Ten Must Play Nintendo 3DS eShop Games

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The Nintendo eShop, Nintendo’s online marketplace, has been live for nearly two years on the Nintendo 3DS. Over the past two years, Nintendo and third-party developers have released a lot of quality experiences that can only be had on the 3D handheld. While the Nintendo eShop is not exactly perfect yet, it is a great place to find games that cater to niche markets, and the mainstream, as well. Of course, gamers can also download retro games on the Virtual Console, or buy full-fledged retail titles, but that isn’t the focus for this article. With that being said, here are ten must play Nintendo 3DS eShop games.

Pushmo – $6.99 (Review)


Pushmo is arguably the most creative puzzle platformer of the current generation. In Pushmo, the objective of each level is to pull and push blocks until a path opens to the level’s goal. It can be extremely challenging at times, but the game manages to remain fun during its frustrating moments. Pushmo also has a robust level editor that allows you to create puzzles, and QR codes to share them with friends.

Art of Balance TOUCH! – $6.99 (Review)


Art of Balance may have gotten its start on the WiiWare service, but Art of Balance TOUCH! on the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t disappoint. For the most part, Art of Balance TOUCH! is identical to its WiiWare cousin. Your objective in every level is to balance a set of blocks that vary in shape and size for at least three seconds. Other than gorgeous 3D graphics, its developer, Shin’en, added enough new elements – such as new blocks, mechanics, and 100 new levels – to entice players to try this version of the game.

Gunman Clive- $1.99 (Review)


Fans of Mega Man and similar sidescrolling action games will absolutely love Gunman Clive. You play as Clive, a gun-toting cowboy that must trek through the Wild West to rescue the mayor’s daughter. There are disappearing blocks, moving platforms, and enemies galore making Gunman Clive a standard, yet alluring platformer. There are also four cool boss battles, plenty of level variety, three playable characters, and multiple difficulty settings. In my opinion, Gunman Clive gives you the most value for your money on the Nintendo eShop.

The Denpa Men: They Came by Wave – $9.99 (Review)


The Denpa Men: They Came by Wave is a simple, unique RPG created by Genius Sonority that takes advantage of AR functionality supported by your Nintendo 3DS. You must compile a team of Denpa Men by capturing them around wireless signals in the real world. There are a ton of different Denpa Men to find, which makes travelling to different real world locations rewarding. Once you have a team of Denpa Men, you can try your hand at beating the game’s dungeons. Some Denpa Men heal, some attack, and others use powerful magic to fight monsters in typical, turn-based RPG battles.

escapeVektor – $9.99 (Review)


escapeVektor is another title that started life on the WiiWare service, but was discontinued after the first chapter was released. escapeVektor on the Nintendo 3DS eShop combines all four of the intended WiiWare chapters into one package. It’s a unique, arcade-style game that challenges players to border cells by tracing their lines. It’s a hard game to describe, but the gameplay is fun, challenging, and addictive. Plus, there are a lot of levels to overcome, and some cool abilities to master along the way. escapeVektor will appeal most to experienced gamers looking for a great challenge.

Dillon’s Rolling Western – $9.99 (Review)


Dillon’s Rolling Western combines elements from two popular video game genres; action-adventure, and tower defense. You play as an armadillo named Dillon, and must protect villages from nightly Grock invasions. During the day, you must gather resources to make money to build towers for support during the Grock invasion. When night arrives, Grocks will begin to flood the map, pressuring Dillon to defeat them before they can reach the village. You can fight them in head-on encounters by confronting them on the map, or let your towers defeat them.

Bomb Monkey – $4.99 (Review)


Bomb Monkey is a fun puzzle game with an explosive twist. Players must hold the Nintendo 3DS sideways and match blocks by dropping them onto a rising platform of colored blocks. After dropping some blocks, your monkey will have the opportunity to drop a bomb onto the playfield. Blocks that match will explode upon impact, with chain explosions being an important aspect of getting a high-score. Bomb Monkey offers the traditional endless mode, unique variations, and a unique multiplayer mode that lets two people play using one Nintendo 3DS.

Ketzal’s Corridors – $6.99 (Review)


Yes, this is another game that has ties to the WiiWare service, however, Ketzal’s Corridors sports a drastic change in theme compared to its spiritual predecessor. This time around, gamers must guide ancient guardians – as opposed to just regular blocks – through mysterious ruins, in an effort to foil the plot of an evil god named Koruptal. To do this, you must successfully line up and create a silhouette that fills out corresponding holes in the wall. Surprisingly, the gameplay is fun and the concept is perfectly suited for the handheld’s stereoscopic 3D capability.

HarmoKnight – $14.99 (Review)


I rarely find myself enjoying rhythm-based video games, but I couldn’t pass on a platformer from Game Freak, the true Pokémon masters. In HarmoKnight, you play as a regular boy named Tempo, but after acquiring a not so normal musical note staff, he gains the power to fight, and defeat the invading Noizoids that seek destruction for the planet of Melodia. Tempo automatically runs when you begin each level, leaving you to master his jumping and attack abilities. You need to match your jumping and attack inputs to the rhythm of each song, which is actually quite satisfying, if you’re successful.

Mutant Mudds – $8.99 (Review)


While Gunman Clive may give you the best value for your money, Mutant Mudds is my pick for the best offering on the Nintendo eShop. Mutant Mudds is a throwback to the challenging platformers of yesteryear. You control Max, a nerdy young boy wielding a water cannon, useful in his fight against an invasion of Mutant Mudds. With his trusty water cannon, Max can defeat enemies, propel high into the sky, and glide masterfully over long gaps. Mutant Mudds also makes clever use of layers to provide a unique depth effect only possible with stereoscopic 3D. If you’re craving an amazing, brutal, old-school platformer, Mutant Mudds will gladly challenge you with 60 well-designed levels.

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  • http://chalgyrsgameroom.blogspot.com/ Chalgyr

    I admit – I haven’t picked up hardly any downloadable titles for my 3DS. A few of the 3D remakes offered for coins on Club Nintendo, but that’s about it. My son however has both Pushmo and Mutant Mudds and says both are excellent.

    • http://twitter.com/MiniFortress Mini Fortress

      Both are definitely excellent choices, your son has good taste! I’d also go as far to say they are the best games on the Nintendo eShop.