Famitsu Dot Com reports today that Nintendo has decided that today is the day to allow Famitsu Dot Com and only Famitsu Dot Com to reveal the release date of the first batch of DSi Ware titles.
The games, available for download using "DSi Points", which are not to be confused with Wii Points, are as follows. Warning: Brace yourself for Violent Excitement:
Ugoku Memo Pad (Moving Memo Pad) (Free)
Tori to Mame (Birds and Beans) (200 points)
Kami Hikouki (Paper Airplane) (200 points)
Chotto Magic Taizen (Shaffuru game, Funny Face, Osoroshii suuji (A Little Bit of Magic Taizen: Shuffle Card Tricks, Funny Face, and Scary Numbers) (200 points)
Art Style Aquario (500 points)
Art Style Decode (500 points)
Chotto Dr. Mario (A Little Bit of Dr. Mario) (500 points)
Utsusu! Made in Wario (500 points)
Chotto Asobi Taizen: Otegaru Trump (A Little Bit of Asobi Taizen: A couple of card games) (500 points)
Chotto DSi Brain Training: Written (Not going to type out the full title) 800 points
Chotto DSi Brain Training: Math 800 points
Three things to note:
1. It looks like this list actually only contains eleven games. The Magic Trick games are, in fact, sold for 200 points each and count as three games.
2. On the Famitsu infosplurge page, they're very careful to, most likely at Nintendo's request, not devalue the DSi brand, in that the point value for every game is listed in "DSi Points", not just in "points", as I've done here.
3. "Chotto" is Japanese for "a little bit".
Moving right along, the first of the two Brain Training games will apparently make use of the DSi's camera.
The Made in Wario game, as per the Made in Wario team's track record, will use one very specific control method — in this case, the DSi camera. Screenshots seem to indicate that winning each micro-game requires you to pose in a specific way. Like, for example, with your fingers in the big cartoon nose.
"Chotto Dr. Mario" seems to be exactly what it says it is: a little bit of Dr. Mario. A "little bit" of Dr. Mario tends to be more than enough for some people. Why exactly this game is a "little bit" of Dr. Mario and not, I don't know, a whole bunch of Dr. Mario is kind of mysterious to me. There's not a whole lot to Dr. Mario. You drop the pills and you kill the viruses. According to the description on Famitsu, you can enjoy the original endless mode and a VS mode against a computer opponent. Maybe they'll release a two-player wireless VS mode for 500 more points at a later date.
"Art Style Decode" is a puzzle game where, instead of puzzling over coloured objects or charismatic kittens, you've got numbers. "Art Style Aquario" is a puzzle game in which you manipulate coloured cubes and receive points.
Then we've got the two other "Chotto" games — both of them being kind of shameless. They literally are just a "little bit" of previously released games. One contains just the card games from "Asobi Taizen", which was a budget-priced first-party title with such board game classics as chess and checkers. The other "Chotto" title is from Bandai-Namco, and contains three "magic tricks" from their epic failure "Magic Encyclopedia", which was released at the peak of the Brain Training craze several years ago, and presumed to include a pack of cards in the box. The game's price soon plummeted to, well, cheaper than this DSi pay-per-demo, because Bandai-Namco apparently underestimated gamers' ability to learn card tricks from, you know, a book, or YouTube, or something.
"Moving Memo Pad", on the other hand, looks kind of nice. Maybe because it's free? It lets you draw little notes and can write dates and appointments in your little calendar.
This leaves "Bird and Beans" and "Paper Airplane", the former of which is a touch-screen-controlled game in which you shoot a bird's tongue at falling beans, and the latter of which seems like a Ski-Free clone in which you control a paper aeroplane fluttering to earth, dodging obstacles. You can even play two-player VS on one DS, with one player using the D-pad and the other using the face buttons. I'd play that! If someone would drop a DSi in my lap, that is.
Nintendo, if you're reading this, send me a DSi. I need to assess the possibility that Paper Airplane is GOTY 2008.
You can see the thrilling screenshots at Famitsu's site.