It's an unusually quiet week for consoles as the US Independence Day holiday approaches, though handhelds remain pretty active for gamers on the go...
WiiWare -- Nothing here this week, or on the Virtual Console.
DSiWare -- Two new games here... Flip the Core is a super-retro-styled 2D shooter, with a cube-flipping mechanic that thrusts the player's ship into different environments whenever it rotates. Escape the Virus: Swarm Survival is kind of a cross between Robotron: 2084 and those early videogames where the player's snake gets longer the more the player eats. Don't try that at home.
3DS eShop -- Two new games and two retail demos this week. First up is Marvel Pinball 3D, which features a number of classic Marvel Comics characters and 4 distinct tables; it's a quality effort from Zen Studios that might keep us busy while we continue to hope that Pinball Arcade makes it to the 3DS at some point. There's also Bomb Monkey, which looks like another match-three puzzle game but adds some fun new mechanics, primarily setting off the combos by dropping a bomb. From a monkey! And there are free downloadable demos of Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure, and Kingdom Hearts 3D. Nintendo is also launching a "Game of the Weekend" sale series, similar to sales on other platforms, so keep an eye out for deals.
XBox Live Arcade -- Same titles here as on the PS3 (below), although The Walking Dead episode 2 arrived on Wednesday instead of Friday. Lucky XBLAers!
PS3 on PSN -- One new title, Jeremy McGrath's Offroad, celebrates rough-and-tumble dirt track racing. And the second episode of The Walking Dead will be out on Friday if all goes as planned.
PSOne Classics -- An unusual licensed title shows up here -- The Little Mermaid II, based on the Disney direct-to-video sequel.
Notable on Steam and Elsewhere -- The long-awaited second episode of Telltale's The Walking Dead also hits the PC this Friday, barring any technical glitches. And the even-longer-awaited (if not necessarily as eagerly) Penny Arcade Adventures series finally sees episode 3 after a three-year hiatus, with a new pixel-art style and a new publisher.