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Hidden Gems on the Nintendo DS - A list of 12 great games and 3 bonus games


Makar
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NEWLY ADDED GAMES AS OF NOVEMBER 16TH 2016
Tingles Rosy Rupeeland
Retro Game Challenge


This is meant to be a list of hidden DS gems that most people have not heard about, yet are really good. Feel free to let me know what you think of this list. I hope some of you look these games up and track them down and play them! Please share the love and spread the word to your friends about these great DS gems. I will be updating this list once or twice a year as I play more games in the library.


I've listed a brief (or sometimes in depth) summary for each game, the average price you can get each game for, other games that are similar to these hidden gems, and some screenshots from each game. About half of these hidden gems will cost you only $10 for just the cart. The other ones are a little pricier, but are totally worth it. The lower price for each game usually reflects the price for just the cart, while the higher price is usually the price for a complete (but not sealed) copy.

Here are the best hidden gems on the Nintendo DS that I've come across so far:


1) Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 1 and 2 - (I'm lumping these together too)
If you love pokemon or digimon, these games are for you! Go buy these games now! They're both cheap and very fun and even pretty long unlike most pokemon games. I actually think these games are better than pokemon, and dragon quest monsters joker 1 is one, if not my favorite DS game. Psssst, check out the dragon warrior remake for the Japanese 3DS called Terry's No Wonderland 3D...IT'S AWESOME!!!

Similar games to this: Pokemon, digimon world ds, digimon world dawn, digimon world dusk.
Price for these games: $5-25
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2) Digimon world DS
This really is one of my top 10 games of all time and I highly recommend anyone to get it and play it. It has dragon quest monster features and pokemon features, but with a totally new system for training monsters that is different from any other games I've played. PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF BUYING FAKES OF THIS GAME!

Similar games to this: Dragon quest monsters joker, and pokemon (kind of but not really).
Price for this: $20-45
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3) Digimon world dusk, and digimon world dawn - (I'm just lumping these 2 together. They're very similar to digimon world ds since they are the sequel to that game, and they're both very good). If you like digimon world ds, you'll love these. DO NOT GET Digimon world championship though! THAT GAME SUCKS!! PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF BUYING FAKES OF THESE GAMES!

Similar games to this: Dragon quest monsters joker, and pokemon (kind of but not really).
Price for these games: $20-45 each
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4) Drone Tactics
In this game, you control these bug robot things that they call drones, and you can have a maximum of 9 units per battle. All of your units gain experience from each battle, and level up just like units in Fire Emblem level up. Each unit has different movement values, some can fly, and some have different strengths in the weapons categories which are guns, melee, and canons. The snail unit is your base, where you can dock your other drones and heal them. You get to equip 1 weapon for each of the three weapon categories, and these can do anything from adding HP, to strengthening your weapon, to adding movement value. The main difference from Fire Emblem is that once your units die, they're permanently dead for that battle, but you can use them in future battles. There are also these cards that have different effects such as making your attacks stronger or healing your units, and these cards certainly add another strategic element to the game. The story is kinda just okay, but if you can get over that and the bug factor, then you'll love this game. There's another cool aspect which is called "The badlands". If you've played advance wars dual strike, it's similar to the war room, where you can play on levels that aren't part of the main story. The badlands is a useful thing to gain experience and cards. I highly recommend this game, especially if you like Fire Emblem, advance wars, luminous arc, or other strategy games.

Similar games to this: Fire Emblem, Luminous Arc, Advance Wars Dual Strike
Price for this game - $5-50

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5) Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
What a great and unique game this is. It is much lengthier of a game than you would expect for something that was only given away as a Club Nintendo reward. In order to play this game, you'll need to buy a copy from someone probably in Europe since the U.S' club nintendo never got this reward. There are English versions of this game that were given out in Europe through club nintendo. I believe you can play it in one of 6 languages. The European cart WILL work on ANY DS or 3DS.

Anywho, onto the game itself. You play this game as Tingle. Yes, that goofy guy from Zelda. This game is very unique in that your currency is also your health. You lose rupees slowly in battle, you obviously have to pay for stuff, and you lose and spend rupees in various ways throughout the game. Characters will often ask you how many rupees you want, as a reward, but if you are too greedy, they won't give you ANYTHING! For this reason, this game is most fun to play without looking up cheats for the maximum amount each person will give you. The world is pretty vast, the amount of items you can create through recipes is vast, there are lots of different enemies, lots of levels, lots of sidekick characters that help you throughout the game, and lots of humor. It's a really good game. The only downside is some people might think it's too long, and there is one part where you need to dig for stuff in a desert if I recall correctly. For that part, I HIGHLY recommend looking at a guide online. Other than that, there's really nothing to complain about. The battle system isn't complex, but it doesn't need to be. You just walk up to a monster and the more you tap the screen, the more damage you do. Even though it's pricey, this game is worth every penny. Some of the images below (the lesser quality ones) are images that I myself took. As you can see, there are some interesting bosses and humor.

Similar games to this: Well it does have elements of Zelda in it. Also Paper Mario to some extent
Price for this: - $40-70

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6) Geometry wars galaxies 
This too is really great game. It gets insanely fast paced on some levels and you can forget getting a gold rank on some levels. You shoot a lot of enemies and are free to move around in an enclosed area. Sometimes virtually the whole area will be filled with enemies. Lots of replay value, lots of levels, and if you have the wii version, there are bonus levels you can get.

Similar games to this: Not many...This is one crazy SHMUP
Price for this - $4-10
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7) Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales
Just think of this as a mix up of mario party mini games, with a little flavor of yu-gi-oh dueling, but not really. Mix in a fun little chocobo birdy guy as who you play as, and you've got one extremely addicting game.

Similar games to this: Like I said, a mix of mario party mini games with yu-gi-oh dueling.
Price for this game: $7-25

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8 ) Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
This is such a great spin off from the original dragon quest games. This is an insanely addicting and fun game and extremely fun in vs mode vs friends. Even if you don't like dragon warrior or dragon quest monster games, you HAVE TO TRY THIS! You play as a slime and have to free 100 other slimes, and you get to do all sorts of tank battles with all sorts of weapons that you create through mixing other items and weapons together.

Similar games to this: Not many.....
Price for this game: $13-35

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9) Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution
What a very hard game this is to master. I remember starting this game and not having a clue what to do. It takes quite a bit of learning to do well in this game, but deity mode is insanely fun. This game takes forever to do one game (sometimes 4-5hrs) but it is fun the whole time and makes for a perfect car ride game, or long night game. It's similar to age of empires, but not really the same. 

Similar games to this: Age of empires, advance wars dual strike
Price for this game: $5-15

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10) Megaman Battle Network 5 Double Team DS
A megaman game made the list?? Yes! Most people don't know about this game, because, well it's the same as the GBA version, except the one for the DS is a little updated and has both team colonel, and team protoman on it. What's even stranger is that megaman battle network 5 for the GBA was released in the US in June 2005. The DS version was released only 5 months later on November 1st. Megaman battle network 6 for the GBA was released in the US in June 2006, which is AFTER Megaman battle network 5 for the DS was released. Given all of this, the DS version didn't sell too well and most people don't know about it. If you're a fan of the megaman battle network series, you need to pick this game up! I also suggest you get this game even if you have played team colonel or team protoman on the GBA, because the DS version is a little different. PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF BUYING FAKES OF THIS GAME!

Similar games - Well, it's part of the megaman battle network series, so it's similar to megaman battle network 1-6. 
Price for this game: $15-25

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11) Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2011: Over The Nexus
Yes, I know this is a Yu-Gi-Oh game and that this is a well known franchise, but it deserves a spot here. Yu-Gi-Oh has definitely died down in popularity recently and many people might have missed this gem. I've played a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh games, but I have never put in 200+ hours into one of them, and I've never played one for 3 years straight except for this one. What makes this one different and worthy of this list is that the AI in this game is actually intelligent. This means that duels are MUCH tougher than in past Yu-Gi-Oh games. Your opponents also have VERY creative decks, with many being structured around a specific theme of monsters and this makes certain duelists very hard to beat. They have banned a lot of overly powerful cards that weren't banned in other games, which I actually think is a good thing because it makes you think more strategically and it makes the game more challenging. If you don't already know, Yu-Gi-Oh is a card game, a VERY strategic card game at that, so if you love strategy and card games, this is the game to pick up, more specifically, the best Yu-Gi-Oh game to pick up, and it has the most updated cards besides the latest 3DS Yu-Gi-Oh game that is still digital only. 

Similar games - Other Yu-Gi-Oh games
Price for this game: $25-40

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12) Retro Game Challenge
Pretty solid game right here. If you've ever played NES remix for the 3DS or the Wii U, this is the same type of game. EXCEPT with retro game challenge, ALL of the mini games are made from scratch. Some games may remind you of popular titles like galaga, and rc pro am, but they're different, and some games have unfamiliar gameplay like this weird ninja game. All of the games have that 8 bit retro feel, and at first you'll be like, wait, are there some NES games I'm unaware of that these mini games are based off of? You go through different mini games trying to complete various challenges. It's pretty fun, and you can play each minigame individually after you beat the challenges for it. I really enjoyed star prince and the galaga styled mini games.

Similar games - NES Remix
Price for this game: $15-50 (The only place to find it for $15 cart only is at gamestop. Otherwise it's $30-35 loose online)

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13) Super Robot Taisen: OG Saga
I still haven't played this, but boy does it look good. I'm not quite sure it should be on here, seeing as how it is one of the most expensive DS games, which means a lot of people might already know about it. Having said that, I think it deserves to be on this list because it isn't a main series here in the U.S, and only 3 Super Robot games have ever been localized in the U.S (the other 2 being on the GBA). This game looks incredible. It's an RPG with a mix of humans and some robots, need I say more? PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF BUYING FAKES OF THIS GAME!

Similar games - Other standard RPGs. This one looks different, and promising, and if the priciness of it is any indicator, it'll be a good game to finally get around to playing some day.
Price for this game: $25-75 (Thats the price for loose copies and the price for complete copies without the bigger box and CD. A complete bigger box with the CD goes for $85+ and a sealed copy of that one goes for $110+)

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14) Suikoden Tierkreis
I also still haven't played this game. From what I've heard, this is some people's favorite DS game, and I haven't heard anything bad about it. It looks like an amazing RPG!

Similar games - Other RPGS. Looks similar to your standard RPG, but still looks different enough. Again, I haven't heard anything bad about this one.
Price for this game: $25-40

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15) Black Sigil
I still have not played this game yet either, and maybe it shouldn't be on the list since it's gotten some mixed reviews but it looks like a great RPG to me. Correct me if I'm wrong though guys. Until I play it, it'll stay up, unless a lot of people hate it.

Similar games - Other RPGs. Looks similar to your standard RPG, but still looks different enough.
Price for this game: $10-60

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Let me know what you guys think and if you have anything to add! I'll be updating this every now and then, and may make more threads like this in the future!

Edited by Makar
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Awesome choices, although a little tactical/RPG heavy for my tastes perhaps!

I'm a big DS fan, my favourite Nintendo handheld of all time, got a couple recommendations of my own:

Soul Bubbles - beautiful looking action/puzzle game with a nifty bubble blowing mechanic, reminiscent of bubble ghost on Gameboy. Very engaging game, sometimes challenging but mostly a very chill experience.

Aliens infestation - sweet metroidvania action platformer set in the Aliens universe. The game looks and sounds great, with fun weapons and a lot of decent story and character interaction. A little on the short side, but other than that it's well worth a look.

Goldeneye 007 - Activision's reimagining of the classic Goldeneye, completely different to the N64 version but great nonetheless. I am a big fan of FPS games on the DS, and this is the best, hands down. However, be CAREFUL! There are two different games called Goldeneye on the DS, this one and the earlier Rogue Agent published by EA. That one is nowhere near as good, get the Activision one!

I'll keep a keen eye on how this thread develops, maybe drop a few more game suggestions down the line! 🙂

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8 hours ago, OptOut said:

Awesome choices, although a little tactical/RPG heavy for my tastes perhaps!

I'm a big DS fan, my favourite Nintendo handheld of all time, got a couple recommendations of my own:

Soul Bubbles - beautiful looking action/puzzle game with a nifty bubble blowing mechanic, reminiscent of bubble ghost on Gameboy. Very engaging game, sometimes challenging but mostly a very chill experience.

Aliens infestation - sweet metroidvania action platformer set in the Aliens universe. The game looks and sounds great, with fun weapons and a lot of decent story and character interaction. A little on the short side, but other than that it's well worth a look.

Goldeneye 007 - Activision's reimagining of the classic Goldeneye, completely different to the N64 version but great nonetheless. I am a big fan of FPS games on the DS, and this is the best, hands down. However, be CAREFUL! There are two different games called Goldeneye on the DS, this one and the earlier Rogue Agent published by EA. That one is nowhere near as good, get the Activision one!

I'll keep a keen eye on how this thread develops, maybe drop a few more game suggestions down the line! 🙂

Lol yea it is admittedly a bit rpg heavy but hey if it's a great game it's a great game. I do need to update this once I've played through some more DS games I've heard are good but never played. Stuff like solatorobo, Avalon code, dokapon journey, infinite space, elebits, magicians quest, my world my way, commando steel, front mission DS, lunar knights, luminous arc 1 and 2, rondo of swords, knights in the nightmare, laevathein tactics, sands of destruction and probably many more. The DS has an incredible library.

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8 hours ago, ZBomber said:

I haven't played any of these, although I do own Tingle's Rupeeland. I'll have to check some of these out. Is the Civ game just a kind of simplified version of the main series titles?

Yes Civ is a simplified one, but still really fun and not nearly as lengthy as later civ games. You can beat civ revolution in about 4-5 hrs on deity mode whereas a civ v game could take you 10+hrs

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1 hour ago, Astor Reinhardt said:

I knew about a few of these but I added a few more to my want list. Sadly I don't own any of these yet.

Highly recommend you start with rocket slime and dqmj 1 and 2. They're much easier and cheaper to find than most of the others on this list and they're some of my favorite DS games. Dqmj 1 I would say is my favorite DS game.

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Radiant Historia is an amazing RPG for the DS. Probably my favorite game for the system, top 5-10 of all time. Nostalgia is also good, although a tad easy. I sunk 60-80 hours into each and didn't regret a minute. Thanks for the list, it reminds me of some that I need to check out or finish playing. I hated Black Sigil, but need to give it a fourth or fifth go; it has to get better, right?

 

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Sorry about that dude, I'm just a bit of a weirdo who DOESN'T like RPGs, lol! I am more of a tactical fan though, and Civilization Revolution is absolutely an amazing pick! In that vein, I've also gotta give a shout out to:

Age of Empires: Mythologies - this is a colorful turn based strategy game with 3 wildly different playable factions to choose from. Each faction is stuffed with interesting and bizzare units based on mythical creatures, ranging from griffens and ice giants to the likes of medussa and even the mighty Thor himself! Very fun game with three great story driven campaigns, a strong contender for best strategy game on the system imo!

The other Age of Empires game, Age of Kings, is also strong and worth picking up, but if you have to pick one, go for mythologies!

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On 10/24/2019 at 6:23 PM, SoleGoose said:

Radiant Historia is an amazing RPG for the DS. Probably my favorite game for the system, top 5-10 of all time. Nostalgia is also good, although a tad easy. I sunk 60-80 hours into each and didn't regret a minute. Thanks for the list, it reminds me of some that I need to check out or finish playing. I hated Black Sigil, but need to give it a fourth or fifth go; it has to get better, right?

 

Black sigil is one I haven't played but I thought people liked it. But maybe it should be taken off the list if it's actually not that good. I've heard radiant historian and nostalgia are good games as well. I need to play them too

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Chronos Twin seems underappreciated to me.  It was originally a European exclusive, but was eventually release in North America as a DSi downloadable game.  It's a 2D platformer/shooter where you control the movement of two characters at the same time, one on each screen.  It takes some getting used to, but it's a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrpkatqwHFo

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Administrator · Posted

I had the CD bundle version of Super Robot Taisen but it was one of the first games I sold when I joined NA in 2017. Kiiiiinda regret doing so as I never reeeeally gave the game a proper go, but I will say that I do seem to recall the combat being more fan service than strategy. And I mean that's probably fine for what it is, but I like difficulty in my RPGs if it can be helped.

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11 hours ago, Gloves said:

...but I like difficulty in my RPGs if it can be helped.

Don't play Nostalgia then. It quickly becomes imbalanced if you do any of the side quests, which are a major feature of the game. The battles take far too long as well at times. Those were my only gripes with it, but the depth to it won me over in the end.

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Editorials Team · Posted
21 hours ago, Gloves said:

I had the CD bundle version of Super Robot Taisen but it was one of the first games I sold when I joined NA in 2017. Kiiiiinda regret doing so as I never reeeeally gave the game a proper go, but I will say that I do seem to recall the combat being more fan service than strategy. And I mean that's probably fine for what it is, but I like difficulty in my RPGs if it can be helped.

I had it and played through it and got rid of it.  Before it spiked in value.

It's pretty meh.

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26 minutes ago, Makar said:

Has anyone played solatorobo? I think that's probably next on my list for DS games if it's actually good. That or lunar knights. If someone has played either, let me know what you thought, and if you've played both, let me know which one is better.

I have solatorobo sealed from Facebook market place just seems to be a furry game. I’d suggest ninja town it’s very fun tower defense 

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15 hours ago, Romiked2689 said:

I have solatorobo sealed from Facebook market place just seems to be a furry game. I’d suggest ninja town it’s very fun tower defense 

Lol a furry game? This was before furries were a thing right??? Right??? And I've heard about that one. Tower defense isn't really my thing though. 

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