Touching is good
Ghost Trick, The World Ends with You, Phoenix Wright. All these games were once DS-exclusives but have since made their way to mobile devices. These remakes not only boast better visuals and a mobile-friendly interface, but they breathe life into franchises that might have been overlooked the first time they hit stores. As shocking as it may be, not everyone owned a DS, so the ubiquitous smartphone is the better platform to give some of these older games a second chance.
Weve put together a list of 10 games we think deserve a mobile update. Why? Chances are you may not have played them. And if you have, why not let everyone else enjoy them too? As Nintendo once said--touching is good, even your phone or tablet.
The Rub Rabbits!
The Rub Rabbits! is a game about love. Weird ways to achieve love, but love nonetheless. The game came out a couple of years after Feel the Magic: XY/XX and while it serves as a prequel, it simply provides more of the same weird mini-games that serve to bring you one step closer to the girl of your dreams. Some of these strange mini-games consist of running up escalators while avoiding sumo wrestlers, shooting beams of love towards your love interest, and paddling up a river filled with alligators. Eventually the girl you fall in love with gets kidnapped and you need to play even weirder mini-games to rescue you her and chase away her army of suitors vying for her attention.
Its short-but-sweet format and simple touch controls would work just as great on mobile devices. Plus, we could always make do with another kooky game that could have only come from Japan.
Sure, time-traveling RPGs have been done before (heres looking at you, Chrono Trigger), but Radiant Historia brings something new to the table and makes each action you make have an impact on its story. The game even features a lot of parallel endings, and you can even revisit critical moments in the story to play them again until you get the ending or path of your choice. This makes replaying it a no-brainer and puts much of its scenarios in your hands. Battles too are simple and uncomplicated but feature enough room to strategize and to build up your heroes skills. Add to that a stellar soundtrack by the composer of Kingdom Hearts, and you have an RPG that just wants your attention.
For those that never got a chance to play Radiant Historia, your phone or tablet could easily be its new home. You dont really need a second screen, and touch-based controls can feel just as good as any other mobile Final Fantasy game already available. And you know how many of those there are out there.
Fans of space shoot-em-ups might be busy playing Galaga on their phones, but anyone that played Nanostray 2 on their DS is bound to have memories of flying through space and shooting down ships on every planet. This sequel offers a few improvements from the original, including a story and some additional modes that test how long you can stay alive while bullets are raining down on you. Adventure mode features plenty of boss battles and a mix of horizontal and vertical shooting as you track down the source of the deadly Nanostray virus. Those looking for some high-scoring good times, can take on Arcade mode or try to stay alive under strict conditions in Challenge mode.
Considering there are already a few similar games available on the App Store and Google Play, a mobile version of this galactic gem wouldn't have a hard time fitting in. But perhaps a mobile version of Nano Assault, another shooter in the series that takes place within the confines of the human body, would be more appropriate. Think about all those germs that live on your phone. The Nanostray virus could be one of them.
Dementium: The Ward
PC Games like Amnesia and Outlast try to scare us with their blend of psychological horror and use of light and shadow. Who knew a DS game like Dementium: The Ward could do the same? You know youre going to get spooked when you start off in a dark (empty) building with nothing but a flashlight on you. To make things worse, you can even hear someone or something breathing in the distance. What makes this horror title so special is that its one of the few first-person shooters on the DS that isnt just about being trigger-happy. Youll eventually get a gun to defend against muscly corpses and gross-looking monsters, but the game is about survival, exploration, and figuring out where and who you are.
There aren't many games like Dementium on mobile devices, but if a DS can freak you out, whats stopping a mobile game from doing the same? The mobile marketplace is already filled with FPS titles, but turn off the lights and add some creepy crawlers, and youve got a game thats guaranteed to be scary good.
Trauma Center: Under the Knife
Trauma Center lets you play doctor in the year 2018. Instead of the interoffice drama youd expect from television, the game takes place during a crucial moment in time when a new outbreak is getting people really sick. Playing as the talented Dr. Stiles, its your task to operate on patients, removing tumors from their bodies, administering medication, and stitching up their wounds. Each chapter you play through is a test of your healing abilities and puts you one step closer to discovering the culprits of this dangerous disease.
Operating on patients requires the use of a stylus, but like most DS games, touch controls can take its place and still provide you with the accuracy you need to handle those tricky emergencies. Whats more, its chapters are perfect for quick gaming sessions and the games challenge mode is a great way to retry operations to get the best rank possible. Who said cell phones and hospitals shouldn't mix?
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance may have had a similar name to the PlayStation strategy RPG that came out a few years before it, but this Game Boy Advance game featured a whole different set of characters, battle properties, and a more youthful storyline. The games sequel, Grimoire of the Rift, follows the story of a boy who gets warped into the world of a book during his summer vacation and must battle alongside his gang of warriors, mages, and thieves to find a way home. Much of the same gameplay as the first one returns, but the game introduces new character classes, regions in Ivalice to explore, and touch-screen controls that make setting up your troops for battle even easier.
A very traditional strategy RPG game, Grimoire of the Rift would work great on mobile devices since its controls are so similar to those of Final Fantasy Tactics, which is already out on iOS. A Japan-only mobile entry in the series is already out, but there's no word on whether it'll be available worldwide. Fans of the genre would not only get another great title to play on the go, but its colorful setting and memorable characters put a whole new spin on the phrase getting lost in a good book.
Okamiden is like a bite-sized version of Okami, featuring the same Japanese ukiyo-e art style and a cast of characters that are even more adorable than those of its prequel. Starring Amaterasu's young son, this action adventure takes you through the land of Nippon one more time to find friends and fight off evil. Brush techniques still remain an important part of the game and you can freeze time and draw different symbols to unleash your heavenly powers. Various partners lend a hand during your adventure and provide you with new ways to explore and battle.
While the original made use of the stylus, a mobile version of Okamiden could easily incorporate touch controls to translate the experience to your phone or tablet. Okami received an HD remake not too long ago, so why cant her adorable little pup get some love too?
One of the DSs shorter games, Trace Memory is a point-and-click adventure that follows the story of a young girl trying to uncover the whereabouts of her thought-to-be-dead father. The game features plenty of touch-based puzzles and clues to solve, but it only lasts a few short hours. Its sequel, released for Wii outside the US as Another Code: R, builds on the original and makes it feel like youre part of a detective novel. You can interrogate people and discover new bits of information or present them with items youve found and hope it jogs their memories a little. Puzzles still play an important role in the story, but theres a lot more room to explore and to exercise your deduction skills.
Point-and-click adventure games have no trouble doing well on mobile devices, so whats to stop a forgotten series like this one from doing well? The Wii sequel made the game work with just one screen, and a new entry in the series or even a remake would be a great addition. For a game about remembering the past, few people seem to recall anything about this one.
Contact is an experimental RPG created by Goichi Suda (Suda51) and his team. As youd expect from the creator of Killer 7 and Lollipop Chainsaw, this DS title is anything but conventional and follows the story of a boy trying to get home by helping an odd scientist gather parts for his ship. The game breaks the fourth wall several times as the scientist begins to realize youre the one controlling the little boy and eventually hopes to keep this fact a secret from him. To make things even stranger, the top and bottom screens have differing art styles, so youll often see characters shift in appearance depending what screen they appear on.
Of course, the game is an RPG, so you still level up and battle monsters. But get this--even NPCs can be attacked. And if you do decide to pick a fight with them, you may have entire towns ambush you whenever you decide to do some shopping. The game was originally planned for the Game Boy Advance, too, so theres no reason all this madness cant work on a mobile devices single screen.
Elite Beat Agents
Plenty of rhythm games have tried to mimic the magic that comes from playing Elite Beat Agents, but none can compare to the original. This DS game is the American version of the popular Ouendan series, which never made it to the states because of its Japanese tunes. Instead of J-pop, the game features an eclectic, English-speaking soundtrack ranging from Avril Lavigne to the Rolling Stones but it plays just the same. Each song challenges you to tap your screen in sync with the music and features four difficulties that put your rhythm muscles to work.
A few rhythm games are already out for mobile devices that use some of the same mechanics as Elite Beat Agents, but a sequel featuring its hilarious comic panel storytelling and licensed soundtrack would surely beat all its imitators. Heck, even a mobile version of Ouendan would work. A language barrier should never keep you from playing a good rhythm game.
Tapping is just as good
So there you have it. Did you get a chance to play these games when they came out on the DS? Whether you did or not, remakes or sequels of these classics would work just as great on mobile devices. Any other DS games you remember playing that youd like to see again? Let us know in the comments below.
These games may not be out on mobile devices, but here are some iOS and Android games that were once Nintendo-only.