Third Party Originals – Big Bang Mini, Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hands, Monster Tale

Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance and DS had some great titles from tried and true franchises (Legend of Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Castlevania, Pokémon) that gamers recall fondly but there were many other exclusives that may not have been as well known. These three games represent only a fraction of some of the innovative, addictive and purely fun offerings that don’t involve household names and decades old franchises.

Big Bang Mini – A “shooter” of sorts for the DS where you shoot fireworks from the lower screen using the stylus towards targets on the upper screen. While launching shots at the targets you must move your triangular ship, also using the stylus, around the bottom screen collecting stars from destroyed targets while also avoiding hazards that they rain down on you from above. Very addictive game that is loads of fun.

Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hands – Action, adventure, RPG-lite game most notable for the gimmick of using actual sunlight during gameplay. Your job is to battle vampires and its a well-known fact that vampires hate sunlight! The real-time internal clock used for “Boktai” keeps track of daytime vs. nighttime but you must be in actual sunlight, or near a sunny window in order to take advantage of this aspect of gameplay. The game has its moments but its a bit bogged down by the limitations of the sun/day structure. What if you’re only available time to play games is at night? “Boktai” won’t be for you then, sorry.

Monster Tale – The most straight forward of the three, “Monster Tale” is an action platformer with RPG elements integrated. The game’s set up involves a little girl, Ellie, who encounters a baby monster she then names Chomp. Chomp tags along on her journey to stop the evil Kid-Kings who have inhabited monster land while Ellie also attempts to find her way home. Chomp becomes your virtual pet and assists in battling enemies and solving puzzles. Throughout the game, you must send Chomp to the lower screen to rest and to consume/use items found that ultimately will level Chomp up, making him stronger and more powerful as the game progresses. This game has a lot in common with “Metroid” with its not completely but sort-of linear level designs and the gradual building up of skills and weapons that allow further progression into the game. The vibe is very much for younger gamers, however, but that doesn’t make “Monster Tale” any less appealing.

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