Friday, 20 April 2012

DS Downloadable Games vol. 4 [DS REVIEW] [QUICK&SHORT]

What's It All About Then?
A cartoony, piratey tower defense game with a twist - you must defend against enemy pirate ships who want to steal your treasure!

+++ PROS +++

  • Cheap - £1.80 on the DSi Store.
  • Fairly bright and pretty - the graphics do well enough to show the action.
  • Novel gameplay - the defense/offense tactics required take a little time to get used to but allow for fun, frantic gameplay.
  • Nicely styled - the theme is very piratey and the weapons, music and graphics all complement this.

--- CONS ---

  • Slightly poor tutorial - there's a few slides with very small text explaining what you need to do, but this is pretty hard to read.
  • Slightly difficult to plan for attacks - ensuring you keep all your treasure and fight off baddies can be awkward - and takes seeing the route that the ships take a few times before you can effectively fight them off.
  • Lags terribly when the screen is full - serious slowdown issues here.
  • Very short - only 5 levels that will keep you going for a couple of hours at most.

What's It All About Then?
New and shiny poker and blackjack sim, with a whole bunch of game modes and really encourages you to get involved in the game.

+++ PROS +++

  • Great variety of game modes - about 10 poker variations, plus blackjack.
  • Lots of tournaments to try your hand at - from easy to hard - and then there's multiplayer.
  • The graphics of the player avatars and environments look pretty good
  • Having a customisable player profile allows you to feel engaged and keeps track of your progress well.
  • Loads of achievements to aim for too (win with a straight, all-in before the river etc.) so there's some extra replay value.

--- CONS ---

  • Not too cheap - £4.50 on DSi Store.
  • Poor difficulty balance - the first 5 tournaments are all "super easy" and the final few are "super hard" - meant that I ended up playing the lower-level games for a bit of fun.

What's It All About Then?
Point-and-click puzzle game where you must use subtle hints to progress through the many levels.

+++ PROS +++

  • Cheap - £1.80 on the DSi Store.
  • Around 30 levels that take a fair bit of time to get through.
  • Ranging from fun little slides which take a few seconds to work out, right through to head-scratchers that require a bit more thought.

--- CONS ---

  • Doubt that you'll want to play through this more than once - when you have finished the puzzles there is virtually no replay value.
  • Some levels are just a pain in the arse. Not requiring any logic or cunning, a few puzzles need you to simply "click in the right order" and really can only be found through trial-and-error.
  • The game keeps track of your clicks - so tapping frantically to work out an obnoxious puzzle will add to your counter (and probably raise your blood pressure too).

What's It All About Then?
Brick breaker game where you guide a ball bouncing around 1001 levels of destructible scenery.

+++ PROS +++

  • Cheap - £1.80 on the DSi Store.
  • There really is 1001 levels.
  • Power-ups and bonuses keep things varied for a while.
  • 3D graphics on the DS look pretty good - not spectacular but definitely nice to watch smashing around the place.
--- CONS ---

  • All the levels are pretty samey - the game has 4 themes (forest, candy, Greek and stone age) which determine the objects you'll smash - but you'll always smash the same few objects.
  • Slightly overwhelming! Having 1001 repetitive levels is a bit intimidating - it didn't make me want to get through all of them.
  • If you like bouncing balls to smash things - you'll be in Heaven. If you prefer something more fun - this may get boring quickly.

Feel free to post comments or contributions to improve the experience!

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