What this week's Nintendo Download lacks in must-have titles it makes up for in sheer guts, with brain training, puzzles, a little golf, and a simulated planet all on offer.
Of course, when I say lacking in must-have titles, that doesn't mean completely bereft of them. The sole DSiWare title this week is Art Style: Boxlife, and for many of us, Art Style translates directly into Buy Me. The series hasn't done me wrong yet, and even though this one is about climbing the corporate ladder via folding paper into boxes for 500 DSi points, I am still planning on picking it up.
WiiWare has three titles this week, though honestly none really catch my eye. XSEED's Drill Sergeant Mindstrong (800 points) is a mind-training game with a party flair, and at this point I can move things with my mind so we're good. Yukes brings us Neves Plus (600 points), a tangram-based puzzle games that I am sure would be lovely on any other day than a Monday morning with a slight caffeine headache. Finally we have Aksys' Family Mini Golf (500 points), and considering my family consists of two cats, that's probably not for me either.
Rounding things out on a planetary scale this week is the sole Virtual Console title, SimEarth: The Living Planet (800 points), the TurboGrafx16 CD version of one of the less wildly-popular Sim series games for the PC. Perhaps I should have led with that one and finished up with Art Style?
Anything grab your interest this week? Wait - before you say anything, official descriptions follow.
Drill Sergeant Mindstrong
Publisher: XSEED Games
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Mild Language, Mild Violence
Price: 800 Wii Points™
Description: Line up and get ready to use your mind. Drill Sergeant Mindstrong is a party game that allows up to four people to play at once. Players become boot-camp trainees under the tough Drill Sergeant Mindstrong, going through mind-boggling, mind-training games. The rules are simple, but concentration and quick thinking are key. Become the top boot of your class and earn promotions based on your efforts. This game is best played with friends and family.
Publisher:YUKES Company of America
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 600 Wii Points
Description:Try your hand at the newest puzzle craze to come out of Japan, NEVES Plus! Enhanced for WiiWare, NEVES Plus not only retains all the simple, mind-bending tangram-based game play from the original Nintendo DS™ version, but also includes new multiplayer modes wrapped up in an Egyptian theme. This time, you and up to three others can work together to move, rotate and flip the seven Lucky stones into each of the 500-plus silhouette puzzles. You can also challenge one another in new multiplayer modes such as Versus, Speed, Lucky Number and Party Mode. Whether you play every mode by yourself or with friends, NEVES Plus is set to charm you with harder-than-they-look silhouette puzzles.
Family Mini Golf
Publisher: Aksys Games
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: Daddy, Mommy, Sarah and Billy are back for some mini-golf action. Play through multiple golf courses that contain obstacles ranging from bumpers to speed ramps to fans and more. Up to eight players can play together using a single Wii Remote™ controller. You can download new courses to expand your fun-filled mini-golf experience, creating even more complex and difficult challenges to overcome. Can you conquer all the courses and become the mini-golf champion?
Art Style: BOXLIFE™
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™
Description: Climb the corporate ladder in the world of BOXLIFE using your wits and... paper? Use the Nintendo DSi™ stylus to cut and then manipulate the paper into a box shape. Be careful-if you're not efficient with your cuts, you'll waste paper and be penalized. R&D mode teaches you new patterns and challenges you to complete various ranks, while FACTORY mode gives you the chance to earn money by making as many boxes as possible from an endless sheet of paper. Success in each mode brings its own reward: Clear ranks to earn a promotion, change your character's appearance, and use your earnings to acquire new items for your character's miniature garden. With this game's stylish graphics and catchy sounds, thinking inside the box isn't such a bad thing.
SimEarth™: The Living Planet
Original platform: TurboGrafx16 CD-ROM
Publisher: Hudson Entertainment
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Violent References
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: An entire planet becomes your laboratory in this large-scale simulation game. Players help foster new life and promote its evolution into life forms of higher intelligence. Guide civilization along the path of evolution until it can achieve Exodus, the ultimate goal of settling on another planet. The basic challenge of the game is to maintain a comfortable environment for the life forms by adjusting atmospheric and geological parameters. Small organisms called Prokaryote and Trichordate will grow and evolve into a multitude of life forms. Making a drastic change is a recipe for disaster. The key to success is making small adjustments and watching how the life forms react. SimEarth also includes planets with environments different from Earth, such as Mars and Venus. Try your hand at terraforming these planets with harsh conditions and creating a world where life can thrive.