Japan-only NES classic comes to Nintendo Switch with a brand-new name

 Mystery Tower
Mystery Tower

This month's rollout of retro games for Nintendo Switch Online is here, and we've got maybe the most notable selection of titles in the history of the service.

The coolest addition is arguably Mystery Tower, whose name is going to be unfamiliar to even the most hardcore of retro enthusiasts. That's because this was a Japan-only Famicom release with a title that translates to Tower of Babel. While Nintendo no longer has the restrictions against religious iconography it did back in the NES days, it's perhaps easy to see why this version ditches the Old Testament verbiage. There's even a new title screen.

While this isn't the first Japan-only game to hit the Nintendo Switch Online catalog, it does seem to be the only one to have gotten anything approaching a proper localization effort - not that there's much text beyond the title screen to change. Tower of Babel (or, now, Mystery Tower) is a 1986 Namco game where you use blocks to climb your way through increasingly obtuse levels. It's a solid action-puzzler for its era.

We're also getting Harvest Moon, which is notable as the SNES game that kicked off the whole farming RPG genre. Later entries in the series - which would eventually become known in the West as Story of Seasons - and of course indie games like Stardew Valley would refine the formula greatly over the years, but all the basics are here.

With the shutdown of the Wii U eShop, this is now the only current, legal way to play the original Harvest Moon. It might be the preferable way to play even if you keep retro hardware around, too, since original carts regularly sell for over $300 these days.

Then we've got Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble, a GBC classic notable for its use of an accelerometer, allowing you to tilt the handheld to control Kirby. The tilting action is fully emulated with Switch's modern motion control options which, again, makes this probably the ideal way to go back to this game in 2023. (Here's hoping the excellent WarioWare Twisted on GBA is coming up soon.)

Rounding out the collection is Blaster Master: Enemy Below on GBC, and while that's a well-regarded game in its own right, it does not have the same sort of unique notability of the other three games being added to the service.

All four games are available on the standard, non-Expansion Pack tier of Nintendo Switch Online right now.

A whole lot of the best NES games, best SNES games, and best Game Boy Color games of all time are now on Switch.