Game Opinion Summaries: Digital-Only Nintendo 3DS Games, Part 2: B & C

In this update I cover the digital 3DS games I own starting with a B or C. I cover some of the greats in this update, including four titles published by Nintendo itself.

Table of Contents

Balloon Pop Remix
Bit Boy!! Arcade
Bit Dungeon Plus
Blaster Master Zero
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
BoxBoy!
BoxBoxBoy!
Bye-Bye Boxboy!
Brave Dungeon
Brave Tank Hero
Bricks Pinball VI
Bubble Pop World
Candy, Please!
Castle Conqueror EX
Castle Conqueror: Defender
Cazzarion
Chicken Wiggle
Collide-a-Ball
Color Zen
Conveni Dream
Crashmo
Crimson Shroud
CRYGHT
Cube Tactics

The Summaries

Balloon Pop Remix Published by UFO Interactive in 2012. Balloon Pop Remix is a followup to the low-budget Wii and DS puzzle game Balloon Pop. In this somewhat bland but decent game played exclusively with the stylus, you pop bubbles in a square field of colored bubbles. The game has nice graphics with some good stereoscopic 3d effects on the upper screen while you play on the lower one. You aren’t popping the ones you want to score points on, though; instead, you are deleting bubbles from the field so that the remaining bubbles, which will fly up to fill in the empty spaces, can match up. Bubbles that fill the space you cleared and form into a group of at least three like-colored bubbles will pop, refill your meter some, and allow a potential chain to form if other bubbles on the field fall into threes. It’s important to note that bubbles don’t pop just because there are three same-colored bubbles together, they have to fall in together after a pop to pop themselves. They won’t pop just because some come onto the screen in a same-color block.

The controls are simple. You draw lines on the screen with the stylus to pop bubbles, and must pop at least two at a time. As you draw lines, you use up power from the meter. If the meter runs out you lose and have to restart the level. It’s a simple design, or it would be if dealing with that meter wasn’t so tough. However, it is: the core challenge in this game is keeping the meter up. Not only does the meter go down every time you draw a line and remove some bubbles, but the meter also slowly goes down all the time as a timer. If the meter empties, you lose and have to start the level over. And Balloon Pop Remix’s levels are LONG, probably too long. Losing deep in a level is a somewhat painful experience because of how long it can take to get back to that point, and you will lose because this game gets tough eventually.

The game adds some more elements as you go, with special bubbles and such, but that’s the core of it. This is a simple game using a time-tested match-three forumla with a slightly different twist. This game starts out easy, but get a few levels in and you’ll realize that it’s actually tricky; thought will be required to stay alive. You need to act quickly and pop the right bubbles to match and, better yet, set off chain reactions to really refill that meter. The concept is solid, if average, but the difficulty gets maybe too hard after a while. I start really struggling at level eight, and there are no difficulty options and again levels are quite long. On the other hand, the game plays well and looks nice. The stereoscopic 3d effects are much better than those in most 3DS puzzle games, if other games even have them at all. Overall this game is alright, though frustratingly hard. It’s a decent game worth a look if you like puzzle games. 3DS digital exclusive.

Bit Boy!! ArcadeDeveloped and published by Bplus in 2014. This is a sequel to a WiiWare game called Bit Boy. This game is a pretty charming somewhat Pac-Man-ish 3d arcade action game. The game plays from an overhead perspective, and you control a cube character. You move with the d-pad, with fully digital, four-direction, tile-based controls that move you one space at a time, and maneuver through the level avoiding enemies and collecting pickup items scattered around the stage. There is sometimes more to it, but avoid-and-get is the usual gameplay. This isn’t a strict maze like Pac-Man, it’s more of an open level you move around. Once you collect all of the pickups you become invincible and can kill the enemies if you run into them, and leave the stage by finding the exit that opens at this point. If you die, you start the level over. It’s simple but fun enough. You can die without it being your fault, though, as you can’t see the whole stage at once and enemies can be waiting at the end of a one-way corridor, so you turn around, but another enemy has blocked the other way in the meantime. You die, try the level again. You can zoom the camera out some, which is quite helpful, but you need to hold down L or R to do this. It would have been much better if it was a toggle, but unfortunately it’s not. Also, the game does reuse stages a LOT, though — don’t expect a new level every time, you’ll be playing variants of the same level over and over and over. The game mixes things up a bit as you go, but there is a lot of repetition. Even so, I do like the gameplay here. It’s arcade-style fun done competently and the stereoscopic 3d graphics are simple but nice looking.

In between levels is where the most charming part of this game resides, though — the game’s European creator, represented with a pixel-art rendition of his head, and the game’s main character talk about the game, the story of the game, and more. There is no fourth wall at all in this game, it’s fun stuff. The game is fully voiced, and the cube character has a deep voice that’s amusing contrasted with the cartoony cube image. For instance, every so often the cube character you’re playing as complains about the color scheme in the game, after which the level changes colors as the creator responds. It’s entertaining and endearing stuff. The cutscenes are probably the best thing about this game, though, as the gameplay is repetitive and gets frustrating at times. There is plenty of content and replay value here if you get into it, though, and you sometimes get optional abilities beyond just moving around and avoiding things. This game got poor reviews becasue of the simple gameplay and occasional blind deaths, but on the whole I do recommend this game; it’s a 3DS exclusive and even if the gameplay has issues it’s still decent enough, and the very weird story is worth playing the game for. 3DS digital exclusive.

Bit Dungeon PlusDeveloped by Cosen and published by Dolores Entertainment in 2017.  This is a top-down action roguelike with decent 2d sprite art. It was originally a mobile game. You play as a little knight in armor, fighting lots of monsters in dungeons because that’s what you do in games like this; there’s no real plot here. Unlike most roguelikes there isn’t an inventory here either, not really. You get equippable items, and the lower screen lists your stats, but you can’t view your current equipment. You can customize how your knight looks in each run with stuff you unlock, though. You never actually see your character under that armor.

As mentioned, this is an overhead action game. You have three buttons, for sword, shield, and magic. Your sword attack range is extremely short, so hitting enemies without getting hit yourself is challenging. Your shield is vitally important, you must use it effectively to get very far. You will get stunned if you block for too long so you need to use it well. Magic is less useful; at first your spell is just a short-range stun. I think it grows in power if you beat bosses and get abilities. You have two meters, health and magic. Some drops refill one or the other and your health refills after you clear each floor, and you will level up as you kill enemies, but refilling health can be kind of a pain since, again, there are no items; the only way to refill health is to grind the weak enemies that appear in cleared rooms. Oddly each equipment item has a name, even though you can only see those names when choosing whether to pick it up or not and not after it’s equipped. The game plays on the upper screen, and your stats and such are displayed on the lower screen. When you level up you can choose whether to boost your attack, defense, or critical hit chance. This is one nice element to the game.

So, this game is simple in design. The graphics and combat are a bit like Zelda, but this game is not Zelda, it has no puzzles. Each dungeon in this game is made up of a bunch of rooms connected with doors. There is a map on the lower screen showing how they connect. Unlike many roguelikes, there are no narrow corridors connecting the rooms; each door goes straight into the next room. Each room takes up the upper screen, and as far as I have gotten there are never obstacles in the room, they are always a rectangular room with nothing but a background and enemies to kill. Some enemies or boxes in rooms drop item chests with equipment you can equip if you want. Once you kill all the enemies, a key drops which will unlock one of the doors so you can repeat the process, until you find the floor’s boss room. Bosses are giant enemies with stronger attacks. Beat the boss and it’s on to the next floor.

And that’s all you do. It’s fun for a little while, but is very repetitive. The game plays fine, but refilling your health when you lose it can be difficult, avoiding damage is hard given how close you need to get to enemies to hit them, and with no inventory you’re only really playing for better stat-increasing equipment. I find the game fun for a level or two but not enough to want to keep going after that. There is almost no variety, every room is pretty much identical apart from which enemies are in it, and it’s pretty tough and frustrating. This game has some good ideas but the execution is bland and average. Don’t expect neat 3d effects, either. It may be worth a try if you like these games, I guess. I won’t be going back to this one much. Also on Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, PC/Mac (Steam), Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and in its original non-Plus form on iOS and Android.

Blaster Master ZeroDeveloped and published by Inti Creates in 2017. This game has paid DLC. Yes, it’s yet another Inti Creates game. This classic-styled game is the first of what is now three Blaster Master Zero games, a new series based on Sunsoft’s NES classic Blaster Master. This first one is a remake of the original Blaster Maser game for NES. Blaster Master is pretty good, but it’s not a game I played in the ’80s or ’90s so I don’t have nostalgia for it. Still, I like the game and despite my misgivings about the developer, this one’s one of their better games. Unfortunately, only the first of the three games in this series has a 3DS release, but this probably is the best one to have. The game doesn’t take much use of the 3DS’s dual-screen design though so oh well. That is, the game plays on the upper screen exclusively in-game. The lower screen is not used, it just says ‘touch here for the other pause menu’. You need to pause with the Start button to use the inventory or view the map, which is really annoying. The map should have been on the lower screen.

This game is very faithful to the original title. There are modern enhancements, including a firing lock button and some modern anime flair, but the core gameplay and design were taken straight out of the NES original. Perhaps the most important addition is saving. The original was very, very tough, and there was no saving at all. Here, you can save at regular save points, and this is a very welcome change. So, one half of this game is a side-scrolling action-platformer where you control a fast-moving tank exploring open-ended levels, fighting enemies and finding sub-areas. You can also get out of your tank, though you don’t want to do this unless you have to. The other half of the game is a top-down action game where you shoot your way through sub-areas and fight bosses. I’ve always liked the sidescrolling parts of this series better than the topdown part, but it’s good. Mixing genres like this was common on the NES, it was an experimental time, and sometimes it works, as it did in Blaster Master, and by extension Blaster Master Zero because a lot of the level designs and areas in this game are barely altered from the original title. This is more of a remake than it is a sequel. The story is kind of a hybrid of the Japanese and American plots of the original game, which is nice. The sequels are entirely original, but this game isn’t.

This game controls and plays well. The graphics are above NES quality but aren’t fullly pushing modern 2d like Azure Striker Gunvolt does, which is fine; the game has a nice retro-ish look, though the game has that distinctive Inti Creates graphical style that I never love. It’s just kind of bland. On that note, yes, this game is fine. It’s reasonably fun because the controls are good and it’s a remake of a great game. It’s probably good that so much of this game is a remake, Inti Creates aren’t the best at level design. I never feel like Inti Creates games are as great as the games they are inspired by, and this game is no exception, but for an Inti Creates game this game is alright. The magic of the NES game isn’t entirely here, and the game is perhaps too much of a homage, but it’s fun. I like this better than I was expecting, it’s worth playing for sure.

As for the DLC, there are four alternate characters you can buy, for $2 each — Gunvolt, Ekoro (from Gal Gun), Shantae, and Shovel Knight. Yeah, those late two are random, but neat. While in the tank they play identically to Jason, the regular main character, except with the tank in a new color scheme, but when on foot and in the top-down sections each character has entirely different weapons and abilities, so the alternate characters are worth getting. The alternate characters have no story so if you switch to them the story is entirely disabled, but otherwise the game is the same. Overall, Blaster Master Zero is average to good. The port is good, apart from not having the map on the lower screen where it should be, and the game plays and looks good. Also on PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One (with Xbox Series X enhancements).

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon Developed and published by Inti Creates in 2018. Yes, Inti Creates again. But of the Inti Creates-programmed platform-action games on this list, this is probably the best one. It’s still only good at best, none of these games are great, but it may be worth playing. This is their last 3DS attempt at a somewhat NES-styled game, along with Blaster Master Zero and the two Mighty Gunvolt games which will be covered much later on this list. This game tries to be like Castlevania, instead of Mega Man, and is was designed by longtime Castlevania head Koji Igarashi. Having more than just Inti Creates working on the game clearly helped, because I like this a lot more than their other games. This game is a pretty big improvement over Inti Creates’ other action-platformers on this list, I would say, with nice enough graphics and good level designs and gameplay. That more than just Inti Creates worked on this game is particularly obvious when you compare the level designs here to the one in Inti Creates’ other games, these are much better than their own work.

This game plays a lot like Castlevania, just easier. The main character is a side character from the main Bloodstained game, a very overly serious demon hunter guy. There are also three other characters you will get along the way, including the main game’s main character Miriam. The four characters each play differently and have different abilities, sort of like Castlevania III. It’s fun stuff. The game has some good replay value too, because there are several unlockable alternate modes after you beat it. You will beat the game, though, because that point I made earlier about it being easy is noteworthy. Don’t expect a NES Castlevania game challenge here. Curse of the Moon is fun, but it’s the kind of game you can get through in not too long if you keep at it, this is only a moderate challenge at best. This game’s alright, but it isn’t anywhere near as challenging, or substantive, as the NES games it imitates. Even so though, with good controls, gameplay, characters, and levels, it’ll be decent fun while it lasts. Also on Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam), Playstation Vita, and Xbox One. The game has a sequel which unfortunately isn’t on 3DS.

BoxBoy!Developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo in 2015. BoxBoy! is a great side-scrolling puzzle-platformer game done in black and white, with some shades of grey. Color is used very sparingly for specific highlights and effects and such. The game has very nice, and simple, pixel art graphics that fit the game perfectly. The overall look is very much like something from the original Game Boy, except with a higher graphic resolution and a bit of color in spots. It looks great. But while the graphics here are simple, the gameplay isn’t! In this game you play as the BoxBoy, and can move and make boxes extend out of your boxy body. You can create boxes on the left, right, or top side of your body and move around while holding them. You can also drop or throw the boxes. The number of boxes you can create at a time varies depending on the level, each one has a preset maximum number of boxes at a time. Your challenge will be trying to use this power to get through many carefully designed puzzle levels. You need to reach the exit door in each level. In addition to platforms you will face various other obstacles, including falling blocks, spikes, and such. Every level is carefully crafted and well thought through.

In addition to the main goal of reaching the exit door, there also are several crown items to get in each level. These must be reached within a preset number of boxes used total in the stage in order to collect them. Trying to get to the crowns without using too many boxes adds additional challenge to already-tricky puzzles. You can buy various alternate costumes to wear, which is a nice touch. This is a great, and compelling, game that you’ll come back to until you finish it or get stuck somewhere and give up, because this game is HARD. Getting the first ending is doable, and is well worth it to see the ending of this simple but interesting story about your box boy and his box world, but the post-game levels are numerous and incredibly difficult. I admit, I did not finish them, they get crazy hard quickly. You’ll need some good logical thinking to get through this game, but it’s fantastic all the same. This game will frustrate you but in a good way. BoxBoy is a simple but genius game from HAL, it’s a definite must-play. I would say more, but I don’t want to spoil the puzzles! Play this game and experience them yourself. This trilogy is probably collectively the overall best digital-only game(s) on the 3DS. 3DS exclusive. Western Digital exclusive.

BoxBoxBoy! Developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo in 2016. The second game in the series is more of the same, except with some new abilties and lots of new tricky levels to struggle through. It’s just awesome that this series continued, the first game was original and great enough to definitely make me want more. This game is great! Tough, sure, but great. The main new feature here is that this time you can create multiple separate stacks of boxes, so you can, for instance, leave two different boxes on two different switches to get through a door. That’s about all that differentiates this game from the first one, but that’s fine, more of the same is what I wanted after playing the first game. It starts out easy too, so this is not a game designed just for people who finished the first one. You can play these games in any order, and each one starts out easy but gets hard as it goes along.

I like the first BoxBoy game a lot, but this sequel may be even better, because it’s the same thing but with a new new ability that adds to the puzzles. Figuring out how to create and move your boxes to allow you to get through each level while getting the stuff you need can be tough, but it’s very satisfying when you finally figure out a puzzle. This game won’t convince people who somehow didn’t like the first one, but for everyone else, I recommend getting all three; they’ll give you plenty of content to play for quite a while. These kinds of games are perfect for playing a bit of here and there. This game is great stuff. Buy it. 3DS exclusive. Western Digital exclusive.

Bye-Bye Boxboy!Developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo in 2017. This is the third game of the 3DS BoxBoy trilogy. So, expect more of the same as in the first two games: you’ve got a new set of tricky puzzles to get through with your box-creation powers in a mostly monochromatic world. For some reason, they removed the multiple box stacks feature from this game, at least initially; it returns to the original game’s single-stack style. As you go new elements are introduced here, though. This time you will travel through multiple planets on your cube ship, each with a different visual theme in the background. New obstacles appear as well, and new gameplay challenges. Most notably there, you will now have many levels which are escort missions. In these levels a child cube person needs to be rescued. It’s initially one, though the game gets harder the farther you get in, of course. After you save them the child will follow you around, and you need to keep them safe from danger. It’s actually well thought through and pretty fun, as you try to figure out how to both keep the child alive and get the crowns in each stage. This game is just as fantastic as either of its predecessors. Yes, it’s again the same basic thing, but when you have a somewhat original idea done very well, making more of that is good.

After this games’ release, Nintendo published a trilogy collection on cartridge… in Japan only. I have no idea why the cart release didn’t come out over here, it absolutely should have, but it stayed Japan only, unfortunately. It’s awful that this wasn’t localized! Unless you want to have to import that collection, called the ‘HakoBoy! Hakozume Box’, make sure to buy these games while the 3DS eShop is still available. This series continued with a fourth game on the Switch. It is just as much of a must-play as these three are. 3DS  exclusive. Western Digital exclusive.

Brave DungeonDeveloped by Inside System and published by CIRCLE in 2017. Brave Dungeon is a topdown dungeon-crawler RPG spinoff starring one of the various female characters from the Dark Witch series of platform-action games, which I will cover later in this list. This game is a simple but fun dungeon crawler. The most unique feature about Brave Dungeon is that enemies cannot move. Instead, marked tiles on the map have enemies on them and when you walk onto those tiles you fight a battle. You won’t be able to avoid combat though, because the mazelike levels lead you through many enemies as you look for treasure and the route to the boss and the next floor. I like exploring the mazelike levels, and love that the game has an on-screen automap that fills out as you go. Oh, levels here are networks of straight paths with intersections; this isn’t styled after Rogue. You do level up as you get experience so this is an RPG, but levels don’t increase your stats, you have to buy stat upgrades in town between runs. It sometimes feels like almost as much of a puzzle game as anything. That’s fine, it’s a fun game.

Combat is similarly simple. The game has standard JRPG battles, the two teams of players go back and forth attacking or using spells or items. Items are purchased in town and regenerate when you go back to town, so you don’t need to keep rebuying the same stuff, which is pretty cool. I like this system. Your party will include three characters at a time from a roster of at least five girls. You can switch in town. When you are in town you can buy items and abilities and such and make equipment out of stuff you have collected if you have all of the right parts. You can also spend money to upgrade your characters’ stats, as mentioned. You’ll need to choose whether you want to spend on stats or items, or grind for both.

So, this game is simple, but I do like playing it. Exploring the maps is fun. One unique element here is that there are five dungeons which you will go back and forth between. You unlock shortcuts after beating the boss on each floor, so when you return back to the town you won’t have to redo the whole floor. Once you beat a floor’s boss you get a key, and your goal is to finish all ten floors in each dungeon. This game is simple fun. The challenge level is just about right; it’s not too easy or too hard. You will need to go back and forth between dungeons once you reach floors too hard for your current party, but with the shortcuts and such that’s fine. Anyway, if you lose you just get warped back to town without penalty. Overall, Brave Dungeon is decent. This game isn’t amazing, but it’s a fun little game worth playing if you like this genre. This is actually probably my favorite Dark Witch-related game, I have much more mixed feelings about the main platformer trilogy. This version of the game is 3DS exclusive, though there’s a collection for PC and Switch which includes this game and a second title not on the 3DS, Dark Witch Story: COMBAT.

Brave Tank HeroDeveloped by Arc System Works and published by Natsume in 2015. This game is a third person tank action game. You choose from three different tanks, and go on over 50 missions to destroy enemy tanks and defend areas and such. The game has appealing cartoony graphics and good gameplay and controls. There are two control schemes available, but I prefer the advanced one, which uses the dpad and buttons to emulate a tank’s two engines, so you push both forward to go forward and one up and one down to turn. Standard tank controls there, it’s easy to get used to with a little practice and you get much better controls than the default mode. You also have independent turret control on the shoulder buttons and can shoot with a button. The controls here are great, I really like that twin-stick controls are present. Each mission in this game is a short challenge against a handful of enemies. The pacing is good and gameplay fun and challenging. The game has an interesting way of limiting the draw distance, too — the world in the game curves away extremely quickly, as if the entire world was minuscule. This allows a shorter draw distance without popup and it has a unique look I like. There’s really not much bad to say about this game; the graphics, controls, and gameplay are all good, and the missions have some variety as well. Definitely pick this game up while you can. It’s also on Wii U, without the stereoscopic 3d but with higher resolution graphics of course. It’s good on either platform. Buy this one.

Bricks Pinball VIBy nuGame, released in 2021.    This is the so-far-last of at least 25 Breakout/Arkanoid-style blockbreaking games that nuGame released on the 3DS.   Yes, twenty five games, in several different sub-series, including Double Breakout, Bricks Pinball, Maze Breaker, Pinball Breaker, and Bricks Defender.  With that many releases one would hope this game would be good, or at least competent.  Unfortunately, it is neither.  This game has decently nice graphics.  Many of nuGame’s 3DS blockbreaking games are played from an overhead view, but this one has an angled isometric view, more like looking at a pinball table.  Each level is about two screens tall, and you see the upper half on the upper screen and the full view on the lower screen.  There is a paddle at the bottom and in the middle, so you have two.  This fits the 3DS’s display well and works great design-wise.  Some stages have additional controllable pinball flippers on the sides.  The graphics are in stereoscopic 3d and the blocks and such look fine.  It is plain, but at least it’s in real 3d.  Audio is very generic and forgettable.

The problems begin when you start playing it, when you will realize that this game, on the 3DS, has digital-only controls.  You can use the analog stick or dpad, but either way control is entirely digital.  Considering how much analog controls help blockbreaking games and that the touch screen or analog stick would give you much better control than a dpad, I have no idea why they went with this control scheme, but they did.  And the issues don’t stop there.  Given the “slightly pinball-ish breakout” theme, some levels have pinball flippers, as mentioned, and pinball bouncers as well.  The bouncers are nice since the ball actually will bounce around decently after hitting them.  The flippers are weird, though, they’re just kind of … there.  You can make them move with a button, but the ball will only sometimes actually correctly bounce off of them; other times it’ll just pass through.  There is just wonderful physics and collision detection here.

On that note, the physics engine is perhaps the worst thing about this game.  The game runs somewhat slowly and is kind of boring to play.  But it’s not slow because of great graphics, though the 3d effect is solid other than that it is very plain, or competent physics, because it doesn’t have that, for sure. It’s just slow.  The ball does not at all follow natural bouncing physics, instead tending towards going straight up and down unless you hit it with momentum.  Hitting it with the sides of your paddle won’t change its angle much at all, you should actually be moving when you hit it in order to get it to do something different.  And even when you do get it bouncing around, the way balls bounce around looks slow and clearly off.   On the other hand, you don’t need to destroy every block to proceed, only a percentage of them which is told to you.  This is a nice touch.  Also, there is no saving in this ga,e you have to play it in one sitting.  There are “only” 15 levels, but that’s probably ten more than I have patience for.  Given how many games in this genre nuGame released and how cheap they are, 15 levels isn’t too bad, and each does have a unique layout.  That’s still far less than better games in this genre, of course. Overall, Bricks Pinball VI is a semi-playable disappointment with more bad than good.  If this is nuGame’s last Breakout-style game, I wish they had put more effort into making their games play better and less into pumping out a high volume of titles.  The 3DS would be a great platform for a dual-screen blockbreaking game with paddles on each screen, and the angled perspective is a good idea.  It’s a shame about the rest of it, but between the poor controls, bad physics, slow gameplay, and more, there is a lot that would need to be fixed for this game to be good.  I wanted to get at least ONE of nuGame’s dozens of Breakout-style games on 3DS, to see what they were like, and I guess I’m glad I did, but you should not.  Definitely pass on this and probably all of the rest of their games too.  Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.

Bubble Pop World By Cypronia, released in 2014. As a note, this game is NOT in any way related to the early ’00s puzzle game Super Bubble Pop for the PS1 and Gamecube. That game I moderately liked, but this is from a different developer and publisher and has nothing to do with it. What this game is is a match-three puzzle game which heavily uses the 3DS’s often-forgotten rear-facing 3d camera. This is an AR game that requires the question mark block AR card that a 3DS system came with in its alternative-reality cards pack. This is one of the few games on the 3DS other than the built-in AR games which actually use the AR card(s). Fortunately, the used New 3DS I got some years ago was complete in box and did come with the AR cards, so I can play this game. … Well, I say fortunately, but this really isn’t great. This game tries to use hardware in the 3DS that almost no games use, most notably the camera but also the motion sensor, which is how you move the in-game cursor, but I’d rather just play a regular game which has regular controls and graphics. Oh, and I’d rather have better gameplay than this has, too. Bubble Pop World is heavy on the minigames and light on fun puzzle gameplay, but again the core design is part of the issue. Sure, the stereoscopic 3D imagery is cool and the AR thing is kind of neat I guess, but I’ve never cared much about the AR games thing and this does not convince me. I mean, it’s just showing something on a screen over an image from its camera, it doesn’t actually create anything in reality.

So, in this game, there are two modes. One is a puzzle mode where you need to solve preset puzzles with the specific bubbles you are gien, and the other an arcade mode where you alternate between puzzle-ish levels and minigames. In normal puzzle stages, you take your 3DS and point the camera at that question mark block AR card. The playfield is the card, and some bubbles will appear on the screen floating over the card. It’s pretty annoying because I want to be able to point my 3DS any direction I want and play it in the dark and such, but you can’t do that here; you need to be playing somewhere where it’s bright enough to see the AR card and the card is fully visible in the system’s rear camera. You move the camera by moving your 3DS and activating its motion sensor, and fire a bubble with a button. The controls work well but are a little slow. Your goal is to clear the field with the bubbles you are given without having any extra bubbles left over. Shooting a bubble can set off a chain reaction which sends other bubbles flying off the screen, so you need to be careful with your shots. Arcade mode starts out easy, with simple puzzles which let you keep shooting bubbles if you don’t win in the shortest possible number of turns. However, why is there a minigame after every single puzzle level? There are only eight minigames, many fewer than the number of stages, so they repeat constantly. they are neat the first time, but the minigame-to-main-gameplay ratio here is badly out of balance. The minigames do mix things up by having full-screen 3d polygonal graphics instead of the camera’s view for a background, but they should have been one for every handful of levels finished, not one per level. 50% of arcade mode is those same eight minigames over and over. It’s not great.

As for puzzle mode, it is hard from the start, with tricky puzzles and zero margin for error. There is usually only one solution to each puzzle and you must find it to proceed. I may not have a lot of fun with this game, but there IS plenty of challenge here I will admit. And Bubble Pop World does get points for using most of the 3DS’s hardware features; it uses the camera, tilt sensor for the core controls, touchscreen (for menus), and even has a puzzle creator which you can share resulting levels with friends via QR codes. So it might be worth a look for all of that. But the gameplay? Puzzle mode is frustratingly hard, and while a few games make that style of puzzle fun for me this is not one of them. And Arcade mode is pretty annoying due to being 50% minigames that are even less good than the puzzles. Some would say I’m being too hard on this game I’m sure, but I don’t find AR games very interesting and the gameplay here loses me even more. This is, at its core, a generic and mediocre match-three puzzle game with design flaws such as too many minigames in the arcade mode and below average gameplay and controls. Apart from the stereoscopic 3d AR graphics, which are somewhat unique, you can do much better on this console than this. Pass on this game unless you’re interested in the tech. I am not. 3DS digital exclusive.

Candy, Please!Developed and published by Nostatic Software, released in 2017 (port of an earlier mobile game). This game is part of what I believe is a five-game series of adventure games called the Quiet Games series. The series started on phones, but the games also released on console. Well, five of the games did, if there are more past that they haven’t. Only three released on 3DS, though, the first, fourth, and fifth, each sold separately. Yeah, it’s kind of odd. (A Wii U collection includes the first four titles all together, but the fifth one, Turkey, Please, is only on consoles on 3DS.) This game is the fourth one, though they are all stand-alone. All of these games are very graphically simple pixel-art adventure games with huge chunky pixels. It’s not going for a realistic retro console look, but instead just a generic modern low-rez pixel art style. As the name suggests it has a halloween theme. All of these games feel heavily nostalgia-laden, as they were clearly designed by someone wanting the player to think of childhood in the ’90s. The simple graphics are not impressive but work fine and look nice.

You play as a girl, who is the lead in all of the games, and it’s Halloween. You need to find costumes, go with your hyperactive little brother to get candy, and along the way solve plenty of classic adventure game item-manipulation puzzles. This gameplay is standard for the genre, but it’s not easy; you’ll need to look carefully to find everything you can interact with. The game is short and the puzzles are not always intuitive, but hey that’s adventure games, figuring out what to do is the fun part. This game is a decent to good little indie title which is worth a try if you like the genre. It’s nice that these games didn’t stay stuck on cellphones forever. The very simple, massive-pixels sprite art graphics and nostaligic feel of the setting and story work well, and the puzzles are mostly well thought through. Nostatic Software published some not so great stuff but these adventure games are probably their best work and are above average. Also on PC (Steam), iOS, Xbox 360, Playstation Vita, Wii U, and Xbox One. The Wii U and PC versions are both titled the Quiet Collection and contain the first four games.

Castle Conqueror EXPublished by CIRCLE Entertainment in 2014. This is one of those strategy games where there are a bunch of bases on a single-screen stage screen which auto-generate troops, and you play by selecting one of your bases and sending them towards other bases to try to take them over. The game is played exclusively with the stylus, which is great. You can select how many troops to put in each army you send out. In this case, the bases are castles. This game is sixth game in its series; the first five are DSiWare games, then the last two are 3DS eshop games. Your enemy is doing the same thing at the same time, though, and there are neutral castles too, so the challenge is to try to overwhelm them before you get crushed. The strategic gameplay is simple but a lot of fun, I like this style of game. I know the concept comes from mobile games, but it is fun.

This game has a few issues, though. First, you can only have five armies on screen at once. So, once you’ve sent out five groups of soldiers, you need to wait until one dies until you can send another group. Worse, this game is very grindey. The game seems fun at first, and you will make progress, but eventually you will realize that some levels are way too hard to beat naturally. Instead, you’ll need to repeatedly play earlier levels for money, because this game has an upgrade system. You can buy permanent upgrades to eight stats for money, and inventory items which have various effects as well. And you will make a little money for replaying levels you have beaten before. The first big grind cliff hits at level 1-10; the first nine aren’t bad, but level 10 is much harder. You start at a big disadvantage, with fewer weaker castles than the enemy has, and will need better stats to keep up. I had to replay older levels several dozen times, probably, to build up enough stats to clear that stage. And that’s how the game is from that point on, it’ll be almost impossibly hard if you just try to beat each level once. This game is fun and I like the nice sprite art graphics and the gameplay, but the grind is frustrating and has kept me from going sticking with it anywhere near as long as I otherwise would. It is maybe worth getting if you like this kind of game like I do, though. 3DS digital exclusive.

Castle Conqueror: Defender Published by Circle Entertainment in 2014. This is the last title in the Castle Conqueror series. This is a very different game from the last one, though — this time the game tries to be more of a full-on defense-focused strategy game. Each level is a multiscreen overhead stage, with enemies coming at you from the left towards your castle’s defenses on the right. You design your defenses in the first phase in each level, and then go into the fight. Each battle consists of several rounds, with a building phase for you to prepare initial defenses, then an enemy attack, then your next building phase. The game uses a combination of button and touch controls, so it takes some getting used to, but the controls work fine. All-touch controls might have been better, though. During battle you can move troops around and such, RTS style, to stop the enemies coming at you. You can only select one unit at a time, so movement is pretty clunky, but you can move them. However you can’t build new troops or defenses or such, that is only for the first phase. You have limited money with which you can buy troops and repair or build defenses, and get more after each round of the battle. This game has a great concept, I like this kind of game for sure; it’s kind of like a very simplified version of Stronghold (the PC game) crossed with elements of a tower defense game. This game is nowhere near as great as Stronghold or the best TD (tower defense) games, but it is a fun title well worth playing if you like strategy games.

The game is definitely tough, though. If you do poorly in the later round of a battle you may be in an unwinnable situation that will force you to restart the whole thing, since you only have limited rebuilding and unit repurchasing funds after each round. You also need to make sure to build your castle walls just right, because units can only move along a fully connecting wall, and wall segments are two tiles wide. If you have two walls that are one tile apart, there’s not much you can do, you can’t connect those walls with a path your archers will be able to move along during battle. Archers on a wall also can’t go down off of that wall to move to a different wall during battle, they’re stuck there unless the wall is destroyed. This works because of the games’ phase-based nature, but it does emphasize the importance of good planning in your castle design. These limitations can be annoying, but once you get used to it building defenses and then managing your forces during the attack is pretty fun. The game isn’t entirely balanced, some strategies are going to work better than others, but still I enjoy this game.

And here’s the best news: if you lose, you can keep trying! In fact, the game rewards you for losing. If your hero leader unit or base fortress are destroyed, you can simply try again from the start of that phase, and the game will give you a little bit of money to spend on a few things on top of that. So, are you losing because you didn’t have quite enough money for enough traps to slow down the enemy? After losing you may have enough money for it the next time. This helps a lot at making the game more fun. I love defense-focused strategy games of all kinds and this is a good one. There is more to learn with this game than Castle Conqueror EX, but it is rewarding and ultimately more fun since the game feels better balanced and less grindey. Sure, you may do some grinding here, but not nearly as much as in EX. Overall, this game is not the deepest, and as a tower defense fan I am certainly biased here, but I like this game for sure and recommend it, to genre fans at least. 3DS digital exclusive.

Cazzarion Developed and published by Zarpazo in 2020. New 3DS required. This game is a very basic space shooter. The game has three modes. One is a static-screen shooter, Space Invaders style but much less good since the controls are not especially responsive and it’s missing Space Invaders’ better touches such as the bases to hide behind. The second is a scrolling shmup, though it’s a very simple one; you just go forwards in an endless stage, killing enemies until you die. The ships are decently drawn and I do like the 3d planet backgrounds, that’s probably the highlight of the game. Apart from that though there’s not much here of any note. This game has okay graphics, poor controls, no music, only one or two sound effects, menus that are harder to navigate than they should be, and little reason to go back; all the game saves is your one best score per mode. I would say don’t bother buying this game, but I’m pretty sure it has been delisted. That’s too bad, because the one thing about the game that was charmingly intresting was the insanely long text description on the eshop page! It just went on and on and on, describing the backstory of the game and stuff, in semi-intelligible English. I wonder if there’s a copy of it anywhere, I can’t find the game anymore in the eshop. If you have a way to play this game though… meh, try it for a minute or two, why not. Or don’t, there’s no real reason to play it. Also available on Xbox One and PC. That version is still for sale. It may still be up on the 3DS eshop in Europe as well; the game is European.

Chicken WiggleDeveloped and published by Atooi in 2017. This game did have a physical release from Limited Run in the Atooi Collection, but let’s not count them. Chicken Wiggle is a pretty good 2d platformer game and toolkit. This is a pretty tough but seriously under-rated title. It’s a high quality game which deserved a lot more attention than it got. In this game, which is a 2d side-scrolling platformer, you play as a cute cartoon chicken with a worm on its back. The sprite art is great, with a strong cartoony style, and the stereoscopic 3d looks fantastic with great depth. Levels are generally linear platforming affairs. Your goal is usually to reach a captured chicken in a cage at the end of the stage. You can collect gems along the way, and also hidden letters if you want to search for passages behind hidden walls and such in order to get everything in each stage.

For abilities, your chicken can move with the d-pad, and with three buttons jump, peck, and use the worm as a grappling hook. The worm goes straight out in the direction you are facing and attaches to a wall on the other side, if one is in range. Hitting enemies with the worm will often stun them, making them much easier to kill with a peck; you die in one hit, so getting close to them otherwise is very dangerous. Now, in this game, some game elements are always going, but others work based on your movement. Flipping blocks switch between being there or not depending on your jumps, for instance. Some enemies are similar, and only move when you jump. Worm grapples will not change any of these objects’ states, but a jump will. This is a pretty interesting system that adds quite a bit to the challenge. Some things are based on your movement, as well, such as balloons which allow you to go a certain number of tiles before disappearing. Other enemies move all the time though, so it’s an interesting mix. You will have to go through each stage carefully, learning its obstacles and challenges, before succeeding in clearing the stage. Fortunately levels have checkpoints, so you won’t need to restart them from the beginning each time. If you want to make the game even harder you can turn off checkpoints, though I would not recommend it.

But while the main campaign is plenty of challenging platforming fun, as I said, this isn’t just a single-player game, it has a level editor and online level sharing, too. As a huge Mario Maker fan, that’s awesome! Of course this game wasn’t exactly a hit, but it did well enough for some people to make levels that you can play online. That’s really awesome. There are some limitations, though — this game has no difficulty system at all for online levels, and no timer or deaths counters either. There also is no equivalent to the 100 Man or Endless modes in Mario Maker games. Instead, all you can do here is just select a level from a list of stages, with no hints about how hard each of the levels is apart from the level’s name since no such metrics are provided. There’s plenty of fun to be had there, but it is frustrating when you end up in a really hard level by accident. But hey, at least it has online level sharing at all, that is quite rare for this kind of game! It’s awesome stuff.

Overall, Chicken Wiggle will definitely frustrate you due to the challenge of its often fairly precise platforming, but the game has great, very responsive controls, a good toolkit, and good game design. This is probably my next favorite download-only platformer on the 3DS after the BoxBoy games. It even has a level editor and online level sharing! Very cool. Definitely pick this one up if you like platformers. Also on Nintendo Switch.

Collide-a-BallPublished by Starsign in 2016. This is a 3d logic puzzle game. Starsign’s games all have similar-looking menus and similarly simple visuals, but it works. It plays on an isometric field, and there are three gameplay modes. As the name suggests, the main, 30-puzzle mode is about trying to make similarly colored balls crash into eachother. You can move around and rotate objects such as ramps and speed strips in each puzzle, trying to get everything into an arrangement where the balls will hit eachother when you hit the button to send them both off. You need to line it up so both are on the target square at the same time, which can be tricky. It’s an alright but fun puzzle game with simple graphics and good puzzles.

There are two additional modes, too. Second is a 20-puzzle mode which is just a little timing puzzle. You can’t rearrange anything here, you just hit the button once to set off the first ball, and again to set off the second, trying to time it so they are both on the target block at the same time. This is tricky but much less fun than the main mode, it’s not really a puzzle just a mediocre stopwatch simulator of sorts. The third mode is a 10-puzzle mode where there is only one ball, and you need to arrange the field so that it stops exactly on the target block. These puzzles are hard right from the start! It’s fun, though. Collide-a-Ball is nothing amazing, but it’s a quality logic puzzle game worth picking up while you can. 3DS digital exclusive.

Color ZenDeveloped by Large Animal Games and published by Cypronia in 2014. Cypronia is mostly a publisher of pretty bad games, but this one is a major exception to that! Color Zen is a pretty cool logic puzzle game. Each puzzle is a single screen made up of various colored zones, and you need to figure out what order to touch each one in so that you turn the whole screen the color of the puzzle’s border. It’s a compelling logic puzzle game with plenty of challenge and fun. I think puzzle games like this are perfect for the 3DS’s handheld, stylus-using design, and highly recommend this one. It may come from a developer who also has made some bad games, but this one’s borderline great. There are a lot of puzzles, and a good difficulty curve too, as things start easy but steadily get tougher and tougher to figure out. I love this game, the color-based visual aesthetic is cool and the gameplay is original enough to be different from other logic puzzle games while also being very well designed and executed. Also on Wii U, iOS, Android, and Playstation 4. This game is not 3DS exclusive, but I would say this is the best way to play the game and recommend it for sure. It’s really too bad that other than the younger-audiences-focused Color Zen Kids, no other sequels for this game were made. It’s great!

Conveni DreamPublished by Circle Entertainment in 2016. This game is a highly simplified convenience store management simulator. You hire staff, lay out a small Japanese convenience store, choose what goes on each set of shelves, and start selling. The problem is, calling this a simulator is almost false advertising; you barely need to do ANYTHING in this game, once you have your store set up and provided that you keep the shelves stocked as they sell out, the game basically plays itself. There are few detailed economic menus to deal with here. Pretty much all you do is watch the store run, while occasionally clicking on an empty shelf or cooler or such once everything on it sells and choosing what to put there instead, from the limited number of options available. Some item types have short expiration dates and others longer ones, so setting things which expire sooner means you’ll need to go back to that shelf sooner, but it doesn’t really matter financially because this store makes money regardless. Oh, you also do a little hiring, but there aren’t many applicants, you pretty much just hire the people you’re offered. Overall this is not a BAD game, I guess, but there is so little actual gameplay here that I can’t recommend it unless you like very easy and boring games you basically can’t lose but also can’t really beat. Seriously, there’s basically nothing to this. So long as you don’t leave the shelves empty, you cannot mess up enough that customers stop coming in. Its sequel, Restaurant Dream, is a much better, more full-fledged simulation. This one is only for timewaster-game fans. I am not one.  I find this game pretty boring.  3DS digital exclusive.

CrashmoPublished by Nintendo and developed by Intelligent Systems in 2012. Crashmo is a the second game in the four-game Pushmo/Crashmo series, a series of puzzle-platformer games starring a cartoony guy in a sumo wrestling outfit for some reason. Now, this is a series, but this game makes some big changes from the first one, so I think it is fair to cover it separately. In each game you manipulate an image, pulling or pushing or in this case crashing into parts of it to activate or de-activate different colored sections in order to try to climb to the top of the picture. Each level starts with a 2d image made of blocks. Each pixel block image is made up of various colors. Each group of identically-colored blocks is a single piece which you can move around with your silly-looking character. He may look silly, but this game is a serious challenge. Crashmo plays like a platformer, as you move the character around in three dimensions and walk, jump, and move groups of blocks, but plays like a puzzle game. The challenge is not in the platforming, it is in trying to figure out which sequence of moves will let you jump to the top of the structure.

Now, in the first game you can pull any of the color sections in and out at will, to make stairs. In this one however, each piece fully moves separately, and if you pull one off of the other blocks supporting it that piece will fall to the ground. That makes this game much trickier than the first one, you will need good puzzle solving and strategic thinking skills here. There are some other new objects here as well, including switches and more. Getting to the top may seem simple at first, but this game gets very challenging pretty quickly. It’s easy to see why this series caught on enough to see multiple entries on both 3DS and Wii U, but it is something that will frustrate when you get stuck on a level and just can’t figure out what to do. Pushmo is easier, but this one is probably better. The graphics, gameplay, controls, and puzzles are all great, and there are plenty of puzzle levels to work through. Crashmo’s a good game well worth playing, I certainly recommend it. Pick up these games while you can, Nintendo did not release them on physical media. The series contains Pushmo (3DS), Crashmo (3DS), Pushmo World (Wii U), and Stretchmo (3DS). Sadly after that fourth game Nintendo cancelled the series; they should bring it back. 3DS digital exclusive.

Crimson ShroudDeveloped by Nex Entertainment and published by Level 5 in 2012. This game is a tabletop RPG-inspired JRPG from Yasumi Matsuno and Level-5, two big names in JRPGs. It is also a 3DS exclusive that any RPG fan definitely should play. This is no standard JRPG, though; this game takes the “tabletop RPG” part of what I said earlier very seriously. This is the most tabletop RPG-inspired JRPG I’ve ever played. In this game, you play as a warrior guy, in a party of three with an archer guy and mage girl. You are exploring a crumbling ruined fortress infested with monsters, looking for treasure and monsters to fight. All characters are shown on one of the screens as literal immobile figures on bases, as if they were miniatures in a tabletop game. You are playing as the character(s) directly, though, not as people playing AS those characters in a tabletop game. The story isn’t original but is interesting and well told. The game plays on a map of the castle, drawn as if it is on paper. You can only go to certain rooms in the fortress. You don’t move around in each room, each one serves as an event spot. Some rooms will almost always have an enemy encounter, others treasure chests, others just a story cutscene. And there is a lot of story in this game, mostly either told by a narrator or by the characters talking to eachother. Going to certain rooms will unlock new rooms, or new events in other rooms. It’s a pretty good system, and the game has plenty more depth in its battle, equipment, and other gameplay systems.

However, I should get the downsides out of the way first. This is a relatively short game with only the one fortress to explore. It’s a seven hour game on average for the main story. And in that time, despite there being no random battles, you’ll spend a fair amount of time grinding fights as you go back and forth between rooms trying to figure out where to go in order to proceed, since it is not always apparent what you need to do next — sometimes going to a room unlocks the next one, but there are trickier parts. Do you need to go to a certain room a second time? Fight somewhere until you get a certain item you need to proceed? Or something else? Who knows, the game can be quite unintuitive in this respect. While that certainly fits the classic tabletop RPG style, that’s not something I enjoy. You may need to look up help at points.

At least though, those fights are decently interesting. Now, the tabletop RPG side of this has a lot of influence from Dungeons & Dragons, but the battle system here is pure JRPG. Your characters start with health in the hundreds, and each hit does dozens of hit points of damage. That’s definitely JRPG numbers. Each character can attack, guard, or use magic each turn, and also can use a skill if you want after doing an attack. Skills aren’t attacks, they do things such as refilling your magic points. You can also boost attacks with dice you will earn. Whenever you roll dice, for a boost or some other reasons, you actually throw some dice on the lower screen; it’s a really cool touch. You don’t need to roll for every attack, but still, it’s great. Anyway, some abilities are linked to the weapon you equip; each magic staff the mage girl equips changes which spells she can use, for instance. You can’t change weapons during combat, so you’ll need to choose which you want. After you win, a list of items appears. You can take some of the stuff, though you might not be able to take everything, since there is a points system; each item has a point value, and you can only take stuff up to the point amount you won in the battle. This game has no towns or shops, just this one adventure to play through, so it needed a way to get new items, and they came up with an interesting one. As far as I’ve played this game has been easy, but maybe it gets harder later.

On the whole, anyone who likes RPGs definitely should buy Crimson Shroud. Sure, you may get frustrated not knowing what to do at times, and the game is not exactly long, but the tabletop miniature and castle background graphics look fantastic, the script is well written, and the combat, while not incredibly deep or challenging, is fun. Definitely buy Crimson Shroud while you can. 3DS digital exclusive.

CRYGHT Developed and published by TOYURO, released in 2022. This game is from the same developer as a similar game on the Wii U eshop, Crystorld. This newer title is a bit better than that one, though. It’s much more playable. This game is a … very low budget … 3d platformer of sorts. I’ve seen several games like this appear on various systems in the last few years, 3d platformers surely made by one person and done with the absolute lowest budget possible. Basically, you play as a sprite-based warrior of some kind, exploring 3d worlds of flat shaded polygons. You need to reach a specific point at the opposite end of the stage, after which you move on to the next one of the games’ several hundred levels. At first it’s just you and the stage, but eventually you need to fight enemies along the way too, which won’t be easy with this camera and your melee-only sword attack. The camera is fully user-controlled and has no automation at all, so good luck with that; trying to get it so you can actually see where you’re going is often one of the worst things in games like this.

This game is playable and cheap and sure has plenty of content, but when you play a game like this you really see how hard 3d game design is. In 2d, you can get away with a very low-budget effort, and even if it’s not great it can be totally playable. But in 3d? With either a static or fully user-moved camera, extremely basic “this is a collection of solid-color or shaded blocks with no textures on them” level designs, and more, you really see how much work it takes to make a good 3d game. This game is interesting for its many deep flaws, though, and might be worth getting considering that it only costs like a dollar. I like the look of flat-shaded 3d and platformers, so I’m glad I got it. The controls and stage layouts are definitely better than Crystorld’s. Still, know what you’re in for: a very stripped-down platforming flawed experience which you’ll probably give up on after a level or two. I find this kind of game somewhat fascinating for exactly those reasons, though, and honestly am glad the 3DS has this thing in its library. This game isn’t good but it’s fun and I recommend it. Also on Xbox One and Android. Yeah, it’s a somewhat strange selection of platforms, heh.

Cube TacticsPublished by Teyon and developed by FUN UNIT in 2014. Cube Tactics is a simple strategy puzzle game. Too simple. In this game, each level takes a minute or two, no more. Levels play on a small grid of squares. Levels are often sizes like 3 by 7 or 5 by 5 cubes, with a max height of, usually, two cubes. You play by placing different terrain or building types down on the field, and for unit-producing buildings choosing the direction that the soldiers it sends out will initially go. Buildings always are placed on top of a cube, so playing a building will raise the terrain in that spot by one. You cannot remove placed buildings or build above the max cube height, so your options here are very limited. Both players, you and your AI or human opponent, actually draw from the same selection of five cubes to play, but in most stages the AI doesn’t build anything and just uses preset setups so this isn’t particularly important in single player.

And that’s all you do, your troops are entirely automated and there is no economic component to this game. Now, that could be fine, some fantastic strategy games are all about building placement! The problem is this game is just too simplistic, there’s almost nothing to it. You place buildings or environment tiles, watch the little guys go out and try to destroy the enemy’s buildings, and win (or lose) when one side’s core cube is destroyed. There are a few limits on building — there does seem to be a limit to how many buildings you can place, indicated by some meters on the lower screen, but the game does not really make it at all clear what those meters mean or how many buildings you can actually place. Also,you can only build adjacent to a cube that you started with, and can’t build on or next to terrain tiles the other side controls or placed. There is no way to take control of a terrain tile. However, if you destroy an enemy building you do take control of that tile, and can build next to it if space is available in the stage. This won’t often be necessary but is a thing you can do. If one of your buildings is lost you lose that tile for the rest of the battle though, so watch out.

The game has three modes, the puzzle-style single player campaign with the aforementioned mostly preset enemy layout, a multiplayer mode you are unlikely to find someone to play against in, and a free-play mode where you and an AI play on a blank map, creating as you go. That last one is probably the most interesting thing here, but for me it wasn’t enough. For the most part, I find this game kind of boring. It’s not awful, it’s just extremely bland and forgettable. It’s mostly easy, and the extremely short level length and extremely small maps hurt the game, one or two minute levels is too little for a strategy game! Now, the game can be fun at times, once it eventually gets a bit more challenging. You do have a limit on how many tiles you can play, and need to play your tiles in the right places to win, to make paths to the other side, place buildings in spots where they will be able to send troops to the enemy without being destroyed, but even so I can’t recommend this game. There is the core of a good idea here but there just isn’t enough going on to really be worth playing. Try it if it sounds interesting though, I guess. 3DS digital exclusive.

 

My Favorite Games In This Update

There were a lot of fantastic ones this time! Most of them sadly don’t make much use of the stereoscopic 3d this console has, apart from the usual ‘it’s a sidescroller but the foreground pops out a bit from the background’, but plenty are good games. I’m going to group them by quality here. They are unranked within each group.

These are the best games this update. Get them.

BoxBoy! (3DS Exclusive)
BoxBoxBoy! (3DS Exclusive)
Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS Exclusive)
Color Zen

These are also good games. Try these if you like the genres.

Crashmo (3DS Exclusive)
Chicken Wiggle
Crimson Shroud (3DS Exclusive)
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
Brave Tank Hero (3DS / Wii U Exclusive)
Castle Conqueror Defender
Brave Dungeon

These are decent mid-tier titles worth a look if you like the genres.

Balloon Pop Remix (3DS Exclusive)
Blaster Master Zero
Candy, Please!
Bit Boy!! Arcade (3DS Exclusive)
Collide-A-Ball (3DS Exclusive)
Castle Conqueror EX (3DS Exclusive)
Bit Dungeon Plus (this game barely avoids the bottom category)

Not very good, but maybe worth a look anyway…

CRYGHT
Cube Tactics (3DS Exclusive)
Conveni Dream (3DS Exclusive)

And last and definitely least…

Bricks Pinball VI (3DS Exclusive)
Bubble Pop World (3DS Exclusive)
Cazzarion

 

About Brian

Computer and video game lover
This entry was posted in Game Opinion Summaries, Modern Games, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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