Children of Mana DS

Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
Buy On
  1. As a role-playing game, Children of Mana comes up aces, with an intriguing story and characters that you'll recall long after the game is shelved. Sadly however, this game counts itself among the popular action segment of the role-playing genre, and it is in that addendum that it falls short.
  2. For as simplistic as the gameplay seems, there's a simple old school pleasure in dungeon hacking that makes Children of Mana so appealing, even if there are some occasional annoyances.
  3. Nintendo Power
    65
    Ever since the "Mana" series made its North American debut on the SNES in 1993, players have been waiting for a sequel that recaptures the same magic. Children of mana doesn't fit that bill, but if you're looking for an action-oriented RPG--and you've got buddies looking for the same--it's worth checking out. [Dec. 2006, p.114]
  4. Nintendo Gamer
    65
    An action RPG with the plot stripped out and replaced by pure, constant fighting and levelling-up. Sound good to you? Perhaps, but perhaps not if you're a Mana stalwart. [Mar 2007, p.78]
  5. Pelit (Finland)
    65
    Children of Mana does not live up to the previous Seiken Densetsu releases. Character development is limited, the action is repetitive and the plot is boring, but graphics and playability are great. Too bad there is not more substance. [Feb 2007]
  6. Games Master UK
    65
    Polished, sometimes excellent, often dreary. Not bad, but will disappoint Mana fans. [Mar 2007, p.78]
  7. Compared to the SNES version, this DS game just doesn’t cut the mustard.
  8. It's a shame that combat in Children of Mana is so mindless. The ingredients are there to make this a really excellent action RPG.
  9. 60
    I play games to avoid being bored, but Children of Mana is one of the few games that crosses the line between being a game and being another boring chore.
  10. 60
    The graphics are almost painfully cute, and the pseudo-physics system that causes enemies, objects, and heroes to ping-pong around the screen with abandon can make combat entertainingly chaotic. It's good, clean, dumb fun. There's just not much to it, or of it.
  11. 60
    Children of Mana tops out Lunar: Dragon Song, Deep Labyrinth, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, but it doesn't take too much effort to be the champion of "Just OK."
  12. The combat system is nicely balanced, it's just that you'll probably be tired of it by the time you're a few hours in. Multiplayer definitely adds value, while the presentation, as noted, is absolutely beautiful.
  13. Ultimately, die-hard fans of the series or devotees of traditional RPGs will find a lot to love in Children of Mana, while the rest of us will yearn for something that doesn't rely quite so heavily on hackneyed game mechanics and endless button-bashing.
  14. The shallow, repetitive gameplay of Children of Mana negates any nostalgic charm that the game might have attempted to capture.
  15. Play Magazine
    55
    This game is more fun with a bunch of friends, but so is going to the DMV or getting a root canal. [May 2006, p.78]
  16. A boring action RPG that desperately wishes it was released in 1995.
  17. 50
    With its weak story, dull combat, and host of annoyances, Children of Mana just isn't very much fun to play. Multiplayer can be enjoyable, but most of the time players will be going solo, and will be quite bored doing so. The game as a whole just feels pointless.
  18. The final nail in the proverbial Mana Tree wood coffin is the Gem Frame. Meant to provide a higher level of customisation to your character beyond rudimentary equipment, this little fit-stones-into-shape puzzle only manages to overpower you - Making every enemy, including the bosses, easy to beat and the entire ordeal rather similar and ultimately boring in the process.

Awards & Rankings

#29 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#3 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 3 out of 7
  1. Apr 17, 2016
    1
    Even ten years later I can remember the disappointment that this game originally inspired in me. From the magic of Sword of Mana whichEven ten years later I can remember the disappointment that this game originally inspired in me. From the magic of Sword of Mana which admittedly had some flaws but was a stunning rendition of an RPG to this. A dungeon crawling beast of mediocrity with a cliche story, recycled dungeons, repetitive gameplay and button mashing fighting. This was poor at the time and it is still poor now. It's one of the few series where I can honestly say that the poor experience of one game put me off a series I had loved for life; I have never bought another Mana game since. Full Review »
  2. Mar 18, 2016
    2
    Dull dull dull.

    Borrowing cues from fan favourite Secret of Mana, this game promises much but delivers nothing. A repetitive Diablo-a-like
    Dull dull dull.

    Borrowing cues from fan favourite Secret of Mana, this game promises much but delivers nothing. A repetitive Diablo-a-like that just isn't fun. Each level feels like a trudge. The bosses look impressive, then die in a few hits without any challenge.

    There's nothing to recommend here.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 20, 2010
    8
    great game only had it for a day so far but really getting in to it although could get a bit repetitive its still better than other games ofgreat game only had it for a day so far but really getting in to it although could get a bit repetitive its still better than other games of this genre i have played Full Review »