As Thanksgiving approaches, there's a possibility we will all have some holiday time for a quick round of gaming. And sometimes the titles best suited to a little extra free time are small-scale downloadable games. Here's what's new this week...
WiiWare -- One new game, and a bunch of intriguing demos this week. Snowpack Park is a virtual pet/animal husbandry simulation with minigames and penguin care aplenty. Most gamers will find the free downloadable demos of the much-anticipated And Yet It Moves, BIT.TRIP.FATE, Jett Rocket and ThruSpace more interesting.
Wii Virtual Console -- We even get a VC game this week, with the Neo-Geo platformer SPIN MASTER arriving.
DSiWare -- Three new titles this week. Tetris Party Live brings the online Wii game to the DSi. Supermarket Mania is the latest in what I've recently learned is officially called the "time management" genre. Music On: Electric Guitar continues the music tutorial series, simulating an electric axe with distortion, flanger and delay pedals, though the DSi's single-point-of-contact touch screen limits the instrument's capabilities.
XBox Live Arcade -- Two new games last week. Alien Breed 3: Descent continues the episodic series that started in 2009 and just resumed this past September. And Namco Bandai's Pac-Man Championship Edition DX revisits the excellent 2006 update of the classic arcade game, with new morphing mazes, features and challenges.
Game Room -- After an Atari 2600-centric lineup last week, this week focuses on the Intellivision, with three new releases. Space Battle is the classic fixed-sight shooter, also seen on 80's TV as a call-in target-shooting game. Skiing puts a human being on two flattish pieces of wood and/or fiberglass, careening down a hillside covered with frozen water. Slap Shot: Super Pro Hockey is a late INTV release, a more action-packed sports simulation than the original Mattel NHL Hockey game, with player-vs-computer support.
PS3 on PSN -- Three games debuted last week. 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures 2 brings more fun, crazy minigolf action to the PS3. Sega's classic Crazy Taxi still holds up and is well worth playing if you've never experienced its pedal-to-the-metal looniness. Sky Fighter is a 2.5-D side-scrolling shooter with looping flight mechanics reminiscent of Time Pilot and Sky Kid.
PSOne on PSN -- The crickets are playing a concert here these past few weeks.