electronic brain surgery since 2001

NDS Homebrew: The Games

This is the third part of my Nintendo DS Homebrew series. Be sure to read the parts about the needed hardware and my favorite applications, too.

As the headline suggests, this is a list of my favorite NDS homebrew games so far.

AcChen DS

AcChen DS AcChen DS is a tile matching game, somewhat similar to Mahjong Solitaire. You need to remove tiles by selecting two with the same symbol. But tiles can only be removed when they can be connected by a line with no more than two corners. Sounds easy, but as soon as multiple stacks (3rd dimension) and the time limit come into play it gets quite hard.

I like the game idea very much, but I would prefer a game without the time limit. The contrast between different stack heights could be improved as well.

Whee! DS2

Whee! DS2 Whee! DS2 is a very new game which was just released a week ago. It is one of the few games making use of the Nintendo DS 3D accelerators.

It's a racing game featuring hovering spaceships. While racing you can collect up to two items which then can be used through the DS shoulder buttons. Currently only some kind of rocket and a booster item can be collected.

Graphics and sound effects are really good for a homebrew game. What I miss most is a multiplayer mode. More items and more different race tracks would be a great, too. But for such a young game it is really promising.


DSChess DSChess is what the name says. A chess game for the DS. Nothing fancy, just a chess board and a computer player.

Tapping a piece will highlight the allowed moves. Moving is done via drag'n'drop. A nice touch is a green line showing the last move of the computer player - very helpful if you had to interrupt your game. You may even shut off the DS completely and DSChess will ask you if want to continue your last round when you restart the game.

My chess skills are terrible. Hopefully this little gem will help me to improve :-).

Explosive Gas

Explosive Gas Explosive Gas is a Bomberman clone. You place bombs, collect items to improve your blast and try to annihilate your opponent.

This is a multiplayer game with local WiFi connectivity. Unfortunately I couldn't test this, yet. But it also features a local practicing mode where you can play with two players on the same DS. Player 1 uses the D-Pad and the left shoulder button, Player 2 uses the X,Y,A,B buttons and the right shoulder key – brilliant!

DiceWars DS

DiceWars DiceWars DS is a port of a popular flash game. It resembles some features of Risk but is much more dependent on luck (or I'm just too bad at it ;-)).

You start owning a few areas on a hexagonal map. In each area you got a few dices. You can use these dices to attack an neighboring area. Your and your opponent's dices are rolled. If you have more points you take over his area. Your dices move to the new area, leaving a single one behind. When you end the turn you get a number of new dices based on the number of territories owned.

The game was just recently released and a few features are still missing. Eg. network play doesn't work, yet. And you can't choose the number of opponents.

Lemmings DS

Lemmings DS Lemmings DS is an excellent port of one of the greatest game ever created: Lemmings.

In case you have been living under a rock or were born late: The goal of the game is to save a bunch incredible stupid creatures. Once released, they simply walk on in the same direction, regardless of gaping voids, flamethrowers or gigantic stomping machines. To save them you can give special tasks to a chosen Lemming: climb, parachuting, explode, stop, bridge building, dig forward, dig diagonally and dig straight down. You need to use a clever combination of these abilities to save at least the given percentage of the released Lemmings.

As I said before, this is an excellent DS port. Eg. a zoom function was added to compensate for the small screen. And there are five different modes to select a Lemming and assign a task to him – this makes it even simpler than it was on the PC ;-).

Lemmings DS includes all levels from the original “Lemmings” and “Oh no more Lemmings” as well as from various later released addons like “X-Mas Lemmings”. A must get!


These are just a few of the available free homebrew games. There are many others including posrt of popular older Games like Doom or Quake. Have a look at the lists at Dev-Scene or NDS Homebrew.

What's your favorite homebrew game?

nds, homebrew, games
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