Playing an awesome Wii U game doesn't necessarily mean having to cough up a giant wad of cash. There's a lot of downloadable fare on the eShop, some of it independently made, which offers as much quality as a retail-priced title.
Here are some of the best games you can grab off the Wii U eShop for $14.99 USD or less. These are base prices: Titles go on and off sale all the time.
Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition ($7.99 USD)
Maybe you played Éric Chahi's iconic action / puzzle game when it hit North American shelves as "Out of This World" for the SNES and Genesis. Or, if you're a real old soul, maybe you played the original 1991 release for the Amiga.
Whether you've yet to make the acquaintance of genius physicist Lester Knight Chaykin (who proves nerds have been fighting for survival against hostile alien forces since before Gordon Freeman hefted his first crowbar), or whether you're unfamiliar with Chahi's nameless, sun-blasted alien world, you should drop a little dosh on the 20th Anniversary Edition of Another World. It's a brutal game, but it's also the blueprint for many adventure titles that followed.
Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition ($9.99 USD)
When space hooligans wrestle away from the Law's iron grip and start bouncing around Planet Land like the own the joint, it's up to peace-keeping cyborg Patricia Wagon to make things right.
Like its Nintendo 3DS predecessor, Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition revolves around switch mechanics that cause blocks to solidify and fade out of existence at the touch of a button. It's good exercise for your brain as well as your trigger finger, and those cute high-resolution graphics are a joy to regard.
Pushmo World ($9.99 USD)
Happy little Mallo understands your love for retro pixel art. That's why his puzzle games -- including Pushmo World for the Wii U -- revolve around pulling, pushing, and stretching blocks to make elaborate stepping stones that sometimes begin (or end) as pixelated snapshots of your favorite 8-bit Nintendo heroes and villains.
Pushmo World cooks your brain's logic center, but in a gentle and rewarding way. Even better, you can make your very own stages to send out to the people you love and hate. Try to keep those designs PG, friend.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition ($14.99 USD)
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a Metroidvania title that's packed with festive colors, intense action, and elements of Mexican myth and culture. You dispatch enemies using a large roster of (exaggerated) luchador throws and punches, and juggling your foes for a dozen uppercuts before slamming them into the ground with a spine-shattering air suplex is as satisfying as it sounds.
Also, you can wear a chicken suit. Hey, you're a luchador. Themes and masks are very serious business.
Don't Starve: Giant Edition ($14.99 USD)
Here's a funny thing about surviving: Most of us have no clue how to do it. That's not to suggest it's easy to get up off our chair and go on the hunt for a Big Mac when we get peckish, but even rustling up fast food means someone else is handling the preparation, the fire-making, and, er, the killing.
Don't Starve: Giant Edition is a darkly humorous survival game that puts you in touch with your dormant primal side. The instructions are right there in the title: Don't starve, dude. Also, don't tick off Beefalo, don't provoke pigs, and for the love of everything holy, build a fire when the sun starts to go down.
Child of Light ($14.99 USD)
With its menagerie of lost princesses, pipe-smoking faeries, archer mice, and tumbling jesters, Ubisoft's Child of Light is as whimsical as an RPG gets. It's a deeply imaginative and relaxing game with some stunning environment and character designs.
Child of Light's battle sequences also gets you actively involved with the fight, making for an experience that's wholly engaging. You'll feel a bit sad when it's over.
Shovel Knight ($14.99 USD)
Shovel Knight may be the new gold standard for retro-style action games. This shovel-wielding, bucket-headed hero doesn't simply ape the classics of the Nintendo era. Rather, Yacht Club Games took the time to thoroughly study and understand why Castlevania and Mega Man 2 still hold up after aging for decades.
Shovel Knight's controls are watertight, its soundtrack is unbelievable, and its graphics offer a careful yet somehow effortless blend of nostalgia-inducing pixel art and modernized effects. Buy it, play it, love it.
Duck Tales: Remastered ($14.99 USD)
Awoo-oo. Wayforward's remastering of Capcom's classic platformer has its detractors, but it's also a fun and ambitious outing. Besides, we're not going to see the original on Virtual Console any time soon, if ever. So if you want to see a duck walk on the moon, and why wouldn't you, Wayforward's title is your best bet. It looks great, it sounds great, and it even features original voice acting from Mr Scrooge himself, Alan Young.