Marcel van Duyn
Pokémon Puzzle League is really just Panel de Pon / Tetris Attack with a Pokémon makeover, but far from being a bad thing, it makes this an even more thrilling puzzler. Panel de Pon fanatics will have the time of their lives regardless, but the Pokémon wrapper helps draw in and hold the attention of new players long enough for the puzzling to grab hold. With the added Pokémon anime nostalgia factor that's grown over the decades, there's even more reason to investigate Pokémon Puzzle League if it passed you by all those years ago. It's still the same old game, and it still rocks.
If you're looking for a crazy game of golf featuring Mario and the gang... you might be a bit disappointed with the original Mario Golf. Aside from some holes shaped like Mario characters, each course is really quite 'normal' and doesn't feature manic Mushroom Kingdom obstacles to avoid; this is very much a golf game first. However, if you like a little more realism than more recent series entries (not loads, mind - it still features a tie-wearing gorilla and a giant fire-breathing turtle as playable characters!), you really can't go wrong here. Unlocking all the characters will be a long and difficult task, but you'll have a great time in the process. Grab your clubs and loud trousers and get on the fairway. Fore!
Featuring double the content and the addition of (slightly imperfect) online level sharing, Urban Trial Freestyle 2 improves on the previous game in pretty much all the ways it should. Whether it's earning stars or designing and/or playing usermade levels, there's plenty of content here to keep coming back to.
While Vaccine recreates the look and feel of classic survival horror games, its own additions to that formula leave a lot to be desired. Randomized games can be fun when done right and properly balanced, but Vaccine has no qualms about sometimes generating a game layout that's completely unfair and almost unwinnable, while at other times showering you with more guns and ammo than you know what to do with.If the randomizer was more balanced and perhaps the timer or the multiple playthrough requirement for the true ending were removed, Vaccine could very well be an excellent throwback to the games that started it all - as it stands, however, it's a never-ending exercise in frustration.
It's a little perplexing how long it took for Picross e7 to be released outside Japan, especially when one considers that it still doesn't really do anything new. It's the same old, same old, really - if you've exhausted the supply of Picross titles on the eShop (Hopefully including Mario's Picross and Mario's Super Picross) and just can't get enough of them, e7 is here to satisfy your appetite. It's a little annoying that Mega Picross once again doesn't have original puzzles, but everything else is still solid as usual, even if it's lacking any creative spark.
Lifespeed has the basics down, but more could've perhaps been done. We know making a game isn't easy these days, especially for smaller developers, but with the seemingly lengthy development cycle the game had, eight tracks seems like a bit of a limited offering when they're pretty much the most important feature. If some more time had been spent increasing the variety of locales to say, double, the game would've been quite recommendable; as it stands you've got good gameplay but a little bit less content than normally desirable. If you're happy replaying the available tracks, though, it's certainly worth consideration.
True to its price tag, Fairune 2 offers far more content than its predecessor, feasibly taking more than twice the amount of time to beat. While we'd love to label this game as being outright superior, the fact getting stuck is so easy can be a serious damper to one's enjoyment - wandering around aimlessly for hours is not our idea of fun. If you enjoyed the first game, we'd still heartily recommend this one, just be careful not to miss anything!
As you may have expected, the Wii U version of the game is quite the improvement over the 3DS release, featuring more content, more features and better overall performance. If you have both a 3DS and Wii U and were patient enough to wait and see how this version turned out, then let it be known that this is definately the better release. If you're looking for a compelling sandbox-style game with tons to do and optional online co-op, look no further - you've found it.
Although slightly outdated, Terraria on 3DS is a fairly decent port of a hugely popular title. If you don't own a New 3DS the lower framerate and lag alone can be reason enough to perhaps skip this version, and the lack of online multiplayer and outdated content could also be a downer for some. The Wii U version should get rid of some of these issues, so if you own the home console there's the option to wait a little longer. Some patches may improve this experience, and it's a solid entry for those with a New 3DS that fancy some Terraria on the go.
Featuring three different game modes from throughout the franchise's history, as well as preset scenarios to clear and online multiplayer, this is easily the most packed Dr. Mario game yet. There's a ton of different ways to play, so if you don't fancy Miracle Cure or Dr. Luigi, for example, you can easily leave them untouched and still have a lot to do. Those that are into head-to-head battles will find the online mode quite entertaining as well.
While Ultimate NES Remix is technically a sound game, it comes across as a rather modest, slightly lazy port. You're only getting about two thirds of the original content from the original Wii U eShop releases, and what was arguably one of the most fun instances of Miiverse integration is completely absent. If you don't see yourself getting a Wii U in the near future and desperately want to see what the fuss is all about, this is still a good investment, but otherwise it's probably best to just pick up the original titles or wait for the combo pack.
Ice Cream Surfer gets some of the basics right and offers players a crazy, wacky world, with colourful locales and varied, interesting enemies. Unfortunately, the game built around that world is just not particularly fun to play, with little challenge, poor presentation, some annoying gameplay quirks and almost no replay value. Had it spent more time in development or perhaps received more money from its crowdfunding campaign, this might have been an enjoyable title, but as it is right now it's best to keep it in the freezer.
It's been a long time coming, but Armillo has absolutely been worth the wait. A large amount of content, regular new gameplay additions that ensure the game doesn't get stale, a full second set of levels with completely different gameplay, and high replayability have all come together to create the newest must-have eShop title. The occasional framerate hiccups are a downer, but don't detract from the overall experience.
While the gameplay itself isn't really ground-breaking, Gravity Badgers is an entertaining physics-based puzzler with a rather unique theme. It has rather simplistic, unremarkable visuals, but with plenty of content and a fairly low asking price those are modest complaints. If you'd like to give your brain some exercise, you can definitely do a lot worse than this.
Five years on, Swords & Soldiers is still an excellent title. It's quite simple compared to most RTS games, but it has just enough depth to make it a highly entertaining experience, especially when it gets ported correctly as it has been in this case. It's a bit of a shame the few extra features it gained in past versions are gone, but at this price we really can't complain too much. Let's hope the sequel is just as good.
While it's probably not a top tier download title, Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails is still an entertaining and fun game, with big, challenging levels and have plenty to do. Being able to go to pretty much any level you want, as well as not necessarily having to save all cats in one go are nice positives, but because of several unfair situations, some awkward control setup issues and one instance where we got stuck, we would warn prospective buyers to be slightly cautious. At least two of those issues can be easily fixed with potential updates, however, which we'd hope are in the works. It's certainly worth consideration due to its positives, but doesn't quite sink its claws into the player.