This update will cover 23 games which I purchased between mid ’22 and January ’23. I have bought a lot of stuff this month as the shutdown approaches, but don’t have time to actually cover those games in any detail since it takes time to play the games and all, and these are oens I’ve at least tried a fair number of while those are not. Many of these I could have incorporated into the main list, but I chose not to in order to keep it focused on titles I’ve had for longer and thus, in some cases at least, have played more. I did add a few titles I bought in ’22 to the original list, chosen somewhat at random to fill out some updates with titles I wanted to cover. These are the rest of them plus the first few titles I got this year. This will probably be the last update I get out before the shutdown so this will have to do as far as helping with any last-minute purchase decisions. I love the 3DS a lot though, so I’m sure I will cover more 3DS (and Wii U) games in the future regardless of if the official shop is still up or not.
Oh, and a few of the summaries this time are long. Enjoy.
Table of Contents – 23 games covered
3D Game Collection
A-Train 3D: City Simulator (has DLC)
Blast ’em Bunnies (has DLC)
Bloo Kid 2
Color Zen Kids
CosmiBall 3D – New 3DS Required
Funfair Party Games
Glory of Generals: The Pacific
Horseshoe Crab Rescue! – New 3DS Required
Harold Reborn – New 3DS Required
Murder on the Titanic
Noitu Love 2: Devolution
Smash Cat Heroes
Splat the Difference
Urban Trial Freestyle
Urban Trial Freestyle 2
Word Logic by POWGI
Word Puzzles by POWGI
Yumi’s Odd Odyssey
Zombie Slayer Diox
Rankings for this update
3D Game Collection: 55-in-1 – Published by Joindots in 2012. This is a collection of board and puzzle-style games done in stereoscopic 3d. There are a lot of games here, which is somewhat impressive for a cheap title, and it’s done decently well. The game has touch controls and it controls fine. The games in the collection are broken into three visual themes, each with a different backdrop. The three have 18, 17, and 20 total puzzles each, almost every one of them a different game. There are no options within each puzzle, so the game has 55 total puzzles. It’s an okay number, but some of these games could have had a lot more playtime with more options. So, you get a few puzzles each in a whole lot of different game types. Also, it’s odd that there isn’t the same number of games in each environment. There are several dozen different game types here, and while I could describe all of them in detail I shouldn’t, it’s too many.
I will list them all, though. The types include versions or knockoffs of Minesweeper, Boxxle, Mastermind, Connect Four, spot the difference, sliding tile puzzles, card solitaire, mahjong solitaire, nine mens’ morris, sudoku, jigsaw puzzle, matching flip cards, checkers, Pipe Dream, Battleship, a match 3 game, Ludo, Dominoes, a dice game (Yachtzee?), Kakuro, Chinese Checkers, peg solitaire (jump the pegs to end up with one in the middle), Othello (which it calls “Token Wangle” for some reason), Backgammon, and Beano. That’s a lot of games, but again, unlike some other games below, there aren’t any variations of each puzzle. You can’t change difficulty options, play locally against a human, or anything. 55 puzzles is an decent number, so for the low price you pay get your money’s worth, but with so many games here, most of them done reasonably decently if somewhat basic in visual design, I can’t help but wish for a bit more in terms of features. Also I can’t help but mention that the word puzzle games below on this list have over 700 puzzles each. With more features I think this could have gone from okay to pretty good. Ah well.
Even so, I do like the stereoscopic 3d backdrops in 3D Game Collection and the puzzles can be fun. This is a good little board and puzzle game collection, it just has a somewhat limited playtime due to having zero options outside of the 55 included puzzles. s total, don’t expect much variety within each game type here. There are only a couple of sudoku puzzles in this game total, for example. There is also no multiplayer, so you’re only playing against the fairly mediocre AI, not another human. Local or online multiplayer would make this collection a lot better. The game does keep track of your best score in each game, and you can get gold, silver, or bronze medals on each game if you get a high enough score, so there is a bit to come back for, but not all that much. I’d still possibly recommend this to anyone interested, but know what you’re getting. Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.
A-Train 3D: City Simulator – Developed by Artdink and published by Natsume in 2015. This game has $2 worth of DLC. Back in the early-mid ’90s, we got the original A-Train for the PC. I loved PC strategy and building simulation games at the time, but A-Train was a bit too much for me; I ended up sticking to the SimCity games and Civilization and such, and didn’t end up playing much A-Train at all. Why play this train-focused isometric strategy game when I could play SimCity 2000 and build a full city? You do build things beyond just a railroad, but the focus is on railroads in a fairly detailed way. But there is a place for this series, it has continued on for so long for good reason. The series is actually Japanese, something I didn’t know back then. Why am I talking so much about the original A-Train? Well, this 3DS game is highly reminiscent of the ’90s ones. It has the same isometric perspective, similar graphics, and gameplay clearly based on that classic.
This game, and series, is about planning train routes, setting them up, building train track routes, putting trains on those routes, and developing areas around the train. You can set up other businesses such as banks, run streetcars, and more, as you develop mostly transportation-related infrastructure and watch each area develop. Your goal generally is growing the local population, but you have to do this somewhat indirectly, unlike SimCity where you directly build zones. The game is also about just watching time pass, as the game has a full day-night cycle and a calendar. You can watch your trains run. Roads also exist but you won’t see traffic on them apart from streetcars if you have those. This series is focused on trains, after all. As you look at the town, one thing that is immediately apparent is that this game is very obviously set in Japan, but the localizers kind of half tried to hide that. So, the buildings are clearly modern Japanese structures, and the calendar and holidays are Japanese, but the anime-style characters who work for you and give the tutorial and such are given Western names. Heh.
The game has a good number of different scenarios to play, starting with three which thoroughly go through how use all of the gameplay systems. It’s great that there is a complete tutorial. You can also just go straight into it and start the first full scenario, but you will want to do the tutorials first if you want to not quickly go bankrupt after building ill-advised train lines and wasting your money. A-Train 3D isn’t very 3D — you mostly play on the lower screen, and if there is any stereoscopic 3d stuff on the upper screen I haven’t noticed it — but it is a very good, complex simulator. It’s impressive that they managed to basically get a full PC building simulation game running on the 3DS. Of the PC-to-DS or 3DS strategy game conversions I’ve played this is one of the best. It’s certainly better than the (cart-based) 3DS version of Roller Coaster Tycoon, that one is unfortunately a janky mess. Whether people outside of Japan will appreciate this heavily Japanese-train-route-focused game is another question, but if you might, definitely buy A-Train 3D and its $2 of DLC. This game did get a physical release in Japan, as you might expect, but sadly the English-translated versions are all download-only so pick them up while you can. This game is 3DS-exclusive, but as I’ve said is based on a long-running PC game series.
Automaton Lung – Circle Pad Pro or New 3DS enhanced. Developed and published by Luke Vincent in 2022. This 2022 release from the developer of the Harold games got some attention for its late release date and weird design. This game is much improved control and camera-wise over the Harold games, it plays well. This game is a third person 3d shooter/platformer with giant, mostly empty levels to explore. It’s all in very nice stereoscopic 3d. You play as a female character in a sci-fi setting. Most of the game takes place in a giant 21-story tower, but you can also leave the tower and explore some areas outside of it, flying around in a weird bug-like ship.
For controls, you move with the stick, L is a lock-on target lock (which works well), and face buttons shoot, jump, boost, and hoverboard. Either a touch input or the circle pad pro or N3DS right stick controls the camera. The lower screen also has a health indicator but is otherwise black. There is no pause menu, so close the system to pause. The boost is a key feature to understand. See, your jump only jumps up a very very small distance, maybe a foot at most. What you do is jump and then hit boost, and you’ll be able to actually jump up to higher platforms. You can also boost on the ground to zip along on foot. You can also manage to get into the air with the hoverboard, which is neat. The controls feel fine, thankfully; finally, one of this dev’s games has no major control problems! The shooting is average, but the lockon works well. Enemies are only a minor threat, but if you do take damage you will die quickly, you can only take a few hits. If you die you go back to the last checkpoint, which looks like a floppy disk icon floating in space.
But what is your goal in this game? It isn’t really to kill the enemies, they are just there to get in your way . Many areas barely even have any, anyway; you will spend a lot of time just wandering around empty 3d spaces, exploring around and maybe getting lost. Don’t worry, there isn’t a map, so if you get lost you’re on your own as far as figuring out where to go. Heh. Your actual goal here is to collect these rectangular pickups. There are five on each floor of the tower. Some doors in the tower go to other rooms or to the outside, but others go to an elevator system which connects all of the floors. You just need to explore to figure out which is which. The elevator menu shows you how many of the collectibles you have found on each floor, and shows which floor you are on. If you leave the tower, a minimap appears on the lower screen showing white dots at each point of interest you can land on. Most of these areas are pretty empty, but they are there for you to explore.
And that’s the game. Explore weird, largely empty 3d spaces. Look for the rectangular collectibles, which you will find in some areas, but in others you’ll look around aimlessly for a long time finding nothing. Shoot the occasional enemy robot. Pick up health powerups if needed. Try to not get too hopelessly lost. And repeat until you finish the game. If you know what you’re doing apparently this game can be finished in a few hours, but that would take practice. Overall, I wish that there was more stuff in the levels that are in this game, but even so I think that Automaton Lung is good. It has a ’90s retro feel while also being modern. I like exploring and finding stuff, and the visual look, with the stark, empty environments and decent soundtrack, is interesting and a bit creepy. I guess I recommend it, though this game definitely isn’t for everyone. Also available digitally on PC (Steam).
Blast ’em Bunnies – Developed and published by Nnooo in 2016. This game has a bunch of DLC. You can buy a $15 bundle for all of the content DLC, or buy it separately. You also can buy money multipliers or ‘unlock all upgrades right away’ purchases to skip grinding on upgrades. Yeah, this game is one of those. But what is the game? Blast ’em Bunnies is a target-shooting game where you play as a good bunny shooting at evil bunnies from a static, rotatable turret with various silly weapons such as a carrot gun and a bunch more things like that… once you grind or pay for anything beyond the basic weapon. The game has some things you can buy with the money you earn from playing, but the content addons and money multipliers are paid DLC only. But hey, at least the graphics are good, with fun cartoony art and VERY strong stereoscopic 3d effects. That’s nice.
All of the money-grubbing elements of this game are bad, but (unfortunately?) the core game here is fun. You can rotate and tilt the turret with either the analog stick or the system’s tilt sensor. The motion controls work well and are nice to see, though you will probably want to play with a combination of tilt and controller. Tilt is great for fine pointing, and analog for aiming around as enemies come at you from different directions. I really like that you get both tilt and analog aim, it makes it so much better than it would be with only one or the other. The lower screen has a radar showing where enemies are approaching from. Blast ’em Bunnies is a fun, well-made light gun style shooter. The graphics and 3d effects are good. However, it is also very simple, and do you want to play a game as grindey as this, with a bunch of paid DLC? I’m not sure it’s worth it. A lot of mobile-style-game-to-3DS ports scaled down the paid DLC, but this one did not. Too bad. Also released digitally on PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Bloo Kid 2 – Developed and published by winterworks in 2015. This game is an okay 2d platformer with some stereoscopic depth. It is a sequel to an iOS game, and was first released on smartphones. Clearly inspired by ’90s platformers but not as good as the better ones, Bloo Kid 2 is okay but just doesn’t control quite well enough for me to call is good. The design is also very safe. I love platformers so I do somewhat enjoy this game, but it is average at best for sure. You play as a boy, Bloo Kid, and you’re on an adventure. In each level you have a bunch of objectives, each of which will get you a star at the end if accomplished: finish the level, get some or all of the stars, kill all of the enemies, finish with full health, and finish the level within a fairly tight timer. This objective star system adds a little bit to an otherwise pretty average game, but the controls hold the game back.
The lower screen shows how you’re doing on the objectives and also shows a bar marking how far in the level you are. That’s nice. This is a classic platformer, so all you is run around and jump on foes. You have a double jump and will use it frequently. You can take three hits before dying. There are checkpoints, enemies to jump on or avoid, and the aforementioned stars and health powerups to collect. The game has infinite lives from the last checkpoint. There is no lives system here, that’s fine. But again, the main issue I have with this game is the control: your controls are very floaty. Movement and jumping both feel somewhat vague, as if you don’t have precise control of the character. You can use either the d-pad or analog stick for movement, but the controls are digital either way. So, use the d-pad. You eventually get used to the controls, but they’re never good.
So, even when I am having fun exploring levels for enemies and hidden stars, which does happen while playing the game, the hits taken because of the loose controls happen too often for me to unreservedly recommend this title to platformer fans. Bloo Kid 2 does some things right, though. There are a decent number of levels here, I like the level designs reasonably well, and the objective system adds a bit of replay value. I don’t regret buying it. Still, with very bland design and irritatingly floaty controls, this game is, unfortunately, average to slightly below average overall. I see quite a few positive reviews of this game out there, but I guess that I’m not as impressed as most. The controls just are not quite there. Fix that and this game could have been good, but it’s not. Maybe on phones people don’t care about good controls, but this is on a Nintendo system. Also released on iOS, PC (Steam), Ouya, and Nintendo Switch.
Brunch Panic – Developed by Flyhigh Works and published by Circle in 2013. Brunch Panic is a fairly simple food service puzzle/sim. You play as a young woman who was just given a van by her grandfather to use as a food truck. She decides to sell breakfast food, hence the games’ name. The presentation here is a bit odd, because the visuals are a Japanese attempt at a Western cartoon look and clearly is aimed to be set in America, but the game has Japanese-language voice dialog. The US release translated the text, but not the voice lines. Oh well. The graphics are 2d sprite-based stuff, and unfortunately there is no stereoscopic 3d. The ingredients are on the lower screen, and the customers waiting at the window for food are on the lower one.
As for the gameplay, in each stage, playing with the stylus, you grab each ingredient, put it together if multiple parts are involved by dragging the sauce onto the ingredient after putting it on the table, and then drag the resulting food up to the window for delivery. At first the game is very simple, with only bagels and croissants and a pair of sauces that you simply drag to the window with no prep needed other than perhaps a sauce. You don’t need to toast the bagels or anything, this is a fairly simple game. The game does get slightly more complex as you proceed, since you will soon get a waffle maker which you need to click on to open, drag a waffle into the waffle maker, and then wait for it to cook. There is more after that as well, so there is a decent difficulty curve here. Even so, this game stays very easy for probably too long. There is some complexity to getting each order right and once in a while I make a mistake and have to redo an order, but thorough the first few worlds this is a mostly simple game that, despite that this is not a kind of game I’ve played much at all in the past, I found myself getting max ratings on almost every level on my first try.
Despite that, the good news is that there are some things to play for. For one, there are unlockables which add cosmetic changes to your van. You unlock these not through a money system or something, instead they basically are Achievements: if you accomplish certain tasks, you unlock a new cosmetic thing for the van, such as a sign for the top, new colors or patterns, or such. It’s a nice touch and some of these have requirements that will take a bit more effort than most of the levels do on their own. Even so, overall Brunch Panic is probably a food-delivering game aimed at beginners at this subgenre. I kind of am one so I think this game is okay, but it’s probably a bit too simple to be great. Still, it’s a decent game maybe worth a look. Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.
Color Zen Kids – Developed by Large Animal Games and published by Cypronia in 2014. As the name suggests, Color Zen Kids is very similar to the original Color Zen, which I covered last year earlier in the first list, but easier. And it is indeed easier; the puzzles in this game, while fun, are generally quite simple and easy to solve. I loved the first Color Zen, it’s a somewhat brilliant puzzle game, but it’s disappointing that its only sequel is this easy-mode title. Just like in the first one, your goal in each puzzle is to make the lower screen the color of the screen border. Playing with the stylus, you can move small colored objects around, and when two collide they turn the color area of the screen they are currently in to their color. You need to figure out the correct order to set off collisions in which will result in the whole screen, with no objects left, being the correct color. As before I love the visual look and gameplay of this title, this is a great game. It’s just really too bad that we never got a sequel which is as challenging as the first one, this game’s great but it is clearly aimed at a younger audience. Still, definitely buy it. It’s fun while it lasts. Also released on iOS, PC (Steam), and Nintendo Switch.
CosmiBall 3D – New Nintendo 3DS Required. Developed and published by Desk Ink in 2022. CosmiBall 3D is a very late 3DS release. It’s a simple but fun 2.5d physics platformer where you play as a ball trying to make your way through floating (in space) courses to a green square that is the end point. The game plays on both screens, and you will often go back and forth between the two. Levels scroll horizontally, but not vertically since instead you’ll go between the two screens. It’s a nice system, though it does highlight that the upper screen has 3D and not the lower one, since this game has nice stereoscopic 3d which you can only really take advantage of half of the time that you are playing. Ah well.
Otherwise, though, this game is an alright, fun time. You move with the analog stick or d-pad. Control is analog and you gain speed as you move, though your max speed is a bit slow. This game was designed for accessibility. At first you can only roll, but after a few levels you get an upgrade that lets you jump with A. That adds quite a bit to the game. The jump is slow and floaty, but the game is set in space so it works. You later will get another upgrade that adds a boost button on B. You also can respawn by hitting X. If you hit respawn when you’re still on the course you will respawn, but your old ball won’t disappear, it will stay on the stage as an obstacle. That’s a neat touch. Also you can drop spawn points with Y at any time you’re on the ground on a platform. That’s pretty cool, so when you roll off the course you can choose where you start again from.
The levels start out very simple, but once you get to levels with things like fields that you can only travel straight through with the momentum you entered them with and such the game gets more interesting and physics-puzzle-ey. I like that. On the whole, CosmiBall 3D is a simple, fun little game. The graphics are decent and controls alright. It’s fun enough to play if you like platformers, but certainly doesn’t do anything special. Overall it’s probably a bit above average. I’d recommend it I guess if you like simple platformers. There is also a CosmiBall game on the Wii U. I think it’s the same basic game, with the two screens being your TV and Wii U Gamepad.
Glory of Generals: The Pacific – Developed by EASY Inc. / Easytech and published by Circle in 2015. This hex-based strategy wargame is a sequel to the first Glory of Generals, and as with the first is an iOS port. It is very similar to the first one, except as the title suggests it has a Pacific Theater focus this time. That means that while for the most part this is very similar to the first one, it’s a more complex game since you need to deal with oceans a lot, and moving land troops between islands with ships will be necessary. They make it relatively easy here, though; this isn’t the most complex strategy game. There are two main modes, Campaign and Legion. In either one there are four main campaign scenarios, first the WWII Pacific Theater, then a late 1930s Asia one and two early 1950s ones. Each will take quite a while. Glory of Generals isn’t like European/World Conqueror, it’s a dramatically better series of legit wargames. It does have a grind component, though, unfortunately. On mobile this probably required real money, but here you buy stuff with ingame earnings. In addition to the campaigns, there is also a Headquarters mode where you can spend money you’ve earned on generals and upgrades for your troops. You do start out with a fair amount of money, at least.
Visually, the game has sprite-based graphics with stereoscopic 3d depth that makes the units appear above the ground. It’s a nice looking game with good sprite art and maps. The upper screen has the map, and the lower screen a zoomed out map of the whole area and your interface buttons. You move the upper screen view with the d-pad and control the cursor with the analog stick. Most functions are done with touch controls. The controls work well.
As for the differences between Campaign and Legion modes, in either one you choose a scenario, if you have unlocked any beyond WWII Pacific. In Campaign you then select a side, either Allies (US and allies) or Axis (Japan). Each has a different a sequence of missions. In each one you have an objective, and once that objective is complete you move on to the next mission. You have to play the missions in order. In Legion mode you can select any level from a campaign from the start, they all start out unlocked. You don’t choose a side here either, instead you choose a general. You then control that general’s forces only, and not the rest of your alliance, and have 99 turns to defeat all enemy generals. If you win you move on to the next mission. Legion mode games have pretty long between-turns waits as you wait for all of your allied forces to be moved by the computer, along with your enemies. Still, it’s a fun mode. The AI in this game is okay.
Within missions, you will control a bunch of different troop types. This isn’t just a pure wargame though, you can build units. Some missions mostly just have you use the troops you start with, but others do involve building. So, in addition to moving around your ships, tanks, and soldiers, and converting your land troops to transports via a button for when you need to go island-hopping, you also will build units from bases, somewhat like an Advance Wars game. As for air forces, you do not directly control planes. Instead, you just order air attacks or observation flights from airbases, after which a plane will fly over that spot and attack it or such. It works fine. The game is a good mixture of simple but challenging enough to satisfy most. Obviously this won’t be enough for serious wargaming fans, but nobody would expect that kind of game on the 3DS. For this platform this is pretty good. Glory of Generals: The Pacfic is just as good as the first one, and I definitely recommend it. There was a third game in this series, but it seems to unfortunately have stayed mobile-only. Oh well. Also digitally released on iOS.
Horseshoe Crab Rescue! – New Nintendo 3DS Required. Developed and published by Kevin Foley in 2021. This is an extremely basic $1 game. Does it have $1 worth of gameplay? I’m not sure, that’s kind of borderline. Set on a beach, in this title you click on flipped-over horseshoe crabs in order to put them back on their feet so they won’t be in trouble anymore. Horseshoe crabs have very interesting big shells, and really aren’t a crab. Like a turtle, if they flip over they often can’t really flip back without help. There are 15 stages, each with a certain number of horseshoe crabs to flip back over within a time limit. You have to play the stages in order, though they are all on the same beach, the game just starts requiring more crabs within a shorter time limit.
Within a stage, the left stick moves you around the moderate-sized beach, and the right analog nub moves the camera if you want to adjust your view. The default is usually fine. The beach will appear on both screens, though of course only the upper screen is in stereoscopic 3d. When you find a flipped-over horseshoe crab, touch it with the stylus on the lower screen in order to flip it back over. Then, continue wandering around looking for more crabs to flip over. There are a lot of crabs on this beach, most not flipped over, so it will take a little searching. You cannot interact with the horseshoe crabs beyond flipping over the ones in trouble, which is probably the right design decision; otherwise people would hurt the beings that this game is about helping. And that’s the game. I’d say this might be a dollar’s worth of game, but … maybe not. It is VERY basic. It would have been nice if there were a few more horseshoe crab facts included, in addition to the few in the tutorial, but oh well. It’s quite charming that this game was released at all, it seems to be the developer’s only published game, but it is simple. Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.
Harold Reborn – New Nintendo 3DS Required. Developed and published by Luke Vincent in 2021. The second of the three 3DS 3d platformers from Luke Vincent, Harold Reborn is an interesting but flawed experience. You play as Harold from Harold’s Walk, a pretty silly-looking character indeed. The game has intentionally “bad” graphics. This is a pretty fast-paced game. The main view is on the upper screen and is in stereoscopic 3d with lots of depth. The lower screen shows a useful overhead map of the current area. You run around with the stick. Hold Y to walk, this is important for narrow paths. You jump and double jump with B, and dash with A. The dash is critical and can also be done in the air to clear large gaps. You need to be holding a direction on the analog stick to do an air dash, so jump, hold stick direction, dash. The controls feel okay and I like exploring this kind of simple, low-poly 3d landscape. Occasional pickups are scattered around, including health ups and the things you want to collect. As for enemies, they are silly things like legs without a body. You defeat them by jumping on them, classic platformer-style.
This game has a lot more levels than the pretty short first Harold game, which is good; it’s a more full-fledged experience, not a borderline tech-demo like that one is. However, it still has problems. The most notable problem is the camera. As you move, the camera constantly bounces up and down with Harold’s footsteps. Games do not make me nauseous easily and this one doesn’t either, but I can imagine some people having a bad reaction to this effect, particularly given that this game is entirely in full stereoscopic 3d. It’s a really bad camera bounce effect that holds back the whole game. I know the developer was going for a very silly style to this game, and that’s fine, but this camera bob goes too far.
Otherwise, this is an okay indie 3d platformer. It’s great that we have gotten to a point where games like this are possible, in the past indie devs would have stuck to only 2d platformer games and not 3d ones like this. 3d is harder to do well, and this one doesn’t entirely get it right, but if you can stomach the camera there is a decent amount to do here. Harold Reborn is a simple and flawed but interesting game maybe worth a look if you like amusingly weird games or 3d platformers. I don’t think I could call it above average, not with its mostly-sparse levels and awful camera, but it’s certainly interesting. In short, if you only play one Luke Vincent game make it Automaton Lung, it smooths out all of the control and camera issues of these games, but the Harold games are also worth a look for their weirdness. Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.
Murder on the Titanic – Developed by Easy Interactive and published by Joindots in 2012. The original PC version was developed by Suricate Software and published by Bigfish Games earlier that year. One part hidden object game and one part puzzle game with an adventure game story, Murder on the Titanic is a casual adventure game ported from the PC. It was also on the original DS as well. You play as the unseen assistant to a professor, and the two of you are on the Titanic during its fateful voyage. A crew member on board has been murdered, and you two are tasked with finding out who did it. This is a fictional story with a real-world setting. After an introduction, the game begins. The current room or area is shown on both screens, with a zoomed-out view on the upper screen and a zoomed-in regular view on the lower one. There is some use of stereoscopic 3d on the upper screen, but there could have been more. You can look around each area with either the analog stick, d-pad, face buttons, or stylus. The upper screen tells you what you should be looking for with words, and you need to find and touch that thing on the lower screen.
In some scenes you are looking for certain specific objects related to the plot, while others enter hidden-object areas where you need to find a list of random stuff in an image full of things. The objects you need to find are listed in text, again. If you get stuck you have a limited number of hints which you can use with a life-ring icon on the lower screen. You can also go into your inventory with an icon. The hidden object minigames are the most common in this title by far, but there are also some other kinds of puzzles. The first, for instance, is a very easy ‘slide around the blocks to free the one being blocked by the others’ puzzle. You also will get inventory items you will need to use in specific places. You can’t wander around the ship, though, only look at each scene, figure out what to do there, and proceed to the next area. As far as adventure games go this is definitely stripped-down, unfortunately.
Overall, I like adventure games, but have never been much of a hidden object games fan. Even so, for its genre, Murder on the Titanic is solid. It’s got nice graphics, stereoscopic 3d, okay controls with the stylus, and a good amount of content. There is a mystery to solve and people to talk to as you try to figure out what happened. This is a somewhat simplistic title in terms of gameplay, with totally linear design and mostly easy puzzles, but still, the game is alright. Try not to go down with the ship… Also available on PC and, in Europe only, on the Nintendo DS, though this version is visually enhanced in some ways for the 3DS. The 3DS version got a physical release in Europe, but here in the US the game is digital-only. On PC the game’s title is Inspector Magnusson: Murder on the Titanic, and it did have both digital and physical releases.
Noitu Love 2: Devolution – Developed and published by MP2 Games in 2016. Noitu Love is a run & gun action/platformer. The first Noitu Love is an indie PC game from the ’00s. Unlike a lot of indie PC games from that era, Noitu Love isn’t a Newgrounds-style mysanthropic underground-ish title, but something more normal. You played as a hero saving the world from evil forces with a mixture of platform jumping on keyboard, and dash-attacking left or right or spin-attacking upwards with the mouse. This sequel is similar, except it’s on consoles now and is much improved over the little freeware PC original. The controls are similar though, so you use gamepad and stylus together to imitate mouse and keyboard in this 2d side-scrolling platform-action game. You move around with the d-pad and dash-attack with the stylus. The movement controls are digital, so you can use the analog stick but shouldn’t. The game is fast and a lot of fun to play as you zip around defeating your foes. The controls work well if you can find a comfortable way to support the system while playing. That’s always the flaw with button + stylus games on the DS or 3DS though, if you’re holding it with one hand while playing your hand is going to get tired quickly. It’s the same here.
Even so, though, Noito Love 2 is definitely a good game. It’s got nice sprite-based graphics, very responsive controls, good gameplay, good enough level designs, and a good pace. The levels are linear corridors usually focused more on shooting than on platforming, unfortunately, but there are some obstacles to avoid such as giant moving spike barriers, so you will need to platform some as well thankfully. The sci-fi story is decent enough as well. This game was pretty popular and it’s easy to see why, it’s a good game that deserved its popularity. For some reason I never got into this game as much as some people, and never finished it, but it’s certainly good. I think I generally prefer sidescrollers which use buttons only over this kind of button+touch/mouse combo. I’m not a big fan of Bleed, for example. Even so, Noitu Love 2 is a game you should pick up for sure.. Also available digitally on PC (Steam) and Wii U, though sadly the Wii U version was deslisted some time ago so you can’t buy it anymore. The 3DS version is still available, for a few more days at least.
Smash Cat Heroes – Developed and published by Tom Create in 2014. With cute graphics and a great concept I was hoping that this game would be pretty good, but unfortunately find it fairly mediocre to play. Smash Cat Heroes is a top-down action game. You play as one of three adorable cartoon samurai cats, and need to fight against large numbers of enemies attacking you. Cats are the best! Each level is an arena consisting of only the two screens and does not scroll most of the time. After a long time of beating up regular enemies screens sometimes do autoscroll to a second screen where you fight the stage boss, but otherwise each level is what you see, and there’s very little to see because there are almost no obstacles or features in these stages. Most levels have no to one obstacle and otherwise are just a blank two-screen space with some graphics.
As for the combat, this game has a combo-based combat system but it’s pretty much just a basic button masher. Most of the time you will just be mashing the attack button and watching your cat repeatedly swinging their weapon identically over and over as you whack the baddies. Once enemy cats are defeated they are sent flying off the screen, so this game is fortunately not too violent. You can also dodge-roll with another button and use a super attack if a meter is full. If you keep hitting different enemies you will build up a combo. It’s a very bland combo system; sometimes it does reward you with bonuses for doing a long combo, but it really is mostly just ‘mash the button’. I know that that’s basically the Warriors genre, but those games have a lot more variety than this one does. The game does provide a decent challenge, as your health goes down fairly quickly when you take damage, particularly from the bosses who are quite deadly, but it’s all so incredibly repetitive that it’s hard to get myself to keep playing. If you do die you need to restart the level from the beginning. Yeah.
If you do keep playing, though, once you complete a level you can spend the money you earned in each level on upgrades in the shop. These upgrades increase your stats, so yes, if you get stuck you can grind for money for upgrades. I don’t think I’ll be doing that, though, the game is a repetitive bland grind that I don’t have much fun with. The graphics are really cute, with cartoon cats all over, but the gameplay? I’ll pass. Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.
Splat the Difference – Developed and published by Lightwood Games in 2016. This title is a pretty tricky “find the difference between these two versions of a picture” game. The game has an impressively large number of images, if it has ever repeated while I play it I haven’t noticed. The game mechanics are simple. All you to is touch the screen with the stylus where you notice a difference between the picture on the lower screen and the one on the upper screen or press a shoulder button or the flip icon on screen to flip the two images from one screen to the other if you wish. If you tap in the right spot a paint spot will obscure the difference. There is a hint icon as well which shows you one difference. There is a somewhat long timer on the hint button though before you can use it again, so you will only be able to use it once every few rounds in most modes. Do not touch wrong, the game substantially punishes you for it. Yes, this game may be easy to play, but you will immediately notice that this game is HARD. Finding the differences can be difficult, and all modes have timers ticking down. If you run out of time, that’s it, Game Over. And the game will NOT show you what the differences you missed are. That’s probably good, it extends the playtime since you won’t know what you missed on that image.
The game has several modes on offer, which is nice. It also keeps track of your best score in each mode. All have the same basic gameplay, but with a little twist in each one. In Classic, you have a timer on each stage and must find three differences in each picture. The timer is tight, but it’s long enough that with some focus I was at least able to get a few screens in fairly consistently. If you beat a screen you get points based on how long finding them took. If you fail to find all three differences before time runs out it’s Game Over and you lose. Frenzy mode is similar, but ramps the difficulty up even more: you must find one difference on each screen in a very tight timer. This mode is crazy-hard, I’ve never gotten past completing only one picture. Casual mode is the easy mode — here there is no timer, so you can keep going for as long as you want pretty much. There is no score in this mode. And last, Mirror mode might be the hardest of all, because the image on the upper screen will be mirrored from the one on the lower screen. Flipping the images can be very helpful here, but you still need to find three differences in a timer about the same as Classic. Tough stuff indeed.
In addition to the single player, Splat the Difference also has a multiplayer mode for local co-op play, which is nice if you know anyone else with a 3DS. This game is simple and difficult, but if you like this kind of thing at all pick it up. The game has a lot of pictures to try to figure out differences on so there is plenty here to last for hours. There isn’t any stereoscopic 3d, but still, it’s fairly good at what it does. Also released digitally on iOS.
Sudoku Party – Developed and published by Lightwood Games in 2017. It’s a sudoku game. It’s got a lot of puzzles, broken up into several difficulty groupings, and some interestingly … aggressively noticeable? music. The music was a choice, but I guess it gets me interested in playing the game a bit more than I otherwise would. For the most part though this is standard stuff, but it’s the good kind of standard. In each puzzle you can earn up to three balloons: one for completing the puzzle, one for completing it in under ten minutes, and one for completing it without using any hints. The game keeps track of how long it took you to solve each puzzle. So, the game has a nice hint system which will tell you if you have made any mistakes in number placement, but if you use it you won’t get that balloon. Otherwise, gameplay here is good as expected: you select a tile with the dpad or stylus, then either put a full-sized large number or small ‘these numbers might work for this tile’ number on the space by touching the number in question. The large numbers are on the upper right, and small numbers on the lower right. It’s a fun sudoku game with plenty of content. There’s even multiplayer, including online multiplayer, if you can find a match! That’s a rare feature for a sudoku game.
However, the game does have one design decision which makes things much easier: while you can place an incorrect large number, you cannot place incorrect small numbers. If you try to put a small number on a space but that number cannot be placed on that space, it will blink red and not be placed. So, when I said that the game doesn’t let you use hints if you want al three balloon rewards, that is not true; there’s a built-in hint system you cannot disable that blocks you from putting incorrect small numbers on tiles. And worse, there is NO punishment at all for trying to place small numbers incorrectly! You still could put a wrong number on the board, but this makes it dramatically easier. While playing this game I am often tempted to just select each tile one after another and press all of the small numbers on each one without paying any attention to the rest of the board until I’m done, because that takes a lot less time than actually working out which numbers can go on each one. The game seems to have ben designed to encourage this kind of play, too. It’s a fine option to have, I just wish you could turn it off if you wanted. Punishing the player for mistakes with time penalties, Picross e-style, also would have worked, but the game doesn’t do that. Oh well. Otherwise, with plenty of puzzles and (hard to make use of given the small userbase of this older title) online play, Sudoku Party’s a good time worth a look. Also available digitally on the Wii U.
Urban Trial Freestyle – Developed by Teyon and published by Tate Multimedia in 2017. If you were expecting another Trials clone on the 3DS beyond Toy Stunt Bike, well, there is indeed another one, or two rather, in the Urban Trials Freestyle series. This game is incredibly similar to that one in controls and gameplay, but it has much more detailed graphics for the environments and some gameplay differences. As in Trials or Toy Stunt Bike, you play as a motorcycle dirtbike rider guy, trying to get through some very tricky courses with your incredibly hard to keep on the ground bike. You can unlock and buy new clothes and bike colors as you proceed, but at the start the rider is shirtless. That look for the guy fits the grungy urban style of this game, honestly… You can accelerate, brake, and reverse with buttons, and steer with the stick. You also can do stunts in the air by spinning around and such, and will need to. Each level in this game is a good-length side-scrolling course. You travel through an environment, with fairly detailed stereoscopic 3d backgrounds behind this flat 2.5d gameplay experience, trying to make it to the end of each course while accomplishing several mission objectives along the way.
First, the controls. Nearly identically to those other games, your bike is incredibly tippy, and merely pressing down on the accelerator while not holding forward on the stick will cause the bike to instantly wheelie up so much it’ll flip over in a second. So, you need to use the stick and buttons very carefully in order to stay upright. The controls are tricky and momentum is important to make it up the various curving slopes and ramps that fill each stage. This is how all of these games play, but I’ve never entirely loved it; it gets frustrating, I want to just be able to drive forwards without flipping over constantly! That’s not what these games are about, though. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never played anywhere near as much of any Trials games as one might expect. If you crash you can restart with a button press from the last checkpoint, of which there are many per stage, but still.
This game is somewhat unique, though, it’s not only a clone. The question is, will you like its unique element? I’m not sure that I do. It is those missions which differentiate this game from Trials or its other clones. There may be other games in this subgenre which are like this, but if so I haven’t played them. Unlike Trials or Toy Stunt Bike, you cannot progress in this game by just completing each stage. After getting to the end of each stage you get a rating of one to five stars. Yes, five, not three… rarely seen on the 3DS, heh. You are graded on completion for one star, but the others require accomplishing certain tasks at certain points in the course well enough. A specific jump may have markers after it grading you points based on how high you can jump at that spot, for instance. Or it might grade you for how many stunt points you can get on a big jump or drop. There are several kinds of objectives, so the variety is nice, but you only get one chance at each mission on each run though a level, no matter how many times you crash and restart, so if you mess up a mission you will need to replay the level from the beginning to try to improve. This is a relatively short game, with six worlds of four races each, but it’ll take quite a while with each one to actually be able to proceed to the next one so it will feel long.
And lastly, the game has a very cool track builder editor. You can fully customize a track and save lots of courses. You can’t fully design the track, it basically gives you a course that you add obstacles to, but it’s still good. There is no online level trading though, only online high score tables. Ah well. At least it does have online high scores! Overall, Urban Trials Freestyle has decently nice visuals and fine gameplay, but I find the mission-based design not very fun and the controls typically iffy. This game is okay but average. Trials fans will want to give it a try. On the 3DS I’d probably rather play the much more basic looking Toy Stunt Bike though, that doesn’t make me do the missions to advance. Also released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PC (Steam), and iOS.
Urban Trial Freestyle 2 – Developed by Teyon and published by Tate Multimedia in 2016. This sequel is very similar to its predecessor, just with new tracks to figure your way through. This game has twice as many tracks as the first one, and they are all-new. Otherwise, though, it’s basically the same, see the review above. You play as the same at-first-shirtless guy as before, going through new, trickier courses. You still must accomplish objectives to proceed in Stunt Mode, that has not changed. There is also a Time Trial mode where you only need to finish as quickly as possible, but you are meant to play the stages in both modes, not one or the other, and getting those good ratings is still quite difficult. The graphics are nice, though, and are slightly improved over the original. They are still in full stereoscopic 3d. The menus look a little better than the first games’. The track editor returns, though they did make one very nice addition here — it not only has more objects you can place in the stages, but there is online level trading. However, it works via basically in-game equivalents to friend codes, so you can only download a stage if you know the code to enter. That’s incredibly obnoxious. Ah well. Other than that, though, this game is mostly just a level pack with a graphical overhaul. If you like the first one definitely pick this one up too. Otherwise, pick one or the other. Maybe get this one, it does add a few things to the game. Overall it’s a bit above average. Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.
Word Logic by POWGI – Developed and published by Lightwood Games in 2016. Lightwood Games has released many word games on various modern consoles, but only the first two released on 3DS. These word games have a lot of content but very simple presentation. Each one has six different word games to challenge yourself with, many quite difficult. I’m going to cover all six so this will be long. The graphics are very simple, with lines and letters and no stereoscopic 3d. All of the word puzzles in both of these games could be done with pencil and paper, but they work just as well or better here on the 3DS. The game has stylus-based controls for the most part, though sometimes the dpad and buttons do something as well, and there are hints in most games that you can enable with L+R. What the hint does varies depending on the game. The game keeps track of how long each puzzle took you to finish, but that’s it; there are no extra rewards for not using hints or such. It’s fine, with how hard these are completing most puzzles at all is quite a task. Fortunately you can save puzzles in progress so you won’t lose much if you have to stop playing. Just pause during play and you can save any game as it is. You can save a separate puzzle in each of the six games, it’s not just one for the whole collection.
First is Kriss Kross. No, not the early ’90s rap group of a similar name, a word puzzle. This is basically a crossword puzzle where you are given all of the words and need to figure out which word goes in which space on the board. When you select a word you see the words of that number of letters, and you need to place all of the words so that every word can be placed. These puzzles start out easy, but do get more challenging later on. It’s nice that something in this game is relatively easy! Here the hint tells you if you have placed any words incorrectly.
In Ladders, you start with one word and need to turn it into another word by changing one letter at a time. Each time you change a letter it needs to make a word, so the challenge is in thinking of what words you can make that lead you to change the letters towards the word you need to end up with. This starts out with relatively easy 3-letter words, but the 4 and 5 letter words are much harder. There are no hints in this game, good luck. You can write letters in a box if you don’t want to click on the letter buttons, either works fine. I find it easier to touch the letter buttons.
Word Sudoku is just like it sounds like, a sudoku game with letters instead of numbers. This is identical to regular sudoku as there are still only 9 letters used per puzzle. One row or column will spell a 9-letter word that the 9 letters make up. Other than that though, it’s just sudoku. You can either use letter buttons in the upper right or draw letters in the lower right, but I’d rather use the buttons. A button in the corner of the letter grid lets you place small help letters to remind you of which letters could possibly go on a space. Just like the Sudoku Party above, the game does not allow you to place incorrect small letters and doesn’t punish you for trying to place letters that can’t go in that spot, which makes the game a lot easier if you are stuck. There is also a hint mode which tells you if you have placed any big letters incorrectly.
Crypto isn’t cryptocurrency, it’s cryptography. Each puzzle in this mode has a long quote on the upper screen, with a simple letter-substitution cyper making it look like gibberish. You need to figure out which letter to substitute for each one in order to make the puzzle into the correct quote. Hint mode here tells you if you have any errors. This is a good puzzle game which is tricky but fun as you figure out the correct letters.
Wordsweeper is a bit like Minesweeper, but with letters. It’s not quite as random as minesweeper, though. In this game some blocks are black and have small letters in them, and others are white blocks for you to put letters in. The letters in a black block show you what letters are in the white blocks touching that block in any of the 9 directions, including diagonals. Your challenge is to place all letters and make words as you do so. I’m a fan of minesweeper, and this has enough of that game in it for me to quite enjoy this. Wordsweeper is pretty good, as you try to use deduction to figure out where you can place each letter. It has a good balance of challenge and fun. Hint mode tells if if you’ve placed any letters incorrectly.
Lastly, Gaps is a tricky puzzle game where you need to make a word by finding the missing letters in a bunch of words shown on the upper screen. So, there is an unknown word, say six letters long, and the game shows six numbered boxes. Below there are six words, with one letter missing with a _, each with a number. Each number corresponds to that letter in the hidden word. Often there are multiple words that can be made by adding one letter into the missing letters in the one-letter-missing words, so your challenge will be finding the ones which work to form the hidden word. As usual you can either click letter buttons or draw letters on the lower screen, and select which of the letters of the word you are filling in as well. This is a solid word game, as usual for this collection.
Overall, Word Logic is a good word puzzle game. There are no traditional crossword puzzles here, but that’s fine, they were trying for some other things. Of the two Powgi word games on the 3DS, this is the easier one; the game is challenging, but not insane like some puzzles in that game are. There are 720 puzzles in this game so there is a huge amount of content, too, and it certainly gets harder as you go along. I definitely recommend this to anyone interested. Also released digitally on Wii U.
Word Puzzles by POWGI – Developed and published by Lightwood Games in 2016. This collection is very similar to the other one presentation-wise, just with harder puzzles. So, you get some of the most basic graphics imaginable which are mostly text, no stereoscopic 3d, and six different quite difficult types of word puzzles to challenge yourself with. In each puzzle you use the stylus to play. This time you just select words or highlight spaces in a puzzle though, you won’t be entering letters with letter buttons this time. Somehow this makes the game harder, not easier. Most games still have a hint you can enable by pressing L+R together. In some puzzle types the hint is very useful and in others it’s not, it varies. The game doesn’t punish you for using hints, though it does keep track of your time in each puzzle, but I’m okay with that because with how hard these puzzles can be I’m more just relieved to have completed them at all, if I manage to. I don’t think there are any extra rewards for finishing puzzles quickly, this is a basic game presentation-wise. Still, it’s good. I am going to describe all six games, so this summary will again be long.
First is Word Maze. This game is a rectangular grid of letters with one word’s worth starting out outlined with black lines. You need to start from the last letter of that word, find the next word, and continue finding all of the words, each connecting to the end of the last, until the whole maze is filled in. The maze is on the lower screen, and the upper screen only has the category for words in the current puzzle. Starting out in these puzzles can be tricky, but since all of the words connect together into a single path it’s not as hard as it looks. If enabled, the hint in this mode shows a list of words on the upper screen that you are looking for on the lower screen, highlighting the ones you’ve found so far.
The second, and for me hardest, game is Mixups. Here you have a bunch of letters scattered on the lower screen and three lines on the upper screen for words you need to make with those letter . The game shows how many letters long each word is, and if you enable the hint it shows you the first letter of each word, one word at a time, but that’s the only help you get. I’m sure some people are good at this but I am not, and despite many tries cannot beat the second puzzle in this mode. Fortunately you don’t need to play the puzzles in this game in order, you can play the many theme categories within each puzzle type in any order, but still it’s frustrating.
One Word is the third game. It shows a quote on the upper screen and a grid of letters on the lower screen. This is a word search, except there is only one word on the lower screen at a time. So, even once you figure out what the word is, it may be tricky to find since the entire grid is made up of just the letters in that word, but the actual word’s only in one spot on the field. Each word you find brings you to the next word in the quote. It’s a solid word game.
Flowers gives you the middle few letters of a word, shown on the upper screen. A flower-shaped ring around those central letters is there for you to fill in with words. On the lower screen there are a bunch of pairs of letters. You need to make words by placing each pair of letters in a spot where it makes a word when ended with the pair of letters on the other side of the flower. So if HI is in the middle, put TA on one side and NI on the other to make Tahini. If you need to delete a pair you have placed, you can select them with the d-pad and delete with B to return a pair to the bottom screen. This is probably one of the easier games in this collection, it’s good.
Three Connected Words puts three circles on the lower screen, each with letters in them. You need to make three words, with each one including the letters shown within its circle. Some letters are question marks and you will need to figure out what those letters are from context. Here the hint fucntion again gives you the first letter of each word. You can press it up to three times to get all three first letters, and a fourth use gives you the puzzle category. This is a tricky but fun game.
And last, Crossovers are two-part puzzles. First, you see a pair of crossing words as if in a crossword puzzle. The letter where the two words cross over is empty and you need to figure out what that letter is, from four the game shows you. There are no hints here, but you only have four letters for each word to choose from so you can just pick until you find the right one. The hard part of each puzzle is part two. Here you need to take the letters you just chose and solve the clue by unscrambling those letters and finding the hidden word you can make from them. The game gives you a category but that’s it. There are, unfortunately, no hints here either, one to give you the first letter would have been incredibly helpful. I’ve always been bad at this and this is no exception, I often get stuck at this point and usually can’t solve the puzzles… ah well. I am okay at writing, but some elements of English are difficult. The game does save your progress though, so if you give up it’ll save that you were at the unscramble part and you can go right back in to that step.
Overall, Word Puzzles is a very simple game in terms of presentation, but the amount of content here is quite significant, there are over a hundred puzzles in each of the six modes. If you like word puzzles definitely pick this game up. Lightwood Games have made a lot more games like these on the Switch, but I’d much rather play this kind of thing with a stylus so I haven’t bought any of them. Also released digitally on Wii U.
Yumi’s Odd Odyssey – Developed by Studio Saizensen and published by Natsume in 2014. A part of the Umihara Kawase series of platformers, as always in this series you play as a girl with a fishing pole who uses it for platforming, not fishing. This series started on the Super Nintendo in Japan, but this was maybe the first one released here in the West. The game is 2d platformer with nice stereoscopic 3d depth. In this fantastic platformer, your goal is to use your fishing line as a grappling hook in order to work your way through challenging levels. The fishing line is the key unique feature of this series, and it’s great. It works as kind of a hybrid grappling hook and bungee cable, as you can hook it on to things and swing around. It’s a fishing line, though, so while you will swing, the controls here are very different from, say, Bionic Commando. This game is much less straightforward than that one, it is much more of a physics puzzle game. Trying to figure out what combination of regular jumps and fishing line bouncing will get you to where you need to go in order to complete each level is the order of the day here, and it’s great, challenging fun. As with all titles in this series, this is more of a platform-jumping game than it is a combat game, but there are foes, all of them various types of sea life. I would say more, but you need to experience this game for yourself. Yumi’s Odd Odyssey is a great, highly recommended platformer, definitely buy it while you can. Highly recommended! This 3DS exclusive is a digital exclusive in the West, but got a cart release in Japan.
Funfair Party Games – Developed by Avanquest Software and published by Joindots in 2013. This is a minigame collection containing digital versions of eleven popular carnival games. It has local and online multi-system multiplayer and nice graphics for a downloadable 3DS game. It has online high scores too, and the high score tables still work, with a local and online top five for each included game. Unfortunately it does NOT have any AI to compete against, so if you’re playing this by yourself it’s a much less interesting experience. That’s too bad for a handheld title. The game has two modes per title, with either motion-based or button and stylus-based controls. Yes, the 3DS has a rarely-used motion sensor in it, did you forget? Arcade mode is motion controls, and Classic is button controls. The game has nice stereoscopic 3d graphics and usually-decent controls, but is pretty simple. Most people probably won’t play Funfair Party Games for long, but I imagine some might get into it. I recommend reading the instructions screen before each game, the controls are not always intuitive so knowing what to press or how to move the system is essential. Fortunately it is explained in the help. Always go through the help before entering a game. I will describe how some of the games control but not all of them.
These are the games. First is Shooting Gallery. Here you either use motion or the analog stick to aim a popgun, and then try to fire at pig targets moving in a straight line across the screen. The concept is good, but why are all of the targets identical pigs, that’s a bit bland. The motion controls are okay, though you will almost certainly want to turn off the 3D slider while using motion since the 3d effect breaks if you move the system much. You fire then reload by shaking the system. With buttons, you fire with L and reload by pressing X and then Y. Yes, it’s X Y L repeat. Odd. This game is alright but more target variety would have been good. Next is Basketball. It’s one of those ‘shoot the ball in the hoop’ games. Here the motion controls are alright, but with buttons you press L+R to increase shot power. Actually getting the ball into the hoop is much harder than I’d like, I found it hard to get any shots in at all. Next is Duck Fishing. This is a magnetic-line fishing game where you need to grab floating ducks and drop them in shark mouths on either end of a river. You move left or right on the stick, then zoom in with a shoulder button, which lets you move in all four directions on the current screen. Get over the magnet on the back of a duck to grab it. This is definitely more fun with motion, where it’s a bit less basic and easy. With buttons this is forgettable.
High Striker is a ‘how hard can you hit the thing’ game. You build up power by alternating L and R rapidly, then hit by touching the touchscreen. It’s harder than it may sound to get a good hit, not bad if you like button-mashing minigames. I generally don’t. Can Knockdown is a ball-toss game. The button controls have you aim with the stick, then alternate L and R presses to build power on a meter which otherwise rapidly declines. Press both buttons at the same to throw. These controls are awkward and kind of annoying, but the minigame is otherwise okay. Claw Crane is a crane game. Use buttons or the touchscreen to move the claw and drop it with a touch. This is a very difficult crane game where you will have a hard time seeing where to put the claw in order to grab targets. I hate all claw games, including this one, but the small, narrow perspective of the machine doesn’t help at all either. Camel Race is a ball-rolling game. You roll balls up a slope, trying to drop the balls in holes which get you different amounts of points. The board is empty of obstacles other than the holes you’re rolling towards, but despite this this game is deceptively tricky, it’s easy to roll and miss and have the ball fall off the table. This is decent fun, though. Hot Wire is next. This is one of those ‘try to move the ring along the electric maze without touching the wire, which will shock you a bit’ games. Irritating Stick (PS1 or N64 versions) is a pretty good videogame one of these, but this one is kind of annoying, as you need to rotate the ring with the shoulder buttons as you move down the wire. This is a pretty awkward procedure that makes the game quite tough. Still, it’s okay.
Next is Ball-In-The-Glass. You throw balls into glasses in rows on shelves, with a typically odd buttons-and-stick control scheme. If you can get used to the controls this game is fun, different glasses give different amounts of points, and you even get points for not landing in a glass. This is one of the better games, I think. In Balloon Burst, you toss darts at balloons. It uses L and R to grab and throw darts, and the stick to aim. Why does this title like L and R so much for controls, it’s bad. When you throw it sets off a spinner wheel, and whether your dart goes straight or not depends on where you stop. This one is okay. And last, Ballroll is Skee-Ball, the carnival game classic. This is a good version of Skee-Ball, weird L+R or tilt-based controls aside. It has the expected skee-ball board, and as expected you roll a ball up then try to land it in the holes. This is different from Camel Race because here the are curving walls in the board which restrict the ball to different areas, depending on how hard you roll it.
Overall, Funfair Party Games is average. I have issues with a lot of the minigame controls either with the motion or button options, and it’s too bad that there isn’t any AI opponent or high score table at all to compete against, but even so, with nice visuals and a solid variety of games, for cheap this might be a decent way to spend a few minutes. Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive. This game had a physical release in Europe, but in the US it is digital-only.
Zombie Slayer Diox – Developed and published by UFO Interactive in 2012. In this music game you play as a rocker guy fighting zombies with the power of music. Why in the world would I buy a “do the inputs with perfect timing” music game, when as most people probably know I absolutely hate this genre? I have no idea, beyond that it is a 3DS game, but the zombie theme doesn’t make me hate this game any less than the rest of its genre, unfortunately. The catch here is that instead of pressing buttons, you use stylus swipes for your inputs. You need to do the correct direction slash that matches the symbol on each zombie coming at you, either horizontal, diagonal, or vertical. Do the right kind of slash at the right moment and you will kill the zombie. Otherwise, you will take a hit. So yeah I’m hopelessly bad at this, I can’t do timing minigames at all. If you do like this kind of game consider this one, it’s low budget but otherwise maybe okay. Personally I hate it. You might not though? Nintendo 3DS digital exclusive.
Rankings for this update
Yumi’s Odd Odyssey
Noitu Love 2: Devolution
Good to very good
Glory of Generals: The Pacific
Color Zen Kids
A-Train 3D: City Simulator
They’re alright, maybe good
Splat the Difference
3D Game Collection
Urban Trial Freestyle
Urban Trial Freestyle 2
Word Logic by POWGI
Word Puzzles by POWGI
Urban Trial Freestyle
Urban Trial Freestyle 2
Below Average to Subpar
Horseshoe Crab Rescue!
Bloo Kid 2
Blast ’em Bunnies
Murder on the Titanic
Smash Cat Heroes
Funfair Party Games
Zombie Slayer Diox