Games, Games, Games

The DS is a gaming platform through and through, so although there are a few other things out on the interwebs which are non-game (hell, there’s even a version of Linux, DSLinux) we’re going to start by looking just at the DS homebrew games. They are, after all, my main focus in life.

The installation method for each game may be slightly different, but mostly it’s only ever a matter of downloading the files in .nds format and then copying it over to your Slot-1 storage device. Turn on your DS, allow the system to boot directly to your card automatically and then just select and run the relevant game. I have an R4 DS myself and it’s never been more complicated than that, even when I’ve used other hardware methods.

Anyway, let’s move on and have a look at some of the best and most promising DS homebrew games on the Internet.

Everlasting Love

Get it here

Chances are that, if you are at all worth your salt, then you’ve at least heard of Elite Beat Agents, the popular rhythm game for the DS which sees players tapping out commands for the secret cheerleaders for justice. Yeah, well Everlasting Love takes that game mechanic and transports it to platform gaming for an unusually addictive game about a monkey and his music.

The World of DS Homebrew Games, Games, Games The World of DS Homebrew Games, Games, Games
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There’s no real story to speak of, but the gameplay is enough to keep things interesting as players use the A button to make their monkey jump from one end of the level to the other, where the exit is. The twist comes in that the jumping power of this funky monkey is directly affected by the song which loops in the background.

Pressing the jump button to the rhythm of the song will give your monkey an extra boost and jumping distance, which makes it easier not to hit any of the game obstacles. It’s a brief game experience, but one definitely worth trying and, like most DS games, the whole thing can be downloaded in a matter of minutes.

POWDER

Get it here

Okay, rhythm based platformers aren’t your thing? You must be one of the real old-school bit-tech readers then. Maybe this would be more to your tastes.

The World of DS Homebrew Games, Games, Games
POWDER (not pictured) is a game Roguelike in the truest sense of the word

POWDER is a roguelike developed specifically for the DS and GBA systems. It uses all of the usual things one would expect to see from a true old-school Rogue clone; random level creation, complex rule systems and a barebones display that takes a while to get used to.

Underneath the fairly simple interface however is a stunning in-depth game which is infinitely replayable thanks to the random level creation and the fact it's incredibly difficult. It may not keep you entertained for hours on end, but it’ll definitely keep you playing.

AmplituDS

Get it here

AmplituDS is a DS based on the PlayStation 2 game Amplitude, which was a forebear for the Guitar Hero series. As such, the game has a lot to live up to.

The World of DS Homebrew Games, Games, Games The World of DS Homebrew Games, Games, Games
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Thankfully it manages just fine and the game boasts excellent controls, gorgeous graphics and addictive gameplay which makes the experience challenging and fun. The premise behind it is simple; use the DS to control a space ship which must shoot down targets matched to the flow of whichever song is currently playing.

What starts off as a fairly easy game however quickly escalates and, before you know it, you’ll be sweating and cursing as you try to hit all the targets. It’s by no means a flawless game and at times the difficulty can be a bit steep (for me), but it’s certainly one of the more polished homebrew titles and is well worth a look.

Of course, if all the DS could do is play low-tech RPGs and rhythm games then we wouldn’t bother writing this article. Oh no, there’s much more it can do – from ports of classics to running its own applications. Check the next page for the best of the rest.
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