by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 75/100

For a change we’ll start with a pop quiz; it’s 11 cm (4.33 Inch) long, flexible and has red tips at each end. What is it? Maybe you can come up with a couple of answers, or in the contrary cannot come up with a single answer. No worries, the quiz mistress will reveal the answer: It’s a ComfortStylus! And from pop quiz we’ll zap over to the commercial section to inform you about the latest sort of stylus to use for your Nintendo DS. And zap!

Nintendogs stylus, Naruto stylus, Kirby Stylus, Pacman stylus, Mario Kart stylus. For every DS gamer there’s a special stylus available which fits the players preference of game choice. Don’t just play with the boring original grey Nintendo DS stylus, there are more exclusive things on the market. While checking them out online, at several Japan import stores, it seems that some of them aren’t a stylus at all, they’re just a holder for the original stylus. Quite disappointing. Also the costs involved contributed to a no go for me to order one (stylus, shipping, import price). But I went on searching for other types of styluses and found something quite interesting, the ComfortStylus.

The main complaints regarding the original Nintendo DS stylus are dullness, size or thickness related. Gamers don’t like the dull grey mini stylus look or having difficulties handling the stylus properly as they have big hands. The original stylus can be too tiny and too small to handle smoothly which results in a dissatisfaction of playing DS games. So they either don’t play DS games or start searching for a better stylus. And that my friends, is when the ComfortStylus comes into play and can make a difference in a gamer’s life.

The ComfortStylus is a soft rubberized flexible 11cm (4,33 inches) long stylus, developed by Denise Bagley. The most remarkable is the flexibility as you can bend, wrap the stylus around your thumb or index finger and use it to control your DS games. Although the stylus seems stiff in the beginning, it will change as soon as you start bending it and fit to your thumb or index finger. Its length is acceptable and everyone can wrap the stylus around her/ his finger, whether if you have small or big hands. Even kids are able to use properly, they just have to make an extra twist around the finger to attach it and properly take advantage of this innovative stylus. Of course you have to be careful not to wrap it too tight around your finger as blood circulation needs to stay circulating even through your fingertip! A very clear instruction explains the easiest way to twist the ComfortStylus around your fingertip and with a little practice, you’re going to have a new handy tool attached to your body.

If you’re used to control certain Nintendo DS games with the original stylus, it could take a moment to adapt to usage of the ComfortStylus. Some games needs to played with a certain precision and therefore the stylus tip needs to be seen as a gamer moves it over the touch screen. An example is Meteos, where you’ll need to move little blocks as fast as possible. This precision also requires a certain position of the Comfortstylus. The best thing to do is to wrap the stylus on the fingertip as far as possible to keep a part of it available to see and controlling the game with. Of course you’re able to adjust the stylus angle and with a little practice you’ll be able to control the game with the stylus tip even under your thumb!

A game which don’t require precision is Nintendogs for example. Also this game was the main reason to get a ComfortStylus as it gives a gamer a better and more closer / personal contact with the virtual puppy. Why? Because Nintendogs doesn’t require a certain precision to play and therefore you don’t have to see the tip of the stylus. It seems that you’re controlling the dog with your thumb or index finger instead with a stylus. For example washing the puppy (as on the above screenshot) is much more fun and you really get the impression that you’re really touching the dog. Maybe your opinion is that you can do that also with your thumb or index finger instead of with the stylus as precision isn’t required. For those who share this last opinion, I wouldn’t advise that. The touch screen gets greasy or perhaps scratched with your nail. No a stylus is the best way to control it, and the Comfortstylus gives you the impression that you’re not handling / wearing a stylus at all!

I’ve mentioned the working of the stylus when it comes to games which require precision or less. But the most impressive when it comes to using a Comfortstylus is while playing a game which need to be controlled by pushing buttons and using a stylus! Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is such a game. Most of the time you need to push certain buttons to move on, but when it comes to enemy battles it is necessary to use the stylus. Imagine if you play with the ordinary stylus, you’ll constantly put the stylus away when not needed and picking it up when you need to conquer an enemy. Why the developer has chosen for this two way gameplay controlling is another subject but the Comfortstylus is ideal for such circumstances as you don’t have to put away the stylus as it is attached on your finger! No searching for the stylus, no need to put it away. Simply ideal!

ComfortSytlus, I’ve mentioned it a dozen time in this review and hopefully by now you’ll understand why it is called a Comfortstylus. It’s easy to use, bend and to wrap it around your finger to control your games on the Nintendo DS. Of course you can also use it easily to control a PDA, or any other touch screen device, but I’ve only tested it on a DS. You can use the stylus either wrapped around your finger or straight like a normal stylus, just thicker and longer! It’s up to you, how to control the stylus and control the games. I assure you that it fits any finger comfortably and in no time you forget that the stylus is still on your finger as it is lightweight. I’m being very positive about this invention and often use it, but there’s one negative aspect unfortunately which hasn’t been mentioned yet. The stylus cannot be placed in the DS stylus holder. It’s just too thick to be able to store it in the DS stylus compartment. What good is for the controlling, is bad for the storage; thickness. But every Nintendo DS owner should have a protective case for its DS, and there’s always space left to store the Comfortstylus in it. So what was the negative aspect? To end this review I want to thank Denise Bagley for inventing such a marvellous tool to make a gamers life a little bit easier, especially for those who have big hands or want to experience the gameplay in a somewhat other way.

You can purchase a ComfortStylus at website