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Trivia takes a Brain Quest to the DS

EA is bringing the card deck game Brain Quest to the DS, which sounds like North America's answer to Japan's Quiz Magic Academy and Europe's Super Brain Tease. Only, those of you familiar with Brain Quest will know that it's not as cool as Quiz Magic Academy, not to mention that it's for kids.

While such news probably seems like a bore to the majority of you out-of-the-demographic folks, we bet that a lot of young'ns will actually enjoy the game. This blogger remembers playing plenty of Brain Quest back in the day and loving it. Not only will it have multiplayer and single-player modes, but Brain Quest will also include a bunch of children's Sudoku puzzles on the side.

If you know any elementary schoolers who might be interested in this title, keep in mind that it comes out this September for $29.99.

Reimagining the Zelda franchise's characters as Spore Creatures


The internet has been set on fire by the recent release of Spore Creature Creator, which has been used to create not only some really weird and interesting things, but also variations of characters found in other games. Above, you'll see 19 different characters from The Legend of Zelda games.

The full spectrum of characters is covered, from the incredibly annoying Navi, right down to the ferocious Beast Ganon. So check out the video above.

[Via Go Nintendo]

Brits: Drill your way to HMV for cheap games

Summer in the northern hemisphere officially starts today, which means one thing: sharing strawberries with a loved one in a tranquil hay meadow as you soak up the rays grabbing cheap games in the sales! The folks at HMV know the heat turns us Brits into mushy-minded impulse buyers, and so they've gone and slashed prices on approximately 30 DS titles to around the £12 - £15 mark. Here's the best of what's on offer:
Remember also that HMV offers free shipping to the UK, so you won't need to leave your La-Z-Boy and expose yourself to that nasty summer sun.

$10 Orcs and Elves on Gamestop shelves

This tempting deal applies to brick and mortar stores only, but some eagle-eyed Cheap Ass Gamers noticed that Orcs and Elves is available at Gamestop for $9.99. The game may be a cell phone port, but $10 for John Carmack's fantastical dungeon-crawler is a more-than-fair price.

Ten bucks appears to be the going rate at all Gamestops, but we'll throw in a "your mileage may vary" warning just in case. Unfortunately, you won't be able to snag the sweet-looking wand stylus with this purchase, but cheap gamers like us just have to cut corners sometimes.

You may not be able to buy the game online, but by clicking on the picture or the "Source" link below, you can see if it's available at a Gamestop near you.

Gallery: Orcs & Elves


[Via CAG]

What is the deal with these Apartment Pets?



Off the top of our head, here's a quick list of questions we immediately asked after noticing several odd details with this The Sims 2: Apartment Pets cover:
  • What are those lines on the woman's pants? We swear to Pete, those better not be some damn convertible pants. It is 2008, lady. You should know better.
  • Why is she walking around the building's hallways, puppy in hand, teasing kittens with toys?
  • Is that cat on the bottom right corner cuddling with the PEGI rating? This might be the only creature in the world who has actually taken a liking to the unsightly box.
  • Why didn't this guy block the door when he opened it to grab the morning paper? He could have prevented this gang of animals from spilling out of his apartment.
  • Is that stoic rabbit doing the shoulder lean?
Grab a leash and meet us past the post break for more insightful commentary!

Continue reading What is the deal with these Apartment Pets?

Spore Creatures evolves new screens, Japanese release date



In the beginning, there was a confirmation.

Shortly thereafter, a release date and gameplay details emerged from the primordial ooze a Newsweek interview, and an involuntary chemical reaction a Joystiq hands-on session soon produced screens. Then, for some time, nothing. Until this morning, that is, when we found that the screens had suddenly multiplied in number, and had inhabited our gallery!

The newly developed screens were joined by boxart for the Japanese version of the game, which sort of reminded us of Pokémon Trozei!'s box, and a Japanese release date: September 11th.

So goes the ongoing story of the evolution of Spore Creatures.

Gallery: Spore Creatures

Zubo's rhythm-RPG mashup gameplay


EA isn't taking it easy on the hyperbole in their description of the kids' rhythm RPG Zubo. One staffer at EA Bright Light enthusiastically described the game as the first "next generation" DS game, with graphics surpassing the normal DS abilities. With a concept like theirs, they're free to say all kinds of crazy stuff, because it sounds brilliant. Uh -- for kids. Yeah, that's it, for kids.

Zubo combines RPG battling with monster collecting with ... rhythm gaming. Your party can carry up to three Zubo creatures, which come in three classes: Fighter, Performer, and Defender, each with different abilities in battle. The fights are turn-based, with the extra requirement of tapping in rhythm to power your Zubos' attacks. Science proves that the addition of rhythm-based gameplay improves any genre. Not to mention the great toy-like style.

Take this, animal-hating landlord

We've already seen The Sims get portable with pets, but now it's time to move those animal-loving sensibilities into trendy, high-rise apartments. Getting very specific with Sim titles these days, EA has announced The Sims 2: Apartment Pets for the DS. Don't leave the penthouse window open for Fido to go barrelling out.

Apartment Pets features a bunch of different animals, including cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits and snakes. Question - can you let the snake loose in the loft with all the other furry critters? Can the snake be a King Cobra? Funny if possible, but highly unlikely.

You can run your own pet spa, and interact with fellow upstart professionals who fill their lives with a bunch of wildlife. It'll be just like Seinfeld, only Jerry is a nonchalant house cat while Kramer is the wacky next-door macaw.

Apartment Pets is scheduled for an August 28 release, and you can check out the first images in the gallery. We urge you to pay attention to your real pets for a while before this one comes along. They don't want some hot-shot hamster stealing the limelight.

SimCity Creator creates a release date, readable screens

After the announcement of the brand-spankin' new Wii title SimCity Creator, EA has announced that the latest edition in the DS range will sport the same name. Cool, then. But wait, there's more!

We've been sitting pretty on Japan-only screenshots thus far, because the game is already released over there under the less-inspiring moniker SimCity DS 2 (which we thought would be the name over here, too, but creativity must be executed). That won't phase us, yo -- we've nabbed some English screens for your perusing pleasure! Settle in for a long viewing session, because you won't be playing this hopefully not lousy game until September 22.

Gallery: Sim City 2 DS



[Via press release]

Let these Populous screens populate your retinas

Those of you with fond memories of Populous back in the day, you've probably been watching for news on the remake as closely as we have. Well, sadly we're not presenting anything new on the title today, aside from, as you've gathered from this post's title, new screens.

You can see all of the new screens right here. And, if you're still craving some more eye candy, hit up our gallery below.

Gallery: Populous

EA spills the beans on MySims Kingdom for DS

Ever since MySims Kingdom was revealed, we've been patiently awaiting details regarding the title. Now, we've got a bit more to go on, as EA lets us know what this game is all about. It is "a story of adventure, discovery and exploration to help King Roland and his subjects revitalize the Kingdom." Okay, sounds simple enough.

The DS version of this game, specifically, will offer several different mini-games and very much resembles Animal Crossing. EA's Rod Humble (is that not an awesome name?), whom heads up The Sims division, said MySims Kingdom will contain "rewarding quests, building houses, bridges or even making contraptions powered by electricity or water." It sounds like the title will have a lot of customization options, however we wonder if it won't be the simple little game that EA promised it would be back at launch. Is this not getting to be a bit too big for a casual title?

Be sure to hit up our gallery below for first screens from the game.

Gallery: MySims Kingdom



[Via Joystiq]

Whatever 'it' is, the DS Skates It

EA has announced that their PS3/Xbox 360 skateboard series Skate (or skate. if you want it to look all pretentious) is branching out onto popular systems (the Wii and DS). Skate It, developed by Skate's Black Box along with Exient, translates the motions of jumping and doing your basic skateboard stuff to stylus gestures drawn over a picture of a skateboard. Producer Scott Blackwood said of the new control scheme " ... it's a totally new way of controlling your skater yet somehow very familiar... it feels right."

Will a new control scheme be adequate competition against Activision's mysterious new DS skateboard game technology? It's an interesting time for DS skateboarding games. Check out the link for a few (nice-looking!) screens of Skate It in action on the DS.

Sim City 2 hides unlockable maps


Over at Game Watch, they have an interesting look at a neat feature in Sim City 2 for the DS. They're showing off several different types of the buildings available for you to plunk down in your virtual city, as one might imagine there being in a game where you erect cities, but what's interesting here is the unlockable maps.

Now, machine translation hasn't given us a 100% clear picture on how to unlock these maps (or how many there are, for that matter) and what is needed to essentially "clear" them, but we do know it's a password-based system that will unlock them and that, much like the scenarios in the Sim City of old, you'll start these bonus maps at a certain period in the city's development.

Click on through to check out some screens from the unlockable maps.

Gallery: Sim City 2 DS

Skate to bust ollies on the DS?

Earlier today, IGN put up a post detailing that EA Black Box's (see what a little knowledge gets you?) Skate game was on its way to the Wii and DS, under the title Skate It. Of course, the page has now since been pulled and the link simply leads to a 404.

Would EA bring the franchise to the Wii and DS? It would make sense to tap those markets and get Wii and DS owners into an arguably already casual game. Not to mention that the only skating game available on the Wii isn't too great and the DS could always use another good skateboarding game.

So is this likely to happen? Well, we'll just have to wait and find out. If it's an April Fools' Day joke, IGN is really late to the party.

[Via PALGN]

EA announces Zubo for the DS


EA has a new DS game lined up and it's called Zubo. While it sounds like some kind of long-lost martial art, Zubo is, in fact, a rhythm-based game aimed at "teh kiddiez." Geared toward boys and girls age 7 through 11, EA's Casual Entertainment Label is hoping they have a winner on their hands here. Zubo is currently set to ship this fall.

In the game, the player aids the fine inhabitants of Zubalon against the evil Zombos. There's also more to the title than just that, as players will also be charged with recruiting, feeding and overall training their Zubos before sending them into musically-driven battles. Sounds like fun!

[Via Joystiq]

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