Don’t Underestimate DSiWare
When DSiWare first launched, I thought it was a joke. There wasn’t a single worthwhile download for months. But now, almost a year later, the service has become pretty legitimate. It’s especially a haven for puzzle games and slightly more quirky games.
Just from the small library of games I’ve played, I can say that DSiWare alone is worth the upgrade from a normal DS/DS Lite. Today marked the release of Trajectile (or Reflect Missile in other regions), a unique puzzle game (made by Q Games- the PixelJunk guys) that has become my favorite download on the system. It’s difficult to describe, but I suppose you could call it strategic Breakout with no paddle. Basically, you have targets up on the top screen and different types of missiles on the bottom. You have a preset number of missiles, and the goal is to wipe out all of the targets on the top screen by setting the missiles’ trajectory and making them bounce off walls.
The game has a slick retro theme, with simple blocks making up every in-game object. The soundtrack fits in with the art styIe, presenting catchy chiptunes that liven up the action. There are over 300 levels, each with special medals to earn. It’s a challenging and unique puzzle game that’s definitely worth the $5 asking price.
Q Games is also responsible for the fantastic Art StyIe games, a series of clever puzzlers with unique twists, including the NES-themed PictoBits, the relaxing Aquia, and the frantic, rhythmic DigiDrive/Intersect. Hudson has an all-out multiplayer version of Bomberman, including 4-player Wifi battles. Meanwhile, Gameloft has an increasing and varied supply of fun, albeit casual, games including an updated take on the edutainment cIassic Oregon Trail, Uno (with Wifi!), and an inspired platformer called Castle of Magic. Newcomer on the Indie scene Powerhead Games has added to the DSi’s list of unique puzzle games with its image-based Glow Artisan.
All of these games are similar in one specific way: they’re perfect for short, pick-up-and-play sessions, and also fun enough for extended periods. Many of them also happen to be from small studios, which is always nice to see. In conclusion, if you consider yourself a fan of puzzle games, you owe it to yourself to get yourself a DSi and download some of these great titles!