15 Best Nintendo 3DS eShop Exclusives That Are Retiring

Princess Peach navigates a 3D level as the player solves puzzles on the 3DS touch screen.

Screenshot: nintendo

Last night, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops will cease operations indefinitely in March 2023. A dire consequence of this is that a number of 3DS eShop-exclusive games will simply not be available for purchase anywhere.

Also, some vital features will start being disabled much sooner than that. From May 23 this year, you will no longer be able to use credit cards to add funds to your account at these stores, and you will no longer be able to use eShop cards from August 29.

Of course, this all sucks hugely for the preservation of the game. a now deleted FAQ answer Regarding the eShop closures, Nintendo mentioned that some legacy games are available through Nintendo Switch Online libraries and more will be added, but said “we currently have no plans to deliver classic content from ‘another way”.

Currently, these libraries consist of games for the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and Nintendo 64, and given the 3DS’ dual-screen format and 3D technology, it’s unlikely that many games made for this platform will make the jump to Switch Online. time soon, if at all.

It also sucks that whether or not you can access older games is largely down to the whims of the big companies. Many eShop exclusives come from lesser-known franchises, so Nintendo has no financial incentive to port them to the Switch (which is a difficult and resource-intensive development process).

To highlight what’s lost as a result of the eShop closing and why it matters, here are some picks for some of the most notable and enjoyable games for which the 3DS eShop has been the exclusive home. .

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Fates (3DS)

This 3DS-exclusive entry in the cult lawyer series takes advantage of the system’s unique three-dimensional visuals while weaving another labyrinthine story. You know what to expect.

Pushmo / Crashmo / Stretchmo

It’s hard to go wrong with any of Nintendo’s puzzle trilogies that push and pull blocks. Climbing each tower with only your modest manipulation skills proves to be an increasingly difficult challenge.

Dillon’s Rolling Western

It’s pretty rare for franchise-happy Nintendo to create an all-new character action game, but that’s exactly what it’s done with this bizarre action/tower defense hybrid featuring a varmint western roly -poly. An acquired taste.

crimson veil

A screenshot of Crimson Shroud, a fantasy tabletop game.

Screenshot: Level 5

crimson veil differs from most Japanese RPGs in its emphasis on recreating tabletop gaming conventions, including using dice to determine many outcomes. If this clicks for you, you might love it.


A screenshot of a puzzle game against a starry sky.

Screenshot: Circle Entertainment

Perhaps the least known game on our list, Wakedas is a nice no-frills package. But it nails exactly what a brain teaser should by offering a series of really engaging, but not overly strenuous, logic tests. Go in peace and swipe some tiles.

Fluidity: Spin cycle

Fluidity: Spin cycle is one of those experimental motion-based games that Nintendo loved so much a decade ago, and neat play: you have to manipulate water (and therefore your 3DS) to complete objectives and clear each course. Pretty hard to imitate this one properly.

The Denpa Men: They came in waves

Remember when Japan went crazy over the fight against barcodes in the 90s? (No? Well, that was one thing.) Denpa men gave the concept a 21st century makeover by letting you generate your little warriors by scanning your real world surroundings for Wi-Fi signals or QR codes. Then you send them to dungeons to fight for you. If you like the first game, the eShop is also home to two sequels that expand the concept even further.


A screenshot of Kokuga, a futuristic shooter.

Screenshot: G.rev

kokugais unusual mainly because the 3DS never exactly drowned in the original shoot ’em ups, and this one has a better legacy, most of it coming from ace arcade devs G.rev. It looks cool and provides little bits of tank shooting action.

Rusty’s Real Baseball

Rusty’s Real Baseball is notable not only for its surprisingly enjoyable series of baseball-themed minigames, but also for being one of Nintendo’s first experiments with free-to-play microtransactions. It might not really make you want to rush out and play it, but really, the arcade-like mini-games on offer are good and the writing is fun.

BOXBOY! (series)

BOXBOY! and its two suites accompany Pushmo games as examples of puzzle design less is more. Here, a unique mechanic allows you to generate loads of free-form boxes from your character, which you’ll have to use all over the place to solve the sometimes mind-bending physical puzzles. A true original.

Friday Monster Attack!

A mother yells at her son "do not be late."

Screenshot: Level 5

Friday Monster Attack! is a brief but evocative portrait of a bygone time and place: 1970s Japan, as experienced by a child. The lines between reality and TV fantasy blur as you play cards with your friends and (eventually) defend your city against space intruders. Not for everyone, but cool vibes for sure.

Link-A-Pix Color

A screenshot of a puzzle with a dinosaur and a person in it.

Screenshot: Light wood games

Picross? Nah brah, it’s something totally different. Link-A-Pix puzzles allow you to strategically connect numbers on a grid to form pictures. However, there is only one right way to meander all the lines, so a reflective cap is absolutely necessary. This one is also available on later consoles, we really like it. For a similar but probably more difficult challenge, see also Slitherlink by Nikoli.

We need protectors

A colorful JRPG map in Gotta Protectors.

Screenshot: Ancient

To forget youtheir defense, it is the defense of the princess. This wild multiplayer Game offers you to level up different heroes to protect a hapless royal from an onslaught of ever-spawning enemies. It’s one of those games that looks like an NES production but throws a lot more bullshit on the screen than was possible 35 years ago, with vintage Yuzo Koshiro sound complementing the charming mix. -melo.

Picross e (series)

Look, if you like Picross, you already know it well, and the 3DS is a heck of a mother load of all that. Nintendoe” the series itself offers nine entries (e9 is reserved for Japan). Gorge yourself accordingly.

Mario and Donkey Kong: Moving Minis

On again, again Mario vs. Donkey Kong the series saw two entries on 3DS, with Minis in motion being an exclusive. Your goal is to guide the silly little robots to safety, and as always, the devil is in the details. You can also consult Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Starseven if it’s also on Wii U.

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