electronic brain surgery since 2001

StillAliveDS - Portal 2D for Nintendo DS

StillAliveDS The French developer “t4ils” released a new version of his NDS homebrew game StillAliveDS. I just downloaded it and am amazed again of what quality some homebrew games are.

But first things first. What is StillAliveDS? Here's what the developer says:

StillAliveDS is a puzzle game inspired by Portal: The Flash Version which is a 2D renewal of Portal, developed by Valve Corporation.

Portal consists primarily of a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the character and other simple objects by using a Portal Gun. The unusual physics allowed by the portal gun are the emphasis of Portal.

The game levels consist of rooms in which pink cakes have been placed. Your goal is to collect all cakes and then reach the exit of the room. Falling from great heights will not hurt you, but falling into a pit and other hazards will do. When you die, the level is reloaded from the start.

To reach the exit you need to make clever use of the portal gun. It can create two portals: a blue and a red one. Both are connected to each other. When you enter the red one you will teleport out of the blue one and vice versa. How portals are placed plays an important role in the game. Done right it can make you jump higher or let you reach distant places in the room.

StillAliveDS comes with a story mode, which will introduce you to the game mechanics in a series of levels advancing in difficulty. Besides this mode, you can play custom maps. These maps can be created by a simple in-game level editor. Created levels can be uploaded to the authors website directly from the DS via WiFi. WiFi can also be used to browse and download levels created by other players. A feature I'd like to see in commercial DS games as well!

StillAliveDS Controls The only complaint I have so far are the controls. As you need to control movement in three directions (left, right, jump), two portals (red and blue) and the aim of the portal gun (360 degrees), you have to control five buttons and the stylus which can be a bit cramped. The button layout is duplicated to the left and right side of the DS so left and right handers can use it.

I'd prefer a customizable button layout. Maybe using the stylus movement control and having a switch button for movement/aiming could work as well?

Anyway, the game is quite challenging and if you enjoyed Lemmings, you will probably like StillAliveDS.

Oh, and let me know when you create a level for StillAliveDS ;-).

games, homebrew, nds, portal, puzzle
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