January is traditionally a quiet time for retail videogames, the holiday rush being out of the way with everyone back to work or school. But there are still new games turning up online...
WiiWare -- One new game this week: Newton vs. The Horde, a physics-based action/puzzle game where two scientists must fend off attacking enemies by flinging things around with the Wii cursor.
DSiWare -- Two new E-rated games this week... it appears that Nintendo's handheld focus is shifting more and more to the 3DS, and skewing a little younger on the older platform. Lola's Alphabet Train is an alphabet learning game for 3-7 year olds; it's got a cute panda host, and the exercises seem solid. Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish owes some inspiration to Earthworm Jim, and despite the name it has nothing do with TV's Flipper the dolphin.
3DS eShop -- One new 3DS-exclusive game, along with the DSiWare titles -- Mutant Mudds, a retro-style platformer with parallax 3D backrounds and pleasant chiptune music. There's also a free downloadable demo of retail 3DS title, Mario & Sonic at the 2012 Olympic Games.
XBox Live Arcade -- Two new, inexpensive, indie-style downloadable games this week, a pleasant break from the recent trend towards more substantial $15 XBLA games. Quarrel is a family word game with strategic territory-claiming elements, and Puddle is a tilt-based fluid-physics puzzler.
PS3 on PSN -- One new game this week: Scarygirl, the platformer based on the popular toys and graphic novels. I got a closer look at the XBLA version that came out last week, and while the art style is nicely preserved in the backgrounds, the camera is pulled back farther than I'd like -- we don't really get to see the terrific character designs that make Scarygirl special. Also, my update last week was inaccurate -- I missed AMY, the survival horror game with an interesting young protagonist but a collection of terrible reviews since its release; and Zack Zero, an old-school platformer with decidedly current-gen graphics.
PSOne Classics -- Nothing new here this week.