Namco Bandai hired Retro Game Challenge developer Indies Zero for another handheld game. Being a sports title, DualPenSports doesn’t have any modern Famicom-era games to play. It’s a pick up and play sports title that utilizes* two styli.
Soccer, one of the seven sports mini-games in DualPenSports, has players use one stylus to draw a line downwards on the blue area to move character’s foot back and flick the stylus forward to kick a goal. Baseball has similar controls you move the bat back with one pen and send hit the ball with a fast line forward. In both of these games, the angle you kick or hit the ball depends on the curve of your stylus flick.
Archery’s controls are flip-flopped. First, players draw a line up to draw the bowstring. Then, you need to carefully move the stylus in the green area to adjust your aim before firing an arrow. Basketball has a slightly different control scheme. The game starts with another player tossing a ball. You tap an icon to catch it and then make an upward motion with the other stylus to shoot.
Aside from floating text, Parachute probably demonstrated the 3D effect best in DualPenSports. This game is somewhat reminiscent of one of the mini-games in the Pilotwings Resort demo. You control a character sailing in the skies by the tapping left and right handles to grab crystals floating in the air. At the end of every stage there’s a giant target to run into. Crash into the center to maximize your score. Boxing felt like the most fleshed out game in DualPenSports. You can throw a jab by swiping up with the left stylus, a straight punch by doing the same motion with the right stylus. Hook punches are left or right swipes up top, body blows are left or right punches on the bottom. Hold the stylus in the blue area to guard your face (up) or body (bottom). There’s also a secret move, an uppercut which you can do by swiping the stylus down and then up. Boxing matches are fast and reminded me of Wii Sports sans actual punching.
At Namco Bandai’s press event, DualPenSports was sitting on a table next to two styli. It looked like a tabletop game and that’s how most attendees played it. You don’t need to play DualPenSports this way or even with two styli (note the asterisk above). Since the Nintendo 3DS isn’t a multi-touch device, the game "remembers" each motion, so you can play almost all of the games comfortably with your thumbs. Boxing may be the exception because blocking may be hard to reach.
DualPenSports along with Ridge Racer 3D and Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions are all launch window titles, which means these games will be in stores between spring and E3.