There were first steps into the world of original downloadable games made by Nintendo in 2008. WiiWare, which worked with the original Wii, was launched in 2008. In the end, it was a weird mix of different games. These games might be good to put on your Wii or Wii U first.
If you want to play WiiWare games, you won’t be able to until January 30, 2019. The real end date for WiiWare is March 26, 2018. You can’t add more Wii Points to your console on that date. After that date, you won’t be able to buy any more games with Wii Points. Not unless the points in your account haven’t been used.
So even though you have until 2019 to spend your points or re-download games you deleted from your console, there are only a few months left to add more points and get any games you’ve been putting off. Some of them are very good. Nintendo didn’t do a very good job of telling people about WiiWare games before Direct, so there are some you might not even know about. There are also some WiiWare games that are only available on WiiWare and won’t be available anywhere else soon.
This also applies to the games you can buy through the Wii’s Virtual Console. These games are mostly available on other platforms, and are more likely to show up again in the future.
1. Everything Old Is New Again
The Virtual Console was used before WiiWare came out. Apparently, the success of Nintendo’s WiiWare download service sparked a lot of game publishers to make new, retro-styled WiiWare versions of well-known franchises. They have been released elsewhere, but not all of them, like Mega Man 9 and 10, have. Some of them are only on WiiWare.
Most likely, Konami’s three “Rebirth” games are the best of them. Gradius Rebirth, Contra Rebirth, and Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth all have this title. These games were made by one of the best retro revival studios, M2. They’re short but fun, with pretty pixel art and beautiful soundtracks. Sunsoft’s Blaster Master Overdrive is also out.
It was one of Nintendo’s bigger games on WiiWare: Excitebike World Rally, which was a follow-up to the NES classic with isometric 3-D gameplay. It’s also possible to play classic arcade games with 3D graphics on the WiiWare system. Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid, Bust-a-Move, Bomberman Blast, Rainbow Islands Towering Adventure, Adventure Island: The Beginning and Star Soldier R are just a few examples of these. Nintendo’s own Dr. Mario Online Rx is one of the best examples of this.
These were not as well-received as Konami’s Rebirth series, but if you’re a fan of a series and want to see every single one, these are out there for you. Taito’s Space Invaders Get Even is a game that lets you play as the Invaders for a change (note that you need to purchase additional levels via DLC). A 3D version of the classic TurboGrafx-16 pinball game, Alien Crush Returns, is also available. It’s fun and has a weird story mode, but it’s not available anywhere else. This game is called Alien Crush Returns.
2. WiiWare Originals
Did you know that Nintendo and the company that made Fire Emblem, Intelligent Systems, made an on-rails first-person shooter about recycling tin cans? You know what? They did. It’s called Eco Shooter: Plant 530, and it’s only for the WiiWare. I played the first level a while ago, and… It’s not good, people. But it’s a fascinating piece of history that I don’t think Nintendo will ever re-release again.
Nintendo has released more “did you know” games, like Bonsai Barber, a game in which you use your hands to cut the leaves off of a bunch of cute vegetables. The game’s lead designer, who worked on Goldeneye, came up with the idea for the game. And Fluidity, a puzzle game made by Curve Studios in the UK with music by Richard Jacques, who has worked on Sonic games for a long time.
And we can’t forget about the ArtStyle games, either. These are five new games made by Skip, the creator of Chibi-Robo. They have simple graphics and new gameplay ideas. In Orbient, you’re a planetoid that moves between orbits because of gravity; in Rotozoa, you’re a single-celled organism that moves around in the primordial soup because of gravity. There are also a lot of DSiWare games in the series, but those are still available on the 3DS eShop for the time being.
This game is a lot like these. You, Me, and the Cubes is a clever puzzle game about throwing people at floating cubes. It was one of the last projects of the late game developer Kenji Eno (D, Enemy Zero). Rock ‘n’ Roll Climber is a rock-climbing game made by Japanese company Vitei (Steel Diver). It uses the Wii Balance Board to make the game more realistic.
It’s not as bad as Eco Shooter, but it’s not as good as ArtStyle, either. They include MaBoShi’s arcade, which is a set of simple mini-games that can be played by three people at the same time. Snowpack Park is a penguin raising simulator, and Pokemon Ranch and Pokemon Rumble are both games that let you play with your friends on the same TV screen.
If you want to play games made by big third parties, you can find them on WiiWare, but not very many. Earlier this year, Namco Bandai made Muscle March, which was a port of an arcade game that never came out. It was a game about bodybuilders who looked like they were having a good time. In the beginning, I didn’t like it very much. To make things even more fun, Konami has made Tomena Sanner. This is an automatic runner with some crazy mishaps. In the end, this was made for iOS and Android, but both of those versions are now gone, leaving only this one left.
There are a lot of Bit.Trip games made by Aksys Games. They were put together and released on a Wii disc, so there’s no need to buy the WiiWare versions.
Square Enix made a lot of WiiWare games, including two Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles spinoffs, two Crystal Defenders tower-defense games, and two Tales of Bearsworth Manor games. All of these games are only available on WiiWare.
And, of course, there’s the original American version of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, which is still available. You should play this (not very good) sequel to the SNES RPG on your PSP instead of on your WiiWare version, which has completely different graphics that look more like those in the original. Not enough to get this version, but if you do, keep in mind that the 800 Wii Point cost only buys you the first episode. You’ll have to spend another 2900 Wii Points to buy the rest of the episodes through in-game purchases.
Indie game studios made a lot of WiiWare games, but most of them were not very good and were also made for other platforms. You can get the Greek mythology platform game NyxQuest on Steam, for example, with better graphics. NyxQuest is a good game (even though it lacks the pointer controls of the original). If you start with the game on WiiWare, it has since been made for other platforms. But some games are only available on WiiWare, like Wayforward’s LIT, which is only available on the Wii.
3. ‘Tales of Monkey Island’
“Tales of Monkey Island” is a puzzle-adventure game series with five episodes. They’re all great, so it makes sense to put them all together as one wonderful, funny, clever WiiWare game.
In addition, the “Tales of Monkey Island” games can also be played on PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, iOS, and other Macintosh operating systems, as well
4. ‘And Yet It Moves’
A great game for the Wii that was originally made for the PC, this unique platformer asks players to move the entire world to help one avatar get to his goal. With an imaginative visual design, clever puzzles, and a gesture control scheme far superior to the keyboard controls of the PC original, “AYIM” is everything you could want in a WiiWare title.
Also, the game “And Yet It Moves” can be played on Microsoft Windows as well as Linux, iOS, and Macintosh operating systems.
5. ‘World of Goo’
“World of Goo” was one of the first notable WiiWare games, and it’s still one of the best. It has clever, original, physics-based puzzles, beautiful graphics, and a very short but amusing story.
Playing the game “World of Goo” can now be done on Android, Nintendo Switch, Windows PCs, iOS, Linux, and Macintosh.
6. Art Style: Orbient
“Art Style: Orbient” is a game that is both simple and beautiful. It asks players to move an avatar planet with the gravitational force of other planets and stars. You can still feel great peace as you glide past burning suns to the game’s beautiful music even when the game is at its most difficult.
If you want to play “Art Style: Orbient,” you have to get a cartridge from Japan or find a GBA emulator and a ROM.