Search Results for: ds games

Winceful games-for-girls marketing

On Ian Bogost's Twitter feed, we find this striking photograph by Allison Moore of a Nintendo DS game retail rack:


Yes, it's one little slice taken out of a greater visual context, and its true that I'd have no reaction either way to seeing any one of these titles sitting by itself. (And you won't hear me saying boo about Peggle, in any case.) But it's still hard to look at this particular picture and not think of another culturally representative game, albeit one from over 40 years ago...


Miles to go.

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Igel Ärgern on the DS


Continuing the apparent trend of German game designers colliding with the Nintendo DS (it's happened twice that I know of and therefore it is a trend, you see), Doris & Frank's Igel Ärgern has been ported to the hand-held system, under the title Hurry Up Hedgehog. As the name suggests, it's a game about a hedgehog race. I don't think it gets any deeper than that, and why should it? Just look at those little guys; they're adorable. It's slated for release later this month.

I'm under the impression that Igel Ärgern is a beloved classic among European gamers, first published in the 1980s. As far as I know, it's never enjoyed an English-language edition, and I've never had the chance to play it (though several of my local friends own it anyway). If you say "hedgehog racing" to a typical American they're more likely to think of this thing, if they think of anything at all.

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The fool and his brain village

There's a planetary alignment of interesting puzzle games coming out this year.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the DS is already out, and looks interesting. Apparently, while it does have a lightweight mystery-solving theme, it's mainly a collection of puzzles, in the classic meaning of the word. The game packaging wisely calls them "brain teasers" so that you won't be expecting to play Bejewled. Penny Arcade made fun of it the other day, but that strip's writer makes clear in his blog that it was done out of love.

What really caught my eye was the promise of downloadble content, which as far as I know would be a first for any Nintendo-system game, even though they've been running an online service since 2005. I've heard tell of some server-side hiccups with it, but I'm confident enough they'll sort it out that I went ahead and tossed a copy on top of an Amazon order yesterday. (I recall how the very first game to use the online service, Mario Kart DS, managed to pound Nintendo's servers far more than they had originally prepared for.) I'll let you know how it is.


Speaking of the DS, Eidos has announced Brain Voyage, a digital game with puzzles designed by Reiner Knizia, of all people. It's slated to come out sometime this year.

Knizia's surely the most rockstar tabletop game designer alive today, by which I mean if he created a board game about, I dunno, pancakes, the game would be titled "Reiner Knizia's Pancakes" and that's all you'd need. It's not clear from the press release whether his name'll be on this box, or even what the nature of his relationship with the game content is. If the game doesn't stink, it'll be an interesting crossover between the digital and analog gaming worlds.


Finally, Cliff Johnson appears to be maybe actually we-hope poised to release his long-delayed puzzle epic The Fool and his Money this year. Originally slated for release in - gosh, I can't remember anymore, late 2003 maybe? - he kept bumping forward the release date until finally doing the right thing and promising no release date at all. He's been spending the last year or more laboriously repairing the game's content so that it runs consistently well in all implementations of Flash, and according to the counter on his site's front page he's accounted for 187 of 197 puzzles.

Money is the story-sequel to The Fool's Errand, a Tarot-themed puzzle extravaganza Johnson designed and had commercially published in 1989. That game, as well as its first (and differently themed) successor 3 in Three, are available as free downloads from Johnson's website. Because they're for ancient computers, you'll need emulator software to play them on your modern machine, but the author goes into careful detail on the download page about what works best on different computers and operating systems. Both games have my highest recommendation to those who enjoy a good puzzle!

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