At the beginning of the year, we got a Nintendo DS to improve the then seven-year-old’s quality of life on the long flight to our Australian vacation. Recently I bought the just-released Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, and have put in a little time fooling with it.
The DS is a dinky, slow, limited platform, and the experience will never be immersive. Having said that, Zelda’s quite a bit of fun. The UI is radical; you do everything with the stylus on the touch-screen. It uses the other DS capabilities cleverly, too: the map’s on the upper screen, only you can swap screens to scribble notes and landmarks on the map. And to open some doors, you have to blow out candles; so hold the DS up to your face for some huffing and puffing; remember the microphone?
The boy is having trouble. Some of the puzzles require stopping to think and reading the clues carefully, with attention to detail. If he could upgrade his skills in those areas, that would really improve his quality of life. So I’m cheerleading, helping him through the tough bits and hoping he gets the message.
And occasionally picking up the DS for an hour or two when everyone’s gone to bed. Taste the boomerang of death, monsters!