Children of Mana DS


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. 80
    As far as hack-n-slash RPGs go, Children of Mana is one of the best we’ve seen on a handheld, and for dungeon crawler addicts Square Enix has definitely hit the spot.
  2. The shallow, repetitive gameplay of Children of Mana negates any nostalgic charm that the game might have attempted to capture.
  3. Game Informer
    Children of Mana is not the longest game in the world, but it sure is a fun ride while it lasts, especially if you have friends that are into it as well. [Nov. 2006, p.140]
  4. Children of Mana brings intelligence and charm into the realm of dungeon-based button bashing.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 80
    Wonderfully rendered, but when compared to Secret of Mana's engaging narrative, Children of Mana's sparse and slow story falls short.
  8. Children of Mana is repetitive, tedious, dull, monotonous, and boring. The only good thing about this game is that it will actually make you want to do something productive, just to stop playing it.
  9. 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.
  10. Games Master UK
    Polished, sometimes excellent, often dreary. Not bad, but will disappoint Mana fans. [Mar 2007, p.78]
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. AceGamez
    The gameplay is a bit watered down by comparison to titles past, but for a dungeon crawler this is actually really engaging and enjoyable.
  14. Play Magazine
    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]
  15. Pelit (Finland)
    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]
  16. 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.
  17. Nintendo Power
    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]
  18. For those of you looking for that one great RPG for your DS collection, this game might be your answer. While the game slows down at certain points and has a fair amount of difficulty, it’s still a force to be reckoned with.
  19. Is this the game Mana fans have been waiting for? Probably not. However, Children of Mana is an excellent game in its own right, bringing dungeon crawling to a new level on Nintendo DS.
  20. 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."
  21. 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.
  22. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    Sadly, Children of Mana's extremely repetitive gameplay means that if you're playing for an extended period of time the game's appeal wanes. It all depends on what kind of player you are. [Feb 2007, p.76]
  23. Nintendo Gamer
    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]
  24. A boring action RPG that desperately wishes it was released in 1995.
  25. 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.
  26. Since the game is actually a dungeon crawler, Children of Mana may disappoint those looking for their traditional RPG fix. But if it really counts toward opinion, the game just might be the best and most beautiful dungeon crawler ever created.
  27. With great graphics, great sound and pretty good gameplay, including the addition of multiplayer, Square Enix has once again shown why they are on top when it comes to developing and publishing RPG titles.
  28. Compared to the SNES version, this DS game just doesn’t cut the mustard.
  29. 75
    Another nail in the coffin of the Seiken Densetsu series.
  30. A good dungeon crawler. The game does have some annoyances and you can argue that the gameplay isn’t deep but fans of the genre will be satisfied. The stylish presentation and multiplayer mode really help round out the package.
  31. 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.
  32. Children of Mana is beautifully presented but it's too childlike to satisfy serious gamers.
  33. 40
    Children of Mana is ideal as a pick-up-and-play game, if you fancy a quick whizz through a monster-inhabited tower or two, maybe on the bus or train. But playing it at length feels like the most tedious, level grinding and repetitive waste of time, particularly when you consider that the DS has so much more to offer in terms of RPG actioners.
  34. Despite some iffy controls, as a dungeon-crawler CoM provides a fairly enjoyable way to kill numerous hours on the go. The nice graphics and really nice music help to smooth out a game that otherwise is a little bit stale. [JPN Import]

Awards & Rankings

#28 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#3 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 3 out of 7
  1. Apr 17, 2016
    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
    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
    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 »