It’s time to access the Wii U eShop one last time before it closes as we check out the Wii U exclusives to download before they’re gone!
It’s fair to say that Nintendo’s Wii U was not a success.
As of December 2019, just over 13.5 million units had been sold worldwide. Its predecessor, the Wii, sold over 100 million units – and its successor, the Switch, has sold over 122 million units to date.
The Switch, of course, is still going strong too.
Even the GameCube – widely seen as a disappointment, sales-wise, managed to shift close to 22 million units.
Yet Wii U owners have been vindicated in recent years by just how many of the games that were previously exclusive to the console have made their way to the Switch – and received the sales success they always deserved.
Many titles remain locked to the Wii U, however, partially due to its unique dual screen setup (for more on the Wii U’s software library, check out our list of the best Wii U games!).
With the Wii U’s digital storefront – the eShop – being closed for good at the end of March 2023, now is the time to grab yourself some of those exclusives before they become inaccessible forever.
Which games are the ones to go for, however?
Let’s find out, as we check out the Wii U exclusives to download while you still can!
Table of Contents
10. Dr Luigi (2013)
Fans of Dr Mario will be at home with this Luigi-themed, standalone sequel.
It doesn’t do anything particularly unusual with the puzzle game formula of the original game – though, in keeping with the Luigi theme, pills can now be thrown into the bottle in L-shaped formations, a little like Tetris blocks.
This was a download that appeared thanks to Nintendo’s ‘Year of Luigi’ back in 2013, which also saw Luigi taking over the 2D platforming fun in New Super Luigi U, again on the Wii U.
Though some online functionality is now long gone, the basics of Dr Luigi remain in place and this isn’t a title that’s likely to appear elsewhere any time soon.
So, if the thought of Luigi following his brother to medical school to deal with pesky – albeit somewhat cute – little infections is something that appeals to you, you’d better download Dr Luigi before you miss out on it altogether!
9. Chasing Aurora (2012)
Next up on our list of Wii U exclusives to download is Chasing Aurora!
This beautiful indie game isn’t just a Wii U exclusive, it’s also a Wii U launch title!
The art direction on this 2D game is simply superb, with support for up to five players to simultaneously soar through the air in what is a unique flying experience.
Good use is made of the Wii U’s Game Pad, with unique asymmetrical gameplay made possible thanks to the second screen.
There’s also a single player game that’ll get you used to its almost Nights: Into Dreams-style flying mechanics – though it’s fairly short and can be completed with relative ease.
Chasing Aurora is an absolutely gorgeous game with brilliant asymmetrical multiplayer gameplay – due to this, it’s unlikely to see the light of day on any other console, so snap it up on the Wii U while you still can!
8. Mini Mario and Friends: Amiibo Challenge (2016)
If you’re reading this and you’re a Wii U owner, go and download this game right now.
It’s free – and it’ll be another game that disappears when the Wii U shop is boarded up at the end of March 2023!
Not strictly a Wii U exclusive – as you can also get this on the 3DS – Mini Mario and Friends: Amiibo Challenge takes the puzzle platforming gameplay of Mario vs Donkey Kong (more on that soon, as you’ll see!), but you’ll need at least one Amiibo figure to get going.
Once you’ve tapped an Amiibo on the Wii U’s Game Pad, you can begin playing this really well designed adventure.
Using certain Amiibos unlocks special characters, stages and even music; some characters have their own special abilities and corresponding obstacles to overcome too!
It’s well worth giving this one a go – though getting hold of all of the Amiibos you can use in the game will present its own, special (and very costly, no doubt) challenge!
7. Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (2015)
OK, so we’ve cheated here too.
Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars is next up on our list of Wii U exclusives to download, It’s also a game that you can get on the 3DS, but there’s also a few reasons that you might want to pick up the Wii U version from the eShop while it remains open.
For one thing, though Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars was released physically, it was in very limited numbers – so the current asking price is absolutely ridiculous unless you buy it from the eShop.
Secondly, if you do buy Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars from the Wii U eShop, you’ll also be emailed a code to unlock the same game on the 3DS too!
So you’re getting the same game twice, admittedly – but for two different machines for the price.
All without having to worry about paying in excess of a hundred quid for it too!
As for the game itself, it’s full of the charming and addictive platform puzzle gameplay that the Mario vs Donkey Kong series has long been known for – we here at Retro Dodo would urge you to grab this one at a decent price before you lose your chance!
6. Game & Wario (2013)
The WarioWare games, which are filled with microgames that are genuinely only seconds in length, have always been an absolute riot.
The Wii U’s Game & Wario is no different, being a brilliant, hilarious game that makes great use of the host hardware.
Just like Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, this one is available in a physical edition. It’s not quite as pricey, but given its relative scarcity and popularity among Wii U owners, it’s still often quite a bit more expensive to buy it physically than it is to just download the eShop version.
So yes, in theory you certainly can get yourself a disc version of this game – meaning that, if you don’t make it to the eShop before closing time, you won’t miss out entirely.
But if you want to save yourself some cash it’s definitely worth getting your hands on a digital copy!
5. Pullblox World/Pushmo World (2014)
Known as Pullblox World or Pushmo World depending on what region you’re in (and even as Hikuosu World in Japan, just to add further confusion!), this is a sequel to 3DS game Pullblox/Pushmo.
The original was a puzzle game which made great use of the 3D features, to push and pull blocks using the perceived depth of the screen to assist you, this sequel is a Wii U exclusive with 250 levels to conquer.
It’s an incredibly clever, very addictive game – and it’s another that is unlikely, at this stage, to see the light of day on any other console.
It did get a sequel on the 3DS – known as Stretchmo, Fullblox or Hikudasu Hippaland, depending on the region – though.
Pullblox/Pushmo World also had a great feature, whereby players could use an in-game level editor – Pushmo Studio – to create their own stages. These could then be shared via QR codes or at the World Pushmo Fair within the game; sadly, as this used the long-defunct Miiverse online service on Wii U, much of this functionality is now already gone for good.
However, given that the main game has hundreds of single player puzzles, this game is definitely still worth downloading.
Though of course, you don’t have much time left to grab it for yourself!
4. NES Remix 2 (2014)
This second title in the NES Remix series is up next on our Wii U exclusives to download list. It isn’t quite as strong as the first one, but it’s still an essential purchase in the humble opinion of us gamers at Retro Dodo.
Released in a double pack physically as NES Remix Pack, the disc version is extremely scarce and will no doubt cost you an arm and a leg.
That’s not the case with the two eShop versions, thankfully – which remain priced very reasonably.
This collection contains content from 12 classic NES titles, with WarioWare-style challenges in the stage excerpts of each game.
Challenges take the form of defeating a certain number of enemies in a strict time limit, speedrunning an area or even using a certain item or stipulation (such as levels being in darkness, having disappearing platforms or even completing them with characters from a different game entirely) all being examples of what you’ll need to do to get through the game.
Interestingly, if a save file for NES Remix 1 is detected, you’ll unlock a challenge based on the 1990 NES World Championships!
Remember Luigi’s takeover of New Super Mario Bros with his own game? Well, NES Remix 2 features Super Luigi Bros, a complete version of the 8-bit Super Mario Bros that plays from right to left – and features Luigi as the main character!
3. NES Remix (2013)
The first NES Remix collection is not too dissimilar from the second, though it features challenges from 16 games in total, rather than the sequel’s 12.
In a further comparison to NES Remix 2, the first game has a total of 204 challenges – whereas the second game has 169.
So it’s clear from a raw stats point of view that NES Remix offers more bang for your buck – but on the whole, it also features a better selection of games too.
The first Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, all three NES Donkey Kong titles, Golf and Excitebike all feature in NES Remix – and it’s great to replay them again in creative, bite-sized chunks.
Of course, if you’re picking up NES Remix, you’ll almost certainly have to pick up NES Remix 2 as well in order to ensure you have all of the features unlocked once you’ve got save files for both on your Wii U.
Given that NES Remix was only available in physical form as a package with its sequel – which, as we’ve already covered, is incredibly expensive now – it’s well worth picking up the much more reasonably priced eShop versions while you can.
2. Star Fox Guard (2016)
Another game that was released physically, Star Fox Guard was initially packaged with the first print run of Star Fox Zero.
Subsequent prints of Star Fox Zero didn’t also include Star Fox Guard, however – meaning that now, copies of the physical edition are prohibitively expensive, with or without Star Fox Zero.
Incidentally, Star Fox Zero itself can usually be found for a very reasonable price, though it’s not the best Star Fox game by any means.
We digress, however.
Star Fox Guard is a unique entry in the series, as it’s actually a tower defence game starring the Jar Jar Binks of Star Fox: Slippy Toad.
It uses the Wii U Game Pad in a clever way, as you’ll be monitoring cameras around various bases and switching to them in order to fire their weapons when enemies approach.
With 100 missions included as well as a mission editor, this is a game that is well worth getting hold of – and, currently, the only way of doing so without breaking the bank is via the Wii U eShop.
Be quick, though – you don’t want to miss out on this one!
1. Affordable Space Adventures (2015)
A genuine, Wii U digital exclusive, Affordable Space Adventures isn’t (despite its name) the most cheaply priced game on the list and tops our list of Wii U exclusives to download! But if we had to advise you which single game to pick up prior to the demise of the Wii U eShop, it’d be this one.
A triumph of humour, great art direction, platform-specific mechanics and brilliant environmental storytelling, Affordable Space Adventures is a truly unmissable game.
Setting off on the budget intergalactic adventure of the title, you control your ship’s systems using the Wii U’s Game Pad – with your engines, thrust and other ship functions all controlled using the second screen.
Interestingly, despite coming up against fearsome alien wildlife, you don’t actually directly attack creatures – instead, you’ll need to scan creatures and the environment to work out how to deal with each particular threat or obstacle.
Though ostensibly a single player experience, the multiplayer support is superb – offering extra players control over various aspects of the ship and encouraging communication between players to ensure success.
It’s not a huge game, but it offers a decent challenge and numerous difficulty levels (which can handily be switched on the fly) – with some genuinely ingenious puzzles.
Affordable Space Adventures is a superb experience – and we cannot express enough just how much you need to get your hands on it before the Wii U eShop is gone forever!
When Does The Wii U eShop Close Forever?
The Wii U eShop closes down on the 27th of March, 2023.
How Do I Download Games To My Wii U?
It’s pretty straightforward – just open the eShop app on your Wii U to get access to these games, as well as titles that you’ve previously downloaded.
Why Can’t I Add Funds And Buy Directly Through My Wii U?
This is an interesting problem – Nintendo have already dropped credit and debit card verification for Wii U, so you’ll need to be a little creative to add the funds to your account and buy games on the Wii U.
You can buy eShop credit from retail stores; though these will be labelled as Switch eShop codes, you can also redeem them via your Wii U eShop.
You can also add credit to your Nintendo account via your Switch – and this will be accessible on your Wii U as long as your Nintendo account is linked to both machines.
Lastly, you can also simply purchase these titles via Nintendo’s website – any web browser should allow you to do this.
Make sure you’re signed in with the account you use on your Wii U, purchase the game on the website and then you can download it for free on your console.
What If I Need To Redownload Games That I’ve Previously Purchased Once The eShop Has Shut Down?
You’ll be able to redownload games and content that you’ve previously purchased via the Data Management app on your Wii U. This will work for ‘the foreseeable future’, but it’s always safest to keep as much as possible downloaded on your console in case Nintendo do decide to switch servers off completely.
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.