What kind of DS games were we all promised?
Think back a few years. Think back to the moment you first heard about the Nintendo DS and gathered that it had two screens - one of them touch-sensitive -- and a plastic stylus.
Did you expect to do a lot of drawing on your DS?
Did you picture yourself playing a lot of games that involved illustrating things? Remember how we were at least expecting a DS version of "Mario Paint"?
I did. But that was a long time ago.
Where did all those ideas for drawing games go? I've been asking around…
In the Nintendo DS' first year Namco produced "Pac-Pix," a "Pac-Man" game that required players to draw their own Pac-Man character. Nintendo produced "Yoshi Touch & Go," which let us draw clouds that would funnel Yoshi safely to the ground as he plummeted from the sky. And "Kirby Canvas Curse," perhaps the most ambitious of these kinds of games, re-invented the side-scrolling platformer as an inky draw-your-own-chutes-and-ladders game.
Go back and play it, like I did this past December, and you too may be saying, "Oh yeah, this is what DS games were all going to be like."
Remember those days of the early DS games? They were before "Nintendogs" hit it big, using that touch screen primarily for petting, not drawing; before "Brain Age" used that touch screen more for mathematics than for drawing; before "Mario Kart DS used that touch screen for just about nothing, instead of drawing. And all of these games -- not the ones I mentioned earlier -- became the hits.
What went wrong? Or did it all actually go right? Were we robbed? I've been asking DS developers about this.