Have you got a Nintendo WiiU console but the limited launch titles are getting you down? Never fear – the Nintendo eShop is here! We review three of the best available eShop games that’ll keep your new tech occupied without breaking the bank.
Please note that in order to use the Nintendo eShop from within South Africa you’ll need to set your console’s region to the United Kingdom (as stated by the local distributor).
Developer: Tomorrow Corporation
Download size: 118MB
Little Inferno is a twisted little game that plays off in front of a fireplace: the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace. This special fireplace is promoted toward children because – as we all know – the only thing better than playing with toys is setting them on fire.
The core mechanic of the game is simple yet somewhat befuddling – buy items from a catalogue and set them on fire so that you can earn more coins to buy more stuff with. As you progress through the game you gain access to more catalogues with a curious variety of goods such as batteries, stuffed animals, floppy disks, a school bus filled with children, and a nuclear device or two. In short – everything you’ve ever wanted to set alight.
There’s a fair amount of depth when it comes to the actual burning of these objects. They react somewhat realistically to their fiery doom and it’s the small details of their destruction that makes it so satisfying. The steampunk theme adds to the dark humour as you try to find entertaining combo’s of items to torch together.
Unfortunately the game can get a bit stale after a while and it’s best to play this in short bursts – there’s only so many times you can watch the same item burn before it loses all appeal.
Another annoying aspect of the game is the restocking and delivery times of the objects you purchase. This can range from a few seconds to well over two minutes that leaves you staring at an empty fireplace until the next batch of goods arrive.
All in all Little Inferno is well equipped to keep you entertained for a couple of hours and it will appeal to sadists and pyromaniacs alike.
Final Score: 65%
Nano Assualt Neo
Developer: Shin’en Multimedia
Download Size: 81MB
Nano Assualt Neo is an arcade-style Shoot ’em Up game in which a lone spacecraft tries to eliminate the Nanostray virus by blasting through dozens of enemy bugs. The game is packed full of action and the electro-trance music induces a frenzied assault on a microscopic level.
Nano Assualt Neo resembles a cross between Super Mario Galaxy and Space Invaders. Players traverse a small cell while blasting (and avoiding) hordes of approaching enemies. The GamePad’s left analogue stick controls the craft’s movement while the right stick controls the direction of fire.
Players can pick up an assortment of power-ups that add additional satellites or upgraded weapons to the craft. Players also collect in-game currency that can be used in between rounds to purchase extra fire-power or lives.
The game features some surprisingly beautiful and crisp graphics which is showcased through the clever level composition and enemy design.
Nano Assualt Neo, like most Arcade games, relies on a scoring system for replay value and longevity. Your score is tracked on a global leader-board and you can compare your score with your friends. There isn’t really anything ground-breaking in this sense, but why fix something that isn’t broken.
A great feature of the game is the co-op mode in which one player uses the GamePad controller and the other a Pro Controller and the main display. This provides a unique split-screen free experience that’s a heap of fun. You should definitely consider getting a buddy to help you clear the later stages.
Nano Assualt Neo can’t be faulted on any grounds. It’s a pleasing arcade title that’s ideal for when you just want to pick up a controller and play a few fast-paced rounds of mayhem.
Final Score: 80%
Trine 2: Director’s Cut
Download Size: 1.9GB
Trine 2 is a side-scrolling puzzle platformer that made its way to the Wii U as Trine 2: Director’s Cut. The game is more concerned with solving puzzles than your average platforming title and demands some clever thinking as well as nimble fingers.
The game is set in a magnificent fantasy world that takes full advantage of the WiiU’s graphical power. It’s hard to describe just how good this game looks – the amount of detail in the design and animation together with the spectacular lighting is mind-numbingly beautiful. Trine 2: Director’s Cut completely enchants the player through its fabulous art-style and visual appeal and will leave you with your jaw dropped.
You take control of a wizard, a thief, and a warrior and toggle between them on the fly. The wizard summons objects like crates and platforms to stand on and can also levitate and move other objects. The thief wields a bow and arrow and is adept at getting to difficult platforms, while the warrior is equipped with weapons and a shield and acts as the muscle of the team.
The puzzles regularly require the combined effort of all three characters and multiple solutions often exist. The levels are filled with loads of secrets and an XP system rewards players with upgrades and new abilities.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut offers local co-op for 3 players: one player using the GamePad and the other two a Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo. Unfortunately the game drops the ball with the controller options as the WiiU GamePad is astonishingly underused and there’s no support for a WiiU Pro Controller.
Fortunately this is all made up for by providing an online multiplayer mode – a seriously nifty feature for a platforming adventure.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut competes for best visuals on the WiiU and is most certainly the best in this genre. The game offers a deep and engaging adventure and comes highly recommended to all new WiiU owners.
Final Score: 85%