After last week's slim pickings this week actually provides some choice on both Wii and DSi on the download front, including the first free app from Nintendo on the DSi since the Wii no Ma media viewer was released last May. Better still all of these are brand-new releases, without a catch-up title in sight.
Ivy the Kiwi? mini (1000pts - Bandai-Namco) – Developed by Prope (of Let's Tap and Let's Catch fame), Ivy the Kiwi is a platform game that is possibly a first for a Nintendo 3rd party, seeing release not only as a retail game on Wii and DS, but also appearing on both WiiWare and DSiWare download services in the same month.
Players draw vines to guide a constantly running bird to feathers and then the level exit, whilst avoiding spikes and sheer drops. The main draw (pun intended) outside of simple gameplay is the visual aesthetic: muted colours and sepia-toned backgrounds intended to resemble a an old parchment storybook. The downloadable versions of the game lack the multiplayer aspect of the retail releases and possibly other play modes, offering 50 stages of platforming with a twist - or rather, a vine.
Sekai no Omoshiro Party Game (500pts - Sims) – World Fun Party Game seems a pretty good translation for this mini-game collection. There's five games for 1-4 players set in different countries with cow-roping in Texas, diving for treasure in Hawaii, snake charming in India, samurai shooting in Japan and monster slaying in Ireland.
Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (900pts Neo Geo - D4 Enterprise) – Technically the fourth game in the series (counting Fatal Fury Special), this is one of many fighting games on the Neo Geo which was part of a franchise spawned by the creators of the original Street Fighter and Art of Fighting games.
Hobo Nichi no Kenkō Techō (Free - Nintendo) – A new lifestyle application from Nintendo, intended to record medical data for sharing with health professionals. There are diary pages for keeping records of height, weight and vaccination status as well as data cards for people with chronic medical conditions and drug prescriptions. There's even a special section devoted to various types of hepatitis and HIV. In an Iwata Asks interview with the developers at Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun it's implied the goal was to reduce the massive binders of medical data that parents and people who have chronic health conditions can accumulate and instead provide a way of recording information that could readily be shared by patients with their doctors, who could then add updates during appointments. It's not clear if this is an application destined for release outside of Japan, however it seems to be a bold way for Nintendo to transform the perception of the DSi from merely a fun toy to an essential part of the owner's daily life.
at Enter! Taisen Igo (200pts - Tasuke) – Another entry in Tasuke's new at Enter! series of Japanese board games (they all appear to be part of a cart release called Table Game Spirits: Victory), this is surprisingly one of only a couple of go games available on DSiWare. You can play through a series of 18 different opponents (represented with some of the same character models appearing in the other games) on boards in three different sizes and, as with other games in the series, you can play against a DSi-owning friend courtesy of the Download Play option.
at Enter! Block Kuzushi (200pts - Tasuke) – Apparently running out of board games, Tasuke have decided their next entry in the at Enter! series should be a Breakout/Arkanoid clone. As with other games in the series there's a Challenge mode featuring different objectives to meet in order to clear a "mission" such as beating it within a 15min. time limit. Naturally there's also a selection of characters to represent yourself with, though sadly no multiplayer on offer. We're always up for a bit of brick-breaking so we'll happily check this out and let you know if it's worthy of download (or jealousy for the non-import DSi owners among you) or not.
Ike! Ike!! Hamster (200pts - Tom Create) – Roll a hamster in a ball to collect sunflower seeds and battle bosses in this side-scrolling super-kawaii action game for kids.
Fall in the Dark (500pts - Silver Star Japan) – From the title screen you'd think this was some kind of graphic story game, but actually it's more like Manic Miner with graphics that remind us of 8-bit classic Montezuma's Revenge. We're up for a bit of spelunking now and then, so we'll certainly look to preview this for you as well.
Ivy the Kiwi? mini (1000pts - Bandai-Namco) – Same as the WiiWare game, this is either a cut-down or alternate version of a full DS release and only the second premium price game at 1000 Points in Japan. Whilst the Wii uses the pointer for drawing vines, here you're obviously going to be using the stylus, which we reckon might make for better control in this game.