Majesco mega-preview

Gardening Mama (DS)
As a spin-off of the popular Cooking Mama series, Gardening Mama offers challenges similar to the familiar cooking ones, but of course replacing chopping and grilling with potting and trimming. For the first time on DS Mama’s cute voice is present, adding an extra dose of personality to the proceedings.

You’ve got a garden to wander around in that acts as a hub for the challenges, and of course you can show off your garden to friends. The real competition, though, comes through in 1v1 online play.

Dawn of Heroes (DS)
This tactical RPG faces your team of heroes against various evils in a grid-based battle system. The lower screen has a fully overhead view of the battlefield, but simplified into icons for quick and easy troop control, while the upper screen shows the action in fully-fleshed out 3D. With 25 classes to choose from and a vast world to roam around in, this RPG aims to have depth along with its cartoonish look.

Puffins Island Adventure (DS)
Know what a puffin is? They’re small birds with brightly colored beaks that sort of resemble penguins (but aren’t so attention starved that they need multiple movies about them). Puffins aims for an Animal Crossing kind of feel, with the player living the life of one of these sweet birds from egg to adulthood. Islands can be wandered around in on foot, or flown to in certain circumstances. Various minigames, like a flying “kart” race, or an Olympic style Puffin diving competition, are on offer. Accomplishing tasks unlocks educational facts and video footage of real puffins so the young ones can learn a thing or two along the way.

Drama Queens (DS)
As can be guessed from the title, this one is aimed squarely at the tween girls, with a pastel board game negotiated with spins of a wheel. Drama spots cause, well, ain’t it obvious? Gain boyfriends, lose girlfriends, and somehow try to find happiness in the great mall of life.

Jan 29, 2009

Matthew Keast
My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.