DS

North America

Crosswords DS

by Zachary Miller - May 15, 2008, 3:57 pm PDT
Total comments: 33

9

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.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
10 9 9 10 10 9
Graphics
10

They’re crossword puzzles, and that's what they look like.

Sound
9

The only sound that's really apparent is the "writing" sound of your stylus when you're writing a letter, but that’s fine. Minimal sound is appropriate for the relaxing intent of this game.

Control
9

Control is accomplished entirely with the stylus, which is fine by me. However, certain letters can be oddly interpreted.

Gameplay
10

If you like crosswords, anagrams, or word searches, this is your game.

Lastability
10

It'll be a looong time before you run out of puzzles.

Final
9

It's simple, it's meant to be simple, and that simplicity is what makes it work. CrossworDS is fun and thoughtful, and I appreciate that. Minor complaints about writing recognition aside, it doesn't get a whole lot better than this…if you like crosswords.

Summary

Pros
  • My wife, a non-gamer, loves it
  • Progressive difficulty
  • Simple interface
  • Three kinds of word games
Cons
  • Letter recognition is a little iffy
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

GoldenPhoenixMay 15, 2008

WOW. Impressive score, I'll have to actually play my copy of the game (along with The World Ends with You). Games like this are why I love DS, not only can you get good solid traditional games but portable versions of things like Crosswords and other more pick up and play games.

I agree with the score, I'm loving this game. I've always been a fan of word puzzles. The only letter I still have consistent trouble with is the letter I, whether I write it upper or lower case I still have issues from time to time. Between this and Picross more and more of my DS time is with the dreaded casual games. You know, if these kinds of things are Nintendo's idea of expanding the market, I'd have to say keep it up, Nintendo.

lol@youMay 16, 2008

So this game is better than the best rpg of the year; the world ends with you?

HAHAHAHAHA, another proof of why this site has some of the worst reviews in the internet.

Pathetic "journos"

nickmitchMay 16, 2008

You can't call "Best of the year" until August (around when Madden comes out). That's the rules.

animecyberratMay 16, 2008

What are you on? Crosswords *IS game of the year dude. I have been playing this a lot. I only have the demo and I beat all three modes twice but it is all I have  :( Well my mom got really into the game also so she might chip in and help me get it tomorrow.

This site does have the journalistic integrity to let the reviewer set the score for the review, and this review and the The World Ends With You review were written by different people, so comparing the scores is pointless.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusMay 16, 2008

What would the internet be without trolls?

DAaaMan64May 16, 2008

Quote from: Mr.

What would the internet be without trolls?

a bunch of over opinionated douche bags.

Hahahaha...I like this game more than Phantom Hourglass! :-D

GoldenPhoenixMay 16, 2008

Quote from: Halbred

Hahahaha...I like this game more than Phantom Hourglass! :-D

Thank you for stating that sad fact:

Anyway you guys should learn that journalistic integrity is to follow the pack and give all 10s to games ::cough GTA IV cough cough:: and so on down the number scale. That is integrity!

Quote from: Halbred

Hahahaha...I like this game more than Phantom Hourglass! :-D

... I BURN WITH RAGE!!!!

D_AverageMay 16, 2008

I've played through the entire demo, and I was really dissaapointed with the content in the puzzles.  All of the questions and hints were exceptionally bland, i.e. "____ of the ball", "another word for offensive - crude". 

Most crosswords in the newspaper theses days are filled w/ history and pop culture questions, does the full game have these questions?  Can you pick which category to play?  If so, I'll probably pick it up.

I thought the demo was executed great, but the content was just plain dull.

vuduMay 16, 2008

I have the exact same question as D_Average.  I liked the interface of the demo, but I thought the words/hints were rather generic.

How much is this game?  It might be worth it to me for $20, but a full $30 seems a little steep.

Woah, this is $30?

vuduMay 16, 2008

That was a question, not a statement.

I just did a search, and it's only $19.99.

*phew*

But yeah, I also noticed that same concern about the generic hints when I played this at Nintendo's Media Summit... *shrug* I already have NY Times crosswords...

and you know what... I actually like the NY Times Crossword puzzle... I don't have any complaints about it that I can think of at all. It's also %19.99, uses real NY Times crossword puzzles... is HARD T_T ...

I'm not writing a review right now, but let me tell you that NY Times already fills the need perfectly and I actually personally prefer it to Nintendo's (GASP WHAT AM I SAYING). Even if the NY Times one doesn't have anagrams or whatnot.

D_AverageMay 16, 2008

Do you hold the NY Times one like a book as well?  Is the interface as good as the Crosswords?

vuduMay 16, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

uses real NY Times crossword puzzles... is HARD T_T ...

See, that's not a selling point for me.  I SUCK at crossword puzzles.  It took me 2.5 hours to beat the hard puzzle on the demo.  And that's with using all my points for the alternate clues plus getting some Google & Wikipedia help.

I've actually managed to beat some NY Times Crosswords... but they were "Monday" puzzles, I think. Aren't the "Sunday" NY Times crosswords the hardest? The instant accessibility to the whole range of diccifulty in NY Times is a plus I guess.

And... NY TImes is...not book style...

I tried NY Times Crosswords, I didn't like it because of the pop culture references, obscure ones that I've never heard of. And like Kairon I could never beat ones that weren't Monday puzzles (the easiest ones). The interface, while not as good as Crosswords DS and not book mode, is pretty good, although the color scheme is a pretty weird choice for a crossword puzzle game. The handwriting recognition box is smaller than I'd like, but it works pretty well. If you think you know pop culture well enough and you're not afraid of a challenge I'd recommend NY Times Crosswords.

animecyberratMay 16, 2008

Quote from: vudu

Quote from: Kairon

uses real NY Times crossword puzzles... is HARD T_T ...

See, that's not a selling point for me.  I SUCK at crossword puzzles.  It took me 2.5 hours to beat the hard puzzle on the demo.  And that's with using all my points for the alternate clues plus getting some Google & Wikipedia help.

Well you could just go down the alphabet 1 letter at a time like I did on the hard ones, but that could be considered cheating. Also the stupid game has a hard time reading my hand writing and turns everything into a Q or a K.

D_AverageMay 16, 2008




Well you could just go down the alphabet 1 letter at a time like I did on the hard ones, but that could be considered cheating.

animecyberratMay 17, 2008

that was what I meant when I said hard ones, the "hard" level or whatever. I only had to do that with like five of the puzzles because even when they were solved I didn't get them.

D_AverageMay 18, 2008

Any world yet on whether Crosswords has history, pop culture hints, or specific crossword topics?  None of the other review sites mention this either.

vuduMay 19, 2008

Quote from: animecyberrat

Well you could just go down the alphabet 1 letter at a time like I did on the hard ones, but that could be considered cheating.

Even though I suck at crosswords, I'm still a real man, so I played with assist turned off so it wouldn't tell me if I made a mistake.

I haven't seen any obvious pop culture references, but the game's difficulty really shoots up when you unlock the Hard puzzles. I mean, dang.

GoldenPhoenixMay 19, 2008

I've been playing the game and it is great stuff. I seldom use the assist and if I do I don't use it to "go through the alphabet" to get the right letter.

Why would you even keep playing if you were to the point of just trying every letter and using the assistance feature, that can't be any fun. I'm still in medium so I don't know anything about the higher levels, but I love the vocabulary testing that the clues turn into, I really like this kind of crossword puzzle.

animecyberratMay 20, 2008

because I got stuck on three or four words that even once solved made no sense at all. I only did that for the last few words I just couldn't figure out. It was also on the hard mode btw. I spent over two hours on the stupid puzzle, by then it wasn't much fun anymore anyways.

Tuxedo.BondMay 22, 2008

Quote from: lol@you

So this game is better than the best rpg of the year; the world ends with you?

HAHAHAHAHA, another proof of why this site has some of the worst reviews in the internet.

Pathetic "journos"

I have a burning question that I think you will be able to solve. Are jerks like you born or made?

animecyberratMay 23, 2008

Quote from: WolfPac_Ite

Quote from: lol@you

So this game is better than the best rpg of the year; the world ends with you?

HAHAHAHAHA, another proof of why this site has some of the worst reviews in the internet.

Pathetic "journos"

I have a burning question that I think you will be able to solve. Are jerks like you born or made?

neither, he was hatched.

planetidiotMay 27, 2008

I was annoyed to find out that you are supposed to find ALL the anagrams possible, minus the words Nintendo might think are naughty.  It's not like Boggle where you find as many as you can in a time limit.  You literally have to sit there trying every combination of letters to find the last 2 or 3 anagrams.  Ugh. Not fun.

On the whole it's a decent enough title, but I think my wife will enjoy it more than I do.

Quote from: planetidiot

I was annoyed to find out that you are supposed to find ALL the anagrams possible, minus the words Nintendo might think are naughty.  It's not like Boggle where you find as many as you can in a time limit.  You literally have to sit there trying every combination of letters to find the last 2 or 3 anagrams.  Ugh. Not fun.

On the whole it's a decent enough title, but I think my wife will enjoy it more than I do.

A tip on the anagrams, the list on the top screen is in alphabetical order, so you can get a hint by what words the blank one is between. You still have to guess, but not quite as blindly.

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Crosswords DS Box Art

Genre Puzzle
Developer
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Crosswords DS
Release May 05, 2008
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
eu: Crosswords DS
Release Dec 18, 2009
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+

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