It's Nintendo download time, North America, and this week brings you various goodies for your latest systems. The Wii U eShop features a new downloadable title that you probably spotted two days ago, the first Virtual Console release — sort of — on the system, and 3DS has a mixture of new and old offerings to tempt you. Wii and DSi are neglected this week, unfortunately. So, let's get to the detail.

Wii U download software

The Cave (SEGA, $14.99) — An eagerly anticipated release on the Wii U platform, not least because it's the first new download-only release of 2013, this title is a puzzle adventure game with a lot of credentials and promise. You choose three of seven characters — multiple playthroughs are encouraged — to explore a variety of areas, all against the backdrop of plenty of wit and dark storytelling. Unfortunately, for all of its charms and seductive presentation, we feel that the gameplay and design falls short, as our review of The Cave explains.

Wii U Virtual Console

Balloon Fight (Nintendo, $0.30) — Although the full Virtual Console doesn't launch until Spring, the Trial Promotion means that you can buy — not rent — one classic NES or SNES title a month for just 30 cents. Kicking off this promotion for its first month is Balloon Fight, a reminder of the primitive early days of NES, albeit with some Wii U specific features included. Our updated review will be with you very soon, but in the meantime you can also check out our Wii Virtual Console Balloon Fight review.

Wii U retail download

Funky Barn (505 Games, $29.99) — A launch day retail release in stores, this farm management title is best known by some for the shenanigans on its Miiverse community, no doubt due to its name. It has its quirks and, despite the trolling it suffers on the social platform, is a competent game let down by a high-price tag and relative dearth of content, as our Funky Barn review argues. We'll update the price for the download as soon as possible.

3DS download software

Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker (Bigben Interactive, $4.99) — This title promises to renew an arcade classic, which as the name suggests is the good old-fashion brick breaking mechanic of deflecting balls/projectiles as skilfully as possible. With five planets to travel through along with upgrades to your shield and weapons, we'll see whether this is an old concept done well in our upcoming review.

3DS Virtual Console

Super C (Konami, $4.99) — The second NES entry in the Contra series — though naming conventions were confusing — is now available on the go, which sets you up nicely for some classic run and gun action whenever the fancy takes you. It's classic action that's well done, but you can read our thoughts on why that's a good thing in our Wii Virtual Console Super C review, and we'll be fighting through the handheld release for a fresh outlook soon.

3DS retail download

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars 3D (Ubisoft, $29.99) — It may have a clumsy title, but this game was one of the finest offerings worth considering when the 3DS launched in March 2011. Despite its lack of hype and attention it delivers a lengthy, engrossing campaign of turn-based strategy gaming, with three difficulty levels and extra challenge missions for those that get hooked in. We recommended it very highly in our Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars 3D review.

3DS retail demo

Brain Age: Concentration Training (Nintendo, free) — The Brain Age series was a pivotal part in the success of DS, attracting a broad range of gamers to the system. Nintendo will no doubt be hoping to repeat history with this fresh release that focuses on short exercises to sharpen up your concentration skills. This free demo should get you warmed up before the full release.

So there you have it, a good variety of options for those with Wii U and 3DS systems, and a rare instance of both DSi and Wii missing out. Let us know what, if anything, you'll be spending your money on in the poll and comments below.

What will you be downloading first this week? (292 votes)

  1. The Cave (Wii U eShop)13%
  2. Balloon Fight (Wii U Virtual Console)30%
  3. Funky Barn (Wii U retail download)  0%
  4. Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker (3DS eShop)  0%
  5. Super C (3DS Virtual Console)22%
  6. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars 3D (3DS retail download)3%
  7. Nothing for me this week32%

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