Ports and Emulators

So, you’ve got your DS fully pimped out with homebrew games, but you fancy something a little more professional to spend your time with. You can’t dabble in ROMs, so you turn elsewhere – to ports of games which are now openly licensed. Check out our suggestions of which are the best to get.

DS Quake

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Quake, the seminal shooter from id Software which defined a generation of gamers and bought true 3D FPS games to the masses in a dark, uncomprehensible mess which was held together by the music of Nine Inch Nails and a vaguely gothic theme. It was a classic on the PC, but now it’s on the DS and it's somehow even better.

Admittedly, the game relies a lot on novelty value as the game has mostly been played to death by every gamer and his granddad – but the novelty is, like the force, strong with this one.

You’ll need a copy of the original Quake to play the game but if you don’t have one then you can get by with the shareware copy which gives you the first full quarter of the game.

The World of DS Homebrew Ports and Emulators
Quake may be old and ugly, but it makes a great portable game

The controls are simple and make excellent use of the touch screen for aiming while you hold the DS with your free hand and use a trigger to fire. Re-bindable controls mean that you can try the game in left or right handed modes and the port of the game is constantly being improved on, with network play a possibility for the future.

Offering support for some mods and a finely honed control method, DSQuake is an excellent port of the original game and well worth downloading.

ScummVM DS

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I love some adventure games and, as I’m so fond of telling everyone, it was The Secret of Monkey Island which first sent me down the path of gaming obsession when I was a kid. What could be better then than running one of the best games ever made on your DS, which is exactly what you can do with ScummVM.

Emulators of the Scumm engine, which is used to run nearly all of the old Lucasarts adventure games, have been around a while and though the DS version is a little tough to use at times it proves to be well worth the effort.

The World of DS Homebrew Ports and Emulators
I'll take any excuse to use a picture of The Secret of Monkey Island

Again, you’ll need a copy of the game you want to run or you’ll have to use a demo (like these demos of the first Monkey Island games), but it isn’t hard to set up and within moments you too can be playing some of the best games ever made.


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Lemmings is another classic game, one which suits itself ideally to the DS’ touch-screen input and is incredibly easy to pick up and play. If you haven’t played the original games (sacrilege!) then I’ll explain; the aim of each level to guide as many lemmings as possible from the start to the finish, overcoming obstacles by giving individual lemmings specific tasks such as Digger, Blocker, Basher or Exploder.

The World of DS Homebrew Ports and Emulators The World of DS Homebrew Ports and Emulators
Click to enlarge

With all 292 levels from the original games and the expansion packs up for free download, there’s no reason not to download the game and give it a try, especially as all the levels are mercifully unlocked from the start so you can skip any particular brain-bogglers.

Finally, let's look at what other applications are available in the DS homebrew community...
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Mod of the Month June 2020 in Association with Corsair

July 1 2020 | 17:34