – rather than a straightforward drop, you have to dodge obstacles and fly through the middle of floating doughnuts to speed up. This is an addictive, well-presented game that's all about honing your abilities with each of the unique objects to score the best times possible.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice (3DS eShop)
Spirit of Justice is another turning point in the Ace Attorney series, taking Phoenix and co. to an entirely new (entirely fictional) country: Khura'in, where the legal system is stupid. You'll spend a lot of time in this one looking into a small pond in the middle of the court, that can apparently tell you how a victim was feeling in the moments before their death, and somehow this is admissible in court.
Then again, this is a series that has a parrot as a witness, an orca as a murder suspect, and a lawyer who can tell when people are lying because his bracelet gets hot, so we can't really complain too much.
The Legend of Kusakari (3DS eShop)
You may notice the intentional similarities to a certain, popular Nintendo franchise in the game's logo and appearance. Whether this is a positive or a negative is unimportant in the end, because The Legend of Kusakari can stand proudly in its own right as a highly enjoyable, nicely polished puzzle adventure. Besides, who doesn't find enjoyment in hacking down every last bit of grass in Hyrule anyway? Addictive gameplay, along with great humour and charming character make this a very pleasant experience. When the only downside is a want for more story and more chapters to play through, you know you're onto a winner.
Nano Assault EX (3DS eShop)
Nano Assault EX offers an eShop-only upgraded release of Shin'en's original Nano Assault, with better controls, more options, and a brand new mode. Nano Assault was already an amazing retail shmup, but the upgrades and reasonable price for this enhanced edition made it the best version of an impressive shoot 'em up.
Picross 3D Round 2 (3DS)
With a plethora of Picross games available on the system, you can’t go wrong with any of them but this one really uses the system’s namesake feature. Chiselling away the empty blocks to reveal the sculpture within is as addictive as any of the 2D variants, and the added amiibo puzzles are the icing on the particularly delicious cake that is Picross 3D Round 2. While this got a physical release in Europe, in North America it was digital-only, so off to the eShop with you.
The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave (3DS eShop)
To finish off this colossal list, we reckon you should check out The Denpa Men — a goofy, Miitopia-like adventure that utilises the 3DS's oft-forgotten AR feature.
Find the Denpa Men with the AR camera — imagine tiny Miis cosplaying as Tingle — and use them, Pokémon-style, to explore dungeons and battle for you. Plus, imagine getting out a 3DS on the train and waving it around, just like we used to in the olden days! Everyone will think you are a time traveller from 2012! Doesn't that sound fun?!
And if you like the first, there's the second and third Denpa Men games to enjoy, too.
So, in summary, 3D remakes, Level-5's entire catalogue, some weird Nintendo experiments, and some of diamonds in the rough — and they're all only available on the 3DS eShop (more or less). If you want to make the most of the eShop's dying days, make sure you load up some credit and get buyin'!
Do you think we missed any eShop-only games that you think people should know about? By all means, let us know in the comments — we need to help each other out!