The Top 10 DSiWare games

We've waded through the crap, so you don't have to...

  • The DSi XL is just around the corner, and one of the main reasons to pick one up is the DSiWare shop which has -- slowly but steadily, picked up steam over the last year. There are some genuine blinders available for cheap download now -- but which are the best and most worth throwing those points down for? We've assembled a list of the top 10 must-have games currently available on the service. If you only ever buy one DSiWare game, make it one of these...

  • 10. Mixed Messages

    The ultimate party game on the DSi. Mixed Messages requires very little skill in anything to play – which is a good thing, as you’ll be able to get your parents, kid siblings, grandparents and possibly even your pets to have a go. Take a sentence, draw a picture, then pass the console to the next person to try and work out what the heck is going on. The more people that play, the funnier things become. A must have for anyone with friends.
  • 9. Dragon’s Lair

    This one is for the oldies – the game first hit arcades before any of us were even born. It’s a basic game - press one of five buttons at the right time to move to the next dungeon room – and frustratingly difficult to actually finish. But at the same time it’s a bona fide masterpiece. It looks and sounds like a serious B-grade cartoon from the time before computers did all the animating, and it looks divine on the DSi.
  • 8. Rayman

    While DSiWare really could do with a virtual console (who wouldn’t want to be able to play classic Gameboy Tetris again?), there are a trickle of classic games finding their way to the service nonetheless. Rayman is one of the better ones. A straightforward, but pretty 2D platformer, it suffers from the occasional flaw, but all in all, the gorgeous visuals and genuine charm help keep this game a true classic.
  • 7. Starship Patrol

    Everyone knows Tower Defence – it’s plagued the internet in its various free forms for years now, and yet developers continue to believe they can make money out of producing slightly better versions than the free ones.

    Starship Patrol, however, deserves our money. From French geniuses Q Games comes a genuinely fresh take on the genre, backed up with a stunning soundtrack and sleek visuals. Even if you’re sick of the free tower defence games, you’ll like this one (it’s hard, too!)
  • 6. Pop+ Solo

    The ultimate chill-out game, Pop+ Solo is all about popping bubbles, and it is so cool. Pop similar coloured bubbles to rack up the points, and keep that timer up – that’s it. The music and visuals are fantastic - it’s the kind of game that's perfect to unwind to with a beer after a hard day’s work.
  • 5. Wakugumi Monochrome Puzzle

    Remember Polarium? It was a DS launch title, and although it’s quite old, it’s also still very playable. Wakugumi comes from the same team, and is similarly classy. It’s hard to describe, but what you’ll be doing is moving black and white colours around to enclose one colour in a box of another. It sits on the more hardcore side of puzzle games and requires a lot of quick thinking, but it’s compelling nonetheless.
  • 4. Dragon Quest Wars

    There are a few online games available through DSiWare now, including Uno and Sujin Taisen. Unlike Uno, which feels like it had a development budget of around $5, and unlike Sujin Taisen, which has an online community of exactly zero, Dragon Quest Wars is both high quality, and popular online. Which is just as well, because the single player game is limited. Online, though, this basic board game shines, being highly strategic and the cute Dragon Quest critters gets it over the line.
  • 3. Reflect Missile

    Q Games’ genius is not a one-hit wonder, either. Rather, it’s a slow burning, everlasting forever-and-ever kind of genius. Reflect Missile is kinda like what you’d get if you took Puzzle Bobble and mashed it in with a block breaking puzzle game. It has more than 200 levels, making it possibly the longest DSiWare game you could buy.
  • 2. Picture Book Games

    The Royal Bluff – It looks simple, but this game is anything but. It’s a superb rendition of a parlour game, in which you attempt to rack up points using coloured tokens, while at the same time guessing what colour tokens your opponent is using, while at the same time trying to bluff your opponent into guessing which colours you’re carrying incorrectly. Put those three layers together, and you’ve got a superb board game that will last many hours, and many more in multiplayer.
  • 1. Kubos

    – Of the seven Art Style games, which are all great in their own right, Kubos sits on top, and is easily the best game on DSiWare to date. It’s abstract, but not confusing, it’s minimal without being boring. The basic premise it so help a stylish monocolour miniature human climb to the top of a pile of blocks while not getting crushed. Pushing blocks around, and lighting up sequences of blocks by walking over them will help build the score, and trying to top your last high score will keep you coming back for more and more.
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