Best Nintendo DS games for Children

Games vary radically in their quality so here is our handy top tips.
Classic games everyone should buy if they can: (see also my best games console for kids and best nintendo wii games)

1 Mario Kart -

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A beautifully put together game with lots of levels, some really excellent circuits.The game can be played multiplayer over wireless internet or with a friend (even if they don’t have the game cartridge.) The bright graphics and relatively easy game play make this very attractive game for children. Very addictive for adults too. This is a game players will keep coming back to. In my opinion the best nintendo game ever.

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2 Super Mario Bros -

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This is an incredible game with enormous levels some really impressive graphics and great game play. There are mini games that you unlock as you go along – including card games and mind puzzles. My 8 year old son had many hours of fun with this game. He was able to complete it after a couple of months. I would say it has good durability as there are lots of mini games and it is one thing to complete every level the other is to collect every coin.

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3 Pokemon Pearl / Diamond -

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My primary school aged kids love these games and can happily while away long car journeys locked in Pokemon battles. I must admit I am a bit of a Pokemon philistine. But my 7 and 8 year old boys tells me this is the best game ever. They can battle the DS, friends who have the game or over the internet.

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4 42 all time classics

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This is my favorite game at the moment. With classics like darts, bowling and dominoes. You can play against a friend on another DS or take on the computer. You can send messages while you are waiting for your turn and also take on some great challenges. This is a bargain of a game too. Amazon are selling it for only £17 with free post and packing.

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5 Brain Training

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According to the adverts even Nicole Kidman plays this game. Very addictive and highly competitive game. lots of variety in the game play so you can test your memory, your mental arithmetic, your ability to solve anagrams and your musical skills. We bought “More Brain training” and our family was hooked – its great watching year olds beat their dad at fast sums! Learning was never this much fun when I was a kid. Even The Times gave this game a thumbs up in its health pages.

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6 The Simpsons game

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Just got this game yet. The real winner seems to be the fact that you have a pet Homer that is a bit like a nintendog that you can feed and care for while he sits on the sofa and watches tv. Game play is very different to the Play Station version and wii versions but some of the reviews say that makes the ds version the best of the lot. Its a very addictive platform game. – It turns out drability is not great on this game – i would now say – only good for die hard simpsons fans.

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7 Diddy Kong Racing

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Steer aeroplanes, dune buggies and hover crafts over a variety of interesting courses. There are some really tough touch challenges . Creative use of the DS features include – blowing on the DS to give your plane’s propeller a head start. With great colourful graphics and enough variety to keep kids going this is an excellent game to buy for your primary aged kids.

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8 Super Mario 64

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Great mini games again with a more 3 dimensional take on the Mario story. Not as good as New Super Mario but a worthy game none the less. It’s hard to fault the nintendo produced games – they normally have terrific colours, great bonus content and a high playability. This one has some great mini games that are worth playing in their own right.

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9 Nintendogs

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Great fun – name your puppy and then call it verbally and it will come to you. Take your dog for a walk, give it a bath and help it to win prizes. This nearly as much fun as having a dog – without all the hassle. OK that’s not true. But nevertheless a fun game that will bring out the carrying nurturing side to any child, a welcome relief to blowing things up that’s for sure.

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10. Legend of Zelda

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this is a beautifully constructed but very tough game. It would suit an experienced game player – my 9 year old is a fan – and i think teenagers would enjoy this game too. It has some great puzzles to solve along the way as you play a prince on a rescue mission. Very young children might find this too hard to play but older kids will love the challenge.

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11. Guitar Hero on Tour

guitar1This is the must have game for Christmas this year. Guitar hero is a very addictive game you basically play along to a musical sound track by pressing on the included fret board. You get points for accuracy of fingering and for strumming. It is very good game and helps to educate children in some rock classics of the past. My kids are into “schools out for summer” as a result of games like this!

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12. Pony friends

ponyfriendsMy seven year old daughter loves this game which is the closest thing to nintendogs for ponies. You need to care for your ponies, making sure they get enough rest, food and excercise and then you can enter your ponies into races etc. The graphics are pretty good and it seems to have enough variety to keep young children suitably engaged. Enjoy it, at under £20 it makes a great birthday gift.

13. Lego Batman

batman1The lego series for wii and ds are excellent games for kids. They are exciting with puzzles and lots of clever visual jokes too. If you are a fan of Batman there are treats in store here with capers against the Riddler , the Penguin and ofcourse the Joker (once you have unlocked enough levels you can play as the villains too). With bright colours and lots of action this is a fun game there’s no blood or guts on display as when you defeat someone they disintegrate into pieces of lego. It’s now available under £20 so another great gift.

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Games I was disappointed by:

1. Transformers

Disappointing game play. This could have been a great game – but they went for a rubbish film tie-in rather than a well designed game. There are two versions of the game, both seem as bad as each other. Don’t buy either. In fact most movie tie-in games are dire.

2. Need for Speed Carbon

Very disappointing car driving game – save your money.

3. Jam

This was fun for a short time – not enough things to do to keep it interesting.

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4 thoughts on “Best Nintendo DS games for Children”

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