The other day, Cas said he’d buy me a new DS game. I have been wanting something new after having completed Agent Elite Beats and being stuck on the last level of Zelda for a while. I went online to see if I could find a good list of “girl games”. Let me clarify, I am not saying that a girl, woman, creature with breasts, etc… cannot be into Metroid Prime: Hunters or Contra 4, but there are definitely games that tend to appeal more to the female gamer than to the hairier sex. So, this is my current wish list of games presented in a completely biased and non-barbie friendly way.
So far, my list of tested A++ games for girls are as follows:
Professor Layton & the Curious Village:
Summary: Professor Layton & his assistant are called to solve a mystery in a small french village when the key to the bridge goes missing. Follow Professor Layton (think Sherlock without the attitude) as he unravels mysteries & puzzles with enthusiasm while sluthing to find out the secret behind the mysterious dissapearances happening throughout the town.
Why I love it: This game is an excellent puzzle game for those that can appreciate a good story and excellent animation. The colours and style of the cut-scenes are beautiful. In some cases I found myself clicking aimlessly in hopes of finding a hidden game (not quite as intuative as one might like), but not to the point where I was ever bored or frustrated. I have heard rumblings that there may be a sequel and I would line up for it in a heartbeat. There are more than 100 games and they can be replayed at any time. On top of this, you can download weekly games and keep challenging yourself for months to come.
Agent Elite Beats:
Summary: The Elite Agents are sent across the world to help people who are in trouble. Keep time with the agents as they dance these victims out of their bad situations or else. Funny story lines, and expressive animation makes for an appealing visual-audio experience.
Known issue: If you get this copy used, be aware that it will have all the previous game play saved. The GameSpot forums cleared this up for me: Simply hold down the ABXY & 2 trigger buttons when the game is loading (you’ll see the iNiS logo). It will ask you if you want to delete all the data. Be advised, there is only one save file so doing this will perminantly remove the old information.
Why I love it: When Dave & Sarah lent me this game, they warned me that the challenges tended towards the “weird”. They waxed poetic about a specific story involving a small child not being loved by her deceased father anymore because she couldn’t bake a cake. Disturbed, but secretly intrigued, I picked up the rhythm game not expecting anything spectacular. I played the game for 2 months solid and replayed it sporadically whenever one of the songs would pop into my head. Since you follow the “agents” as they help people across the world with their various problems, the odd stories don’t really detract from the overall game. The fact that each new story was more rediculous than the last simply added to the fantasy and fun. Why shouldn’t a retired baseball star battle with a dinosaur in an amusement park? No reason I can think of. The music is a combination of modern and classic rock. I found myself replaying levels that I had completed just to listen to the music.
Summary: A series of rhythm games that require either a tap, hold or flick motion to stay in time. Each mini-series of games culminates in a “mix” which uses pieces from all the games you just completed. Mini games are short, so the learning curve isn’t too frustrating and you can replay the games at any time once you have opened them.
Why I love it: This game is everything I have ever wanted in a rhythm game. Each new game has a different musical theme and makes use of different techniques available on the DS. While the animation is fun, I find myself spending more time listening to the sounds and rhythms to complete the mini-games than actually looking at the animations. Playing the game so many times unlocks opportunities for you to go back and “get perfect” to unlock new games, songs or stories about the game’s characters. The only problem with rhythm & music games is that when you are stuck on a puzzle, you tend to hear one song or pattern over and over again. This morning, I woke up to:
My love, *pause* shines on me.
BOOM BOOM BOOM
clap clap clap clap
…and down on you. do do do.
I just can’t get it out of my head. It could be worse. I would recommend this game to anyone who likes rhythm games.
On my list of “to-be-tried” games that I have heard good things about:
- Sudoku Gridmaster: This is ranked the best sudoku game on several of the Game Forums or sites. I just can’t find it anywhere.
- Kirby/ Canvas Curse: Not only is Kirby my FAVOURITE nintendo character, but this game also allows me full use of the stylus to draw (woo!) items on the screen to help Kirby get through the game. This game has been highly rated on most game sites and naturally, is very difficult to find in stores.
- World Ends With You: Honestly, I found this title by checking out SquareEnix’s site. I hadn’t seen anything about this game until I did some searching. It’s been getting great reviews and the gameplay is supposedly spectacular. The only reason I haven’t picked it up yet is because I’m not finished the LAST square game I picked up
- *edit* Mario Kart: I am adding this at Donna’s excellent suggestion. I always meant to pick this up after having heard that you can share the multiplayer over the wireless with another player, even if they DON’T have the game themselves. Mini games & PVP are the best for this “console”.
- Scurge Hive: Female heroine (which is sometimes all it takes to attract a female audience). Fighting game – premise looks neat, but may be too much fighting for me.
- Contact: Strikes me as similar to Crystal Chronicles with the “collection requirements”. This game has some questionable reviews which has kept me from picking it up, but those that like it, really like it.
- Touch Detective: Cute animation, puzzle game. This game also suffers from some bad reviews online for unintuiative puzzles and item combining. Not my idea of a good time, but I think it might be a renter just to see the cute characters. I have heard the dialogue is quirky.
- Lost in Blue: Since the Sims game didn’t translate exactly the way I would like, Lost in Blue seems like a good replacement for my need to micromanage the lives of others. You play a couple trying to survive having been stranded on a deserted island. This one sounds like fun, but, from what I have been reading, might require more maintenance that I am willing to put into a game.
*Please note – this list doesn’t include Cooking Mama. Every single list I found when searching for “games for girls” came up with this or Bratz. While these are both definitely games targeted to girls, I think the cooking, designing your wardrobe and the learn to be a dentist’s assistant games are going a little far…
Zelda & the Phantom Hourglass: If you liked Windwaker and aren’t a crybaby about the “franchise”, you’ll like this game. If you prefer to complain about how the Super Nintendo version of Link was the best version, then stay clear – unless you WANT to get upset. This was the first game I played on the DS and while the dungeons are frustrating, I enjoyed this game as a warm up to what the hand held device could do.
edit* Tetris: This is another Donna suggestion. Honestly, I didn’t even know they had made another version of the DS, but silly me – of COURSE they did. I am still playing my version from the advance on the DS and it works very well. The great thing about Tetris on the Advance & DS is that you can keep flipping the piece to keep you alive once it touches down in the upper levels so you have seconds more to make a decision. This is also why I have actually beaten a session in this format before. Tetris is a stellar any gender game for the DS.
Trace Memory: I enjoyed Trace Memory, but am glad that I didn’t buy it. It was a short mystery story that really only allowed you to follow a single path (there is an alternative ending, but I don’t know how you would go there unless you were trying to “fail”). I call these disposable games (no real replay value) bathtub novel games. You don’t really care if you drop it in the bath since you’re only gonna read it once. The story was interesting and the Japanese art style made it a visually attractive game. It did make full use of a the features of the DS and if you’re looking to get someone a game to cut their teeth with – this is a great bargain bin buy.
I wrote this post following my frustration at not being able to find anything that I want on Google these days. I think it is time for a harsher algorhythm to penalize some of these stupid ad-sites or place holders cause they are just getting in the way. I am more frustrated than satisfied as of late with my search results and unless my techniques have gone stale, it often takes me several pages deep before I find content that is really relevant. I hope this article helps people who are genuinely looking for “DS games for Girls” (or girl-friendly games on the DS) other than Barbie Ponies and Bratz superstars (or regurgiated lists that copy everyone else’s content).