( Reuters ) - Nintendo has reworked one of its most beloved franchises in a new "Zelda" video game designed to appeal to a broader audience.
"The Legend of Zelda", which was first released 20 years ago and has become one of the company's most successful game lines, is a classic action-adventure game set the land of Hyrule.
"Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass" for Nintendo's handheld DS device has already won strong reviews for its beautiful imagery, deep storyline and innovative use of the device's touch screen to control almost every aspect of the action.
"It's definitely the big game of the holiday season for the Nintendo DS and reaches the traditional audience as well as the new audience they are starting to shoot for," said Jeremy Parish, features editor for gaming news site 1up.com.
A sequel to 2002's "Wind Walker", the new Zelda adventure once again puts players in control of the elfin hero, Link, after he washes up on a mysterious island following an accident at sea.
Instead of mashing buttons, players poke or trace movements on the DS touch screen to make Link jump, somersault, or swing his sword.
That's in line with Nintendo's drive towards making games more accessible to customers outside the core audience of young males who are happy to spend hours a day mastering every nuance of a title.
"I think what Nintendo was doing with the series was to strip it down to the essential gameplay and appeal to a broader audience," Parish said.