Japan seems to have settled very much into a release schedule like other territories, which will hopefully send some green-eyed monsters off to bed (well, except Virtual Console fans).


Aqualiving: Television de Nagameru Sakana Tachi (800pts - Nintendo) – Nintendo are finally getting in on the virtual aquarium act with this new title from developer PAON. The fish offered are freshwater tropical varieties like neon tetras, guppies, angelfish and even arrowanas; and you can also choose different tank decorations and background music. We should think this will end up in other territories sooner rather than later, but whether or not it can displace Hudson's best-selling WiiWare title is another matter...

Virtual Console

Sutte Hakkun (800pts Super Famicom - Nintendo) – Gamers outside of Japan can be excused if they've never heard of this game because it was originally distributed via the Satella download service, then an in-store cartridge download service (called Nintendo Power - no relation to the magazine) and finally as an official cart release, though it was never exported. The VC versions appears to be based upon the cart release from 1999. Hakkun is like one of those glass drinking birds that would have sat on the desks of business executives 20 years ago and players guide him on his adventure to restore the rainbow over his island in this platforming/puzzle game. He has the ability to absorb and release blocks and can change them into different colours to assist in puzzle solving by using ink bottles found in each level. Although unknown in the West it certainly seems to be a good candidate for a Hanabi Festival release.


Shunkan Tsubutsubu Tsubushi (200pts - G-Style) – From the description we're not one-hundred percent clear on how the game is played, but from the title it seems that you're attempting to "crush" all the objects on the screen (tsubutsubus?) within a fixed time limit by tapping on them with the stylus. Whether or not this will continue to be interesting by level 100 (there's also an additional play mode) is anyone's guess.

Karakuchi! Dairōjō (500pts - Kawamoto Industrial Co., Ltd.) – A tower defence game which can be played with another person via DS download play.

Koneko no Ie Kirishima Uchi to Sanpiki no Koneko (500pts - WorkJam) – It's hard to tell what kind of game this is (adventure, puzzle?), but judging from the fact that players control three cute kittens, it seems safe to say it's aimed at younger players.

Rittai Kakushie Attakoreda (500pts - Nintendo) – The final DSiWare release this week features one of the most novel uses for the camera on the DSi we've seen. Developed by Good-Feel Co.,Ltd. and published by Nintendo this game features the first use of head-tracking that we're aware of on the DSi. Players are presented with a virtual paper-diorama with animated elements. Tilting the DSi in different directions creates a true 3D effect allowing players to see into the background behind figures in the foreground. Video of this effect on the game's website is truly impressive considering you'd normally think the DSi would require motion sensors to achieve such a feat. The goal is to tilt the screen in order to display letters which make up English words using perspective in a manner similar to ShadowPlay's method of using foreground shapes to cast shadows. It's an interesting concept and clearly one that lends itself well to localisation, so hopefully Nintendo will be publishing this fascinating title in other territories soon.