Happy Christmas from Nintendo!

Well, after North America's big release Monday this week, it has to be said that Nintendo of Europe are coming off a little like Ebenezer Scrooge with this week's European download offerings on the Wii: just two WiiWare offerings and no Virtual Console content for Christmas. The DSiWare stocking is fuller with a respectable five titles to choose from (even if they are mostly catch-up titles). Ah well just think of the extra money you'll have for the Boxing Day sales!

Nintendo have also created a new WiiWare page for their UK site accessible with a dedicated url: http://www.wiiware.co.uk. Most upcoming releases are still listed as TBD, but it definitely looks like Nintendo are trying to make it easier to find tutorials and available title information online which can only be a good thing.

The Mystery of Whiterock Castle (700pts - RTL Playtainment) -- As recently reported this is a "hidden object" game for children. We'll discover if it's worth your while and report back when we return!

TV Show King 2 (800pts - Gameloft) -- Hot on the heels of the North American release yesterday, Europeans may have some user-generated content to look forward to on Christmas Day -- if enough people across the pond took the plunge and submitted their own questions that is!

Rayman (800pts - Ubisoft) -- Reviewer Jonathan Walgren was less than impressed with this game -- even if it wasn't a bad port -- but no doubt fans will be happy to have it available for download anyway.

A Little Bit of...Magic Made Fun (200pts - Nintendo) -- This is the more awkwardly named Master of Illusion Express title released at the end of November which resident sorcerer Jonificent Walgrenii though was a real waste of time. Still if you're collecting all of these you'll be happy to have a shot, no doubt.

Art Academy: First Semester (800pts - Nintendo) -- This Nintendo application came out in the rest of the world ages ago, so it's nice to see it in Europe; especially since our resident chicken reviewer thought it was a cracking art program.

Sparkle Snapshots (500pts - Nintendo) -- A program targeted at girls who like taking photos with their mates. It'll make for a nice way to spend those newly gifted Nintendo points according to our own girly girl reviewer Desiree.

Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever (800pts - Gameloft) -- A pet sim game from Gameloft. We'll let you know if this one's for the pound or your new best friend!

Enjoy the full press release below:

22nd December 2009 – Bring a little Christmas sparkle to your consoles this week with a thrilling adventure at The Mystery of Whiterock Castle and TV Show King 2, both on WiiWare this week.

And that’s not all. This week you can learn how to draw and paint on your Nintendo DSi and enjoy some festive fun with, impressing your friends over the Christmas period with mesmerising magic as both Art Academy™ First Semester and A Little Bit of...Magic Made Fun join DSiWare. Other top DSiWare titles added this week include the legendary Rayman, Sparkle Snapshots™ and Me And My Dogs: Friends Forever.

The Mystery of Whiterock Castle
(Playtainment, 700 Wii Points)
Experience a thrilling adventure at Whiterock Castle on your search for the missing princess. Find all the hidden objects in ten meticulously detailed settings as you get to know the various inhabitants and rooms of the castle. You can journey through a medieval fantasy world in a single player game, compete against other players or enjoy co-operative gameplay where you help each other out. Make haste and explore the King's vast castle with its gloomy dungeons and secret nooks and crannies. Every adventure will be unlike any other, because the hidden objects will always be concealed in different places. The hunt for the highest score has begun, and is looking for a champion.

TV Show King 2
(Gameloft, 800 Wii Points)
TV Show King, the WiiWare best seller, is back for a second round. There are 8,000 questions sorted into 12 categories on the program, including general knowledge and sports, movies, music and more. And that's without counting the questions that you can create yourself! Compete in a game of four in a local multiplayer mode, or play online with players from all over the world through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Have fun and learn fascinating facts with image questions: for example, identify a work of art, or determine the correct location of a country on a world map. You can even create your own quiz and post it online, or download new question packs generated by other players for endless challenge.

(Ubisoft Entertainment, 800 Nintendo DSi Points)
The Legendary first Rayman adventure is now on DSiWare. Play Rayman and try to save his amazing world from the evil Mr Dark. Discover a charming universe with colourful landscapes and meet funny characters who will help Rayman through his quest. Take advantage of the new DSi features as the DSi photos, the touch map selection or play against time and win bonuses.

A Little Bit of...Magic Made Fun: Mind Probe
(Nintendo, 200 Nintendo DSi Points)
Impress your friends with mesmerising magic using A Little Bit of... Magic Made Fun – a collection of easy-to-perform tricks that you can carry wherever you go. Mind Probe uses the Nintendo DSi system's built-in microphone in magical new ways!
Ask a spectator to write down the names of six people, including someone they really like, and then ask them to read the names into the microphone. Amazingly, the software will detect who the spectator's favourite is. This trick can also reveal spectators' other likes and dislikes - for example, their favourite foods or films. You can even experiment and use the trick as a lie detector.

Art Academy: First Semester
(Nintendo, 800 Nintendo DSi Points)
Learn how to draw and paint with this easy-to-use software that transforms your Nintendo DSi system and stylus into a canvas and brush.In Art Academy: First Semester, friendly tutor Vince takes you step by step through the basics of artistic theory and techniques. Start simple with still-life pencil sketches before moving on to watercolours. Soon you’ll be putting your skills into practice, emulating classics from old masters like Dürer and Cézanne. Art Academy also features a Free Paint mode for creating original works. You can exchange images with the Nintendo DSi Camera album, from where you can share your masterpieces with friends and even upload to Facebook.

Sparkle Snapshots
(Nintendo, 500 Nintendo DSi Points)
Have fun with photos, and let your imagination run wild, with Sparkle Snapshots!
Get snapping with the cameras on your Nintendo DSi system, and then take your pick from a wide variety of fancy frames, backgrounds, stamps and crazy outfits to decorate your photos, or use the powerful painting functions to manipulate them in more detail. Sophisticated camera features let you adjust the lighting conditions and lens types to match your subject. There’s even a timer if you want to put yourself in the picture. And when you’re done, save your favourite snapshots in the Nintendo DSi Camera Album, from where you can share them wirelessly with friends and even upload to Facebook!

Me And My Dogs: Friends Forever
(Gameloft, 800 Nintendo DSi Points)
Have you ever dreamed of having your own cute dog? Thanks to Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever, you can have up to three of the cutest pups imaginable and take them with you everywhere you go. Choose from Labradors, ChowChows and Beagles. Like real dogs, you’ll have to feed, wash, and give them lots of love. Play in the park, teach them tricks or have them compete at the stadium. You can even call them like in real life thanks to the microphone! Plus, personalise your in-game profile with the camera feature.

As the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop are continually updated with exciting and refreshing games and applications, make sure you keep checking the Nintendo Channel, Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop for all the latest news and releases on already available and upcoming Virtual Console, WiiWare and Nintendo DSiWare titles.

Be sure to also check out Nintendo of Europe's recently re-launched WiiWare portal, which functions as the main hub for the latest WiiWare news and game sites, while at the same time providing the perfect entry point for newcomers to the service. Weekly and all-time Top 10 lists show which WiiWare titles the UK's Club Nintendo members are currently downloading most, and which are the most popular of all time.

The portal also provides step-by-step tutorials explaining how to connect the Wii console to the Internet and how to download WiiWare games, as well as a video showing how to use Nintendo Points. Visit www.wiiware.co.uk for all the details. Downloaded games can be saved to Wii's internal memory or SD card and added to the console's Wii Menu or SD Card Menu for anytime easy access.