The cleverly titled CrossworDS is the newest games in Nintendo's touch generation series. The Touch Generations series includes games such as Maths Training, Brain Training and Sight Training and is primarily aimed at a more casual audience. Despite this, there are several more serious (or hardcore) gamers that have had a lot of fun with the touch generation series of games, proving it doesn't matter what type of gamer you are, but how good the game is. So, is CrossworDS a title worth dropping your paper for or a quick cash in that is no substitute for the "real" thing?
Contrary to what the name suggests, CrossworDS doesn't just contain crosswords, but also anagrams and word searches. At the beginning of the game players create a profile, which keeps track of their progress through the crosswords, anagrams and word searches. The game supports up to four profiles, which is good for those who have family members who want to play (and believe us, they will).
There is no doubting thought that the main draw of course in CrossworDS, are the crosswords. There are four different difficulty levels (although not all four difficulty levels are unlocked at the beginning) and dozens of pages of crosswords per difficulty level. The crosswords start off rather simplistically, with basic words and only a few lines, but the difficulty does ramp up pretty quickly; players can also skip ahead, so even crossword experts will be challenged. Actually completing the crosswords is remarkably simple, players simply use the touch screen on the Nintendo DS to draw in the letter. The game keeps track of the time it takes for a player to complete a crossword and there are even hints, for those who are having some difficulty completing the crosswords.
Normally we're not the greatest fans of crosswords here at PALGN, but this game had us glued to the screens for a long time. As you can save your crossword in the middle of a game the game really encourages the player to have "one more go". The thing is, with so many crosswords in the game, that "one more go" attitude could mean another couple of hours of gameplay. It's unbelievable how quickly the game takes away your time.
Those that want a break from crosswords will want to try out the wordsearch option or the anagrams. The wordsearch game is pretty simple, there are three difficulty levels and all players have to do is select a category (such as animals, or female names) and then the game will generate a word search. To "select" a word players only need to highlight the word with the stylus. The wordsearches aren't quite as enjoyable as the crosswords, but they're a decent little bonus. The anagrams play out a little bit like a game of Boggle. The game gives players a series of letters and the idea is to try and make a series of words out of these letters. We found out we're not quite as good with anagrams as we thought we would be.
It's rather difficult to fault CrossworDS, because it's all so simplistic that the game doesn't get a whole lot wrong. Sometimes the game doesn't recognise the correct letters, but most players will think of a way to work around this rather quickly (such as making the I's more exagerated). The game also doesn't include any multiplayer support, which is a bit of a shame. It would have been good if you could send puzzles over to friends, or create your own puzzles, but unfortunately this isn't possible. Really though, these are only minor complaints, on the whole CrossworDS does exactly what it says it does. CrossworDS is also a game that doesn't appear to be localised for Australia. For example, one of the options for the wordsearch is "colors" and one of the answers for the crosswords is "mile"; it's a small error, but a disappointment, nonetheless.
CrossworDS is a surprisingly solid game and a fantastic addition to the touch generations series. Anyone who has even a fleeting interest in crosswords should pick up CrossworDS because it's the perfect time killer and ideal for long trips on the train in the morning, or long car trips for family holidays. The game's presentation is basic, but this means CrossworDS is easy to get into and will keep you coming back again and again.