And you were expecting what...the Jumble?
CrossworDS, the newest Touch Generations game to hit the DS, is exactly what it claims to be: a package of crossword puzzles. But wait, there's more! You'll also get a bunch of anagram and word search puzzles! And they all work exactly as you'd expect on the DS.
Each type of game has several difficulty settings, although you only have access to Easy and Medium at first. The bulk of the game is made up of crosswords, and there are over one thousand distinct puzzles to enjoy. The crosswords begin easily enough with a 4x4 open grid, but they quickly ramp up to complex New York Times-style puzzle layouts.
There are fewer anagrams and word searches, but it will still take forever to complete them all. Word search is a simple matter of drawing a line over the recognized word; Anagrams gives you a bunch of letter tiles, and your job is to drag them into the blank spaces to create as many words as you can - no writing necessary.
CrossworDS can be played by left and right-handers, and you can highlight the clue for a particular region of the grid by tapping "across" or "down." Fill in blanks with the stylus by writing the letter. The game politely auto-scrolls to the next blank if you're filling in a particular word.
Crossword puzzles are timed, but it's of little consequence beyond using clues, which penalizes you in terms of added time. You can get hints in the form of a new clue, a free letter, or the filling in of the entire word. There's also an option to correct wrong letters: If you fill in a letter that's not correct, the game will show the letter in red, and you can erase it and try again.
It’s important to note that the game engine may have problems with the handwriting of some players. My wife, who never plays video games but loves crosswords and therefore this DS cart, doesn't have any problems in the writing-recognition area, but I found that I had to employ a few strategies to get constant recognition of my handwriting. These tactics included using capital letters, writing certain letters from the top down (a huge help with letters like E, K, and G), and trying to take up as much of each square’s empty spaces as I could. You may still have trouble with the letter K (which the game almost always recognizes as X), but again, this is an issue that you’ll learn to work around.
CrossworDS is a classic travel game. It's very fun thanks to its simplicity, it's graphically clean and simple, and there’s plenty of puzzles to keep you busy. It’s simple, relaxing, and it exercises your brain. If that’s what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong.