Nanostray DS


Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
Buy On
  1. Once your thumb learns the locations of those four weapon-select spots, you’ll be able to tear through wave after wave of enemy ships in what is easily the best looking and intensely challenging game on the DS to date.
  2. It may not take full advantage of the DS’s unique hardware functions, however the outstanding level of quality in gameplay, graphics and audio make for a sublime and addictive portable-shooter experience that’s too good to pass up.
  3. Play Magazine
    Highly replayable. It's also insanely beautiful. I'll wear this cart out; it's just a remarkable old-school shooter. [Aug 2005, p.55]
  4. 85
    Nanostray's old school, Galaga-style, kill 'em all action left us with sweaty armpits and racing hearts.
  5. An impressive looking and playing game with strong multiplayer capabilities. Pick it up if you like this style of game or are in need of another game you can put into your “completed” pile.
  6. A few more stages could have been nice, but after speaking with some of the developers I learned that Majesco didn’t give a long enough deadline.
  7. Despite having an incredibly short adventure mode (8 missions which last about 5 minutes each), Nanostray brings a surprising amount of content to the table.
  8. 82
    A perfect handheld game that’s easy to pick up and play. Those who can overlook the game’s minor flaws will have a lot of fun.
  9. The multiplayer’s lack of depth compounds another problem: this game is painfully short. It spans only eight levels, and most of the replay value comes from the arcade mode, where you try for higher scores.
  10. 80
    What this game does, however is give the Nintendo DS library a real kick in the pants with an energetic production, fast-paced action, and some extremely challenging elements that will keep you going for some time.
  11. Nintendo Power
    A great introduction to space shooting for the DS and a worthy successor to "Shin'en" and Majesco's "Iridion" games for the GBA. [Sept 2005, p.85]
  12. I love Nanostray. It's got gameplay that holds up well despite the lack of additional stages, and you can link up against a friend for two-player damage. Furthermore, it looks spectacular, better than most DS games before it.
  13. 80
    A wonderful surprise, a shooter that really engulfs you in its features and its presentation, and it shouldn't be missed.
  14. Game Informer
    Even with the touch screen, there's not a lot new here, but it's definitely an engaging addition to the DS family. [Sept 2005, p.115]
  15. AceGamez
    While the challenge mode will appeal to purists and the multiplayer mode to those with lots of friends lucky enough to own a DS, this lack of length in the story mode is going to put off people who enjoy the journey as much as the fight.
  16. Nanostray is a great little shoot ‘em up and of course a portable one at that.
  17. Wave after wave of deftly animated and designed enemies target your ship with a never-ending barrage of laser fire.
  18. The graphics in Nanostray are some of the prettiest on the DS, hands down. The environments are varied, there is a ton of vibrant colours and except for some very rare slowdowns, the game runs at a smooth 60 FPS, no small feat considering how much is always going on on both screens.
  19. There aren't many shmup games released at all outside of Japan, so DS owners are lucky to get not just any shmup, but a beautiful new one that sticks close to the high scoring spirit of the genre's beloved classics.
  20. While there are only eight levels and gameplay could be more polished (such as improved enemies and a worthwhile Multiplayer mode), Nanostray still offers everything you could expect from a shooter.
  21. Nanostray is great fun to play. Unfortunately, the “nano” part of the title seems to be indicative of it having the lifespan of a gnat, and the gulf between the extremely easy (but great) Adventure mode and the overly-hard Challenge mode (which will put off all but the most ridiculously hardcore) is baffling.
  22. If anyone can justify spending $40 for a game that's shorter than every full-length movie released in the past decade, disregard the score and dive in. Just remember: this is a fling, not a long-term relationship.
  23. The flashy graphics and rocking tunes will bring you right back to when shooters were king of the hill. If memories of Gradius or R-Type fill your heart with goodness, Nanostray will slap a smile on your face for a few hours.
  24. 70
    The game itself if still a lot of fun and fans of shmups will rave over it, but it is flawed and that alone makes the game a niche purchase only.
  25. Nanostray reminds us what we love about the genre: a bunch of amazing weapons, tons of enemies, and some awe-inspiring background levels. Is it a decent game? Certainly. However, it’s far from perfect.
  26. 70
    It remains a thoroughly enjoyable, good all-round handheld shooter that's accessible to all ages and playing skills, with lots of replay value that demonstrates that, thanks to technology, good portable shooters are now possible once more.
  27. Truthfully, it isn’t a bad game, but its appeal only reachs a small niche.
  28. There's plenty of great stuff to be found in this offering, but it just doesn't feel like it's all been pulled together in a tight enough fashion.
  29. But like a train journey with a friend, a few hours can be lots of fun, but then you've arrived at your destination, the conversations are put back in your bag, and the rest of your life is ready for the living.
  30. If not for issues with the touch screen, and especially the simple yet deep problems set off by Shin'en's camera angle choice, I might have gone as far as to write my letter of recommendation for Nanostray to sit in non-Japanese shmup classic status, along with Amiga greats like Apidya.
  31. Because Nanostray is not a particularly bad game, it is somewhat disappointing that the game felt so half-assed. The retro gameplay with a modern twist is charming and entertaining, but right before the time it becomes a must-buy, the ending credits appear.
  32. 65
    The mere existence of this game means that there are people out there with their hearts in the right place...which makes the end results all the more heartbreaking.
  33. Underneath Nanostray's excellent presentation is a game that's not nearly as good as its sources of inspiration. A weak multiplayer mode, repetitive level design (even for a shoot-'em-up), and limited replay value put Nanostray squarely in the "almost, but not quite" category.
  34. Nanostray's controls may have fixed something that wasn't broken, but even so, it still managed to provide a pleasing, fast-paced jaunt through the cosmos.
  35. It's fun in spurts and, as I said, the only game in town for shooter fans on the DS.
  36. netjak
    There's absolutely no reason to own this game. Even a shooter fan like myself isn't going to find enough reason to keep this game around any longer than 3 days tops.
  37. I can't emphasize enough how much potential this game had on the Nintendo DS, but unfortunately none of this was put to use and we are left with a sub-par video game that I would only recommend at most as a rental.
  38. 60
    One has to wonder, however, whether or not there's a price to be paid for the dazzling graphical presentation. Could it explain why the level design is so utterly boring? Aside from background variations, each stage plays almost identical to the others.
  39. Nice idea, chaps, but for now I’ll stick to Galaxian on my PSP.
  40. Nanostray is a technological marvel that winds up being a fairly large disappointment.
  41. 50
    Weak weapons, dodgy dodging, and the most oppressive scoring system in years all rob Nanostray of any momentum it might have mustered.
  42. Nanostray should come in a plain white box labeled VERTICAL SPACE SHOOTER--it's as generic as games come.
  43. Edge Magazine
    If there isn't a great deal of sophistication, there also isn't much in the way of mucking around. Flying up the screen making things go pop has been reliably entertaining for decades. [Oct 2005, p.95]

Awards & Rankings

#27 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Dec 9, 2014
    i'm giving it a 7/10, but it's more a 6.5. there's a lot to like about this game--------amazing graphics for its generation, lots ofi'm giving it a 7/10, but it's more a 6.5. there's a lot to like about this game--------amazing graphics for its generation, lots of action...but its replay value is sparse. you can finish the main mode within a few hours, even if it's a bit difficult. after that, there are "challenges" you can do, but i found them so frustrating that i just gave up. Full Review »
  2. ZethrinH.
    Nov 20, 2005
    It was a vary intresting Game I found it a littul short in the achual amont of lvls and some of Chalenges seem a bit donting (hard or It was a vary intresting Game I found it a littul short in the achual amont of lvls and some of Chalenges seem a bit donting (hard or inposabule to reach) and I don't fully understand what the pic galery is for. But with all of that was valry in joy abule game. the music is vary nice and the graphics are very, very well done and replay ofers all lot in challenges and arcade plus you can get hashcodes to compare your score with people all over the world. Full Review »
  3. MihailoD.
    Oct 1, 2005
    Amazing vertical scrolling shooter for DS! Technically brilliant. Graphics and music are outstanding. Replay value is amazing: three Amazing vertical scrolling shooter for DS! Technically brilliant. Graphics and music are outstanding. Replay value is amazing: three adventure modes, dozens of challenges and, of course, the arcade mode where you get hashcodes of your results so you can post them online and see how do you rank among the best players in the world. Absolutely recommended! Full Review »