To be clear from the get-go, Arthur and the Invisibles on the Nintendo DS isn't for everyone. The frenetic pace of this minigame collection and the necessity for you to actually exercise your brain to figure out what's going on may be off-putting to some. But, if you count yourself a fan of the WarioWare series of games or are just interested in an alternative style of gameplay, there is a lot to like about Arthur on the DS.
In spite of its format, Arthur and the Invisibles still imparts a bit of a story, namely by way of a few cinematics at the end of each level set. By no means will you get a comprehensive overview of the movie it's based on, but you will glean a few bits and pieces that describe each of the three main players, Arthur, Selenia, and Betamech, as well as an extremely loose rundown of the movie's plot. To keep it as brief as the game does, Arthur, Selenia, and Betamech set out from the Minimoy village to Necropolis to attempt to save Arthur's grandma's house from foreclosure and the microscopic civilization residing in his backyard from the evil henchmen living in his basement. Along the way, Arthur rescues his grandpa, scores some crazy-hot rubies, and puts the moves on a 900-year-old princess. While all of this is nice to know, it's completely ancillary to the meat of the game, and if this is your only introduction to the world of the Minimoys, then just ignore it altogether and feel comfortable in the knowledge that you're really not missing much.
Like in the WarioWare games, you'll be presented with a quick succession of minigames that culminate in a boss stage. The format is also similar in that you'll be given a countdown timer that lasts anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds, and you'll need to finish your task within that time frame. There are 12 levels in all, subdivided into three sets, and levels get progressively longer and more difficult, with the first two containing 10 and 20 minigames, respectively, and the final throwing a total of 40 at you. Many of the minigames follow a rapid-fire format, whereby on first encountering them, you've typically lost before you realize what you're even supposed to do. However, many others, especially in the latter levels, test your memory, coordination, and critical analysis skills, rather than just your twitch-reaction speed. This is a departure from the WarioWare formula, and the added complexity helps to alleviate one of the primary issues that plagued WarioWare: Touched!, that being the repetitive and somewhat limited use of the stylus. Since solving the puzzles becomes your focus, you'll be more interested in what's happening on the screen than what you're doing with the stylus. This isn't to say that your actions won't become quite repetitive after a while, as you're still limited to the same tapping, circling, scratching, slashing, and guiding, as well as some blowing into the DS's microphone. Puzzle-solving does go a long way in sustaining your interest in the game, though. It also helps that the game unfurls the 90-plus minigames at a measured pace, so you'll still run up against things that make you go "hmm..." in the latter levels.