The DS can do a lot of peculiar things that other handheld systems can't - and it does most of them in Feel the Magic XY/XX, an exciting and unique little sampler pack of potential. As a visual treat, it’s equally stimulating, indicative of the kind of happily offbeat games the DS would one day come to be known for. But when those qualities are a game’s greatest assets, the best you can really say about it is that it’s a novelty act - an immediately entertaining curiosity that loses … well, its magic ... quicker than most games do.
The disjointed, dream-like story involves unrequited love, scorpion attacks, nightmare plant monsters and midnight raids on high-security facilities. The actual game is a collection of mostly stylus-based minigames that test your reflexes and tease your retinas in turns. The sensual, suggestive visual style is a kick - think a lavender-tinged iPod ad as it would appear during a crazy dream.
The game works the stylus to the max, as you might expect from one of the first games for the first real touch screen-based console. While most of the stylus moments make sense (tapping charging bulls as if in a shooting gallery, for example), sometimes the d-pad would have been a better way to go. To drive a car, for example, you use the stylus to clumsily grab a steering wheel and rotate it to the left or right. In some minigames, the challenge is the stylus control scheme rather than the game.