Game system for a Puzzle Gal?
October 13, 2007 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I've been enjoying Brain Challenge on my cell phone and am thinking of purchasing a hand held system. I'm unsure whether it would be better to buy a GameBoy Advanced or a Nintendo DS. Also which is more kid friendly.

I looked here
but that thread is two years old and I'm hoping for more current experience. I do own a Playstation One and did somewhat enjoy Final Fantasy VII but really only dedicatedly played Crash Bandicoot. Games like Resident Evil and Tomb Raider were vaguely appealing but only for the puzzle like aspects. I'm looking to play Brain-type games with the odd adventure story. Which system is more weighted to those type games? Is there something else out on the market that would fit my needs? Bonus points for games that could be played with my 6 year old nephew who gets mad at dying in games and a 3 year old niece who insists on having her turn and is afraid of bad guys.
posted by beautifulcheese to Technology (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I vote for a nintendo DS. I love mine, and there are plenty of brainy, pick-up-and-play pu8zzle type games available. My husband's young cousins (6-12) love theirs, and every time I see them, they rush to talk to me about what they are doing on Animal Crossing or Cooking Mama.

Additionally, you can use your DS to play Gameboy Advance games, so there's really no downside to getting one. You can play games from both systems.
posted by nuclear_soup at 12:32 PM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

DS all the way. I love mine. My only regret is that I can never find the time to play with it, given all the other distractions in my life. Plus, like it was previously mentioned, you can also play GB Advance games with it as well. The DS is also a better UI experience, easier to carry around, has a better screen, and is just altogether a really solid product with TONS of games available to it.
posted by cgg at 12:37 PM on October 13, 2007

DS for the same reasons echoed above. I used to be seriously addicted to maintaining my Animal Crossing village, and now I'm making sure I do Brain Training every day.
posted by lhall at 12:55 PM on October 13, 2007

I love my DS Lite - Major improvement on the DS. Highly recommend it.

It's very hard to gauge what video game another person would like, but I can tell you that Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is one of the most enjoyable Zelda games I've ever played, and I think EVERYONE can enjoy it.
posted by lizzicide at 12:59 PM on October 13, 2007

Best answer: Get the Nintendo DS Lite. The Brain Challenge game on your cell phone is a spinoff of the Brain Age series of games on the Nintendo DS Lite. There are currently two English versions, although both tend to be heavier on the math site of things. There's also Big Brain Academy which is more graphically oriented.

Other puzzle games include Pictocross, Lumines, Planet Puzzle League, Puzzle Quest, Polarium, and tons others.

There are also adventure games including Zelda, Planet Dusk, and Final Fantasy 3. The Phoenix Wright series is also well loved.

There's very little development going on for the Game Boy Advance; all the developers are jumping onto the DS/Wii bandwagon.

As far as durability is concerned, I think the Game Boy Advance SP is a little more robust than the DS. Some DS Lites have hinge cracking issues, but it doesn't affect the functionality of the system. The touch screen will get ruined over time so I highly recommend some screen protectors.
posted by meowzilla at 1:05 PM on October 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Nintendo DS Lite.

Without question.
posted by kbanas at 1:17 PM on October 13, 2007

Best answer: DS Lite. Make sure you get the Lite version. It's considerably better re: its form-factor; easier to hold, better stylus, and sexier.
posted by disillusioned at 1:51 PM on October 13, 2007

Best answer: Nthing the DS, there are tons of games like Brain Age for it:

Big Brain Academy
Brain Age
Brain Age 2
Brain Boost: Beta Wave
Brain Boost: Gamma Wave
Brain Buster Puzzle Pak
Mind Quiz: Your Brain Coach
Ultimate Brain Games

Though I've only used the original Brain Age, so it's the only one I can vouch for.

I think there are so many for this system because the touch screen interface makes it really easy to adapt to the different kinds of data entry that brain/ mind games require.
posted by quin at 3:04 PM on October 13, 2007

I'm not much of a gaming person, but I got both a GBA and a DS Lite as gifts. I love the DS. Brain Age was so fun, and if you like puzzle games you might like Legend of Zelda, which my husband has been enjoying.

The thing I love most about the DS is the linking capability. It links wirelessly so you can play with anyone with another DS. They don't even need the same game...I can battle my husband at Super Mario Bros even though I have the cartridge and he doesn't. His DS is able to download the appropriate information from mine. It's awesome.

I'm not sure how good it would be for kids, though. Maybe you could get a DS for yourself and pick up a used GBA for the kids.
posted by christinetheslp at 3:15 PM on October 13, 2007

Best answer: If the kids in question are old enough to not break the DS, they'll probably like it a lot. I see tons of kids using them in airports and so on. As long as you're aware of the online play aspects, I think it's a great system for kids.

Check out DS Fanboy for charmingly random reviews (and more attention to offbeat titles than most such sites--and yeah, I'm not a fanBOY either, but I still like their coverage).
posted by wintersweet at 7:11 PM on October 13, 2007

I don't have a DS but have heard that Picross DS and Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass are phenomenal games.
posted by mattholomew at 7:32 PM on October 13, 2007

Piling on the love for the DS - the touchscreen controls are much more kid-friendly than the GBA, and that and the microphone add a whole 'nother couple of layers to gameplay. Also piling on the love for Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - I've just finished it and it really is the most intuitive, innovative and fun game I've played in a long time. I think it would be great fun to play with kids.
posted by goo at 3:07 AM on October 14, 2007

DS Lite.

My niece really liked Nintendogs around age 4. I had to play it enough to earn money and unlock things. She liked taking the dogs for walks and throwing the frisbee around.

If you like Crash Bandicoot, the first two GBA games (The Huge Adventure and N-Tranced) were well done and can probably be found cheap used. They had a very similar feel to the original Playstation games. I haven't played the new DS Crash of the Titans game.
posted by Gary at 1:56 PM on October 14, 2007

I posted in the Micro thread and ended up getting a micro. It suits me and my needs for non-cutting edge gaming.
That was before the DS Lite was released, and if I was buying now, that is what I would get.
My other suggestion is to check out the emulation software available on the gameboys (and DS Lite).
If you get a writable card you can play hundreds of old 8-bit nintendo games.
I got a Supercard but there are several options.
posted by bystander at 9:25 PM on October 14, 2007

DS lite.

I was addicted to The Urbz: Sims in the City which is rated E and your kids would probably enjoy too. Only concern would be that you need to be able to read for some parts of the game.
posted by dreaming in stereo at 12:49 PM on October 15, 2007

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