Assassins Creed Altair's Chronicles (DS)

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The handheld version of Ubisoft's open-world action title serves as a prequel to the best-selling console games. Acrobatic assassin Altair is on a mission to retrieve an ancient artifact believed to hold the power to end the Crusades. One small problem: the chalice is already in the hands of the Templars, who wish to auction it off to the highest bidder. To prevent the transaction from taking place, Altair must search high and low for the artifact across four cities. This will entail climbing across narrow beams, avoiding lethal traps, and crossing dangerous gaps. The latter is accomplished with a grappling hook new to the Assassin's Creed universe.

While the cities are once again in 3D, they are scaled back in size and offer more linear routes than in the console versions. Onscreen arrows help players navigate their surroundings, with health- and weapon-enhancing orbs scattered throughout each stage. The investigation sequences have been simplified for the DS as well, replaced with touch-screen mini-games for pickpocketing or applying "pressure" to specific parts of a target's body. The sword-swinging combat offers a choice of heavy or light swings, with context-sensitive stealth kills possible by approaching an enemy from behind.