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System Flaw

by Neal Ronaghan - November 23, 2009, 3:16 pm PST
Total comments: 4


This DSi-exclusive title is kind of like Scribblenauts, with a cool concept but poor execution.

Regardless of its quality, System Flaw still holds the high honor of being the first Nintendo DSi-exclusive game available at retail in North America. Published by little-known Storm City Games, System Flaw is a first-person shooter with an interesting hook: it uses the exterior DSi camera to track the world around you as a background for the game.

You don't interact with the background at all, but you do have to turn the entire system and most likely your body to fire behind you. In the game, you function primarily as a gun turret as you spin around, tilting up or down, slaughtering hordes of alien enemies. It's a very cool concept, but unfortunately its execution is a little lackluster.

The game is split up into two different modes: Patrol and Survival. In Patrol, you go through a series of short stages that introduce new enemies, focusing on one of a small list of objectives. They range from "shoot all the enemies" to "patrol for two minutes," but in order to successfully patrol for two minutes, you have to shoot all the enemies. In reality, there is no real variety in the objectives. It's just the same actions and goals with different end points.

The second mode, Survival, pits you against unending waves of enemies as you shoot for high scores. There's not much to it, and it certainly doesn’t play to the game's strengths as you have to spin around the entire system until you die.

System Flaw doesn't amount to much more than a tech demo, since there really isn't that much to do. The idea is cool, and it's one of the first games out there that can only be done on the DSi, but it's just a gimmick – one with unvaried goals and dull gameplay that doesn't hold up over repeated sessions.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 4 7 5 3 4

There isn't much to the game as the backgrounds are made up of the world around you, but the different creatures that you fight are well-animated even though they are repeated too often.


The music is generic, and the repetitive sound of firing a gun will have you turning down the volume after a few minutes.


After you grasp the idea that you have to spin around to control the world, the game is a breeze to control. There is no protection against dizziness or looking like a fool while playing the game.


The concept is intriguing, but the implementation is quite boring. All you do is spin around in a circle and shoot things. It never gets much more complicated than that.


A repetitive campaign mode is complemented by an endless survival mode. There's the "Flawpedia" that you can fill up with meaningless information about enemies, but other than that, there's no reason to go back to the game outside of showing your friends the concept.


System Flaw is a neat idea that is marred by boring gameplay. It's a less than mediocre first step into the world of DSi exclusives.


  • Awesome concept
  • Little content
  • There is only one goal: kill enemies
Review Page 2: Conclusion


KnowsNothingNovember 23, 2009

Comment about title of game, etc.

hylianhero5249November 23, 2009

I have never heard of this game until I saw the review.

kraken613November 23, 2009

If it's ever sub-$5 I will surely pick it up just because of the DSi features sound kinda neat. Kinda sounds like it should have just been a DSiWare game though.

KDR_11kNovember 24, 2009

I'd rather get Foto Showdown.

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Genre Shooter
Developer Storm City Games

Worldwide Releases

na: System Flaw
Release Oct 27, 2009
PublisherStorm City Games

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