Having touched on the top games for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, we’re now going handheld with the most popular portable gaming device around, the Nintendo DS.
The DS is the newest generation of handheld video game consoles from Nintendo. This system features built-in Wi-Fi for local or online multiplayer gaming, stereo speakers for virtual surround sound and two separate LCD displays, the lower of which is an interactive touch-screen display that is controlled by a stylus pen.
One advantage of the DS is that it offers more brain games, puzzles, board games and card games than any other system. It also features updates of Nintendo classics, such as the Mario games and Donkey Kong.
What’s more, Nintendo recently released the Nintendo DSi XL model in response to customers (including seniors) who wanted a larger device. The DSi XL’s screen is 93% larger than the DS Lite. It also has improved viewing angles, better battery life and two onboard digital cameras.
The Nintendo DSi XL is available in midnight blue, burgandy and bronze. It comes pre-loaded with Brain Age Express: Math, Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters and Photo Clock.
Below are five more games seniors may enjoy on the Nintendo DS model of their choice.
Brain Age/Brain Age 2
As we get older, it becomes more and more important to keep the mind active. That’s where Brain Age comes in. Inspired by the work of neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, Brain Age features four categories: Brain Age Check, which will report your theoretical “brain age” after completing several challenges, such as a Stroop Test, speed counting or word memory; Training, which features nine different puzzles to master; Quick Play, which presents one easy puzzle from Brain Age Check; and Training, which contains more than 100 Sudoku puzzles with three levels of difficulty.
If you’re looking for even more of a brain workout, there’s also Brain Age 2, which features 17 new activities and expanded multiplayer capabilities.
For more information or to order Brain Age 2
, see Amazon.com
Professor Layton Series
The Professor Layton series of games takes a broad range of creative puzzles and brain games and weaves them through a unique universe of vivid characters and intriguing stories. To get to the bottom of it all, you’ll need to solve between 130 and 165 different puzzles that involve mazes, math, logic, riddles and spatial orientation.
In its first entry, “Professor Layton and the Curious Village,” the professor and his apprentice Luke arrive in the dreamy Victorian town of St. Mystere, where the late Baron Augustus Reinhold has hidden a great treasure. Murder, betrayal and secrets abound.
In the second entry, “Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box,” Luke and the professor hop aboard the Molentary Express in search of the stolen Elysian Box, an object rumored to kill all who open it.
In the latest entry, “Professor Layton and The Unwound Future,” things are grim and chaotic for the future of London and the only one who can set the course of time back on track is the puzzle-solving professor.
For more information or to order Professor Layton
, see Amazon.com
Scribblenauts is one of the most original puzzle games you’re going to find. While most puzzle games only provide one correct solution, Scribblenauts offers many ways to solve its puzzles, which are limited only by the player’s imagination.
In this side-scrolling adventure, our hero Maxwell must maneuver throughout 220 increasingly difficult, spatially-oriented levels to obtain the star-like “Starites.” To solve the puzzles and reach the “Starites”, a player must describe an object to the notepad/keyboard, which will then appear on the screen as a possible tool to bridge the obstacles that stand in their way. There are thousands upon thousands of potential objects you can conjure to assist you on your quest, such as ladders, ropes, cars and even black holes. As the game’s tagline describes, “Write Anything, Solve Everything.”
In the sequel, Super Scribblenauts, you get 120 new levels, hundreds of new possible objects. It also adds adjectives, allowing you to modify existing objects to create a limitless number of new combinations.
For more information or to order Scribblenauts
, see Amazon.com
New Super Mario Bros.
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo system if it wasn’t anchored by a title from its most famous and best-selling franchise, Super Mario Bros. New Super Mario Bros. is an update of the original, eight-world, side-scrolling adventure that first appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.
This time around there are new and improved graphics, powerups and moves, but the story remains a classic. Bowser and Bowser Jr. have kidnapped Princess Peach. As Mario (or his brother Luigi) you’ll trek above and below ground collecting coins, power-ups and flags, hopping on Koopas and Goombas across 80 levels and eight worlds.
New Super Mario Bros. also features two new multiplayer modes with Mario vs. Luigi, a brother-versus-brother race for Stars, and a second with a variety of mini-games that can be played one-on-one, or with up to four players.
For more information or to order Super Mario Bros.
, see Amazon.com
With more than 40 unique classic games, there’s something for everyone in this simple, senior-friendly compilation pack. Clubhouse Games features a wide variety of entertaining card, board and parlor-style games that most seniors will be well acquainted with.
Card games includes Old Maid, Spit, I Doubt It, Sevens, Memory, Pig, Blackjack, Hearts, President, Rummy, Seven Bridge, Last Card, Last Card Plus, Five Card Draw, Texas Hold ‘Em, Nap, Spades and Contract Bridge.
Board games include Chinese Checkers, Checkers, Dots and Boxes, Hasami shoji, Turncoat, Connect Five, Grid Attack, Backgammon, Chess, Shogi, Field Tactics and Ludo.
Clubhouse also includes other games like Soda Shake, Dominoes, Koi-Koi, Word Balloon, Bowling, Darts, Billiards, Balance, Takeover, Solitaire, Escape and Mahjong Solitaire.
This game bundle was a runner-up as IGN’s Best offline multiplayer game for the Nintendo DS, and was nominated for GameSpot’s Nintendo DS Game of the Year in 2006. Clubhouse Games also supports Nintendo’s Wi-Fi connection service for online play with up to eight players.
For more information or to purchase Clubhouse Games