Speaking of good design, I bought myself a Nintendo DS Lite.
I never had the regular DS, but this little guy is actually one of the sleekest handheld devices I’ve ever used. It’s obviously taken some cues from Apple. It’s like a little Macbook. DS Lite is probably what I’m going to name my non-existant son…everbody uses Jr.
It’s also really intuitive. The bottom screen is a touch screen. A stylus is stored right behind that screen where your hand just naturally reaches for it when it needs it.
I got three games for it so far: Mario Kart DS, New Super Mario Bros., and Brain Age.
Brain Age is by far my favorite. I’ve been playing it against my brother and my sister. It’s VERY competitive. Currently I’ve got the youngest Brain Age at 27 (20 is ideal). My first test was at 45, then 49, then 56. Then I jumped all the way down to 27. I think I was on a roll that day.
Your brain age is determined by a variety of tests, including memory tests, basic arithmetic, and a “Swoop” test. The Swoop Test flashes a word of color that is also colored, and you’re supposed to say (yes, it has a built-in microphone) the COLOR of the WORD, not what the word is. You’re supposed to decrease your brain age by doing little exercises each day (comes with Sudoku, too). It’s fun, but it also brings you moments when you find yourself going “This is BULLSHIT!” when it doesn’t recognize your Ks or how you say the word “blue.”
Mario Kart DS is also pretty good, although I think I’d have an even better time playing against people I knew. I still want to recreate the time when we (my college buds) were playing Starcraft in our Suite and I was getting swamped with the Mechwarrior thingies and I tore them apart with my Ultralisks (I think it was Chris) and from down the hall I heard him go “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”
That was probably the best moment of my life so far.
New Super Mario Bros. I’m still a little lukewarm on. It’s alright, but not really mind-blowing so far.
The other thing I want to do is catch up on GBA games since the DS plays those too. I’m looking at the Metroid games and The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap.