Here is my list of our favorite logic and thinking games for the Nintendo DS:
Scribblenauts has got to be one of the most creative logic games around. There are objectives to the puzzles, like get across the river. The player must conjure up solutions to accomplish the objective, as well as solutions to overcome obstacles placed in their path. They “conjure up solutions” by typing what they want into the in-game notepad/keyboard. For instance, they might type “boat” for the example above. However, something almost always interferes with that solution and the player must figure ways around this complication by “conjuring” up other items to help. There are literally thousands of items in the game, both utilitarian like ladders, ropes, cars and buses, to the outlandish items, such as invisibility cloaks, pirates and black holes. There are time limits on levels, as well as a limitation to the number of items that can be used per level. But regardless of these restrictions, the game is all about experimentation, imagination and endless replay value as players open their minds to the nearly limitless possibilities. It is one of my kids favorites! There is also a Super Scribblenauts which, I am hearing from my son’s friends, is also lots of fun!
Professor Layton and the Curious Village and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future are full of puzzles which are tightly integrated with a great story that draws children in. Charming and eccentric characters might lock their doors with sliding puzzles or hide secrets with brainteasers and so forth. The players must figure out these puzzles and brainteasers to unlock the rest of the story. Hint coins can be found to assist in solving puzzles. Both my kids love these games, but my daughter becomes absorbed in the stories as much as the puzzles, so it keeps her working at the solving the puzzles.Logic Machines is more of a physics logic game where the player uses objects (30 to chose from – cranks, gears, pulleys, rubber bands, etc) & their knowledge of physics (in relation to the objects chosen) to build amazing machines that will solve a puzzle / problem. It reminds me of Crazy Machines: The Wacky Contraptions Game (for the PC), which we like better than Logic Machines, but both are fun to play! If I had to chose between the two, I would get Crazy Machines: The Wacky Contraptions Game (for the PC). However, if you need the portability of the Nintendo DS, it would be Logic Machines.
All of these Nintendo DS & DSi games are all great portable games for a long trip! By the way, all DS games work on the DSi.