7 Best Nintendo DS homebrew games that are surprisingly great

The homebrew scene on Nintendo consoles are amazing. Hobbyists were able to recreate, port, and even make original games for the platform. Here are seven of the best homebrew games on the handheld.

Best nintendo ds homebrew games

7. Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory

Mr. Robot and his Robot Factory originally an Atari 8-bit game however it is mostly known as a Commodore 64 game. Nevertheless, the game was remade to the Nintendo DS. 

Mr. Robot and his Robot Factory is a platform game that introduces an unusual concept of filling in the floor by walking over dots, deviating from the typical completion routes seen in single-screen platformers. The game's protagonist, Mr. Robot, is tasked with clearing floors of scattered dots while navigating various challenges, including angry-faced flames and limited jumping abilities. 

Despite the peculiar core concept, the game features numerous stages, each presenting its own set of challenges. Mr. Robot's weakness and the imposed time limit contribute to the game's difficulty. 

While Mr. Robot and his Robot Factory may not match the difficulty levels of some Commodore 64 games, its enjoyable and fun nature, will have DS gamers happy and contented. 


Ikachan, a freeware video game developed by Japanese creator Daisuke Amaya, known as Pixel, centers around a squid named Ikachan navigating through a cave and assisting other creatures. Originally released as freeware, the game made its way to the Nintendo 3DS eShop on January 31, 2013, through the efforts of Nicalis. Good thing there are homebrewers out there that are able to port the game to DS. 

The distinctive gameplay of Ikachan sets it apart, with a departure from conventional controls. Instead of utilizing arrow keys for movement, players tilt Ikachan using the left and right arrow keys and propel him in the indicated direction by pressing the 'z' key. Initially restricted from swimming directly left or right, Ikachan gains the ability to charge horizontally after acquiring a specific item. Furthermore, the game introduces the Dunce Cap item, enabling Ikachan to attack enemies by ramming them with the pointed hat, a capability not available from the outset.

5. Minicraft DS edition

Minicraft, a 2D top-down action game, was crafted by Markus Persson, the mastermind behind Minecraft, during a Ludum Dare competition, where participants have 48 hours to create a game. In Minicraft, players navigate an expansive world, reminiscent of Minecraft, as they embark on the quest to discover resources, combat adversaries, and construct a dwelling. The ultimate objective is to vanquish the Air Wizard, the game's formidable boss. Minicraft has often been compared to the early titles in The Legend of Zelda series.

4. FlappyBird

In the early days of mobile gaming, there emerged a phenomenon that would both captivate and infuriate players worldwide: Flappy Bird. Created by Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen and released in early 2014, this deceptively simple game took the gaming community by storm. Its premise? Guide a pixelated bird through a series of narrow gaps between green pipes. Sounds easy, right? Wrong.

Flappy Bird’s addictive nature lay in its minimalistic design and one-button gameplay. With each tap, the bird would flap upward, defying gravity momentarily. But the challenge was real: timing those taps to navigate the treacherous pipe maze without crashing.

3. Wordle DS

Wordle, a minimalist and addictive word game, has the entire world. Its gameplay is refreshingly straightforward: players are tasked with guessing a five-letter word within six attempts.

This is not a barebones project as there are several features included. There is a Daily Word Challenge where a new word awaits the player daily. There is also a stats screen. There is also a hard option if you want maximum challenge. And the most important feature is a mod support so that anyone could customize word lists, graphics and other matters. 

2. PuzzleManiak

PuzzleManiak is a Nintendo DS port of Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection, originally entered in the 2009 best DS homebrew contest. The game encompasses 27 different puzzles, offering support for graphic themes and the ability to play MP3s in the background during gameplay. Additional features include downloadable daily challenges, score submission, and global ranking, which requires a Wi-Fi connection.

To set up PuzzleManiak, the file PuzzleManiak.nds (or the chosen executable) can be placed anywhere on the linker. The "pzmk" folder, containing essential data, must be located either on the root folder or within the "/data/" folder of the linker. If the card lacks auto-patching, a DLDI patch for the .nds file is recommended.

Each of the 27 games has been successfully ported to the Nintendo DS, and helpful instructions are available for each game in multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Portuguese. The list of games encompasses a variety, such as Blackbox, Bridges, Dominosa, Fifteen, Filling, Flip, Galaxies, Inertia, Light Up (aka Akari), Map, Mastermind (aka Guess), Mines, Net (aka Netwalk), Netslide, Pattern (aka Picross), Pyramid (an adaptation of Cube), Rectangles, Tents, Twiddle, Samegame, Sixteen, Sudoku (aka Solo), Slant, Slitherlink (aka Loopy), Solitaire (aka Pegs), Unequal, and Untangle (aka Planarity).

For those interested in customizing their gaming experience, PuzzleManiak allows users to play their own MP3 files by placing them in the "/mp3/" directory, with sub-directories also supported

1. Anguna

Anguna, a retro RPG adventure crafted by developer Nathan Tolbert with artistic contributions from Chris Hildenbrand, beckons players to relive the charm of classic titles like the original Legend of Zelda. In this top-down fantasy action-adventure available homebrew game on the Nintendo DS, gamers can immerse themselves in a compact yet captivating experience. Armed with a sword, bow and arrows, and an arsenal including bear traps and dynamite, players navigate five dungeons and an expansive overworld filled with intriguing enemies and formidable boss monsters.

The primary objective in Anguna is to escape the initial dungeon, subsequently venturing into the world to conquer the monsters’ leader and ultimately find the way back home. Throughout the journey, players can unlock secrets by eliminating all enemies in a room, revealing hidden items, doors, or passages. The game also introduces an element of surprise with illusory walls that can be traversed, adding an extra layer of strategy to the pixelated quest. Anguna encapsulates the spirit of classic adventure games, encouraging players to think strategically and unravel hidden mysteries while confronting foes like the Green Toady and the FireCroc, where every move carries significant weight.