Are Cheap Downloadable Games Worth the Money?

One of the main selling points of Nintendo’s new DSi handheld game unit over the company’s original is its inexpensive, Wi-Fi-ready games you can download from the Internet and store on the unit’s hard drive. These cheapo games, known collectively as DSiWare, will run you anywhere from $2 to $8. Compared with the average $30 price tag on a regular store-bought game for the DS, that’s one heck of a bargain.

Once you catch a glimpse of these DSiWare games, however, you may wonder if this is a case of “you get what you pay for.” Can kids who are normally accustomed to high-definition game worlds be enticed by somthing so scaled down on the technology front?

It depends on the kid, I suppose. If your child refuses to play anything other than  40-hour long action sagas, then you’re probably out of luck when it comes to bargain games. But if your kid is into puzzles and strategy, DSiWare is a gold mine. Animal Puzzle Adventure, for instance, is an incredibly simple, rudimentary looking game in which you guide animals around obstacles to a barn, but once you try it, it becomes addictive.

Hot and Cold is a find-the-hidden-object adventure that works, well, just as the title suggests. Puzzles aren’t the only DSiWare fare, though -- you’ve got basketball, bowling, billiards, etc. And even spacefaring shooters, like the pictured game, Trajectile, has a more brainteasing, puzzle-type bent to it. These games may be highly simplified versions of what you’d get by buying a standard game, but most of them honestly will keep kids happy. Worth the few bucks you’d have to spend on them? Absolutely.

Will your kids be satisfied with cheaper, less spectacular video games? Chime in below!

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