DualPenSports: Dual-wielding proves unwieldy

July 21, 2011

DualPenSports has the distinction of being the first minigame compilation on the 3DS. It also has the distinction of being the first game to use two styli at the same time. Unfortunately, the very fact that it requires two styli to play renders it uncomfortable, unwieldy and un-fun.

DualPenSports includes minigames based on seven different sports: archery, basketball, baseball, boxing, paragliding, soccer and skiing. Each of these sports has a different, but simple, method of control. You’ll use the included styli to do all sorts of swiping, tapping, and sliding across the touchpad, in an attempt to increase your score in each event. This is normal for a 3DS game, but as I said, you have to use both styli, which is where the trouble starts.

Since you have to have a stylus in both hands, you can’t hold the 3DS while playing it. This will no doubt result in many a sore neck and, in my case, sore wrists and fingers. You’ll need to either place it on a table in front of you, or somehow wedge it into your lap. This, of course, causes issues with the 3D. Also, since the 3DS only detects one touch at a time, the ensuing issues make the whole premise of trying to use two at a time silly.

Graphically, it looks a lot like Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. You’ll create your own Mii-like character when you first start up the game, and all the AI competitors you face will also be Mii lookalikes. However, the graphics come nowhere near taxing the system, they could have easily been used on the DS.

In the end, DualPenSports is an attempt at doing something new in the mini-game arena. Unfortunately, it fails in the most basic of tenets for a game on a portable system: it is not a portable game, the gimmick’s not fun and your time would be better served playing something else.

Pros: It attempts something that hasn’t been done before

Cons: There’s a reason it hasn’t been done before

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.