The Nintendo Download: Uno!S

Too late! I shouted it first, so you folks all have to draw two cards while I tell you all about this week's releases for WiiWare, DSiWare, and the Wii Virtual Console.

Can you guess what this week's biggest WiiWare release is? That's right! It's "Aha! I Found It!" Hidden Object Game by Ateam Inc. (500 Wii points), which delivers 10 stages of object-finding action for 1 to 4 players. Then there's bittos+ by Machine (800 points), a board game about making squares out of various game pieces. Sounds like a family-fun packed WiiWare update if I've ever heard one!

Oh yeah, and then there's Gameloft's online multiplayer Uno (1,000 points) for up to 6 players, if you're into that sort of thing. I certainly am. I'm just trying not to think about it, because I'm still recovering from a severe Xbox Live Uno addiction and can't afford to Wii-lapse.

Sorry.

This week in DSiWare we've got Number Battle (500 DSi points), a board game that involves linking numbered tiles using the "ancient art of feng shui," which sounds rather complicated. It sure is one feature-packed DSiWare game though, with online multiplayer for 1-4 players, Story and Puzzle modes, and a History mode that records your moves so you can learn from your mistakes.

On the cheaper end of the DSiWare spectrum we have two 200 point titles, QubicGames' AiRace: Tunnel and Gevo Entertainment's Escapee Go! The former is challenge involving navigating an aircraft through an obstacle-laden tunnel which your speed increases every second, while the latter is an adventure game about a young girl named Claire who wakes up with no memory of who she is, forced to use newly-discovered heightened senses to escape her pursuers. While I'm not sure about AiRace, Escapee Go! sounds like it could be an interesting use for 200 leftover DSiWare points.

Finally we have LucasArts' Ghoul Patrol for the Virtual Console (800 points). Originally released for the Super Nintendo, I had no idea what this game was, so I consulted Wikipedia, where I found this: "The game has a host of monsters such as flesh-eating plants, ninja spirits, rapists, and ghosts that jump out of garbage cans." And that's why we can't have nice web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia projects.

As always, check out the official descriptions below. Oh, and Uno! Two more cards. You really should pay more attention.

WiiWare

UNO
Publisher: Gameloft
Players: 1-6
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 1,000 Wii Points™
Description: Get ready to call "UNO" on your Wii™ system! The world-famous card game is faithfully reproduced for the Wii console with some exciting new rules. Thanks to a multiplayer mode (additional Wii Remote™ controllers required) that's playable on one Wii console or online via Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection (broadband Internet access required), UNO has never been so fun and easy.

bittos+
Publisher: MACHINE
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: The next big thing in casual gaming, bittos+ is all about rotating, moving and placing game pieces onto a game board to make squares and, more importantly, squares within squares. Playing bittos+ provides hours and hours of entertainment for the whole family, with boatloads of challenge and replay value for even the most avid gamer. With luscious environments, multiple modes to unlock, game styles to suit every mood, multiple real-time reactive control methods, in-game Awards to collect and high-score boards for the entire your household, bittos+ is a new game-play experience that will sweep you away.

"Aha! I Found It!" Hidden Object Game
Publisher: Ateam Inc.
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: A hidden-object game for everyone has come to the WiiWare service. Try to find 12 particular items among a crowd of on-screen objects as fast as you can, from big fish to tiny earrings, easy-to-find items to well-hidden ones. Unlike most other hidden-object games, this one lets you play along with friends and family (additional Wii Remote controllers required) and compete to see who's best at finding the hidden objects in each stage. With 10 stages and more than 277 different items, there's plenty of searching fun to enjoy. Also, with items changing position each time you play, you can enjoy each stage again and again.

Nintendo DSiWare

NUMBER BATTLE
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™
Description: From Japan comes NUMBER BATTLE, a board game that invokes the ancient art of feng shui while challenging players to clear the playing field. Take turns against human or computer opponents to reach a target score by placing numbered tiles on the board and linking the arms of each tile in various ways. Watch for the Winds of Change to possibly blow over the board during a battle, resulting in special squares that will score bonus points or affect game play in new ways. Items that aid you in your pursuit of points can also be found, but they'll cost you points and must be placed strategically. Go it alone in the main Story or Puzzle modes, or battle against up to three opponents from around the world via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (broadband Internet access required). You can even learn from your past with History mode, which shows the moves recorded during previous contests. This unique combination of puzzle and strategy elements results in an exciting battle of wits. Can you guide your Warrior to victory?

AiRace: Tunnel
Publisher: QubicGames
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: AiRace: Tunnel is an invitation to the newly started Project Tunnel. It was created to examine the quickness and attentiveness of aviation rookies. Think you've got the skills? Put your reflexes to the test and see how swift, precise and predictive you are. Maneuver your aircraft safely through specially created tunnels that are full of traps. Be careful: Your plane will speed up with every second, making each turn and each barrier harder to navigate. It's not just a game, it's a challenge.

Escapee GO!
Publisher: Gevo Entertainment
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Cartoon Violence
Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: In Escapee GO!, players take on the role of Claire, who awakens with no memory of who she is. Save for her name, all information about her has been destroyed. In its place, something within her has changed. Hunted down by an unknown enemy, she must find a way to escape her pursuers using her newfound powers. Will she be able to survive? Using her heightened senses, Claire is able to detect enemies before they come into visual range. During her daring escape, Claire will find mysterious items that can temporarily enhance her abilities, allowing her to level the playing field.

Virtual Console

Ghoul Patrol
Original platform: Super NES
Publisher: LucasArts
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: The main attractions at the library's Goblin exhibit have come to life! As the Ghoul Patrol, you'll go back in time and de-spook an encyclopedia of zombified historic dudes. Vaporize garbage-can ghosts and ninja spirits, rescue bug-eyed librarians and wigged-out pirates, dodge flying books and adolescent-eating plants, and ultimately put the beastly spirit back in the history books.