Must have DS titles for an 8 year old girl?

I have a close friend who has bought a DS for her daughter for Christmas and is looking for good age-specific, non-violent games for her. I know about a lot of the classics, like Kirby, Mario, and I’d even say Cooking Mama, but does anyone have any other recommendations? Barring that, is there a site out there that reviews games specifically for children?

Nintendogs is still a favorite of my nieces and nephews.

Gamerdad is a fine place to start… and Nintendogs is an excellent suggestion. Harvest Moon has a variation for the DS, iirc.

Don’t forget Animal Crossing and Pokémon!

Princess Debut, no I’m not kidding, my 8 year old daughter loved it, as a matter of fact so did my 13 year old.

Elite Beat Agents (Ouendan!) and Pokemon Diamond/Pearl would be good additions.

Even as someone who’s pretty good at rhythm games, I’d consider EBA/Ouendan to be pretty difficult, especially later on. Not to say that it isn’t fun, just not sure if that’ll be up an 8 year old’s alley.

Even on easy level?

How about for a five-year-old? Our daughter (not quite five) currently enjoys making her Nintendog listen to her – actually, she enjoys hearing her own recorded voice played back at her :-) Not clear she really wants to do all the more structured stuff at all, though. Princess Debut, we’ll have to check that out.

It’s too bad the Ringling Bros. Elephants game for the DS looks so crappy (no one is even reviewing it), as she looooooooves circuses… if they came out with a good Circus Clowns game of some kind, she might explode…

There’s a game in Japan called Wagamama Fashion Girl’s Mode that I see eight year old girls playing on the train pretty much every day. It looks fun! I think it was in Nintendo’s E3 conference this year, but I can’t remember when it’s coming out in the west.

Depending on her reading level, the Ace Attorney games might be a good choice. They’re more interactive books than games, and most of the puzzles aren’t that difficult. Although they’re not strictly non-violent: Most of the cases are murder mysteries.

EDIT: This is for the eight-year old, not the five-year old. Eight’s pushing it a little, so it’s definitely not a good choice for a pre-schooler.

I forgot the game even had an easy mode, haha.

For a five year old… it’s not really a game, but I think she’d like Electroplankton. The best way I can describe it is a collection of different ways of making music. This video is a pretty good demonstration of what it’s about.

Littlest Pet Shop is popular amongst the pre-teen set in my neighborhood. I haven’t tried it myself (I swear!)

Duck Amuk is popular with my 6 year old daughter.

Elite Beat Agents is the most accessible (at least for Americans, probably) Ouendan, making it the best entry point for what is the only killer app I’ve played on my DS that I wouldn’t have preferred on another platform. The difficulty range is pretty huge, but it’s mostly a conceptual hurdle at first rather than a coordination one, and it seems to be one that a wide variety of people (my ds was passed around quite a bit with that title) can grasp regardless of prior experience. Although there is the danger that your girl will want to know what La La is, and I know I’m terrified of finding out.

My 9 year old recommends: Pokemon Platinum (if your niece likes pokemon). She’s not too fond of Nintendogs since you have to play with them regularly to keep them trained, but says the Catz and Hamsterz games are better in that regard. Littlest Pet Shop is okay, but you have to play loads of mini-games she wasn’t keen on, and to advance you have to buy certain pets even if you don’t want them as pets.

Just like Nintendogs Animal Crossing is based on Real Time, and there are reprocussions for not playing for a while. In this case your friends move out and your town gets messy. She says that MySims might be nicer if your niece is like her and goes through phases of playing one game a lot and then moving on to another, thus not playing for a long time.
Cooking Mama is fun too.

Our daughter is a gamer on multiple platforms and has been gaming for 4 years now (with the help of gamer parents) so the next few recommendations might not be suitable for a starting/casual gamer. but she enjoyed final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy Chocobo Tales, Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles ring of Fates and the Pokemon Mystey Dungeon games (which are rogue-likes).
She found the Super Mario and Princess Peach games too hard, and she’s not a big fan of games where you die a lot, but your niece might not find that a problem.

My advice is to find out what her interests are first. Pokemon Platinum is vastly superior over the Imagine games for example, but if your niece thinks Pokemon is stupid and only for boys, then she won’t enjoy the game anyway (or even play it). The latest high school musical or disney Princesses game might then please her more even if it is stricktly speaking a lessser game.

Rezzing!

Wondering if anyone has any recommendations for an 8 and 1/2 year old boy? I just got him a DSi for Christmas, but there was a bewildering array of games, and most of them looked suspiciously like shovelware. Despite being a gamer myself I was totally lost being that I don’t care much about casual DS-style gameplay. I can only imagine what non-gamer parents must go through.

Anyway, my kid loves WoW and anything involving lots of world-exploration and adventure games. He also loves anything Sim-related (not so much The Sims, but SimCity and SimTower are particular faves.) I’m not expecting much like that on the DS, but any pointers would be appreciated.

Three little words: Po-ke-mon.

Second for Princess Debut.