Skip to main content

You need to get this oddball Zelda game for free before the 3DS eShop closes

The day of reckoning is fast approaching: The Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop isclosing down on March 27. When that happens, you’ll no longer be able to make any digital purchases on those systems. Considering that several games on each platform only ever got digital releases, it’s creating a bit of a preservation nightmare. Hidden gems that never came to another platform, like Affordable Space Adventures, will be totally lost to time.

But it isn’t just obscure indies that are impacted by that change: One of Nintendo’s biggest franchises is about to lose a piece of its storied history. You’ve only got just over a week to grab a certain Legend of Zelda game before it disappears forever — though it’s probably not one you’re expecting.

That lost game? My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

A picross puzzle in My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The 3DS-exclusive puzzle game (which I refuse to refer to by its full title henceforth) is the very definition of an oddity. It’s a traditional collection of picross puzzles, which have players drawing a picture by filling in squares on a grid. The twist is that the puzzles are themed around The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which had just gotten an HD Wii U remaster weeks before its March 20, 2016, launch. It was a cute marketing tie-in, but it didn’t just exist to sell Twilight Princess HD.

The left-field release was a marketing trick to get fans to sign up to My Nintendo, which replaced the publisher’s beloved Club Nintendo service that year. The rewards platform would connect Nintendo’s various systems and mobile games in one place, allowing players to collect coins and redeem them for digital goodies. As a way to celebrate the launch, Nintendo offered the Zelda Picross game as a freebie for subscribers. All they had to do was make an account, accrue 1,000 platinum points, and redeem their code.

Unfortunately, that long-running promotion will finally come to an end on March 27. Codes for the game will no longer be redeemable after the closure, which means it’ll disappear permanently. That means you’ll need to move fast if you want it. To get your copy, log into your My Nintendo account (or create one) and click the Earn Points button on the main page. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a long list of ways to earn points, many of which involve going to game websites and completing an easy mission. You can also get points through a few website Easter eggs, like clicking the coin box in the website’s footer.

Once you have enough points, go back to the main page and click Redeem Points. Click “Nintendo 3DS/Wii U software/digital content” and you’ll see Zelda Picross at the top of the list. Get your code and redeem it in the 3DS eShop to rescue it from the abyss of history.

OK. look: As far as Zelda games go, this is certainly the most low-stakes one we could lose to time. It’s a fairly light, standard picross game that only contains 45 Zelda-themed puzzles. Even so, it’s a shame to lose such an oddball freebie forever. Not only is it a strange piece of Zelda history, but it represents a fun moment in Nintendo’s past. It was technically a launch game for My Nintendo, and it’s only exclusive. It’s always a shame to lose something like that.

If you want to hold on to that institutional knowledge, head over to My Nintendo now before it’s too late. Otherwise, log out now and forever hold your peace.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Pick up these Nintendo games you can only get on Wii U and 3DS
xenoblade and pokemon picross headline eshop update chronicles x nintendo wii u

The Nintendo Switch has one of the greatest first-party lineups of any Nintendo console. In addition to several outstanding original games, a lot of awesome Wii U games like Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, and Mario Kart 8 finally got all the love they deserved when they were ported to the Switch. Even some 3DS games like Miitopia have made their way to Nintendo Switch. Still, that isn't all-encompassing, so when the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops are discontinued on March 27, we will lose access to some amazing first-party Nintendo games that aren't available elsewhere.
From black sheep in their respective series to new IP that tests out some novel ideas, four Wii U and four 3DS games that are still platform exclusives stuck out the most to us. If you're specifically looking for Nintendo-published games to pick up before the 3DS and Wii U eShops stop allowing the purchase of new games, consider picking up one of these titles.
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Considering the rest of the Xenoblade Chronicles series is on Nintendo Switch, it's very surprising that Xenoblade Chronicles X has not made the jump over yet. This RPG stands as the black sheep of the series, with a more gritty style and tone, mech suits, and a plot about humans who crash land on an alien planet after escaping Earth, which might be why it didn't come over before the trilogy was completed. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a great game in its own right, though, and also makes ample use of the Wii U GamePad for its detailed map and menus. As such, it's a worthwhile Wii U pickup for those who like to play games uniquely tailored to the system and enjoy seeing what the oddball entries in game franchises have to offer. 
Star Fox Zero

Read more
Claim these free 3DS and Wii U games before the eShop closes
free 3ds wii u eshop games nintendo and

The eShops on the 3DS and Wii U will shut down on March 27, so players are splurging on great games that they want to pick up in the final days of each storefront's life span. If you can't drop any cash on games for these systems before then though, you're probably wondering what's available from them for free. For the most part, it's demos, as the 3DS and Wii U weren't really known for their free-to-play offerings. Even then, many of the available free-to-play games -- or "free-to-start" titles as Nintendo called them in that era -- won't have much use after the eShops cease game sales because most of their content is gated by microtransactions.

Some might be a little more time-consuming due to in-game timers and other microtransactions, but are still worth checking out regardless. If you're wondering what full games you can play on 3DS and Wii U for free ahead of the eShop storefronts' discontinuation on March 27, we recommend checking out the following six titles.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe

Read more
Grab these Nintendo 3DS games before the eShop closes
wii u 3ds exclusive nintendo games eshop closure ever oasis

While the Nintendo 3DS had a rocky launch, the handheld system recovered gracefully and ended up having one of the best game lineups of any Nintendo system. Many of these 3DS games, like Super Mario 3D Land and Fire Emblem Awakening, were very popular and well-known. Still, the 3DS had a lot of fantastic games that not as many people know about and threaten to be lost to time when the eShop closes down.
The 3DS eShop will shut down soon, preventing people from purchasing new games. As such, we've been reflecting on the system's vast library and all of the fantastic games that 3DS owners will no longer be able to buy digitally. From games that we think will skyrocket even further in price after the store shuts down to some enjoyable hidden gems that didn't get the attention they deserve, you might want to snag these 3DS games before you can't anymore after March 27. 
Ever Oasis

Grezzo is one of Nintendo's most underrated developers. It's delivered top-notch The Legend of Zelda remakes like Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Link's Awakening. So what if I told you that it used that experience to make an original IP for 3DS that's one of the best-looking and expansive games on the system? Ever Oasis, a 2017 3DS game, follows a young kid as they help a water spirit named Esna build an oasis and try to save their brother from Chaos.
The result is a mix of 3D The Legend of Zelda and city management games. Players can venture out into surprisingly large open worlds and dungeons to restock and grow the number of "bloom booths." This mix of open-world exploration, dungeon crawling, and oasis-building will keep players engaged for dozens of hours, and it also stands as one of the deepest and best-looking action-adventure games on the platform. 
Ever Oasis didn't get much attention when it launched because the Nintendo Switch had been released a couple of months earlier. Still, it stands as one of the 3DS' best games, so it's a shame that more people don't know about it. It risks being forgotten forever now the 3DS eShop is closing down, so check it out before the closure; it will surpass your expectations. 
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Read more