These days I probably get to spend more time playing on the DS on the way to work during the week than trying out more recent releases on the PC.

Although my favourite game genres are probably sport and racing, I’ve come to realise that these areas aren’t where the DS really excels. So rather than buying watered-down versions of well-known console releases, I’ve tried to find games that work well on DS.

I’ve recently finished a couple of DS adventure games that I’ve really enjoyed. Their merits have been well-documented elsewhere, but for what it’s worth I’ll add my own endorsement.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 sees a down-on-his-luck former cop check into a hotel with nothing more than the hope of flogging some office supplies in his mind. As the (extremely eventful) evening progresses, it turns out he’ll have to turn detective once again to unlock the mysteries of the hotel and its guests. Despite one or two gameplay flaws, the story is genuinely engrossing, and though the script isn’t perfect, I found myself almost missing my stop on more than one occasion to find out what happens next. One you won’t put down until you’ve finished it (and that’ll take a little while, too).

Once I was done with that one, I also had Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations to go at. It’s the third game of a trilogy that was originally released on the GameBoy Advance, but it works well on DS (which has since seen a couple of further titles in the series). I started with the third game because, well, it was the only one I could actually get hold of a copy of. As with Hotel Dusk, there are one or two gameplay annoyances, but there’s no arguing with the fact that there’s 15 or so hours of gameplay that’ll keep you engrossed until the very end. I’ve managed to get the first of the trilogy second-hand, and I’ll certainly be trying out the others as soon as I get the opportunity.

What’s striking about both games is that they have memorable characters that you can really warm to. While I like a nice gravelly-voiced action hero as much as the next gamer, after a while they largely become interchangeable. Hotel Dusk’s Kyle Hyde is the kind of reluctant protagonist you can get get onboard with: he’s got a certain skill for unpicking a mystery, but he’s also a flawed character with a drink problem and plenty of regrets to carry around with him. At the start of the game, he doesn’t want anything more than to just get through the night, but as things progress and unfold, he finds that some of the questions from his past can be answered if he gets involved with some of the mysteries involving his fellow guests.

Phoenix Wright is a slightly more light-hearted game, but it still has the capacity to involve you in a way that’s all too rare these days. Although there’s a faint sense of ridiculousness about the whole enterprise (not least in its interpretation of the legal system) the main characters are all pretty well rounded, and there are themes of loss, regret and redemption which permeate the story and make you care about what happens.

Oh, and if that doesn’t impress you, then how about the fact that, during the courtroom scenes you can alarm everyone on the train by shouting ‘OBJECTION!’ into the DS microphone? Don’t worry – you can also just hit the touch screen if you’re easily embarrassed.