With no one game in particular standing out in this week's Nintendo Download other than the one with the meerkats in it, perhaps it's one of those weeks laced with hidden gems? Yes, we'll go with that.
And don't take my singling out of Lapland's Lead the Meerkats for WiiWare as any sort of endorsement. I'm just quite fond of meerkats, one of gaming's most neglected minorities, though there was a nice little surge around the time Disney's The Lion King came out.
Meercats aside, we've got several puzzle games, some mini-golf, fishing, and one of those EA Flip's kid's books. The Virtual Console is nowhere to be seen.
Anything strike your fancy?
Flametail Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: The year is 2099, and the solar system is littered with space junk. Our best hope for a tidier cosmos is to send the Flametail incinerator pod from planet to planet for a little fiery cleanup. Take control of the Flametail pod and start winding your way through obstacles, then watch as your flaming tail ignites blocks of troublesome debris and eventually eliminates them. Be careful not to work yourself into a dead end, and don't let the hazard line that follows you catch up to your tail or reach any leftover garbage. Luckily, you can find useful items (such as bombs or score multipliers) along your path and earn special power-ups (like radar or a missile) by collecting letter panels to spell particular words. Effectively burn up the floating garbage in the game's two modes - Space Tour and Time Limit - and earn new graphics and other surprises as you progress. The straightforward controls make it possible for anyone to take on the job of restoring space to pristine condition. Do you have what it takes to make your way to the outer reaches of the solar system?
Don't Cross The Line Publisher: Aksys Games Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Don't Cross The Line is a puzzle game in which the player must connect lines to various boxes, from one identical box to another, without crossing the lines they draw in the process. There are roughly 50 stages in all. Depending on how quickly you complete each stage, you'll be awarded with a bronze, silver or gold award. To unlock additional stages, players must achieve a certain ranking in previous stages. Can you outwit the puzzles at hand and receive gold awards all around?
Fire Panic Publisher: Playtainment Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Mild Cartoon Violence Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: As a futuristic firefighter in Fire Panic, you face the continuous challenge of extinguishing more and more fires that keep flaring up. To do this, use your Nintendo DSi™ stylus to mark the fastest route for your fire engine to reach each blaze. The engine will follow the line you draw and automatically douse each fire it passes along the way. It's a thrilling experience every time you play.
Flips: The Magic Faraway Tree Publisher: Electronic Arts Players: 1 Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Jo, Bessie and Fanny take their cousin Rick on an adventure he'll never forget to the magic Faraway Tree, where he meets Moon-Face, Silky the fairy and Saucepan Man. They visit all the different lands at the top of the Faraway Tree, including the Land of Spells, the crazy Land of Topsy-Turvy and the Land of Do-As-You-Please, where the children ride a runaway train. The new Flips range brings modern classics to the Nintendo DSiWare service. Readers can collect, solve, interact and learn as they progress through various stories and challenges.
Reel Fishing Challenge II Publisher: Natsume Inc. Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Wii Points™ Description: Reel Fishing is back! This sequel to the smash-hit fishing game takes you to a pristine new freshwater environment teeming with fish that look and move just like the real thing. You'll go after these wily lunkers with a huge variety of lures and refined controls that provide the most natural and realistic fishing action yet. You'll need every advantage you can get as Reel Fishing Challenge II's 30 varied missions put your angling abilities to the ultimate test. This stunning, true-to-life fishing experience will have you hooked.
Lead the Meerkats Publisher: Lapland Studio Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Animated Blood, Mild Violence Price: 1000 Wii Points Description: In Lead the Meerkats, you are a young meerkat with a lot to accomplish. You've been separated from your pack, and the time has come for you to form your own meerkat pack. Are you ready for the challenge? Name your pack and its meerkats. Dig burrow networks and enlarge your territory. Forage for food and grow your pack size. Stay on guard and be ready to make quick decisions. Run to the safety of the burrows or fight your enemies. Go head-to-head with a rival meerkat pack. Lead your pack to victory and rule the savanna. Lead the Meerkats is the first game to simulate the exciting life of meerkats, offering fun game play for animal lovers of all ages.
Zoo Disc Golf Publisher: Sonalysts, Inc. Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 1000 Wii Points Description: Each zoo enclosure is a "hole" in the Zoo Disc Golf course. The objective of the game is to get your disc into each "goal" using the fewest number of throws - the "goal" being the Emergency Animal Control station in each enclosure. A throw of the disc is equivalent to a stroke in golf and counts as one point. Available characters are the Rockhopper Penguin, Kangaroo, Panda and Meerkat. The Zoo Disc Golf course is made up of 18 holes. Each player is allowed a maximum of 10 strokes on each hole. When players reach 10 strokes, they move to the next hole with those 10 points added to their score.