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This review is for the Nintendo DS game, Magical Starsign, developed by Brownie Brown and published by Nintendo. The game is a role playing game set in outer space.
The game involves six school children who must find their lost teacher, and at the beginning of the game, you must choose your character. Every child has a different form of magic, such as fire and water. The aim of the game is to find all of the school children again, who are dispersed around the universe, and then locate the teacher, Miss Madeleine.
The basic premise of the game is based on fighting, and there is lots of it. You have to constantly change the way in which you do battle however, as depending on where the planets are in the game will depend on which fighting strategy you need to take. This keeps the game fresh, although has to be something that appeals to you in principle to maintain its interest. You're likely to be able to make progress through the game almost by playing these spells randomly, but experience and good strategy does improve your performance.
The game is controlled nearly entirely by way of the stylus and the touch screen, although you can use the d-pad if you prefer. This does take some getting used to at the start, although it sounds become natural, and works quite well. There are occasional moments of frustration however when you are trying to navigate to another area, and the game doesn't seem to want to take you where you want to go.
This is a game which appears to reward you for the effort put in, and you do get better as you become more experienced with the control system. The display works well across two screens, with the content and displays constantly changing on the screens depending on what you're doing at the time.
The 2D graphics in the game are pretty good, and there are a few animated sequences in the game which are impressive. The sound is effective as well, with both background music and the sound effects adding to the atmosphere of the game.
With the multi player mode you can play with up to five other players, although you unfortunately need a copy of the game cartridge for every player. The system works well, as you play against each other, but have to co-operate to some degree to be able to progress.
There is a lot of game play to be had in this game, and there is a lot of game to play through, especially if you want to explore the universe and all of the areas in full. There are secret areas to uncover as well, so you may well find yourself coming back to the game after completing it.
The game retails for 29.99 pounds, but is currently available for 15.96 pounds on Amazon. if you're happy with a second hand copy of the game, at time of writing, these are available for around nine pounds on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 7+, so is suitable for most children.
In summary, this is a generally good game, with lots of game play, good graphics and sound and lots of atmosphere. The battle sequences can be a bit confusing, and the game can become a bit repetitive, but overall, this is definitely worth considering if you're a fan of games in this genre.