The Nintendo DS best sellers chart remained gloriously free of Call of Duty and FIFA games, and instead was treated to Nintendo's own special ever-repeating series. The likable Professor Layton took top spot with the fourth in the series, Professor Layton and the Curious Village.
Japanese developer Level 5 are certainly not without pedigree, having masterminded the Dark Cloud and Rogue Galaxy series on PlayStation 2, as well making the highest rated Dragon Quest game, Journey of the Cursed King, according to both Metacritic and GameRankings. White Knight Chronicles, a PlayStation 3 exclusive, has been a big hit in Japan and is expected to be given a similar reception by North American and European fans this February.
Now it seems they are finding even greater success with the Layton games on DS, and though The Curious Box and Pandora's Box (also known as The Diabolical Box) are the only two to have been released outside of Japan, both are considered essential titles and make it into the UK's top 3.
Dr Kawashima's Brain Training will be more familiar to North American readers as Brain Age, and enjoys a similar status amongst many DS purchasers. The original 2005 title was the 2nd bestselling DS game in the UK last year, whilst 2007's More Brain Training slots in at 9th.
Mario & Sonic also appear twice with their Winter Games offering at 7 and 2008's Summer Games iteration at 11.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was an extremely well reviewed conversion of the original PSP game, and the use of the DS' touch screen was highly praised. A December release did not leave it much time to make an impact on the end of year chart but despite the late release it scraped in at 19.
2009 Nintendo DS Chart, UK
01. Professor Layton And The Curious Village
02. Dr Kawashima's Brain Training (aka Brain Age)
03. Professor Layton And Pandora's Box (aka ..And The Diabolical Box)
04. Mario Kart DS
05. New Super Mario Bros.
06. Pokémon Platinum
07. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
08. Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force
09. More Brain Training From Dr Kawashima (aka Brain Age 2)
10. Carnival: Funfair Games (aka Carnival Games)
11. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
12. Puzzler Collection
13. Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir
14. Peppa Pig: The Game
15. Big Brain Academy
16. 42 All-Time Classics (aka Clubhouse Games)
17. Nintendogs: Lab & Friends (aka Shiba & Friends)
18. 100 Classic Book Collection
19. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
20. Rhythm Paradise (aka Rhythm Heaven or Rhythm Tengoku Gold)
Source: Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association