The Nintendo DS's stylus-driven interface makes the system ideal for mind-bending puzzle games. With the touch screen, brain teaser enthusiasts can scribble complex answers in the form of notes, numbers, shapes and letters. The assortment of puzzle games available for the Nintendo DS is rich and varied, as a result. Here are the seven most worthy adversaries:
was produced by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the developer behind the extremely well-received puzzle game Lumines
for the Sony PSP. Meteos
continues Mizuguchi's legacy of top-quality puzzle games by putting the player on his or her toes, asking for quick reflexes as well as quick thinking. Players must match blocks on the bottom screen to launch piles of block “rockets” towards the top of the screen. If an unignited column of blocks touches the top screen, the game will end unless quick action is taken. Meteos
-inspired pedigree is obvious, but the large variety of gameplay options and slick interface make it a new (and obligatory) puzzle experience.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the WarlordsPuzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords contains a story and elements common to role-playing and strategy games, so it's not necessarily a pure-bred puzzle game. Regardless, this mixed breed is still a comfortable experience for puzzle fans, thanks in part to a combat system driven by a Bejeweled-based interface. As for the rest? Nothing ventured, nothing gained, though it's a safe bet you'll love the whole package.
Planet Puzzle League
by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo is a pleasant and accessible puzzle game that involves matching up images. The title is part of Nintendo's “Touch Generations,” a label given to games that can be enjoyed by experienced and non-experienced gamers alike.
Most puzzle games offer you one type of puzzle throughout. Professor Layton and the Curious Village
by Level-5 and Nintendo literally throws every kind of brain-busting riddle at you, one after another, as you wind through an engaging story about a mysterious town. Optical illusions, number puzzles, riddles, word games...prepare yourself for all of them if you decide to travel with the Professor.
Dr. Mario ExpressThis downloadable take on the classic Dr. Mario puzzle game is an affordable option for anyone looking for a straightforward and familiar puzzle experience. The game is only available through DSiWare, however, which means that it's only available on the DSi and not the DS Lite.
"Picross" is a puzzle phenomenon born in Japan that can be described as part crossword, part Sudokou, and part doodle pad. Numbers on the horizontal and vertical axes of a grid hint at what blocks stay, and what blocks must be done away with. If you play your cards (rather, blocks) correctly, a picture will be your reward. It sounds confusing, but Picross DS
, published by Nintendo, eases you slowly into what is bound to become your next Tetris
If you're comfortable with the two-dimensional puzzles in Picross DS
, try adding a new dimension. Picross 3D
features the same picture-revealing number puzzles that make Picross a joy, but the 3D puzzles add a new level of challenge. Think of it as carving out an answer instead of drawing it. There are multiple difficulty settings, which gives beginners a place to start--and a goal to strive for.