Best Homebrew Games for the Nintendo DS

Try These Popular Homebrew Games for NDS

Your Nintendo DS experience doesn't have to stop at your local game merchant. There's a huge online community dedicated to Nintendo DS homebrew—games programmed by amateurs and independent developers.

With a little homebrew know-how, you can access dozens of titles across multiple genres, including puzzle games, role-playing games, strategy games and action games.

Here's a sampling of the best Nintendo DS homebrew the internet has to offer.

(Real-time strategy) - The Nintendo DS has plenty of turn-based strategy games—"Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon" is a good example—but it's a little lacking for heart-stopping real-time strategy (RTS) games.

Luckily, you can treat the Nintendo DS's RTS deficiency with "A Touch of War." It offers good times with big, colorful sprite graphics and medieval soldiers who are out for blood. Keep a store of air in your lungs; you won't have time to breathe. More »

(Strategy) - "DiceWars DS" is an addictive strategy game that plays a lot like Risk. It's you versus seven computer-controlled opponents, and everybody is hungry for land. If you're a fan of Risk, don't let this one slip you by. More »

(Roguelike RPG) - "POWDER" is a homebrew roguelike role-playing game (RPG) for the Nintendo DS.

What's a roguelike RPG? It's dungeon-crawling in its purest, most merciless form. You explore endless labyrinths teeming with unimaginable evils and brimming with magnificent treasure. No two visits to the underworld are ever the same, as the dungeon layouts change every time you plumb the depths.

"POWDER" brings the torment and satisfaction of the roguelike experience to the Nintendo DS. True to roguelike tradition, the game's graphics are simple, but you're not playing the game to gawk at the scenery. You're playing to better yourself as an adventurer. More »

(2D action) - Fans of the "Mega Man" series will find a lot to like about "MegaETK," a homebrew game that combines 2D platforming action with minor RPG elements. Jump around, blast enemies, take on colorful bosses, save money and burden your little Mega Man clone with a shopping addiction. More »

(Real-time strategy/Tower defense) - If you're looking for a particularly intense experience, "Warcraft: Tower Defense" combines real-time strategy with tower defense--a genre that, as its name suggests, involves protecting a home base against an endless onslaught of enemies. In "Warcraft: Tower Defense" you cork up invading forces by building and upgrading projectile-flinging towers. More »

(2D action) - "Xrick DS" is a Nintendo DS port of "Xrick" for the PC, which in turn is a side-scrolling game that's heavily inspired by "Rick Dangerous," a 2D adventure game developed for the PC in the late '80s.

Confused yet? The original "Rick Dangerous" was put together by Core, a company that would go on to give life to one of ​gaming's most recognizable explorers: Lara Croft of the "Tomb Raider" series. Like its source material, Xrick DS is heavily inspired by the "Indiana Jones" movies. Expect lots of thrills, spills, and rolling rocks. More »

(First-person shooter) - Bring the definitive '90s first-person shooter to the Nintendo DS with QuakeDS. This was the game that you quietly installed and pecked at while your computer lab teacher droned on about some program or another. Download the homebrew adaptation and re-live the magic. More »

(Physics/Puzzle) - If you enjoy making a mockery out of the laws of gravity in "Crayon Physics" or "Crayon Physics Deluxe" for the PC and iPhone, you'll want to download "Pocket Physics" for the Nintendo DS.

The basic premise should be familiar ground for fans of "Crayon Physics": You draw objects on the touch screen, and they become "real" and interact with their environment through accurate physics. Balls roll down ramps and knock over dominoes, and golf "clubs" swing on hinges to knock projectiles across the screen. Let your inner physicist burst forth. More »

(Shoot 'em up) - "Geo Wars" is a homebrew-take on the beloved "Geometry Wars," a geometric shoot-em-up game that was developed for the PC and adapted for several game consoles.

"Geo Wars" is an independent title, but anyone might mistake it for a professionally-developed game: Its futuristic graphics and anime-style character portraits are fantastic, it has a compelling story and there are 22 levels swarming with relentless enemies. More »