Latest Reviews

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review House, M.D. - Episode 3: Skull and Bones

    Numb skull

    It’s about time we all came to terms with the fact that episodic games aren’t really going to change from episode to episode. Sure, each episode may have a different plot and contain different puzzles, but the gameplay will stay generally the same. Because of this, all of the good elements of the first episode will generally carry...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Crystal Caverns of Amon-Ra

    Is the quality of this game just a mirage?

    Puzzle games are a dime a dozen on DSiWare, so when a new one comes along, it's pretty easy to dismiss. Throw in a word like "crystal" and the words "Bejeweled clone" immediately come to mind. While this does involve the matching of three similarly coloured objects, however, Crystal...

  • 72

    DSiWare

    Review The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition

    Four Links for the price of none

    In the hubbub, hype and over-excitement of E3 2011, some gamers would have been particularly delighted by a DSiWare announcement from Nintendo: while that seems unlikely, it does reflect the dedication of fans and their love for the Zelda series. After a relatively short wait, the much anticipated The Legend of...

  • 22

    DSiWare

    Review Bugs'N'Balls

    Together at last

    Say what you will about the rest of the game, one thing Bugs'N'Balls gets exactly right is its title. It has bugs, and they are indeed armed with balls. The question is this: do bugs and balls go together like peanut butter and jelly, or is it more like oil and water? Let's just say it's peanut butter jelly time. Bugs'N'Balls is...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Break Tactics

    Uninspired, but not broken

    Strategy games come in many forms, but these days, subgenres like tower defence and resource management are far more commonplace than your traditional turn-based affairs. Break Tactics helps fill the void, and while it's a fine entry in the category, it doesn't innovate much either. The game is reminiscent of Chess and a...

  • 38

    DSiWare

    Review Cut the Rope

    This cuts it

    There has been much debate in gaming circles about Nintendo’s digital offerings and the competition from smartphones and tablets. Now one of the biggest hits from those rival platforms, Cut the Rope, has finally arrived on DSiWare. The question is, does this title succeed on the DSi, or does it miss out on the candy? The premise of...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Escape Trick: Ninja Castle

    Escape while you still can

    Escape Trick: Ninja Castle is the second game in the Escape Trick series that we've seen here at Nintendo Life. The first game, Escape Trick: The Secret of Rock City Prison, failed to really grab us: its ambition was laudable, but its execution consisted of dull visuals, underwhelming gameplay, and nonsensical puzzle...

  • 4

    DSiWare

    Review Defense of the Middle Kingdom

    Middle of the road

    Many games take the history of Asian nations as their focus, from the Japanese combat-based Samurai Warriors series to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games, which use the warring kingdoms of first-century China as their basis. The newest to enter the ring is Defense of the Middle Kingdom, which also focuses on the latter's...

  • 25

    DSiWare

    Review DotMan

    Not quite on point

    Welcome to DotMan, the game of driving in circles. And that's it, basically. There's also a small amount of strategy, along with boredom and frustration, but we'll deal with those shortly. DotMan has its roots in classic games like Dodge 'Em and Pac-Man, but that's a bit like saying Twilight has its roots in Bram Stoker's Dracula:...

  • 13

    DSiWare

    Review House, M.D. - Episode 2: Blue Meanie

    Blue all over

    Earlier this summer saw the release of Legacy Interactive’s first DSiWare game, House, M.D. - Episode 1: Globetrotting. If you played the game, or simply read our review, then you’ll know that this maiden voyage was not a very successful one for the company. Now, several months later, the series continues with House M.D. -...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review 1950s Lawn Mower Kids

    A bit of a chore

    When it comes to attempts to turn boring, low-paid jobs into exciting DSiWare downloads, Zordix AB jumped to the fore with Valet Parking 1989. It was an intriguing but flawed game, jam packed with nostalgia and 80’s humour. The developer is now continuing the theme of decade-specific chore simulation with 1950s Lawn Mower Kids...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Bridge

    Over troubled water

    It’s one of the simplest forms of entertainment: if all electronic entertainment is unavailable, when there is nothing else to do, a simple pack of playing cards can save the day. Card games can be simplistic or confusing and complex, with straightforward options often seeming suitable as cheap downloads on the DSi shop. More...

  • 34

    DSiWare

    Review Let's Create! Pottery

    Let's not

    Let's Create! Pottery may have the least appealing title this side of Let's Perform! Complex Trigonometry and Let's Compose! A Musical About Kobe Bryant's Lunch, but its problems run much deeper than that. Mainly, it’s just not very fun. The game begins with a title screen that offers several options, but none of them involve starting...

  • 27

    DSiWare

    Review Magical Whip: Wizards of the Phantasmal Forest

    Magically delicious!

    Puzzle-style games have proven to be quite a good fit for the DSiWare service, but some gamers have expressed concern at the growing number of puzzlers that have flooded DSiWare in recent months. Thankfully, Agetec's Magical Whip: Wizards of the Phantasmal Forest brings a fun experience to the service, and while not the most...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Build-a-lot

    A bit of a fixer-upper

    The year was 2008. Mario and Sonic were on their way to the Olympic Games, the 3DS was but a twinkle in Satoru Iwata's eye and the housing bubble was on its way to bursting. You wouldn't know that last fact, however, from MumboJumbo's 2008 real estate celebration Build-a-lot, a retail DS adaptation of HipSoft's 2007 PC game of...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Blockado - Puzzle Island

    Too tried-and-true

    Bitfield's Blockado series has already enjoyed success on Apple's iOS devices, but now the game is looking to take on Nintendo's DSiWare service with a little sliding-block puzzle action. And while there are a few interesting new twists in Blockado: Puzzle Island, it's still basically the same gameplay idea the series has been...

  • 13

    DSiWare

    Review My Asian Farm

    Enter Old McDonald-San

    Farming comes in many forms. Sometimes it's exotic. Sometimes it's Australian. And sometimes it's just regular, old-fashioned farming. But nothing you've seen in this DSiWare series, consisting of split-up portions of 2009's retail release My Farm Around the World, could have prepared you for this: My Asian Farm

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review GO Series: Fishing Resort

    Luring you in…

    Fans of both Nintendo and fishing have been given plenty of opportunities to don the virtual wellies and cast the line, on WiiWare. While the Wii Remote is an ideal opportunity to simulate fishing, the humble DSi stylus and touchscreen have largely missed out. As has often been the case, publisher Gamebridge has come to the rescue...

  • 18

    DSiWare

    Review Crazy Hamster

    Crazy cool

    The idea behind this game is simple: Crazy Hamster forgot to store supplies for the coming winter, so now it’s up to you to guide the rushed rodent through each level and collect all of the fruit. Make it safely to the end of the level with these supplies and you’re home free. While there may not be much here in terms of plot, this...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Play & Learn Spanish

    ¿Plus ultra?

    A good pocket translator can cost hundreds of dollars, so it's no surprise that some smart software studios would see an incentive in offering DSi and 3DS owners an affordable alternative. So far we've only seen the average 4 TRAVELLERS – Play Spanish on the service, so it's good to see a challenger appear. But is this a helpful...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Go Fetch! 2

    Dog's dinner

    With Go Fetch!, ICM took the simple activity of playing fetch with a puppy and added a timer, health bar and obstacles to create a unique racing game-esque experience that was unfortunately let down by imprecise controls, lack of depth and repetitiveness. The developer doggedly returned to the drawing board to remedy these issues and...

  • 27

    DSiWare

    Review Go! Go! Kokopolo

    Koko-crazy

    DSiWare is, quite rightly, well known for providing a diverse range of quirky titles to give DSi owners small downloadable gaming fixes. We’ve seen a few ‘off the wall’ concepts on the service, and Go! Go! Kokopolo deserves its place in this category. The title says it all; this is a game that doesn’t want to be taken seriously...

  • 2

    DSiWare

    Review B Team - Episode 2: Ice & Venom

    New name, same game

    May of 2011 saw the DSiWare release of B Team - Episode 1: Dust & Steel. Now, a short three months later, the gang is back in B Team - Episode 2: Ice & Venom. Anyone who played the first game (or read our Dust & Steel review) will know exactly what to expect here. As this game clearly shows, consistency is not always...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Successfully Learning German: Year 5

    The end of an era?

    Another week, another instalment in the venerable Successfully Learning series from Tivola. Successfully Learning German: Year 5 is on DSiWare so young German speakers have another opportunity to return to Freddy the Vampire’s classroom. It’s the final instalment in the series, so prepare to graduate and say goodbye. How does...

  • 2

    DSiWare

    Review Artillery: Knights vs. Orcs

    A misfire

    Most of us have played one of them before: one of those free online Flash games where your goal is to hit something by firing a projectile, after deciding what angle and what speed the object should be thrown or shot at. Of course, you'll also be familiar with this concept if you've played any Worms game. Artillery: Knights vs. Orcs takes...

  • 23

    DSiWare

    Review My Australian Farm

    You call that a farm? THIS is a farm

    Ahh, life on the farm. The sweet taste of buffalo milk, sheep and crocodiles playing together... OK, perhaps My Australian Farm isn't the most realistic agricultural simulator, but at least it makes for a decent money-management time-waster. This, along with My Farm, My Exotic Farm and the upcoming My Asian Farm,...

  • 17

    DSiWare

    Review GO Series: Portable Shrine Wars

    Shinto to go

    What do you get when you mix Mikoshi (portable Shinto shrines) and top-down shooters? Oddly enough, you come up with Gamebridge’s newest DSiWare release, GO Series: Portable Shrine Wars. But is this bizarre combination a match made in yomi, or is it just too weird to work? The goal in Portable Shrine Wars is to race your Mikoshi...

  • 21

    DSiWare

    Review Oscar's World Tour

    Around the world, around the world

    Oscar's World Tour marks the fourth instalment of the series on DSiWare, and once again finds Oscar in the familiar situation of tracking down Baby Oscars and heading for the Pig Stop. While the game stays very close to its predecessors in terms of gameplay, the developer has tossed in a few new visual twists to...

  • 17

    DSiWare

    Review Antipole

    Rock you like a Hurricane

    While it may be difficult to achieve the recognition and greatness of Shantae: Risky’s Revenge or Cave Story, platform adventure games are still very welcome on DSiWare. Antipole, the newest title from Saturnine Games, might not be the most original genre entry in the universe, it is still a very gravitating game with a...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Jagged Alliance

    Watch out for sharp edges

    On paper, Jagged Alliance looks like a must-have for fans of tactical role-playing games. A mid 90s PC classic that was originally distributed as a DS retail release in 2009, now available at a significantly lower price of 500 Nintendo Points – it’s a win-win, right? Well, two areas that hit the mark are storyline and...