The best and worst of DSiWare


1. The Domo series

Developer: Suzak
Price: 200 points (each)

Above: This one is slightly less of a ripoff than the others 

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

Developer: Nintendo
Price: 500 points

Above: Swing and a miss 

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
Price: 1000 points

Above: One of the more technologically impressive DSiWare titles. Too bad it plays like ass 

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

Developer: Nintendo
Price: 200 points

Above: Are you excited by this? Yeah, neither were we 

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
Price: 800 points

Above: If we had to star in such a crappy game, we’d be crossing our arms, too 

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.


  • CLEIP - April 10, 2010 9:08 p.m.

    Third party devs have made many a great game for the wii... ware (not that there is anything wrong with that). My impresion is that with the ds, it is the other way around. may be i am wrong, but i don`t own a dsi, so...
  • AZCardinalsfan762 - April 9, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    DSi ware seems really pathetic... im just gonna stick with my ds phat lol
  • philipshaw - April 8, 2010 11:03 a.m.

    There doesn't seem to be that many great games on the store
  • EricBratcher - April 7, 2010 11:06 p.m.

    I'm with Xplosive59 - make with the classic Rayman, will you Ubisoft?
  • grizzly311 - April 7, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    I bought Dr Mario Express with my launch points, and I must say I play it all the time. Actually, I am usually playing it while I am listening to TalkRadar.
  • Cyberninja - April 7, 2010 7:51 p.m.

    i have snaped and paper airplane chase and i say since i got them with the free points it was worth it and you guys and nintendo power should have a debate about this because some games you like they dont and vice versa
  • V13Dragongal - April 7, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    kool. i may buy these if i can get enough points.
  • Xplosive59 - April 7, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    nooooooooo!! they have have murdered rayman twice now, 1st with the rabbit thingys and now with a crappy port of a great game. bring back classic rayman and damn you casual gamers and your party games!!!
  • vigeoman - April 7, 2010 4:35 p.m.

    how is starship defense not on here? its the est game on dsi i think (its a tower defense shooter for u who dont know)
  • GameManiac - April 7, 2010 3:53 p.m.

    Still deciding whether I should get a DSi or the 3DS.
  • oryandymackie - April 7, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    What about the Flashlight app you were whining about?
  • sleepy92ismypsn - April 7, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    do a psp version of this article. you guys dont show enough love to sonys handheld
  • EnragedTortoise1 - April 7, 2010 11:57 a.m.

    I'll wait till the 3DS.
  • yoyoguy - April 7, 2010 2:41 a.m.

    well if i ever get a dsi (which i wont) ill DEFINITELY pick these up
  • toastedmilk - April 7, 2010 2:31 a.m.

    some games to consider there. i still have my 1000 points from launch. after seeing the countless classics nintendo made downloadable on the wii i expected more from the dsi.

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