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Joystiq presents

Essential Extras: Penguin United 24x Gaming Pouch

So, right now you can win a Penguin United case that will hold twenty-four DS carts, but how does it look doing so? How's it hold up? Is it worth overcoming horrendous feelings of laziness in order to click the link to the contest? We unboxed a bunch of games in an attempt to find out.

A game case really only needs one thing: a place to securely hold games. Everything else, including cuteness, is basically extra, even if we consider it essential (and oh, we do). We know the Penguin United cases are cute. We know they hold a lot of games. But are they worthwhile? The short answer is yes. The long answer is full of misdeeds, games, and vinyl, and is located after the break.

It's important to note that the cases don't come with any instructions -- it's just the zippered pouch, which contains four vinyl sheets, and a box. Actually, a pretty hilarious box, but that's not as important as the lack of instructions. And why, you might ask, would you need instructions for something as simple as a game case? In order to best answer that, we must direct you to the nearest DS cart. Note that it's almost square, but not quite.

This means that it's very easy to put the game carts in sideways, which is, uh, exactly what we did. Had a hell of a time with it, too; the suckers were quite a tight fit, for reasons we didn't figure out until much, much later.

The good news? If, like us, you're completely without live brain cells, you can merrily tuck away your DS carts in any way you choose, and believe us -- they're not going anywhere. Sideways (as in, not the right way), they're so secure that they're almost protected even from your fumbling efforts at freeing them so that you can actually play.

Once we referred back to the official pictures, there was a chorus of "dohs" as we set about trying the games the proper way. We're happy to say that they work just fine both ways, though if you want to be able to simply slide your DS games in and out of the slots with ease, we recommend trying it the right way -- that is, with the logos sideways.

The Penguin United 24x Gaming Pouch is rather smaller than we expected, as well; even full, and zipped up, it's very thin, and it's only six inches on the longer side. That means it fits easily into just about anything. The adorable penguin-stamped exterior is lightly padded, too, for safety's sake.

Once inside, whether the games are situated properly, or in our more creative (and, uh, difficult) fashion, they look really nice. The pouch is perfectly sized to frame them nicely. In fact, there's not even anything bad we can possibly say about the case. It's even versatile enough for people who aren't paying attention to the obvious!

Look: Slim, smooth, and super cute.

Weight: Very light. Even full, hardly a noticeable addition to a purse or backpack.

Durability: Seems very sturdy. White surface smudges easily, but also cleans up well.

Price: from $10.99 to $14.99

Colors/Patterns: Blue/white, red/white, black/blue

Essential? If you are the type who needs to carry a lot of games around at once, then yes -- we can go ahead and call this one essential. It's a great little case, and the only ones we've seen that are cuter are handmade. If you don't need to carry a ton of games, however, it still may be useful for traveling, and at the current price, it's a good deal even if you don't use it all the time.
Essential Extras is a new irregular feature here at DS Fanboy, in which we check out one accessory and determine whether or not it's a good buy. Is there something you'd like to see us feature? Leave a comment here, or fill out our direct comment form with your suggestions.

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