Gaming

Claim These Free 3DS and Wii U Games Before the eShop Closes

The eShops on the 3DS and Wii U are set to shut down on March 27. In these final days of each storefront’s existence, players are flocking to purchase their desired games. However, if you’re unable to spend any money on games for these systems before the shutdown, you’re probably wondering what free options are available. Unfortunately, the 3DS and Wii U weren’t particularly known for their free-to-play offerings, so the selection is limited. Additionally, many of the available free-to-play games, or “free-to-start” titles as Nintendo called them, heavily rely on microtransactions, rendering them less enjoyable after the eShops close.

Nevertheless, there are still some worthwhile games to check out before the eShop’s discontinuation. Here are six recommendations:

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe key art.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Originally a minigame within Kirby: Planet Robobot, Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is now a standalone release that offers a 2D action RPG experience. With its unique class-based system and emphasis on exhilarating boss fights, this game is perfect for quick and enjoyable play sessions. The microtransactions, called Gem Apples, don’t hinder progress but simply accelerate it. While Super Kirby Clash offers a similar experience on the Nintendo Switch, if you prefer the smaller size and portability of the 3DS, I highly recommend downloading Team Kirby Clash Deluxe for free and perhaps investing in some Gem Apples before March 27.

Pokémon Picross and Pokémon Shuffle

Pokemon Picross key art.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

These two Pokémon puzzle games were originally free-to-play on the Nintendo 3DS and are exclusive to this platform. Pokémon Picross is a themed version of the classic number puzzle game, where players create images of Pokémon. On the other hand, Pokémon Shuffle is a match-three puzzle game where players line up icons of the same Pokémon to inflict damage and ultimately catch their Pokémon opponent. Unfortunately, both games feature increasing currency requirements and wait times as you progress, and these mechanics cannot be bypassed with microtransactions after the eShop closes. Nonetheless, fans of Pokémon and puzzle games will undoubtedly appreciate these unique adaptations of beloved formats.

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Swapdoodle

Swapdoodle key art.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you enjoy drawing with the 3DS stylus, then Swapdoodle is a must-have before the 3DS eShop ceases operation on March 27. This app is an enhanced version of Pictochat from the Nintendo DS era and Swapnote on the 3DS, providing players with a more comprehensive set of drawing tools. While there are microtransactions for additional features such as different color shades and drawing tutorials for various Nintendo characters and objects, the default drawing tools and free Starter Pack offer more than enough to make Swapdoodle an enjoyable doodling app to have. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to access Swapdoodle before the 3DS eShop disappears.

Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge

Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge gameplay
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For amiibo collectors, I highly recommend downloading Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge for free before it’s gone. This charming puzzle platformer tasks players with guiding adorable toy-like figures to the end of each level. By utilizing different amiibo, players unlock new characters, unique abilities, and special levels. Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge offers a simple yet enjoyable experience that hasn’t been overshadowed by Nintendo Switch Online or compromised by poor quality. It’s worth noting that this game is available for both the Wii U and 3DS, but if you own an older 3DS model, I suggest opting for the Wii U version.

Daikon Set

Claim these free 3DS and Wii U games before the eShop closes
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While there are several indie games available for free on the Wii U eShop, Daikon Set stands out as an enjoyable collection of three simple games. Chroma Star challenges players to defend a barrier from incoming ships by shooting them with color-matching bullets. In Pink Mite, players must avoid continuously falling spikes and projectiles as a small bubble. Lastly, The Queen requires players to protect the pink part of their rectangle from a bouncing pellet. Daikon Set may not be a must-play experience, but if you appreciate retro Atari-style games and crave a taste of the eccentric free offerings during this Nintendo era, you’ll likely find some enjoyment in these simple yet entertaining games after the eShop closes.

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Editors’ Recommendations

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