7 Best Nintendo DS Puzzle Games which you can unriddle for fun

The Nintendo DS is the perfect platform for puzzle games. First, puzzlers do not require powerful hardware. Second, mostly because of the first reason, the battery life is divine. And finally, being a portable device, it is inherently for puzzle games.

Best nintendo ds puzzle games

7. Bomberman 2

Bomberman 2, a sequel to the O.G. Bomberman, was only available in PAL territories. It was not released in North America, hence, people might have missed this game when it was released. Now is the time to rectify that mistake. 

The game offers both Mission Mode and Battle Mode. Story-wise, In a unique twist, Bomberman 2 casts Bomberman as an antivirus program combating a dangerous virus threatening Grid City, a tech-dependent society. The simple story unfolds across 7 zones 10 stages each, offering a variety of missions, like defeating enemies to finding gate keys. 

This is classic Bomberman in terms of gameplay. Custom Battle Bomberman introduces parts that enhance abilities, providing a personalized play style. The game features Boss battles that present a real challenge, and unique gimmicks in each zone add complexity. The graphics are crisp and suitable, and the music, though serious, sets the mood effectively. Bomberman 2 offers a fulfilling experience with rich-level design, challenging difficulty, and hidden gem quality.

6. Meteos

Meteos brings a breath of fresh air to the puzzle genre, distinguishing itself from Tetris (which is part of the list) with innovative gameplay and DS-specific controls. Using the touch screen, players arrange falling Meteos, colored blocks, to create combos and launch them into the sky. The game's uniqueness extends to its varied worlds, each with different color ratios and gravity attributes, keeping the gameplay fresh and dynamic.

The main modes include "Simple," offering a quick pick-up-and-play experience; "Time War," challenging players with time-based objectives and high scores; and "Star Trip," an adventure mode with different routes, missions, and planet encounters. The Fusion mode allows players to unlock new planets, items, and music by fusing Meteos and rare materials, adding depth to the experience.

Meteos excels in replayability, providing a game that is easy to pick up for short spurts, with high scores, time trials, and numerous unlockables, ensuring long-lasting enjoyment. Meteos is a must-buy for puzzle genre enthusiasts, offering a complete package with brilliant gameplay, stunning graphics, and exceptional replay value. It remains one of the best puzzle games on the DS, appealing to both genre fans and newcomers alike.

5. Bejeweled 3

Before your mother and aunts got hooked on Candy Crush, Bejeweled is the match 3 to beat.  Bejeweled 3  offers a compelling experience that competes with other puzzle classics. As the first official installment of Bejeweled on the DS (excluding Bejeweled Twist), the game lives up to its legacy, providing various modes to engage players.

In Classic mode, players match three gemstones to earn points, with the game ending when no more moves are possible. Zen mode introduces a meditative experience, featuring relaxing sounds and an endless session where players decide when to stop. Lightning mode adds a time-trial element, allowing players to earn more seconds by matching specific gems with numbers, and Quest mode presents objectives to complete, adding challenges to the gameplay.

Other modes like Butterflies, Diamond Mine, Ice Storm, and Poker bring unique twists to the match-3 concept. Butterflies introduce upward-moving gems, and players must prevent a butterfly gem from reaching the top. Poker mode requires strategic matching to create different poker hands with gem lines.

4. Puyo Pop Fever

Puyo Pop Fever for the Nintendo DS builds on the classic puzzle game's legacy, offering a deep and addictive experience that surpasses its console counterparts. The game's straightforward gameplay involves matching colored Puyo blobs and creating chains and combos to outsmart opponents.

The DS version proves import-friendly, automatically setting itself to English upon startup. The absence of translated instructions and box details doesn't hinder the gameplay. Puyo Pop's core mechanics involve rotating and dropping Puyo to create matches, to send nuisance Puyo or garbage to opponents and force them to fill up their screens.

The game introduces two key concepts: Offsetting and Fever. Offsetting allows players to counter opponents' combos by making matches when Puyo is about to fall, reducing incoming garbage and filling the Fever bar. Fever mode triggers when the bar is full, offering a fast-paced session where players aim to create massive combos within a limited time.

Puyo Pop Fever incorporates an engaging story mode, where characters compete in Puyo battles to find a lost magical cane. While the narrative is cheesy, it is not corny or as the young ones refer to now “cringe”. The game's visuals and sounds, while not pushing the DS's graphical capabilities, are charming which should be enough for puzzlers. One standout feature is the 8-player single-cart multiplayer, allowing for intense battles with friends through download play. But, at the time of this writing, this particular feature may not be present anymore.

3. Space Bust-A-Move

Space Bust-A-Move offers a comprehensive and engaging puzzling experience. This game is a quintessential Bust-a-Move that is a worthwhile addition to the franchise. Departing from 

Space Bust-A-Move introduces a linear story mode, departing from the previous structure of character climbing stages in an inverted pyramid. Bub and Bob embark on a space-bound adventure, saving old friends from a villain originating from Puzzle Bobble 4. The narrative progression, complemented by quirky cutscenes and the liberation of Cosmo Bubbles, adds a fresh dimension to the gameplay never before seen in the franchise. 

The classic bubble-busting gameplay remains a highlight, and purists will appreciate the option to control bubbles with either the control pad or stylus. The strategic depth, requiring players to eliminate patterns by matching three or more bubbles, is enhanced by special bubbles with unique effects. The story mode presents challenging puzzles, and the gradual removal of the convenient line of sight adds an extra layer of difficulty. 

Space Bust-A-Move impresses with its content variety, offering modes like factory mode, puzzle mode, and one-shot mode. Completing challenges rewards players with currency, allowing them to unlock new modes, costumes, special launchers, and bubbles. 

Space Bust-A-Move is a standout classic-style puzzler with approachable presentation, charming graphics, and top-notch gameplay. Its wealth of content, spanning hundreds of puzzles, makes it an excellent fit for the Nintendo DS. The game successfully revitalizes the franchise, offering a delightful and enduring experience for puzzle enthusiasts.

2. Tetris DS

Oh, Tetris, the greatest game of all time, is on every platform imaginable. Just like the Game Boy before it, the DS has its own Tetris game. The simplicity and addictive gameplay of Tetris connect with both dedicated gamers and those who might not consider themselves part of the gaming community, making Tetris a timeless classic that transcends demographics.

For those five people who do not know how Tetris plays, the core gameplay of Tetris involves strategically arranging falling pieces to create solid lines and prevent the stack from reaching the top. Tetris DS introduces innovative features such as the "hold piece" function and the visibility of the next six pieces.

Tetris DS stands out as a must-play version for Tetris enthusiasts, even though it plays exactly like Tetris of old.  This version of Tetris did have a significant multiplayer aspect but no one’s going to play with anyone anymore.

1. Picross DS

Picross is one of the most beloved games in the world. It may not start technically on the DS but it can be substantiated that it was on the DS where this game finally exploded. Picross, a fusion of pictures and crosswords, provides an engaging and addictive puzzle game experience.

With roots in Mario Picross and a tutorial to guide players, the game presents grids of varying sizes, from 5x5 to 20x20. The goal is to logically fill in blocks based on numerical clues at the grid's edges, creating a picture. Strategic placement of X marks helps eliminate possibilities, aiding in the puzzle's completion. The game's difficulty escalates, challenging players with larger grids and complex puzzles, while a timer adds an element of competition.

The three modes—Easy, Normal, and Free—offer distinct challenges. Free Mode removes error alerts, increasing difficulty, and players can create their puzzles in My Picross. Daily Picross provides time-based challenges, tracking improvements over time. Controls are flexible with the stylus or D-pad, depending on you.