During the February 2023 Nintendo Direct showcase, the company confirmed as much, when it announced the returns of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, and Professor Layton. Both of these franchises were hits of the mid-2000s, and continue to maintain a cult following thanks to their innovative puzzle mechanics, and a deep sense of longing for the simplicity and creativity of the DS era.
Those who played and loved
- Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop
- Professor Layton’s London Life
- Pokemon Conquest & Ranger
- Mario & Luigi
- Elite Beat Agents
- Super Princess Peach
Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop
The Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop series is severely underrated. It’s cute, it’s got fun gameplay, upbeat charm, and a neat progression system. In each of these games, you play a young Tamagotchi who decides to open a business.
There are multiple business opportunities to play through, and you wind up opening a takoyaki shop, a florist, a dentist, a spa, and many other shops, each of which allows you to take part in a wholesome mini-game – food cooking, massaging, treating patients, cake decorating, and arranging flowers. While each activity is simple, they’re a great way to relax and keep your mind off the world.
The Tamagotchi Connection certainly deserves a return – particularly for those in Western regions who missed out on later Japan-only releases on Nintendo 3DS. We could all do with more cosy games – and the Tamagotchi Connection Corner Shop series perfectly fills the brief.
Contact is a
This Grasshopper Manufacture game (No More Heroes, killer7) is a real gem, and deserves to be considered amongst the best RPGs of the DS era.
You play as a young boy named Terry, who lives on a mysterious planet filled with a kooky cast. The real twist here is that the game constantly breaks the fourth wall, as your guide – the Professor – is well aware of your status as the person ‘controlling’ Terry, and spends the game issuing commands and making jokes as you gain defeat enemies and collect new items.
Pair that tongue-in-cheek humour with fun combat and a hearty levelling system, and you’ve got a neat, engaging adventure worth a return on
Professor Layton’s London Life
Yes, the Professor Layton franchise is already coming to
This game was originally released as an add-on to The Last Specter – in Australia and North America, specifically. If you were one of the lucky few with access to the game, you’ll know why it’s so beloved.
In this mini adventure, you play as a tiny townsperson in a dollhouse version of London. You can decorate your room, take on errands for townsfolk, and spend your time on activities – with each action taking place on an adorable pixel map. The appetite for cosy games has only grown since this release, and there’s no doubt a sequel would be well appreciated by modern audiences.
Pokemon Conquest & Ranger
The Pokemon Company and
Let’s start with Pokemon Conquest. This spin-off was developed by Tecmo Koei, and was actually a wild crossover with Nobunaga’s Ambition, a series that utilised turn-based strategy gameplay. This was adapted into a tense Pokemon tale set in feudal Japan, where players deployed their Pokemon in grid-based combat against a range of warlords. Conquest was extremely innovative – and it’s a real shame that it’s now largely forgotten.
Pokemon Ranger, a spin-off developed by HAL Laboratory, was another neat spin on the Pokemon formula. It pinched the basic narrative-exploration loop of the main Pokemon games, but allowed players to become a Pokemon Ranger, instead of a Trainer. Rather than catching Pokemon, players were tasked with helping them, with new mechanics and combat styles showing off the world of Pokemon in a new light. This series has endless potential to return.
Mario & Luigi
The Mario & Luigi series technically began life on the Game Boy Advance, but it launched its greatest entries on the
Their potential return on
Elite Beat Agents
Rhythm games are back in vogue – so what’s holding back the return of Elite Beat Agents? This iNiS-developed game was a critical smash hit on
Whether you’re using your dancing power to help a young baseball fan, save a wedding, or defeat a towering golem in an amusement park, Elite Beat Agents keeps you firmly on your toes. There are so few rhythm games that culminate in a battle against an alien invasion – and we must cherish the ones we already have.
While a sequel was briefly mentioned after launch in 2006, and later in 2016, it appears the low sales of the original game may prevent this from ever happening. For now, Elite Beat Agents remains a critical and cult hit – but not the mainstream blockbuster it could’ve been. Should it ever release on
Realistically, The Sims 4 will never make it to
The Sims has a vast history on handheld platforms, with a number of spin-offs and sequels produced for
Given the immense popularity of cosy life simulators in the modern era, a return for MySims would be perfectly welcome. This series lets you own and decorate your own home, wander an idyllic village, take part in cute activities like lei-making, and gives you plenty of mini-quests to explore.
It’s simple, cute, and very fun – and there’s no doubt that a sequel on
Super Princess Peach
Super Princess Peach was a bold, fun attempt to twist the main premise of Mario and put the titular princess in a leading role for once. While it may have stumbled in execution – the decision to have Peach’s powers determined by her ‘feminine emotions’ was slightly egregious – it’s still a solid, responsive platformer with innovative mechanics. Plus, it’s totally gorgeous, and rocks a neat pixel art style.
Since the game launched, Princess Peach has taken a surprising back seat in the Mario franchise, often defaulting to the damsel in distress, in a way that’s grown tiresome. While there’s nothing wrong with saving the princess, Super Princess Peach proved nearly a decade ago that she can have a worthy starring role.
A sequel to this game would likely be different, given the backlash around her emotions-based powers, but it could present a new opportunity to see her taking charge of her own destiny once again. Until a potential sequel eventuates, at least we’ll always have Gunbrella to continue Peach’s legacy.