Latest Reviews

  • 13

    DS

    Review Maestro! Jump in Music

    I am the music man

    We originally saw Maestro! Jump In Music on DSiWare where it went by the name Maestro! Green Groove. However, you might not be aware of the fact that this digital offering was actually a republished version of the original European physical retail release, which can be hard to come by these days. Despite some notable flaws and the...

  • 18

    DS

    Review Smurfs 2

    To Smurf, or not to Smurf?

    Recently we got a little down and smurfy with our review of The Smurfs 2 for the Wii U, and now, we’ve set our focus on the DS version which offers a completely different gameplay experience, despite sharing the same title. Where the former offered up uneventful platforming that should only appeal to novice players or...

  • 5

    DS

    Review Puzzler World 2013

    A puzzling affair

    There are a number of reasons why the Puzzler World series continues to see new life on DS. For one, it's still a bestselling series, which is no doubt partly down to the DS's impressive install base around the world. However, it's also the fact that the titles' word and logic puzzles — which historically have been restricted to...

  • 31

    DS

    Review Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!

    I'm ready for you now Brad

    Back in March 2012 fans of the cult TV series Adventure Time rejoiced around the world, as series creator Pendleton Ward announced via a doodle on his Twitter page that WayForward Technologies and D3 Publisher would be working on a video game adaptation for the DS and 3DS, the absurdly named Adventure Time: Hey Ice King!...

  • 30

    DS

    Review Thundercats

    Thundercats, noooo!

    Perhaps we were foolish to get our hopes up about Thundercats. It is a licensed game, after all, and while that's not a universally bad thing, it should by this point at least make us think twice. Then again, it's Thundercats! The original cartoon is an enduring classic, the recent reboot was surprisingly good, and the...

  • 3

    DS

    Review Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2

    Is history repeating itself?

    In these risk-averse times, publishers are increasingly relying on sequels to existing IPs to ensure that they turn over a profit. The problem doesn’t stem so much from a dearth of creativity in the industry, but rather as consumers we have a horrible habit of sticking with what we know. Much like the video game...

  • 72

    DS

    Review Pokémon Black and White 2

    Pokémon used Sequel! It’s super effective!

    It's fitting that the franchise typically relied upon to sell Nintendo handhelds is also the swansong that bids farewell to the mighty Nintendo DS. The enormously popular Pokémon series graces the highest-selling handheld console of all time for one last hurrah and the result is nothing short of...

  • 31

    DS

    Review Learn With Pokémon: Typing Adventure

    SEMI-COLON COMMA WOOBAT

    It would be very easy to dismiss Learn With Pokémon Typing Adventure as ‘just another Pokémon spin-off’, or even worse, an ‘edutainment game’. Yet in fact, the title conceals a rather addictive addition to the Pokémon franchise, bundled with a nifty Bluetooth keyboard and stand. As with most Pokémon spin-offs,...

  • 87

    DS

    Review Pokémon Conquest

    Resistance is feudal

    Peanut butter and chocolate, Chris Farley and David Spade, Marvel and Capcom. Taking two great things and smashing them together is a long-standing tradition of the human experience. Now, in the year 2012, another legendary combination can be etched into the annals of history – Pokémon and Nobunaga’s Ambition. Pokémon is...

  • 15

    DS

    Review Inazuma Eleven 2 Firestorm

    Back of the net

    It’s time to save the world from aliens, but how? We could solve a lot of puzzles, blast enemies away with big guns, fly through space in an intergalactic warship or, alternatively, play football. In the universe of Inazuma Eleven 2 there isn’t a single problem that can’t be solved with a football – or soccer – match...

  • 18

    DS

    Review May's Mystery: Forbidden Memories

    Never send a kid to do a professor's job

    We've seen the rise in popularity of a few new or previously underappreciated genres within the current generation, among them rhythm-based games, brain training titles and life simulators. Another is the puzzle- and brain teaser-centric adventure, which rose to popularity with Level-5's Professor Layton...

  • 27

    DS

    Review Power Rangers Samurai

    Go go Power Rangers

    Centuries ago, dark forces threatened to destroy civilisation in Japan. The danger was thought to have been destroyed by a clan of fearless warriors wielding power symbols that had been passed down for generations. Now these dark forces have returned to finish the destruction they started so long ago, and the survival of Earth...

  • 39

    DS

    Review 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

    Fine, fine, fine

    You wake up in a cabin on a ship, clueless as to how you arrived. You soon remember a mysterious figure in a gas mask and an odd odour filling your apartment. Before you have time to put the pieces together, the window cracks and water begins to flood the small space. Either you find a way out of the locked room, or you drown. This...

  • 48

    DS

    Review Professor Layton and the Last Specter

    Smells like evil spirit

    By this point, most of our readers already know if they will like a Professor Layton game long before it's actually released. This is due to the fact that while the specifics of Layton's investigations change, the gameplay remains largely the same. With games such as these, however, that's not a bad thing. The Professor...

  • 20

    DS

    Review Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon

    Farm-assured prime cut

    Thanks to Rising Star Games, gamers in Europe have finally caught up on the Rune Factory series — until Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny launches on Wii in North America next week, that is. Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon on DS is the third and so far final portable instalment in the Harvest Moon spin-off, and the...

  • 29

    DS

    Review Aliens: Infestation

    "Another glorious day in the Corps!"

    Of the four main Alien films, it's James Cameron’s action packed 1986 movie Aliens that provides the most explosive source material for a video game conversion. Konami knew this when it picked up the licence and released a fun arcade game, enabling players to blast pink xenomorphs in 1990. SEGA fans have...

  • 24

    DS

    Review Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2

    Joker's wild

    When Enix released the original Dragon Quest Monsters for Game Boy back in 1998, many quickly dismissed it as just another vain attempt to cash in on the Pokémon craze. But over the past 13 years, the Monsters series has developed quite a following and become more in-depth and multiplayer-friendly with each new release. Where the first...

  • 79

    DS

    Review Kirby Mass Attack

    Ten for the price of one

    It's no secret that Kirby has been a huge part of Nintendo's portable systems over the years, even making his debut on the original Game Boy back in 1992. When Kirby Canvas Curse was released, it took the traditional button controls away and replaced them with the touchscreen controls of the DS. While some die-hard fans of...

  • 16

    DS

    Review Captain America: Super Soldier

    Save the fireworks

    Stars. Stripes. Rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air. Deer and antelope playing. America. The United States is a country with enough national pride to fuel a superhero, and that's exactly what Captain America is all about. Does his movie tie-in handheld outing Captain America: Super Soldier channel these well enough to...

  • 60

    DS

    Review Solatorobo: Red the Hunter

    This hunter should become the hunted

    Solatorobo: Red the Hunter isn’t a game title that is likely to storm to the top of the sales charts. There are no well-known franchise names, no mainstream marketing campaign, and no hint of generic, dull gaming characters and designs. Being a Japanese action RPG, this game is different from the vast majority...

  • 12

    DS

    Review Thor: God of Thunder

    Way to go, Way-Thor-ward

    At a SEGA press event in March this year WayForward’s Director for Thor: God of Thunder, Austin Ivansmith, noted that it is the company's “love letter to the DS” and considering its back catalogue of well received DS and DSiWare titles this game caught the attention of gamers normally hesitant of a movie licenced game...

  • 11

    DS

    Review Nanda's Island

    The rain in this game falls mainly on the lame

    The water-based puzzler is an interesting breed – the replication of aquatic physics necessitates a more innovative approach than your average thinking game, the majority of which build on or clone an accepted model like Tetris or Bejeweled. The recent Fluidity is proof that this subgenre can spawn...

  • 2

    DS

    Review TINcan! Escape

    Rockin' robot or CPUke?

    Innovative puzzle games are few and far between, and TINcan! Escape is up there with some of the more interesting concepts we've seen. While it rests on a quality foundation, however, some uneven spots and lacklustre presentation make this rolling robot wobble on its wheels. Two rival scientists compete to have their design...

  • 14

    DS

    Review LEGO Battles: Ninjago

    Half RTS, half adventure, halfway fun

    2009 saw the release of LEGO Battles to complement the action orientation of the main series titles, with a second iteration now aiming once more to provide a light and accessible real time strategy experience within the LEGO world. Unfortunately, LEGO Battles: Ninjago tries to spread its shallow formula too far...

  • 5

    DS

    Review Chronicles of Mystery: The Secret Tree of Life

    A pleasant, if stumpy, puzzler

    Many puzzle games that originated on the PC have made a successful transition to the DS; following their lead is City Interactive's latest handheld release, a scaled down version of Chronicles of Mystery: The Tree of Life from 2009. Especially in the case of one that's as well-crafted as this, there's nothing wrong...

  • 5

    DS

    Review 7 Wonders II

    Not much of a sequel

    A few years ago, MumboJumbo published the Hot Lava-developed 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, a very average Bejeweled clone. Since then, our standards for DS puzzle fare have gotten a little bit higher, and MumboJumbo has updated its previous release to hopefully meet these standards. Enter 7 Wonders II. The formula remains the...

  • 59

    DS

    Review Okamiden

    A celestial pup worthy of your praise

    Back in 2008, a two year old PS2 ‘game of the year’ was ported to the Wii amid much critical acclaim. Okami, an epic adventure boasting a glorious art style, was perfectly suited to the Wii’s capabilities, and Capcom has once again embraced a Nintendo console for a follow-up adventure on the DS. With such...

  • 8

    DS

    Review LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

    A little too familiar

    For whatever reason, LEGO games on Nintendo handhelds are never as good as their home console counterparts. Rather than harness the handheld's unique strengths from the ground up, they too often opt for creating a more compact version of the larger adventure. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is no exception, providing an...

  • 3

    DS

    Review 7 Wonders of the Ancient World

    Don't be fooled

    There are many ways to play Bejeweled on the go, though when it comes to the DS catalogue, you're mostly looking at clones rather than the real deal. 7 Wonders of the Ancient World is one of those clones. It does more than just imitate the gold standard, however – it attempts to innovate as well. But what it adds to the mix takes...

  • 22

    DS

    Review The Sims 3

    Third time the charm?

    When the original PC title The Sims saw release, Maxis treated it as a spin-off of their popular SimCity franchise, the 3000 edition of which included a teaser for upcoming title SimMars. Before Will Wright could say "(insert Sim gibberish here)," though, it proved a sensational success both critically and...