The DSi was a console that had some important 'firsts' for Nintendo's portable efforts, chief among them was a digital storefront. Though the DSiWare shop may seem rather primitive compared to the eShop nowadays, there were still plenty of quality titles to be found on the service. Now that the first steps towards the shop's shutdown are beginning in less than a week before its closure next year, we thought we'd put together a list of ten of our favourite DSiWare games.
For those of you looking to make one last splurge before the DSi Shop's doors close for good, maybe these suggestions are worth a look. This writer's opted for a mix of obvious and perhaps less-known examples.
Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon
When it comes to pinball games on the DS, one's mind generally thinks of the rather odd Metroid Prime Pinball. As it would happen, Fuse Games – the developer of Metroid Prime Pinball – also put out an original pinball game on the DSi Shoppe back in 2009 - Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon. Featuring a pinball table inspired by Greek mythology, this game is quite well-designed and offers plenty of value for the 500 points it costs to download. The dot-matrix display is a lovely touch, it features a good mixture of objectives, and the physics are surprisingly realistic.
Original Review Score: 7/10
The sequel to an obscure, Japan-only Game Boy release, X-Scape stands as one of the most polished games on the DSi store. You play as the ace pilot of the VIXIV super-tank, blasting your way through aliens across several Tron-like worlds. Compared to most other DSiWare games, X-Scape features a pretty meaty campaign and still holds up extremely well today. This one was also developed by Q-Games, a studio helmed by Dylan Cuthbert, the man responsible for the 3D technology behind the original Star Fox. Fun Fact: The tunnel music from this game made an appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Original Review Score: 9/10
Dark Void Zero
This one was released by Capcom as a tie-in for the ill-fated Dark Void, amusingly receiving more critical acclaim than its big-budget counterpart. Dark Void Zero is a 2D action platformer where you run 'n' gun your way through three lengthy levels, with the ultimate goal of saving Earth from an alien threat. Its runtime may be a bit on the short side, but the collectables go a long way towards extending replayability and it's challenging to a satisfying degree. Also, that sequence where you have to "blow on the cartridge" is a nice touch.
Original Review Score: 9/10
Trajectile / Reflect Missile
Another excellent title by Q-Games, Trajectile mixes Arkanoid with puzzle solving elements and the final product is something that's surprisingly solid. Trajectile features over 200 levels, each of which sees you using a limited number of missiles which you must use to destroy certain blocks. Some missiles reflect off walls, others explode, while others can drill through several blocks, and it's up to you to be as efficient as possible in how you utilize them. It's surprisingly gripping; this would be a fantastic game even as a standard DS release.
Original Review Score: 9/10
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Arguably the greatest game to ever come out of DSiWare, Shantae: Risky's Revenge made the eight year wait for a Shantae sequel all worth it. Featuring a charming cast of characters, a vibrant visual style, and an overworld packed with secrets and collectables, this was everything fans loved about the original and then some. Though there's a Director's Cut now available on the Wii U eShop, the original release is still excellent and is well worth a look.
Original Review Score: 10/10
Starship Defense / Starship Patrol
Yet another release from the talented developers at Q-Games, Starship Defense is a challenging tower defense game with an interesting visual style. The whole thing looks like it's drawn on mathematical graphing paper, and everything has a very clean look to it. Though it doesn't stray too far from the standard tower defense formula, the progression and upgrade systems are well paced and it can be surprisingly challenging.
Original Review Score: 8/10
Bird & Beans / Pyoro
DSiWare was mostly known for offering more stripped back, bite-sized game experiences compared to full retail releases, but games like Bird & Beans proved that this wasn't a disadvantage. The goal of the game is simple, beans fall from the sky and you run back and forth as a little red bird named Pyoro, who must eat as many beans as possible with its long tongue. A game of Bird & Beans never lasts too long, but it almost perfectly manages to nail that "one more try" feeling. Also – after passing a certain score threshold – you get to play Bird & Beans 2, which puts a fun spin on the concept.
Original Review Score: 8/10
Mighty Flip Champs!
WayForward is well known for the quality of its 2D platformers and that clearly shows through with Mighty Flip Champs. This game takes advantage of the dual screens by letting you "flip" between different marginally different screens to clear levels. Featuring over 40 levels and a ranking system based on how efficiently you cleared each stage, this one's got pretty long legs. And, for those of you that loved the concept, it received two sequels in Mighty Milky Way and Mighty Switch Force!.
Original Review Score: 9/10
Art Style: Aquia / Aquite
The Art Style series made its debut on WiiWare, so it made sense that these puzzle games would make their way to DSiWare in some form. Art Style: Aquia was actually one of the launch games for the DSi Shop, and it was arguably the best of the bunch. Featuring simple block-pushing gameplay and a smooth art style (sorry), this one can be infuriatingly addicting once it gets its hooks in you. Also, for those of you that loved this series, there was a handful of other high-quality Art Style games released on DSiWare afterward.
Original Review Score: 9/10
There aren't many RPGs on DSiWare, and though Zenonia may have been a cell phone game first, it nonetheless stands out in the DSiWare library. The story follows Regret, a teenage boy who travels the world investigating the death of his father. Along the way you meet all sorts of colourful characters, fight enemies through the excellent live-action combat system, and can choose between good and evil paths at certain story points. This is a surprisingly well rounded RPG for the DSi, and one well worth a look for any fans of the genre.
Original Review Score: 9/10
Now, let's hear what your favourite DSiWare games are. What games would you put in your list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
I never owned a DSi, just the regular DS Lite.
Petit computer was easily my favourite dsiware game
Well, Antipole was amazing to me, Pop Island, Escapee go, soul of darkness... I'm a bit surprised those didn't make it to your list actually!
I really enjoyed a Castlevania clone, Soul of darkness...
What, no Metal Torrent? I remember enjoying that game.
Just to be clear, the DSiware section on the 3DS eShop isn't going anywhere, is it?
Also, no Plants Vs Zombies?
Aw, no love for Go Go Kokopolo? Easily one of my top 3 DSiWare games.
I would like to add Aura Aura Climber. Very fun!
It's a big shame Aura-Aura Climber wasn't on here. Easily one of the best titles. Some of my favourites includie Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!, Plants vs. Zombies and Army Defender. As a kid I also really liked AiRace and Photo Dojo, though those have kind of fallen off the radar for me.
Also, I know it's status as DSiWare is debatable, but I still love Flipnote Studio. It's honestly ridiculous how much time I spent on Flipnote Hatena just watching Flipnotes.
Dammit, whats about Puzzle Quest? That is one hell of a game!
Escapee Go, Publisher Dream, Four Swords Anniversary, Captain Sub, Ace Mathician, Candle Route, Penguin Patrol, Abyss, and definitely the Jason Rohrer Anthology
My favorites out of the 11 I have on my 3DS: Go Series: Picdun, Art Stlye: PiCOPiCT and Plants vs. Zombies.
When the dsi shop was announced, i was absolutely sure that a Virtual Console section would be next. Little did i know that i would have to wait a whole system for that!
@Captain_Gonru Dragon Quest Wars?
@Moon I was wondering the same thing. These games are still going to be on the eShop, right?
I loved Zenonia. One of my favorite games.
I understand these lists are personal preference but not putting "A Kappa's Trail" on the list, not even as an honorable mention is an affront to the DSi Shop.
@belmont yup! Another game I loved.
I still have my DSi, I gave it to my daughter. However, nowadays, it plays Nintendogs and My Little Pony. But at least it's still getting used.
Paper Plane. I wish they'd release that on iPhone, it's perfect for it.
My fav games are Dracula's undead awakening, undead storm, birds & beans, tetris party live, Dr Mario express, the game & watch games, and 4 swords.
But ya, the DSi games will still be on the 3DS hopefully, would be nice if they bring back 4 swords once again.
Slow news week huh @nintendolife
Wow, my top 10 list would look different - and there's no way I'd rate Zenonia or Pyoro that highly.
Petit Computer is easily my most favorite app on the DSi Shop. It's practically changed my whole life as it got me into some real programming and now I'm trying to pursue that as my career. Not to mention my game Revenge of the Crazy Baby is probably pretty life changing as well.
Pinball Pulsee is also one of my favorites. I know once said this multiple times but ranks among my most favorite pinball games, including real life tables. Just a great ruleset with a great design, and of course the physics are some of the very best, surpassing both Zen and The Pinball Arcade in my opinion.
Then there's Photo Dojo, the Game and Watch games, AiRace Tunnel... Heck I even had a lot of fun with I am in the movie. DSi Ware may have been limited in a lot of ways, but it definitely still had some brilliant games.
I have never played any DSi eshop games.
But, i only have 1 NDS game in retail that later become DSiware at 3DS eshop. It was Animal Boxing NDS. Love the Chibi Boxers but too bad, no developers want to polish that raw diamond.
I'm still trying to figure out the point of the DSi itself.
Just off the shelf hardware changes & nothing else.
the eShop could have waited till the 3DS.
doubtful many games used the extra 8MB of RAM
there is not real point in a faster wifi module.
And to top it all off there is no boost to the CPU speed, no official mention, no nothing.
Do you get MyNintendo Gold Coins for buying DSiWare on 3DS?
I used to love DSiWare! So many great experiences (and a few not so great...). I have over 100 games from the service. Favorites include:
Let's create pottery (weird I know but it's surprisingly great)
Zelda Four Swords
Aura Aura Climber
Mighty flip champs and Milky Way
Mario vs donkey kong
10 second run
And last but definitely not least: the Art Style series ranked from best to worst:
2: base 10
6: Aquia (I can't believe this one ranked out of the others)
7: zengage (only one I don't like very much)
This has inspired me to dig back into the DSi fridge so if you'll excuse me...
@Moon almost certain it's not going anywhere, it's just the DSi shop via the DSi which is sadly being closed down.
You forgot the best one: PHOTO DOJO!
Mario vs donkey kong
Plants vs zombies
Plant vs zombies was great. I think I got it on the iPad tho. I think most dsi ware games were free on the app store.
Also got this from the PlayStation store. But I think iPad version was best and free
Shantae and Mario Vs. DK Minis March Again are my favorites.
Although Mighty Flip Champs! received two sequels in the form of Mighty Milky Way and Mighty Switch Force!, art style aside, all three games play differently.
Mighty Milky Way is the game I still go to for short bursts today. Gameplay is unique and still holds up for Mii.
Okay before it closes down. Are there any games I should get on my DSI. I could get them on 3ds of course. But are there any that are just generally better on a dsi / gonna be lost forever but aren't shovelware.
Cave Story, Mighty Flip Champs, Soul of Darkness, Dark Void Zero, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, the Earthworm Jim remake, those were still the best DSiWare to get.
@Fbigabig That's pretty much the case until Nintendo decides to show us the NX.
AlphaBounce! I spent SO much time on AB, it was a great value for money if you liked Arkanoid style games.
Never owned a DS so... I know
Starship patrol, Earthworm Jim remake and Mario vs DK Minis March Again kept me going on the 3DS till the eshop launched. Highly recommend
Rabi Laby 1 and 2 are some of the best puzzle-platformers on the system, and RL2 is a mere $2 for those on the fence. No reason to not grab them before the shutdown!
A Little Bit of Puzzle League!!
@Fbigabig I think your right. It's Sunday. They should be booming for news about the NX.
@Fbigabig nothing insightful to add huh?
Can't say enough good things about Soul Of Darkness. Just go buy it.
Also, Amida's Path was a late DSi game from just about 2 years ago that I feel probably went largely unnoticed because of its late arrival, and that's a shame because it was very cool
edit: How could I have forgotten Flipper?! Such a delightful little puzzle game that was.
I would say Cave Story if it wasn't for the DSi version being the most inferior, but it still has everything that made the game great.
Just get the free PC version or the 3DS version (for the same price as the DSi version) if you wanted to play it.
Why is there a picture of the Enterprise NX-01 (funny coincidence) for that game?
Not an DSi original but I like the DSi port of Rayman it's very close to the original that i played as a wee lad on the PC.
@belmont Just downloaded that one. Going to try and snap up as many DSiWare exclusives as I can before it's too late....
@Fbigabig No, it's a very relevant list given that DSiWare is being shut down next week. Gives people one last chance to pick them up.
Never heard about Zenonia, will have to check it out. Maestro and Bejeweled Blitz are pretty fun.
In case anyone wanted to know what DSiWare games are NOT available on the 3DS eshop heres a list from Nintendo:
I recommend Asphalt IV, it's pretty fun, maybe not as good by today's standards for a portable racing game but its not bad.
I'll be honest, I've only heard of Zenonia, Pyoro, and Risky's Revenge out of all of these. I never had a DSi, and while I had access to these via the 3DS eshop, none of these titles particularly appealed to me. (I did consider getting Zenonia, but the price point was off-putting)
Yes! Dragon Quest Wars.
It was developed by Intelligent Systems (Fire Emblem and Advance Wars) in collaboration with Square Enix.
I do love Zenonia, but I've never beaten it. I always get stuck because of too powerful enemies. Then I just restart the game, play it some more, and get stuck at the same point again.
Great list and fun memories. I especially loved Pinball Pulse. Zenonia was my airplane ride game. X-Scape was trippy and Shantae was cool. Might I add:
@Moon Yes, we can still buy DSiWare after closing. https://mynintendonews.com/2016/04/01/dsi-shop-discontinuation-faq/
Aura Aura Climber & Spotto!, also Mario Minis
No Go Go Kokopolo? I liked that game.
Ah, well. Neat list. Some of these games look pretty fun, tbh.
Still waiting for any version of Risky's Revenge to come to the Australian 3DS.
flipnote, guess it isnt a game though
I loved Airport Mania: First Flight.
I really enjoyed Starship Patrol.
Also liked candle route, ace mathician and 3,2,1 WordsUp!
No petit computer love makes me sad.
Crystal Monsters, Metal Torrent, Soul of Darkness, and Abyss were awesome sauce.
@YoshiParty Kokopolo is no mo' on the eShop, got delisted a while ago. Fun game though.
@Camjo-Z Yeah, I know. It's a huge shame too. Thank goodness, I got it before then.
Disappointed that Soul of Darkness wasn't listed. It's a fantastic Castlevania knockoff that deserves a mention whenever people talk about Castlevania games on handhelds.
I LOVED Metroid Pinball. Wish I still had it. And Dark Void Zero is a great game. Gotta get it again.
@Flowerlark fishing resort (dsiware) is probably my favorite fishing game.
It actually got a sequel, with a different name. I think it was hooked on bass fishing or something like that.
There were good choices on this list. Personally, I'll add "Castle of Magic" and "Thorium Wars."
Many of these are also on my list of favorite DSi games, namely the 3 Q-games titles, but I also really enjoyed Thorium Wars, Captain Sub, Escapee GO, A Kappa's Trail, Aura-Aura Climber, Spotto, Penguin Patrol, and Mario vs. DK. Ah, the memories!
I do have to disagree with Zenonia, though. IMO other than the hunger system I thought it was pretty generic and I got bored with it very fast.
@Wonky_Kong I was very close to including that, but I wanted to keep it to all games. Still, that's probably the app that took up the most of my time on DSi.
DSi can also unofrtunately be remembered of being Nintendo's first missed step into region locked handheld consoles...
The biggest mistake Nintendo has done so far.
@Zach Go Go Kokopolo is my favourite DSi Ware game by a mile. It's a shame so many people missed out on it!
What about Artstyle: Picopict - that was pure awesome.
I don't see how Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again, Petit Computer or The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition (if that last one counts) didn't make the list. Like, IMO, those games were great!
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again, Dragon Quest Wars, Starship Defense and Shantae Risky's Revenge are likely my favourites though I like most DSiware I bought or got.
I absolutely hated Zenonia. You had to grind like there was no tomorrow. It was absurd.
You can buy DSi games on the 3DS eShop.
#1 on this list for me...Starship Defense. This game REALLY sucked me in and I absolutely loved every minute of it. I was sad it was over and wish there was DLC or a sequel.
I'll miss the store's beautiful soundtrack
@dok5555555 @Moon I don't think that list has been updated since the 3DS came out. I've done some cataloging over the last week or so, and it looks like for NA the list of DSiWare software (that is still available today in the DSi shop) that is not also in the 3DS' eShop is:
Asphalt 4: Elite Racing
Cave Story (although there's obviously the newer 3DS version)
Crazy Chicken: Director's Cut
Crazy Chicken Pirates
Oregon Trail, The
Puzzler Brain Games
Puzzler World 2013
Other than the 60+ pieces of software that have been delisted from both shops over the years, everything else is available in the 3DS eShop.
After a little more research, I've found that there's basically a 3DS version of each game on that entire list of DSiShop "exclusives" that's available in the 3DS eShop. The only exceptions are Asphalt 4 (which has a physical-only port of Asphalt 6 for the 3DS instead), Oregon Trail (which got a physical-only release for 3DS), and the two Hudson Sudoku games. But if you can't find any Sudoku to play on the 3DS, you're not trying hard enough. So all-in-all, there's nothing that should make anyone rush out and put funds in their DSi Shop.
zelda 4 swords anniversary edition was one of my favorite DSiWare games, alongside arcade bowling, undead storm, the cake ninja games, birds and beans, metal storm, brain age (all of them) Dr.Mario, bejeweled, and many others
can thay be able to download on the shop again on August???
Tap here to load 84 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...