Basically a slider puzzle with a grid-lock traffic jam twist this simple game is instantly understandable and instantly addictive.
Direct the on screen traffic using the DS's stylus, arranging the cars, busses and trucks in such a way as to release your own car from the jam. There are lots of levels with progressive difficulty and the instant accessibility of the game will have you hooked in minutes. A little bit more challenge by way of a moves counter or timer would create a classic but this puzzle game is still a great way to lose a few minutes on the back of the bus!
An age old game recreated faithfully and presented in a clear and effective way.
Chess computers were all the rage in the 80's when the processing power required could first be fitted into something smaller than Deep Blue but there's no reason to not still enjoy computer chess today! - Using the DS's stylus to direct your pawn army this 'no frills' recreation will serve you well for as long as you like. The computer thinks in real time (not instantly firing its move back) which brings a relaxing pace to this classic game.
Use the stylus to 'tilt' the 3D platform in order to roll your ball along a series of increasing complex shapes.
Another puzzle game that's easy to pick up and play that will quickly start to test your skill and dexterity. The graphics are simple and the edge detection doesn't always seem 100% but this doesn't undermine the challenge of the game and developing the right knack can still have you traversing some very demanding levels.
Remember Rick Dangerous, that arcane Amiga platformer from Core Design? Well it’s been ported to the DS, and is available for free as a home brew download! It’s a near-perfect conversion.
It runs smoothly, the graphics are crisp and it’s lost none of the character and charm offered by the original. Unsurprisingly, the action plays out on a single screen – switch between the top and bottom screens at the touch of a shoulder button. There are some built-in cheats too…
Unfortunately, the DS game has inevitably retained original’s flaws. Gameplay can be frustrating at times, killing the player in ways he couldn’t hope to anticipate or avoid. Also, the control system suffers from being based on the Amiga’s one-button joystick, with ‘up’ to jump and a combination of the d-pad and ‘B’ button used to shoot and lay dynamite. Irritating when you have three other buttons which remain unused.For all its faults, Rick Dangerous’ charm won over many gamers. As a free download, it’s certainly worth a look.
No prizes for what we’re getting here. Like any other MahJong game, just remove all the pieces on the grid by selecting them by pair. There are six different grids, representing six different levels of difficulty.
An additional hazard is that the game often crashes after four minutes and 30 seconds, so be quick – hopefully, this flaw will be addressed in a future release.
With a few bug fixes, Mahjong v0.99 for DS will be an essential download. It looks great, is played against a pleasing Japanese tune and is perfectly suited for the DS. It’s an ideal time-killer while you’re on a bus or waiting for a doctor’s appointment. With just a little more polish, would be almost commercial standard. In fact, make that ‘better than commercial standard’, because to justify the asking price, a commercial developer would have to add all sorts of things the game really doesn’t need. This is Mah Jong for the purist, and so much better for it.
Now here’s an original one. This is the sort of thing that could only ever be released on the home brew scene. Aren’t you lucky you bought MAX Media Player or Games ‘n’ Music?
Ribbon lets you loop, twist and fly through imaginative worlds, watching your ‘ribbon’ on the upper screen, but controlling it using the stylus on the lower screen. You scroll through several increasingly bizarre horizontally-scrolling stages, avoiding the enemies and obstacles. If you collide with something part-way along your ribbon, you lose a portion of it. Hit something head-on, and it’s game over. There are power-ups to gather too, and blowing into the mic lifts the tail of your ribbon.
This is certainly one of the better home brew titles out there, and it should take pride of place in any enthusiasts’ collection.
Now here’s a game. With a little spit and polish, developer Tinman could have a real winner on his hands, but even as things stand, it’s a fun blast...
You splatter the on-screen bugs with the stylus, tapping the touchscreen to squash them flat. Some bugs demand you tip them on their backs before you can squash them. Beat the time limit and it’s on to the next of the game’s three levels.
Although fun to play, SquashDS has a few flaws. The skills curve is too steep for starters. Instead of just three levels, why not make it three groups of three levels, allowing for a more gradual increase in difficulty? The bugs can move too far from the centre of the screen too, sometimes almost leaving the playing area – frustrating if you’re running out of time and only have a couple more to beat. With any luck, future versions will correct these flaws. Download it here.
This interesting piece of home brew features everyone’s favourite plumber, Mario...
A sideways-scroller, Mario Touch is played with the stylus. Instead of having direct control over Mario himself, you must beat down the cacti before he runs into them, tapping the bottom segment to get rid of the pile a piece at a time. Later in the game, you must tap every segment on the cactus individually.
Mario Touch boasts great graphics, with scenery that changes as you progress. Can you beat the developer’s top score of 717? Download it here and find out.
Now here’s a weird one. It’s a multiplayer game where two players compete on one NDS...
Opposing Hoovers race to be the first to collect 50 items of rubbish, bouncing off each other and walls. They rotate automatically and move forward on the press of the ‘Left’ button for one Hoover, and the ‘A’ button for the other. While moving forwards, rotations stops. If you’ve played the vacuum cleaner level in Wario Ware on the GBA, you know exactly what to expect.
Hoover Maneuver is a fun little game, and with WiFi connectivity promised for a later release, it’s going to get even better. Download it here..
This is definitely one of the best home brew games we’ve yet seen on the Nintendo DS...
A simple puzzle affair (which, despite the title, is not based on Tetris), you get rid of an ever-rising stack of squares by lining up three or more identical units, horizontally or vertically. This is achieved by swapping adjacent pieces. You don’t have to make a line every time you swap two pieces, so you can plan ahead for the big scores. It’s nicely paced and set to some great music.
Unlike many home brew games, there’s a multiplayer mode which you can even play over the internet. In multiplayer, by making lines of greater than three squares, or creating further lines with falling pieces, you cause disruptive blocks to appear on your opponents’ playing area. Up to four players can compete in internet tournaments. Download it here..
DSDoom for MMP is a special version of DSDoom, which in turn is a NDS port of PrBoom, a project to get Doom up and running on modern platforms.
It provides a program to play Doom levels, but doesn't include data for the levels, sounds sprites, and graphics that make up the Doom environment. To play DSDoom, you need the original game from id Software, or at least the shareware release. Full details on how to get it up and running are included in the download.
DSDoom can be tricky to get up and running – don’t expect drag and drop functionality. However, it’s worth the effort. Doom was, is, and always will be, a classic game. Download it here..
A Touch of War is already shaping up to be a stellar real-time strategy opus. Just look at the screenshot – it’s almost commercial quality!
Now this one’s a must-download. Three games in one bubbling bundle, all of which were coded for the NeoFlash competition in 2005. Nibbles is a tribute to the Snakes game we all have on our mobile phones, Gorilla is a version of the old Tanks game and finally is Tetris, a game which needs no introduction!
Somebody doesn’t like Sega! Sensei’s neat little number displays Mario and Sonic pics on the touchscreen. The aim of the game is to take out the blue hedgehog by tapping him with your stylus, but hitting Mario costs you points.
A Dance, Dance Revolution-style game where you blast the aliens by tapping the buttons in a given sequence. It keeps you on your toes with great music and exciting gameplay. Keep your wits about you – you’re trying to save the Earth…
Another mini-games collection, in each game you must avoid letting your player get touched by any of the baddies. And they increase in both speed and numbers as the game goes on, so stay on your toes! The graphics are great, and look out for the tribute to the old arcade classics and home computer raves!
If you've written or found a great DS game or application that you run on your Games N' Music cartridge, tell us about it so we can add it to this site and spread the word!.