Nintendo announced back in February that they will be closing down their DS eShop for good in March of 2023. Meaning that any games that were exclusive to that shop will be banished to the annals of gaming history, never to be seen again. Now the 3DS has had some great games over the years and it can be hard to keep track of which ones are are worth your time. Here is a list of seven Nintendo DS eShop exclusives you should check out and grab before they are gone.
Looking for more retro games? Here are the best sites to buy them online
1. Attack of the Friday Monsters
This game is like if Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli got to make their own Godzilla movie, with a little dash of Encyclopedia Brown for good measure. It’s part RPG and part Visual Novel with a card game mechanic when it comes to battling. It is told through the eyes of a young boy named Sohta, whose family has just moved to town and set up a dry-cleaning business.
Get to know the town’s residents, collect monster cards and use them to battle your friends, and begin to uncover the mystery as to why a giant Kaiju appears in town every Friday. Complete with a plucky score and hand-painted backdrops, Attack of the Friday Monsters is a loving homage to childhood imagination
2. Denpa Men
The Denpa Men series is a wonderful amalgamation of features that are reminiscent of many of Nintendo’s other properties. It’s partially a turn-based dungeon crawler similar to the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, with the house decorating and the cozy neighborhood environment of Animal Crossing, and the Augmented Reality feature that’s become so popular with Pokémon Go. But instead of catching Pokémon, you use the camera on your 3DS to go out into the real world to capture little mischievous pikmin-like sprites called Denpa Men.
Build your team by going out into the world and finding Denpa Men, then send them into various dungeons to complete quests. A mobile version of the Denpa Men series was attempted in 2019 but it never got off the ground. If you want to experience these playfully bizarre titles, the eShop may be your last chance.
3. Phoenix Wright: Duel Destinies
Whether you’re a new Phoenix Wright fan who just got into the games after having a bunch of Ace Attorney meme videos recommended to them on their YouTube suggested page, or you’re a long time fan of the series but somehow skipped the 3DS eshop entry Duel Destinies. This is your sign to give it a shot.
Duel Destinies makes the departure from 2D to 3D animation, including crimes scenes for you to investigate in three dimensions. Duel Destinies also introduces a new lawyer by the name of Athena Sykes. Missing out on this game will mean you’ll never meet her or get to experience the thrill of legally representing an Orca to prove they are not the killer whale they’ve been accused of being.
Despite the fact that the main narrative thrust of the Pushmo series (follow-up titles: Crashmo and Stretchmo) is saving endangered children, these games are some of the most entertaining and delightful puzzle games the 3DS has to offer. Push and pull blocks into various positions in order to climb 250 increasingly complicated towers.
Unlock new gadgets that add more dimension and challenge to future puzzles, and even go back and play old ones with your newfound tools. The replay value of this game grows exponentially when you unlock the Pushmo Studio where you can build your own puzzles as well as play puzzles made by other users from around the world.
Before there was Cadence of Hyrule, there was HarmoKnight. A rhythm-based side scrolling platformer adventure made by none other than Pokémon’s own Game Freak Studios.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a Rhythm-based platformer, every enemy, every jump, and every collectible coin is set in tune with the music playing underneath you. Rather than using your reflexes and combat timing, you must use your sense of rhythm. While it might be hard to catch on to initially, once you get into the grove, you’ll unlock a gameplay experience that feeds the same part of your brain that loves when action movies have fight scenes choreographed around music.
6. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
This one should be a high priority for Fire Emblem fans as it was a turning point in the franchise that laid the groundwork for Fire Emblem: Three House and Three Hopes by adding mechanics like the ability to socialize with your fighters outside of combat and giving you the choice of which side history you want to fight for, thereby drastically changing the story.
Fire Emblem Fates had two physical releases that chronicled the same war but from different sides. However, Revelation was a third release that was DLC only purchasable if you owned either Birthright or Conquest, that gave a third alternate story based on if chose to remain neutral in the war and bring the opposing sides together. This version of the story and only this version will disappear completely from gaming history when the eShop closes.
7. Crimson Shroud
Quite possibly the closest thing to an actual D&D game that the DS eShop can offer. Crimson Shroud is a medieval fantasy RPG where all the combat and crucial story decision are decided by actual dice rolling and your characters are even represented by figurines rather than animated avatars. You command a group of three mercenaries (your classic fighter, archer, and mage) on their journey to retrieve a powerful magical artifact, the titular Crimson Shroud.
The game might have a steep learning curve if you aren’t familiar with Tabletop RPGs, but that’s because it was specifically catered with that audience in mind. That being said, it isn’t anything so detrimental that the game is unplayable if you have no tabletop experience, eventually you will get the hang of it and who knows? It might get you into real world Tabletop RPGs.
Wanna get into Tabletop gaming? Find out where to get started here.