The Best Wii U eShop Games of 2012

Wii U’s eShop may be small, but which games proved the mightiest of them all?

By Katharine Byrne. Posted 01/11/2013 10:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Wii U’s eShop may still be in a rather nascent stage of development, but there’s little doubt that its five launch titles stand heads and shoulders above those available on WiiWare back when Wii first launched in 2006. Sure, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King and LostWinds were must-have titles, but games like Pop, Defend Your Castle, TV Show King and V.I.P Casino: Blackjack left a lot to be desired. Of course, with only five titles to choose from, it’s perhaps unsurprising that all of them ended up making the list– the only question is what order did we rank them in?


BEST WII U eSHOP GAME

Trine 2: Director’s Cut

Puzzle-platformer fans, rejoice. The Trine series has finally made its way to Wii U, and this revamped Director’s Cut of Trine 2 is like plundering a goblin’s treasure trove and discovering all the finest jewels have been left for the taking. Not only is it one of the most beautiful games on Wii U, eShop or otherwise, but it’s also an incredibly intelligent and imaginative game that offers no end of creative solutions to its many mysteries and secrets.

Set in a world even more enticing than Tolkien’s Middle Earth, this high-fantasy adventure sees you step into the shoes of not one, but three adventurers who are all bound together by a mysterious artefact known as the Trine. You’ll conjure and levitate objects as a wizard, grapple to high platforms and pick off enemies with your thief’s bow, and wade in with your knight’s sword and shield when any close-range combat comes calling, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide how you’ll take advantage of each character’s individual skills and abilities. Accompanied by an excellent score and intuitive GamePad controls, Trine 2: Director’s Cut is most certainly the finest gem in Wii U’s eShop crown.


BEST WII U eSHOP GAME RUNNERS-UP

Little Inferno

It may be slightly overpriced, but Little Inferno is a curious little eShop gem that definitely merits its place on this list. The premise is simple. Burn stuff to earn coins to burn more stuff and watch the hilarious reactions ensue. Poop-exploding kitties, warbling opera singers and rabbid teddy bears are just a few of the items available to order from your “catalogue” of goodies, but the real fun comes from unearthing the various combos that let you access even more catalogues of weird and wonderful fireplace fodder. There’s also an intriguing story to go along with it, played out through a series of cryptic letters from your neighbour Sugar Plum, but they too soon get burned along with everything else! With the same wacky humour as The World of Goo, Tomorrow Corporation’s Wii U début will set your heart on fire.

See the Nintendojo Review.

Chasing Aurora

One of the must-have multiplayer titles on Wii U, this fascinating indie game comes courtesy of Broken Rules, the team behind the acclaimed WiiWare hit, And Yet It Moves. It may not feature much in the way of single player, but Chasing Aurora‘s multiplayer games use the GamePad to great effect, riffing off childhood games like tag and hide and seek to create fast and furious fun for all the family. Art lovers will also dig its unique paper pop-up style visuals, making it one of the most distinctive games on eShop to date.

See the Nintendojo Review and our interview with the developers.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Nano Assault Neo

A sequel to last year’s Nano Assault on 3DS, this twin-stick shmup once again puts you in the role of a pilot who must fly a microscopic ship round a human body to eliminate all signs of infection. It sounds a little far-fetched, but the result is a surprisingly solid shooter with frentic, fast-paced action with plenty of added spectacle to liven things up. It may not last very long, but at least the poor soul whose body you’re invading will be cured in no time.

Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition

It may just be an HD remake of its wildly popular 3DS counterpart, but Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition certainly isn’t a lesser game because of it. In fact, it’s got much more to offer, as the Wii U version now boasts 21 extra “Hyper” versions of each level, making each one even more difficult than ever before. It may have lost the 3D effect, but few can argue with its glorious HD visuals.


WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?

Do you agree with our choices? Vote for which game you think should be number one!

What's the best Wii U eShop game of 2012?

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