For me (and many others in the west, I\u2019d imagine), the DS will always be remembered as the door that unlocked the world of visual novels for the first time. Truly an honest genre, the visual novel doesn\u2019t use story to hide behind its immense passivity, unlike a large selection of games today. Instead, the visual novel celebrates the fact that they are predominantly story\u2014it should be stated that they do contain some gameplay for they trace back to the old adventure\/point-and-click games of yore. My own definition grounds the genre as interactive comics of sorts but regardless of how you define a visual novel, if you haven\u2019t experienced one I present you with a thinly-disguised list: a visual novel mixtape. 5. Lux Pain Now I\u2019m fairly sure you wouldn\u2019t see anywhere else mention Lux Pain, unless someone wanted to showcase a bad Japanese-to-English translation or a game with a lot of spelling mistakes but Lux pain was fascinating. A game that deals with suicide, animal cruelty and bizarre mind controlling worms of despair can\u2019t possibly be forgotten! Lux Pain\u2014made by ex-Atlus team members nonetheless\u2014tells the story of an orphan who has a tool that helps erase the aforementioned mind controlling worms, implanted in his arm which grants him a gold eye. Working for a secret organisation whilst attending a local high school, the player must deal in both his school life and his so-called job in worm eradication. Lux Pain is interesting in the form of an object that is shoddily built, but is something that is at the least intriguing. The bad translation and spelling mistakes only help in sharpening the rough edges of the low budget even further and although Killaware are no more, Lux Pain should not be forgotten. - 4. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is Shu Takumi\u2019s underrated masterpiece. Whilst Phoenix Wrights has earned its place in the history of visual novels\u2014alas, not on this list\u2014Ghost Trick is far more attention-grabbing with its exquisite presentation. The use of rotoscoping for the animation adds an incredible amount of expression to the peculiar cast of characters. In particular, a certain officer\u2019s \u2018panic dance\u2019 is sure to ignite heaps of laughter. Ghost Trick employ beautifully crafted puzzle-story sequences where the main character\u2014an amnesiac ghost who exists in a different time-space in these sections\u2014must possess objects in hopes of changing the outcome of any given situation. These can range from activating an object in hopes of scaring someone to considering the timing of interactions in the more multifaceted later levels. The story Ghost Trick tells becomes slightly messy towards the end, but the mystery surrounding main protagonist Cecil\u2019s death is absolutely worth experiencing. - 3. Flower, Sun and Rain Flower, Sun and Rain is truly a one of a kind peculiarity that to some people, such as myself, is a true masterpiece, whilst to others, a horrendous failure. Originally on PS2, the DS version is the first English language release of this sequel to The Silver Case\u2014and in being a sequel to a game that isn\u2019t translated or released outside of Japan, somewhat incomprehensible. Sumio Mondo, a searcher, clad in a black suit reminiscent of cinema\u2019s New-Wave, travels to the island of Lospass to find what he\u2019s searching for. A Groundhog Day type situation awaits him on this crazy island full of some truly strange Suda51 characters, including a vampire, a pink crocodile and a fourth-wall breaking little boy. Flower, Sun and Rain is objectively the worst game on this list\u2014being a Suda 51 game in his creative prime\u2014but experience wise, is unmatched (except maybe by the number 1 on this list). - 2. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 Sadly, Cing (the developer of Hotel Dusk, Another Code and Little King Story) is no more and I\u2019m still heated that Nintendo didn\u2019t swoop in to save them\u2014but I digress. Hotel Dusk was the first visual novel I played and a strong illustration of how the DS really excelled. The game made use of something fairly foreign\u2014the user actually changing the way they interact with the console\u2014the DS was turned sideways and held as if it were a book. Although this was first seen in Dr. Kawashima\u2019s Brain Training, the DS held in this way in tandem with the main protagonist Kyle Hyde, who was never without his notebook, permitted the player with a solid connection to the game. Kyle Hyde\u2019s enthralling 24 hours in the neglected, Nevada-based Hotel Dusk is a must for those with a penchant for film-noire. Perchance the utmost jewel in Hotel Dusk is the beautiful rotoscoped art style. Not to be confused with Ghost Trick\u2019s rotoscoping, which used 3D models as a basis, Dusk was rotoscoped using real people (clearly modified during the process). The monochrome art style, with its slight manga touch, captures the essence of noire but isn\u2019t shackled to it. This was no mere homage or reference: Hotel Dusk is a great interactive story in it\u2019s own right and you\u2019d need a sawbones to help you if you somehow didn\u2019t enjoy it. - 1. 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors I can\u2019t think of another game that has such a level of depth to its story and yet still has some semblance of player interactivity, as 999 does. It\u2019s the best game on the DS, bar none and not even Nintendo managed to create something this quintessential for the console they built. Clearly I\u2019m a tad enthusiastic but I will keep this a little vague as to not ruin any part of the story\/experience, which is so crucial to 999. Kotaro Uchikoshi, the writer\/director and possible watchmaker in another life, truly crafted an intricate, multidimensional story that takes its time in revealing itself. At first glance you may think 999 is an anime iteration of the Saw movies, but like the humble sponge, absorption will increase its weight and soon the actuality of what\u2019s going on will expose itself to you. 999 is incredibly authentic and even though you may come across some \u2018out-there\u2019 pseudo-scientific theories and such, even those are taken from real life (fun fact: Rupert Sheldrake is a real person). The in-depth localisation by Aksys Games, thankfully allows for all surfaces of this great crystalline architecture that is the story, to be comprehended easily by the player. 999 is virtuosic in its interactivity and a must for anyone who wants to see the superiority of interactive fiction.