1. The Domo series
Above: This one is slightly less of a ripoff than the others
Price: 200 points (each)
Why it’s one of the worst: The words “mediocre cash-grab” spring to mind. You get to control the cuddly-cute wrecking machine Domo (a pop-culture figure in Japan and, to a much smaller extent, the US) through various adventures, from white-water rafting to becoming a rock star. Each game by itself is terribly gimmicky, and the design of some is awful. Rock-n-Roll Domo was particularly bad; picture a way crappier version of Dance Dance Revolution, with only five songs and three arrows. Pro-Putt Domo is at least halfway decent, but averaged out, this series is decisively terrible.
2. WarioWare: Snapped
Above: Swing and a miss
Price: 500 points
Why it’s one of the worst: This one’s all about execution. The WarioWare series has proven itself to be a good one, and incorporating the DSi’s camera seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, the game fails to provide any real enjoyment once it actually gets to the “gameplay” part, which we can all agree is kind if an important facet of, you know... games. What we ultimately got was a glorified tech demo that we’d wager nobody has played in months, or bought in even longer. Don’t go thinking this is anywhere near up to par with other WarioWare games.
3. Thorium Wars
Developer: Big John Games
Above: One of the more technologically impressive DSiWare titles. Too bad it plays like ass
Price: 1000 points
Why it’s one of the worst: The single most expensive piece of software on DSiWare is also the single most infuriating. It seems like an interesting premise – a fully 3D, vehicle-based shooter, which isn’t that common on the DS, let alone in downloadable games. But while it’s definitely in 3D, it looks utterly mediocre, and the difficulty is ramped up way too high. The gameplay’s pretty uninspired, too – shoot the enemies, and try to dodge their shots with your clunky vehicles that handle like an old office chair. The real kick in the teeth, however, is the price: 1000 points (which we guarantee you’ll wish you had back).
4. Paper Airplane Chase
Above: Are you excited by this? Yeah, neither were we
Price: 200 points
Why it’s one of the worst: Another title that started life as a WarioWare microgame, Chase was practically tailor-made to be played for about five seconds and then dropped like it was hot. Using the D-pad (or the Y and A buttons, for our left-handed readers), you guide a paper airplane continually downwards, avoiding walls. It’s entertaining for about two minutes, until you realize you paid real money for this when DSiWare has so much else to offer.
5. Oscar in Toyland
Developer: Virtual Playground
Above: If we had to star in such a crappy game, we’d be crossing our arms, too
Price: 800 points
Why it’s one of the worst: The recipe for Oscar in Toyland is simple: Take equal parts Mario, Sonic, and Bubsy, and blend until homogenized and uninteresting. Now, water down the mixture and add a heaping tablespoon of salt. Garnish with buyer’s remorse and serve. Looks bad, sounds worse, and controls even worse. This is the only game I’ve forgotten about while I was still playing it. Literally. I looked away from my DSi for a second (presumably, someone was trying to do me a kindness and bludgeon me with something big and blunt), and when I looked back, I said “Right, now what the hell was I playing?” Its sequel is none too good, either.