There is no doubt that DSiWare is the downloadable, ugly stepsister to WiiWare, as well as Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and even Steam. The service barely receives any mainstream media attention and many gaming outlets fail to review titles for the platform. But do not let that fool you. There are many good — even great — games to pick up on your DSi and DSi XL, and 2010 saw truly magnificent titles from WayForward, Nicalis, Capcom and Q-Games.
BEST DSiWARE GAME
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge
Developer WayForward takes its hip-swerving, purple-haired genie to DSiWare and makes her shine in Shantae: Risky’s Revenge. Whether it’s the gorgeous 2D, sprite animations or a robust battling/magic mechanic, Shantae grants gamers an impressive Metroidvania-like title on the go. There is more care and love instilled in this title than most home console games, and without a doubt Risky’s Revenge deserves to be considered as not only one of the best DSiWare games in 2010, but best overall DS games as well.
BEST DSiWARE GAME RUNNERS-UP
Cave Story double-dipped on Nintendo downloadable services in 2010, hitting WiiWare first and then DSiWare. And while the handheld version lacks the visual upgrades of its WiiWare counterpart, the ability to take Quote on the road more than makes up for it. This non-linear, side-scrolling game packs an impressive punch of multiple endings, fast-action combat and fascinating worlds.
Developers Mad Monkey and Motion Twin mixed the brick-breaking Arkanoid mechanic with RPG-light elements to create Alpha Bounce — an addictive and highly entertaining DSiWare game. The hundreds of levels to play are astounding, and the ability to upgrade your paddle and ball(s) gives you a bit more creativity in tackling each area. The setup may sound simple, but something about this game pulls you back time and again for just one more round.
BEST DSiWARE GAME HONORABLE MENTIONS
X-Scape, Dark Void Zero, and Flipper
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Tell us which of the above titles you’d pick as the winner, or if you think another game is more deserving, select “Other” and tell us in the comments!