May Freebie Report: Part 1
The best price one can pay for anything is free. Nintendo’s rewards program, Club Nintendo, starting this year has been offering downloadable games for your hard earned points. Each month, on day one, Nintendo offers up a few new games for the Wii and 3DS. With the arrival of May, they’ve offered up four more titles for your downloading pleasure. This month, they’ve got everything covered including manholes, cannoids, pixels and penguins.
Art Style: PiCTOBITS, which is available for 150 points on the 3DS, is a delightful puzzle game which involves clearing pixels in a manner quite similar to Tetris. The main difference is your ability to do combos which increase your score. As you clear more pixels, a classic Nintendo character is revealed using the pixels you’ve cleared. This adds to the challenge, because you have to get the specific colors you need to complete the character before you can clear the stage. If you like fast-paced puzzle games, this one is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it.
Snowpack Park, which is available for 150 points on the Wii, is a game where you raise a pack of penguins. Do I need to say any more? Okay, fine, as you take care of your penguins, there are a number of activities you can do. You can bowl your penguins, shoot them through a basketball hoop and care for your them. If that’s not enough you can put hats on your penguins. There are over 90 of them, so you can keep that going for a decent amount of time. The penguins are wearing hats; I’m just saying you might want to at least check it out.
3D Classics: Urban Champion, which is available for 150 points on the 3DS, is a game that pits the blue-haired guy against the green-haired guy in a 3D street fight. This 3D remake of the classic NES title involves trying to punch your opponent into a sewer hole; I just call that wednesday afternoon. The game can be played with one to two players, so long as you have a friend nearby. Each player has a set amount of stamina and each punch they throw lowers that stat. If the cops show up, you have to return to your starting position and nasty neighbors drop flower pots on your head to lower your stamina. The winner is the player that manages to push their opponent the farthest to the left or right before the time runs out or they fall in the manhole. The 3D is done pretty well and, while it’s a bit simple, you can pick it up and play for just a few minutes each session.
Eco Shooter: Plant 530, which is available for 200 points on the Wii, is the final choice of the month for Club Nintendo. Developed by Intelligent Systems, of Advance Wars and Fire Emblem fame, this game is about the eventual truth that aliens are going to turn our trash into vicious monsters. Compatible with the rarely used Wii Zapper peripheral, this on rails shooter has you blasting cans, or cannoids as they’re called, in an effort to save the planet. You can increase your score by keeping the cans in the air and they’ve included a challenge mode to keep the game going after you’ve finished the story.
While you do have to earn points with Club Nintendo to get these games, if you’re getting the points anyway, it’s free enough for me. If you regularly buy games for the 3DS, DS and/or Wii, then it’s essential to check in with Club Nintendo each month to see what awesome deals they have going. Check back here on ESH soon for part two where I’ll be looking at the latest freebies from Playstation Plus.