Nintendo DSBest Adventure Games

Recommendations from the Adventure Gamers staff

Top Adventure Game Picks - Nintendo DS

Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle (DS)

Who says it's bad luck to have a woman on board a pirate ship?  Obviously not Wizarbox, who promoted the feisty Spanish supporting character from the So Blonde games into her own spin-off starring role. And Morgane Castillo doesn't disappoint in this charming swashbuckling high seas adventure-meets-teenaged coming-of-age story set amidst some gorgeous hand-drawn Caribbean islands.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter

Professor Layton has never failed to make our recommendation list through three adventures so far, and his fourth outing is no exception. This darker tale is a prequel set back in the time when the top-hatted puzzle-solving extraordinaire first meets his soon-to-be-sidekick Luke. Together with another plucky upstart named Emmy, the trio must discover the mystery behind a nocturnal phantom who’s destroying the quaint little town of Misthallery, while solving more puzzles than ever along the way.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Capcom’s latest pointy-haired hero is still pursuing justice, only this time it’s not in court but the afterlife. From Shu Takumi, the creator of the Ace Attorney series, comes a unique supernatural puzzler that casts players in the spirit role of a recently-deceased man. With the ability to possess objects and rewind time among his variety of “ghost tricks”, our victim has just one night to discover who murdered him and why, helping a diverse cast of quirky characters both living and dead along the way.

Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth

The Doctor is everywhere these days! And it isn’t because he’s warping around time and space in the TARDIS, either. Not only is he back on television, but he’s got games on the PC, Wii, and now the Nintendo DS as well. This all-new handheld adventure melds Professor Layton-style lite adventure puzzling with authentic Doctor Who atmosphere and lore, as the Doctor and Amy must help future Earth’s small remaining populace to complete their escape vehicle before catastrophic solar storms arrive.

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

Cing many now be defunct, but English gamers get one last chance to see the Japanese studio, arguably at its best. Although only released in Europe, this sequel to Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is everything that made the original so compelling: stylish graphics, rich film noir atmosphere, great story and characters, and more. There are even a few new surprises for good measure. When it comes to DS adventures, it’s the closest thing to a page-turner.


Released with little fanfare, this may be one of the last chances to cast an eye on a new adventure from Cing, the creator of Another Code / Trace Memory and Hotel Dusk. The ambitious Japanese studio was forced to declare bankruptcy, but were clearly determined to leave a lasting legacy before they left. This twist on conventional crime dramas tells the story of an FBI agent named J, who has the ability to see visions of past crime scenes, which he’ll need to prevent the serial killer named “Providence” from resuming a killing spree begun 19 years earlier. It doesn’t take a psychic to figure out that this game may not be around stores long.

Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past

Remember that awful Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles?  Well, don't.  Forget about it, put it out of your mind completely, and replace that with Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past.  The new DS interactive novel/adventure includes all three of the first game's cases plus another three to boot, all with significantly improved translations.  There are also six comic cases and tons of other extras, all adding up to the game that Jake Hunter was always meant to be.

Time Hollow

One of the genre's oft-overlooked gems is Shadow of Destiny, and this year the game's creator has returned with an all-new time travelling adventure exclusively for the DS.  Using the stylus, players must rip open holes in time to repair a series of problems that have wiped out all traces of the last twelve years of young Ethan’s life.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Capcom’s quirky Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney took even the mainstream game world by storm in 2005, spawning several direct sequels and spin-offs in the years to follow and establishing the Nintendo DS as a viable adventure platform in the process.  Its blend of oddball characters and humour, point-and-click investigation, and unique courtroom dialogue dynamics made the experience feel strange, surreal, and utterly charming. They're all worth checking out, so why not start at the beginning?

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director’s Cut (DS)

Revolution’s classic first adventure of George Stobbart and Nico Collard is bulked up with new artwork and playable content, but trimmed of voice acting and shrunk down for play on Nintendo’s handheld.  Even with the platform’s restrictions, the updated “Director’s Cut” proves once again why the game is often considered one of the finest adventures ever made.

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