News Article

DSiWare: Pre-release Roundup

Posted by Philip J Reed

For us here at WiiWare World, April can't get here soon enough. The Nintendo DSi will launch on April 2 in Australia, April 3 in Europe and April 5 in North America. That makes for a pretty exciting few days!

The new DSi (for those intending to buy one) offers several intriguing new features, perhaps the most substantial being DSiWare.

And with under a month to go, and expectations high, what better time to take a look at the handful of DSiWare games that have been announced so far? Three of them have been rated by the Australian OFLC (as indicated below). The others have been revealed by the EU trailer, viewable all the way down at the bottom of this article.

Here's what we think are likely candidates for the DSiWare launch:

Paper Plane (Nintendo) - An expanded version of a WarioWare microgame (and the subject of a few interesting Flash games as well), Paper Plane sees you controlling the titular sheet of folded paper as it maneuvers its way through a tall tower, avoiding obstacles and hazards. Time Attack and Battle Mode (though the latter seems to be a bit misleadingly named) are also available, as is a two-player mode--without the need for a second DSi! (OFLC rated)

Pyoro (Nintendo) - Another WarioWare microgame, enhanced for this new stand-alone version. In the first game, Pyoro is a little bird who must catch falling seedlings with his nightmarishly-long tongue. The seedlings he misses will reduce his field of play, making the game progressively more difficult. In the second mode Pyoro is less hungry and more destructive: he fires projectiles at the falling seedlings instead. It will be interesting to see how much this concept gets expanded upon for solo release. (OFLC rated)

Solitaire DSi (Nintendo) - Solitaire is one of the most exciting first-person shooters you will ever play. Action-packed, gory, filled to the brim with challenging enemies and...oh. No. No, wait; it's just that card game you get free with Windows. Sorry to get your hopes up. Still, we'd all be lying to ourselves if we claimed not to enjoy a good time-killing game of Solitaire every now and again. It's a simple concept (descending card values alternating between red and black), but it's just involved enough to keep from getting boring. Hopefully the DSi version will feature some interesting modes to extend its playability, but even if it doesn't, you can't go wrong with a proven classic.

Clubhouse Games Express: Classic Cards (Nintendo) - selection of 5 card games from the larger Clubhouse Games retail release. This slimmer package includes I Doubt It, Memory, Old Maid, Sevens, and Spit (aka: Speed). A potential wealth of online competitors could make this a much more exciting time-waster than Solitaire, but, obviously, you already know whether you're interested in buying this or not. (OFLC rated)

Art Style: Aquario (Nintendo) - The "Art Style" name is synonymous now with "simple genius," so both announced Art Style titles are promising by default. Aquario sounds, so far, like a basic sliding tile puzzle: match a line of colors and the line disappears. But somehow I'd bank on this being more complex than it seems. The Art Style games have so far done excellent jobs of turning simple concepts into unique and memorable experiences, so count on this one to continue the trend.

Art Style: Decode (Nintendo) - Now this looks fascinating. Your goal in Decode is to select numbers from a floating mass so that they add up to 10. Simple, right? Well, in Decode, the shape of the numbers matter as much as the values, meaning that you can flip certain numbers horizontally or vertically to turn them into other numbers. From the screen shots it appears as though we're getting several different modes with variations on the basic mechanic, so this is well worth keeping an eye on.

WarioWare Snapped! (Nintendo) - One of two major Nintendo franchises to be coming to DSiWare in the near future, WarioWare Snapped! is, as I'm sure you can guess, a series of microgames. This time, however, they will mostly focus around the DSi's new internal camera. The games will likely involve silly faces and poses and, for that reason, WarioWare Snapped! will probably not be suitable for playing in public places. It should certainly appeal to younger gamers, as well, and will have plenty of that patented WarioWare humor.

Dr. Mario DSi (Nintendo) The classic puzzler Dr. Mario comes to DSiWare with what is guaranteed to be one of its best-selling releases. It also, unfortunately, represents our first crushing disappointment as there is no planned multi-player feature. Oh well. Dr. Mario is lots of fun and very addictive in single-player mode, but we can't help but feel a little sadness at the inability to compete against others. At least it's evidence that we can expect more big Nintendo names to arrive on DSiWare down the line.

Well, that's it for now! Doubtless we'll start to hear more announcements and rumors come April and beyond, and we here at WiiWare World will be here to keep you abreast of them, helping to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the meantime, start saving up your money for a DSi. (Heck, if you save enough, you can buy one for me, too!)

Check out the EU trailer for yourself:

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User Comments (46)

ouenben

#1

ouenben said:

Hmm still not enough to make me buy a DSi I'm afraid!

I woulda considered it had A) it not been so expensive and B) they not removed the GBA slot removing the ability to play a large library of games, and the accessories/addons and DS-GBA link games that worked with it!

Sorry Nintendo i'll just wait for the sequel to the DS.
I might always pick up one of these in a few years if they're cheap enough at the time though

MarkyVigoroth

#2

MarkyVigoroth said:

"Snapped!"? I was thinking of some other name... (If only I acn remember such...)

I also see that there ane very little microgames in Snapped... Ah well.

CorbsAdmin

#4

Corbs said:

Great article Phillip. Nice to have ChickenBrutus on board. :)

thewiirocks

#5

thewiirocks said:

@ouenben - Last I heard, GBA games are going to be available through the DSi Virtual Console service. You won't be able to play existing cartridges you have, but you should be able to pick up new games. It may even give some of the lesser known titles a second lease on life. (e.g. Toki Tori, Shante, Iridion 2, etc. for a few examples.)

IAmNotWill

#8

IAmNotWill said:

Can't wait until April... and with all the birthday money I saved 2 weeks ago I should be able to get it. Now all I need is $5, with an extra $20 for a points card.

joshje

#9

joshje said:

Do you think there is any chance of some DSiWare games appearing for the DS Lite? I guess that would reduce the chance of people buying the new one.

ouenben

#10

ouenben said:

thewiirocks - you are going by nothing more than a rumour I'm afraid. A virtual handheld would be sweet but i gave up waiting for that and bought a GBA SP.

Warioware snapped looks okay but the real fun come when they release Made in Ore for DS, a Warioware game where YOU make your own Microgames!!

ouenben

#11

ouenben said:

joshysquashy - No absolutely not but on the other hand you have access to a bunch of GBA games, many many great games much better than DSiware games. :)

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#12

Philip_J_Reed said:

@joshysquashy:
"Do you think there is any chance of some DSiWare games appearing for the DS Lite?"

I'd imagine not...how would you get them without the DSiShop?

ouenben

#14

ouenben said:

the very very very WHITE video plays fine for me, wiiguy, the problem must be on your end.

Chunky_Droid

#15

Chunky_Droid said:

Thanks for the article Chicken Brutus :) and congrats on joining the staff, perhaps one day I'll try and get on board too.

Definitely looking forward to the DSi, and definitely hoping for the Katamari Puzzle game!

deadly_by_design

#16

deadly_by_design said:

Can the rest of us non-models buy this device? I feel so average and unqualified. Also, I do not own a pair of white pants.

DazzaAdmin

#17

Dazza said:

@deadly.by.design - No you must join the cult of Nintendo to buy a white DSi :-p

It'd be great if they did a commercial for the black DSi with Run DMC or something to balance things out a bit.

Interestingly it looks like North America gets to choose between a matte blue or black DSi whereas Europe gets the standard black and white editions again. I'll be getting a black one myself, the cameras don't stick out like a sore thumb at least!

DazzaAdmin

#19

Dazza said:

@Bahamut - Our WiiWare coverage started off on VC Reviews initially, at least up until a few days before the launch.

We'll find a better home for it soon I am sure :-p

HOT-ROD

#20

HOT-ROD said:

They look like interesting games, but it seems similar to the app store on the iphone, which seems slightly better to me. I like what I see, but I might have to wait for something great to happen to it, like new updates, and dsiware games that are more than just microgames.
So basically it has my interest, but I will have to wait till they do more with it. Or until a severe price drop.

WarioFan63

#21

WarioFan63 said:

I'm definately getting one. Just not on Launch Day since Im too poor (plus Ill be picking up Rhythm Heaven that day) but Im 100% getting one.

Kokstra

#23

Kokstra said:

It's a pretty good launch line-up if you ask me. I'll definitely get Dr. Mario and WarioWare, and maybe one of the Art Style games, but I'll need to see a bit more of them.

WeeGee

#24

WeeGee said:

I'm gonna wait one more generation. I still have the ds phat but I don't need the extra features here, and it's too expensive.

cr00mz

#25

cr00mz said:

what a piece of crap, im surprised its still possbile to play games on it, looks like it does everything except play games, all that's missing now is to make it able to use as a phone and you got a gimped iphone

Cthuloops

#27

Cthuloops said:

Ah! Nice! A fellow Philip with one L. :)
Anyway, I'm still unsure as to buying one of these. Still like my DS Lite too much.

CorbsAdmin

#30

Corbs said:

@Dazza: Have you guys ever thought of merging all your sites into one and make the worlds greatest Nintendo site?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Kevin

#31

Kevin said:

I'll pick up Dr. Mario and Solitare when they come out. I'm not a huge card game fan but solitare is so addictive.

Objection

#32

Objection said:

It has some interesting new features but I'm not shelling out that much money for a new version of what I already have. The DsWare looks pretty lame so far so no real interest there.

anthonyb

#33

anthonyb said:

No thanks DSi. :)

How about instead of sucking the DS udder til it's all wrinkly, Nintendo try to implement these new features into a next-gen handheld? I think it's a bit late to be introducing this kind of stuff on a platform that's already been out for ages. It really kinda makes me mad, seeing as the whole point here is to squeeze out a little bit more cash from an outdated system. Am I right or am I right?

thewiirocks

#34

thewiirocks said:

@ouenben - I took my understanding from the original announcement by Iwata. Unfortunately, I looked into it and it seems that it was just a misunderstanding of what he said. Boo. :(

Though I have to wonder if he wasn't implying it? Certainly, there seems to be a bit of circumstantial evidence out on the 'net. We'll see if any of it holds up.

@anthonyb - Is there something wrong with the DSi being packed with twice the processor speed and four times the memory? I'll grant that this is the first system in my memory that doesn't have a huge lineup of console-specific games ready to show off its new power. But I think the difference is that the DSi is going to rely more heavily on downloadable games. Iwata has previously stated that he sees download services as a game-changer for the console market. It may very well be that the DSiWare titles are supposed to be the launch lineup.

Is anyone besides me hoping we see a Tower Defense game on DSiWare? That would be freaking awesome! :P

Ricardo91

#35

Ricardo91 said:

@Chicken Brutus. You're a member here!?

I'll pass. Most DSiware games look like they could pass as minigames. And with their own price tag, no less.

anthonyb

#36

anthonyb said:

@thewiirocks: The focus is definitely on downloadable games- I'm just broken hearted that it's still on the original DS platform. Sure, it has more memory (it'd have to for downloads) and the processing speed is a nice touch. I just wish they'd release something like the DS2- with the downloads included. But I do realize they have to start out in baby steps with such a concept, and play the field to see how successful the idea would be. I think downloadable games is the future, for sure. I know personally I've been downloading tons of WiiWare games, and haven't stepped into an electronics store in ages.

Wiiloveit

#38

Wiiloveit said:

@Bahamut ZERO: We've been through this already - we don't want it because it would be too crowded and it's easier for people to find what they want this way. If anything, they should expand the group to include a new DS website (accompanied with DSi) and make Nintendo Life fully Wii based - or, they could add another Wii website in the style of NLife, and then make Nintendo Life the epicentre of it all.

CorbsAdmin

#39

Corbs said:

Guys the problem of the various sites is being taken care of as we speak. Sit back, relax, and let it all unfold. I think everyone will be quite happy with the new solution. :D

DazzaAdmin

#40

Dazza said:

I think everyone will be quite happy with the new solution.

Famous last words! :-p

Toddr

#43

Toddr said:

I'm definately getting a DSi. When I do is still to be determined.

chiefeagle02

#44

chiefeagle02 said:

Why not release Solitaire with a Clubhouse games download? Oh wait, that'd make too much sense...

Party_On_Dude

#45

Party_On_Dude said:

I think its okay, but I'll be holding out... even for a long time; for any first party games! :(
So Dr. Mario is a first for me; like Dr. Mario Rx was for me on WiiWare! ;)
Maybe a good casual game like card game solitare might be okay, but the paper airplane looks like its going to rock! :D

A1234

#46

A1234 said:

So, in that video, which is 5 minutes, 3 minutes of it is about the camera? Seems like they really are pushing that part of the system. I am sure most of us want it for the games/DSiWare, but I am really happy that a camera is now part of the system.

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