One of the amazing things about the Nintendo DS is that it allows developers to do things that you can't on any other system. Sure, the PlayStation Portable may be more powerful than the DS, but power isn't everything. The DS' weaker graphics mean that developers have to work more carefully on their art style, or even return to the olden days and use sprites instead of 3-D models. The DS touch-screen permits gameplay features that simply can't be done on any other system, except perhaps the Wii. However, the DS' biggest games tend to not take full advantage of these features, relying instead of established properties, 3-D graphics, and the d-pad and face button controls. Occasionally, a game comes along that shows off exactly what the DS can do, and Lock's Quest from 5th Cell is one of those rare gems. It also happens to be one of the most enjoyable games to hit the DS in a long while.
Lock's Quest follows the story of a young man named Lock. He's an Archineer, which is a special kind of mage/warrior who is capable of creating buildings and walls out of thin air using a special material called Source. He and his sister Emi are living peacefully in a small coastal village when they discover that the outside world isn't quite as peaceful. A rogue army of mechanical soldiers called Clockworks, led by a mad Archineer named Lord Agony, are marching on the land, seeking to take over and establish a Clockwork Kingdom of their own. When they attack Lock's village, he is separated from his sister and quickly drafted into the Antonia army, the last and best hope against the Clockworks. Before long, Lock finds out that neither side is quite what they appear ….