It’s probably time for the Nintendo 3DS to go, but before it does we need one last favour from Nintendo.
The continued life of the 3DS causes much conflict for Nintendo fans. On one hand it’s pleasing that the console recovered from its troubled launch to lead a long life, full to the brim with excellent games. On the other hand, many of us also have a Switch now.
Games like Metroid: Samus Returns, the Luigi’s Mansion remake, and the ports of Yoshi’s Woolly World and Kirby’s Epic Yarn have helped keep the 3DS ticking over, but at this point most of us would like the option to also play these games on a Switch.
It’s easy to grumble with the benefit of hindsight, of course. There was no guarantee that the Switch would be a hit. And it was sensible of Nintendo to hedge their bets, and not sunset the 3DS too quickly. However, the time is surely approaching for the console to wind down.
But before it goes, we have one last request.
A StreetPass puzzle
One of Nintendo’s most interesting 3DS innovations was the console-to-console communication system, StreetPass. StreetPass encourages owners to take their consoles with them – in sleep mode – and wirelessly exchange data with other 3DS owners.
Many 3DS games have StreetPass support, and there is a dedicated app, StreetPass Plaza, that has its own dedicated library of mini-games. There are two light RPGs, a side-scrolling space shooter, and a slot car racer, to name just a few. Each one uses the Miis of other 3DS owners you meet in fun and interesting ways.
My personal favourite is Puzzle Swap, a simple game in which you collect puzzle pieces to assemble into stereoscopic 3D dioramas. It’s nothing fancy, but some of the images – many of which are animated – are a delight to look at, and they make excellent use of the console’s 3D capabilities.
You can get Puzzle Swap pieces in two ways. The first is by spending Play Coins, a currency earned by going for a walk and using the 3DS’s pedometer. The other is by wirelessly exchanging data other players over StreetPass. And here’s the problem: some puzzle pieces can only be unlocked by interacting with other players, and these days it’s just really hard to find other 3DS users.
I live in London, and once upon a time, I would typically meet 6-7 other players on my way to work. I would either meet them on the underground, or by passing through the occasional StreetPass hotspot. In the last month, I have crossed paths just with one solitary player – Hello GrahamPix, if you’re reading – and he didn’t have any new puzzle pieces for me.
StreetPass, it seems, is dead. So Nintendo, before you dispatch the 3DS to the great console graveyard in the cloud, could you please update StreetPass Plaza so that us puzzle addicts can complete our libraries?
In all honesty, I’m not that eager to see what the Culdcept Revolt image will look like when it’s finished. I am, however, a completionist, and it would be nice to send the 3DS off with a full complement of Puzzle Swap images.
All we need is for Nintendo to patch Puzzle Swap so that it only requires Play Coins to unlock puzzle pieces. I’m happy to continue taking my 3DS on the road to earn them. In fact, I have diligently been carrying my Nintendo 3DS around for nearly eight years, so I feel that I’ve played my part in making the console a success.
Over to you, Nintendo.
List of US and EU Puzzle Swap Puzzles
- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf
- Brain Age: Concentration Training
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder
- Culdcept Revolt
- Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger
- Donkey Kong Country Returns
- Fantasy Life
- Final Fantasy Explorers
- Fire Emblem Awakening
- Kid Icarus: Uprising
- Kirby Fighters Deluxe/Dedede’s Drum Dash Deluxe
- Kirby: Planet Robobot
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe
- Kirby’s 20th Anniversary
- Kirby’s Dream Land
- Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
- Mario & Happy
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.
- Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
- Mario and Bowser
- Mario Kart 7
- Mario Tennis Open
- Mega Man
- Metroid Prime Federation Force
- Metroid: Other M
- Monster Hunter
- New Super Mario Bros. 2
- New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii
- Nintendo Pocket Football Club
- Nintendo Starlets/Princesses
- Picross 3D: Round 2
- Pikmin Short: Occupational Hazards
- Pikmin Short: The Night Juicer
- Pikmin Short: Treasure In a Bottle
- Pilotwings Resort
- Pokémon X and Pokémon Y
- Rhythm Heaven
- Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball
- Sonic Boom
- Star Fox 64 3D
- Super Mario 3D Land
- Super Mario 3D World
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- Tomodachi Life Friendship Fiesta
- Ultimate NES Remix
- Xenoblade Chronicles
- Yo-Kai Watch
- Yoshi’s New Island