7 Worst Nintendo DS Games Ever to steer clear of

Unfortunately, the uptick of shovelware in video games was first significantly felt with the Nintendo DSi due to DSiWare. This list will feature games that have seen retail release and are not part of the DSiware program. Yes, there are retail releases on the DS that are terrible. Here are seven of them.

Worst nintendo ds games ever

7. March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins is a video game inspired by a nature documentary which has also seen a release on the Game Boy Advance. If you have low expectations about this game, and then yes, lower it further.. 

The game's story mirrors the March of the Penguins documentary, tasking players with guiding large penguin flocks to their mating grounds. While lacking Morgan Freeman's narration, the story follows the film's narrative. 

Gameplay inspiration from an all-time classic game Lemmings, aiming to guide penguins across levels and collect snowflakes. Despite a solid concept for an action puzzle game and an easier difficulty compared to Lemmings, the review identifies two significant problems. Firstly, the game, though easy, is frustrating due to a limit on the number of on-screen objects, leading to confusion and difficulty in tracking placed items. Secondly, the absence of a "pause" function, present in Lemmings, causes frustration as penguins continue moving without interruption, making the game tedious. 

March of the Penguins is a shovelware status that saw a retail release no matter how it was developed in good faith.

6. Animaniacs: Lights, Camera, Action!

Animaniacs: Lights, Camera, Action! is a game that disappoints with its outdated gameplay and lackluster features. The storyline involves the Animaniacs attempting to cover the damages they caused to Warner Bros. by producing three feature films. However, the game's disguise as a DS title can't hide its essentially Game Boy Advance-level graphics and simplistic gameplay. There is nothing inherently wrong with the artistic choice of Game Boy aesthetics nor for employing a simple core gameplay. But here, everything just does not work.

The gameplay, reminiscent of a GBA game, involves completing simple objectives given by the movie director. Players use only two buttons for jumping and throwing objects, and the touch screen serves merely to pause the game. The tasks are basic but are hindered by a frustratingly inaccurate throwing system, making hitting enemies or objects a challenging feat. The overall controls, designed for an action-adventure game with a traditional RPG viewpoint, feel awkward.

The game lacks modern saving features and relies on an antiquated password system, a surprising choice for a Nintendo DS title. Graphics are subpar, and the attempt at an isometric view adds little to the overall experience. The limited sound effects and repetitive music further contribute to the game's annoyance factor.

5. Pass the Pigs: Let the Good Swines Roll

Pass the Pigs: Let the Good Swines roll brings the classic dice-rolling game to the Nintendo DS, replacing traditional dice with pig-shaped die for a unique twist. The game involves throwing two pig-shaped die, each with different poses that result in varied point values. The objective is to accumulate points, with a goal of reaching one hundred before "pigging out" or choosing to bank points. The game features several modes, including one-player, two-player, and World Tour, where players travel across the globe facing opponents with quirky stereotypes.

And all of that is nonsensical since the game just does not feature a multiplayer component. Yes, you can pass the DS around for the multiplayer, but might as well play an actual physical board game than this one.  There are lots of board or die games that were effective in software format, but Pass the Pigs: Let the Good Swines Roll is just not playable. 

4. Silly Bandz

The Silly Bandz video game capitalizes on the popularity of the rubber band toy trend among kids. In this game, Silly Bandz critters are trapped, and players must rescue them by strategically using rubber bands to knock down blocks that imprison them. The game's mechanics involve pulling back and snapping rubber bands, similar to a slingshot, to destroy the various building blocks and free the caged critters. Players have a limited supply of rubber bands per level and need to carefully plan their shots.

Sounds like fun? Absolutely not. This game is the worst version of the fad. It is shallow and entirely nonsensical. Though there was a physical band inclusion for you to play around. 

3. Elf Bowling 1 & 2

Elf Bowling, originally a viral email game, found itself on the Nintendo DS with Elf Bowling 1 & 2. A two-for-one should always be a good deal but somehow Elf Bowling 1 & 2 is not.  This adaptation failed to capture the charm of the original free versions. The games, meant as simple jokes rather than engaging gameplay experiences, hence it is not a surprise that it offered minimal entertainment value.

Elf Bowling 1 retained the basic premise of Santa rolling a ball to knock over elves, lacking depth in control and gameplay. The mechanics involved tapping the screen to throw the ball without the ability to adjust Santa's position or add spin to the ball. The simplicity of the game, which may have worked in its original free format, felt inadequate as a paid Nintendo DS release.

Elf Bowling 2 took the theme to shuffleboard, but the execution was lackluster, featuring poorly designed sprite effects and unimpressive visuals. The game's port to the Nintendo DS suffered from lazy adaptation, with evident issues like the inability to quit back to the main menu.

The humor that might have worked in a free, quick-play version became stale and unsatisfying in a paid release. The games were criticized as some of the worst on the DS at the time of its release, delivering little more than a single-chuckle joke extended into a $20 purchase.

2. Deal or No Deal

Noel Edmonds, with his beard and infamous jumpers, stands as an unsettling figure, especially with his resurrection on game show Deal or No Deal at the time. The show broadcasted daily in the United Kingdom and globally syndicated. Despite its popularity, the DS game adaptation fails to capture the show's essence and falls into the realm of a bleak and uninspiring experience.

The game lacks the engaging rapport between contestants and the host, a key element in the TV show's success. In an attempt to recreate the show's atmosphere, the in-game dialogue and banter are poorly written, lacking wit or humor. The graphics are subpar, featuring pixelated and blocky 2D depictions, especially with an unflattering portrayal of Noel Edmonds himself. The character designs are unvaried and uninteresting, further diminishing the game's appeal.

Game modes, such as playing as the banker, prove tedious and lack excitement. The attempt to appeal to the family market with a forfeit-based mode falls short, adding to the overall mind-numbing experience. Mindscape's Deal or No Deal DS adaptation fails to deliver an enjoyable recreation of the TV show and stands as a lackluster and uninspired cash-in title.

1. Garfield Gets Real: The Game

Garfield Gets Real: The Game, released alongside the DVD film of the same name, presented a game that closely followed the movie's story. The plot involved Garfield and Odie finding themselves in the real world due to Garfield's curiosity, leading to a mission to return to the comic world before they are replaced in the strip.

The game consisted of seven levels with three different gameplay styles. Some levels required Garfield to collect objects, while others featured platforming sections and dance performances. The player's performance at each level determined the reception of the Garfield movie being filmed in the game.

The controls are atrocious with delays and awkward movements, especially in jumping and diving. The control scheme, where pressing left or right moved Garfield without holding the D-pad and pressing down stopped him, is cumbersome and contributes to the difficulty in platforming levels. The lack of clear instructions on dance moves added to the frustration, as players had to memorize them from the manual.

The graphics were criticized for muddy textures and blocky models, while the music and sound effects were deemed passable. There is no reason for this game to be this terrible given the budget it has. The only reason this game is in the number one slot is its shameless desecration of one of the most beloved fictional characters.