Tag Archives: Nintendo DS

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Nintendo Switch – Comparative Opinions Episode 36

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! Talk is cheap, so hosts David and Holly saved a bunch of money by talking about whether to get a Nintendo Switch! Maybe there’s one in the future, how about for you? Let us know what you think!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

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Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

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Looking Again at Scribblenauts

In the early days of having smart devices, I used to look at the App store far more often to look for interesting things. In doing so, I grabbed a number of games that – while available in other ways – seemed like a nice addition to my mobile devices. Since then, Katamari DamacyScribblenauts, the early Final Fantasy games, and others have gone largely unused – but I’ve kept them on my devices just in case.

Over time, the games that have been the main-stays for me on my mobile devices have been board and card game adaptations, a growing field of game apps. For travel, especially, being able to bring a number of full-size board games with you on a tablet is pretty fantastic, and compared to their non-digital counterparts, the value is amazing.

Flash forward to recently, and the Geek Baby Toddler. I’ll avoid any long discussion of screen time just to say: there is some. The most common screen time is usually with my phone, and looking through all the photos and videos I’ve taken. Other great apps have included ones for drawing, as the cleanup is easy! However, when looking for something to interact with already on my device, and scrolling through all these board games that aren’t a good choice yet… I went back to some of these older games.

The first one I tried was Katamari Damacy, but that quickly proved to not be a good choice yet. The Geek Toddler is far more interested in pressing buttons and getting feedback from her actions that way. So then I tried Scribblenauts.


Scribblenauts originally came out in 2009 for the DS, and made use of the stylus with that system for gameplay – thus the “scribble.” It is a puzzle game but also a sandbox sort of game. You have an avatar, you’re trying to get the star for the level, and there are various challenges in your way. Then you have the power to draw or write the name of something and have it appear in the game.

Like, anything.

I mean, probably not anything but items from a book or a ball, to an elephant or a dragon, to a lasso or a pair of angel wings… to my personal favorite for any number of challenges, a black hole.

The game is programmed with all sorts of fun interactions, like some animals being aggressive, lots of vehicle riding and rope attaching antics… Cthulhu…

It’s a fun game, and does a decent job if I remember right of leveling up the difficulty as you go. The star can’t be destroyed or you fail, so often you’re left trying to get it out of danger or having to come up with a gentle solution when you can’t just bull-in-a-china-shop your way through. You also have a limited number of items you can have out at one time, so it’s often about both thinking of a way to solve the puzzle and about how to do it without needing too many elements.

If you missed Scribblenauts, there’s a couple of flavors of it now on mobile, as well as in-app purchases, because of course. Because of the stylistic art design and fun gameplay, this game has aged just fine and will I think remain just fine for the foreseeable future.


Which brings me back to opening this game up with the Geek Toddler. The main hub screen is also just a sandbox, with your avatar standing there, and the ability to create things. I have been able to get the Geek Toddler to request things, and to write them in and voila! There’s an elephant!

You can ride the elephant, summon other animals, do all kinds of things. We tried out some of the early levels, as well, and she stayed interested. The early ones are a bit tutorial, with things like creating items to give to working professionals. Then again, something like that sounds a whole lot like a puzzle or book for a young one – what does a doctor use? A fire fighter? These things.

So while yes, I have to read the puzzles and put in most all of the work right now, that’s a starting point. And sharing in the activity on a device is a great way to do it anyway. And over time, there are elements of the game that she’s going to be able to pick up – like manipulating the objects on the screen, brainstorming solutions to the puzzle, and eventually even the reading and the writing (on the iPad it seems to mainly be writing to create the items).

With a toddler in the house, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of levels to a lot of toys – which feels like its own separate discussion for another day! But it’s great to find another thing like this where we can level up her engagement and learning with it over time. I’m looking forward to more Scribblenauts!

Go-To Mobile Games

Mobile gaming has opened up our lives for having a game with us. Gone are the days where we had to remember to bring a Sodoku book with us, or a newspaper for the crossword puzzle. Gone even are the days many people my age grew up with, of having to carry around a Game Boy for entertainment.

iPhone - Games!I mean, there are moments in our lives where a little gaming is right, right? Like waiting in lines. Or when traveling. Waking up in the morning or winding down at night. Good for children who can play while perhaps other things are happening. Mobile gaming – in its many and varied forms – is not a new idea. But with our Smart devices, it’s easier than ever.

Now there’s even a new Nintendo system that looks far more like the merging of a Nintendo DS and a tablet than it does like much else. How we view mobile gaming is changing. But even as I play some games on these hand-helds, they don’t all work the same way as each other. And one keeps bringing me back. I’m going to consider mobile gaming just a little bit, and then talk about my favorite one, but then really I’d also like to hear from you – what are your go-to mobile games? Continue reading

Final Fantasy Mobile

So I found some dangerous things on the App Store the other day.

Screenshots from the App Store for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.

Screenshots from the App Store for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.

I read that Theatrhythm Final Fantasy was available on the iOS. You have to understand, I’m a little much of a Final Fantasy fan. I got a PSP basically to play Dissidia (which then had a sequel come out!) and Crisis Core. And it was totally worth it. But I wasn’t sold on buying a 3DS just to play Theatrhythm – but now I don’t have to. Instead, I’ll just run the risk of paying the cost of one over the iOS… Continue reading