Best graphic adventures on the Nintendo DS

It was the ideal console to bring back this beloved genre. Although there aren’t that many titles, graphic adventure fans were able to enjoy these great games, recommended for those looking for interesting puzzles and good stories.

Secret Files: Tunguska

Nina’s father disappears and our leading lady finds out that his disappearance is related to Siberia (now that’s a great graphic adventure, but for the PC and with a “y”; please stay away from the heavily-cut DS version!) and the Tunguska catastrophe, which takes her on a trip around the world in a classic point-and-click adventure.

The game has a sequel, also on DS, but I’d say it’s only for those who really enjoyed the first installment.


Time Hollow

We follow Ethan Kairos on his search for his parents through parallel worlds.

A pretty simple graphic adventure whose creator was behind -possibly- one of the best in video game history: “Shadow of Memories” (or “Shadow of Destiny”) for the PlayStation 2.


Another Code

The most interesting thing about “Trace Memory” (known as “Another Code” outside North America) is its story.

Sadly, even though it tries to make use of the console’s unique features, the game is so short and the puzzles so easy that it’s not hard to turn to the sequel instead, the improved “Another Code R: A Journey into Lost Memories” for the Wii.


Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

The Ace Attorney saga just had to be on this list but I believe Miles deserves a separate spot, due to the big change it meant for the series.

We abandon the classic formula “investigation first, trial later” to move freely as Miles during the investigation phase and then face our opponents outside the court.

A breath of fresh air for those fans of the saga who were looking for something new, starring one of the most charming characters of the series.


Hotel Dusk & Last Window

Together because they’re a game and its sequel, but also because their style is the same and one completes the other’s story, so if you were thrilled when you finished “Hotel Dusk: Room 215”, you can’t miss “Last Window: The Secret of Cape West”.

With a style inspired by classic film noir, we follow the adventures and misfortunes of Kyle Hyde in a hotel where nothing and no one is what they seem to be.

A warning: just like Ace Attorney, very text-heavy.


Broken Sword

We’re talking about one of the best games on the DS and one of the best graphic adventures, period.

“Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars” is a classic PC game, renovated for the Wii and the DS, among other platforms. Now we get to control both leading characters and enjoy this great story on the palm of our hands.

Unmissable for fans of the classic game and new players because of its great puzzles, atmosphere and graphic style. Too bad we didn’t get the rest of the saga on the DS!


Ace Attorney (trilogy)

It’s hard to ask a Phoenix Wright fan to choose a favorite from all the games of the saga. The usual order is 3-1-2, with “Trials and Tribulations”, the ending of the first trilogy, as the winner.

Apollo Justice is just too similar to the Phoenix trilogy and lacks its charm, while the Miles Edgeworth Investigations games are a nice twist to the old formula.

The Ace Attorney trilogy, born on the GameBoy Advance, reached a whole new generation thanks to the DS and it’s one of the most beloved sagas along with that of Professor Layton, which is probably what made their crossover game a reality. It features a huge amount of dialogue and charismatic characters (our leading man, the Fey sisters, Detective Gumshoe, Miles, Franziska von Karma… the list is endless).

Not everyone can take adventures with this much text but if you like the first one, you’ve got a lot more waiting.


Professor Layton (saga)

They forever changed the image that comes to our minds whenever we hear the word “puzzle”.

Layton fans seem to agree with Ace Attorney ones and their favorite Layton & Luke case is number 3: “Professor Layton and the Lost Future”. However, it’s best to start from the beginning and follow the adventures of these lovable characters through hundreds of puzzles with great scripts and background music.

No less than 4 games are available on the Nintendo DS. Chronologically, we then have an animated film and the following games on 3DS. Here’s to more Layton games!


Ghost Trick

Here’s a game by the creator of the Ace Attorney series which earns points thanks to its originality. It’s true that, like those games, it doesn’t have much replay value, but in the graphic adventure genre that’s a rare feature.

Sissel’s a ghost who doesn’t remember who he was when he was alive nor who killed him. We follow his investigation in a game with unique features and an obvious visual appeal.


999: Nine hours, nine persons, nine doors

Maximum replay value and an enthralling “Saw”-like story.

A graphic adventure/visual novel with lots of text, characters and loose ends that we can’t tie up until we get all 6! endings.

These are features which definitely deserve acknowledgement, even though maybe there’s nothing that pleases the general audience like another Profesor Layton game.

999 was so successful that it has become a saga called Zero Escape, with sequels on DS and Vita.


No comments

Most addictive portable video games