Exercise your word power with ‘Nintendo Presents Crossword Collection‘.
This new Nintendo title offers players the chance to solve more than a 1000 crossword puzzles and other word games such as wordsearches and anagrams. The game is played in the same manner as magazine or newspaper puzzles, but instead of using a pen or pencil, you just write in the answers with your stylus.
Now I don’t know about you, but personally I do love crosswords and it gives me a chance to get the brain working some overtime. Every now and then I see them in the back of the newspaper and I generally think I need to complete them and then somehow the newspaper gets thrown away. Nintendo bring the concept to the Nintendo DS.
Players have the opportunity to pick up the Nintendo DS anytime and start one of the puzzles using the stylus. The crosswords come in easy, medium and hard so there are some good variations available for your puzzle solving abilities. The screen shows you where you can select a puzzle and you can choose one of the 20 numbered tiles. At the bottom of the crossword a time display is shown in which it tells you how much time you have spent on the puzzle.
If you get a little bit stuck there is a hints menu. This gives you the option to select from three different kind of hints. You have the option to receive a second clue, show a letter in the currently selected word or ’show word’ to solve the word automatically. It’s very straightforward. If you do decide to use a hint, you will then unfortunately lose hint points and a time penalty which will then be added to your puzzle completion time.
The crossword puzzle grid is simple. As the player you must fill in each of the boxes with the correct letter. It’s easy to work out whether you have a correct answer or not by the noise the DS makes. Entering the wrong letter will give you a negative sound and also displaying that letter in red. Taking the stylus you touch the square in which you wish to write your answer and the square will turn yellow.
There is a zoom button which enables players to see the highlighted square a second time. Once you have zoomed in, players can then use the stylus to write a letter in the yellow square. The puzzle then moves on automatically to the next selected square. It’s very easy and simple. After you have completed a puzzle you will then be rewarded with a ‘Completed’ stamp. Progressing through the game you will receive certificates for each section of the game. These certificate levels are novice, expert and master. Some of the puzzles are cryptic, but most of them are obvious and logical.
I personally made my way through the crossword puzzles very easily. It was simple and precise, although I did get stuck on a few. One thing I will have to say about the game is that I found it quite addictive. Once I had solved one or two I wanted to do more and more. Sometimes the software can not always recognize your writing, but there is a useful hint section in the back of the manual that shows you the best way to write your letters if you’re having problems in that area.
In wordsearch you will be given a list of words that you must locate in a grid of letters. The aim of the game is to find all the words in the fastest time possible. There is a small wordsearch where you have to locate up to 14 words, a large where you have to locate 42 words and bonus where you must find 28 words, but the bonus stage is only available when you have solved other puzzles in the different sections. Using the stylus touch the first or last letter and slide over the entire word. This area of the game was simple as I frantically searched for the words as quickly as possible.
In the Anagrams section your goal is to make as many unique words as possible using the set of randomly chosen letters. The length of the words you have to create is decided by the game type you select. There is a ’short’ section where you have to create three and four letter words to win,’ medium’ section where you must create three, four or five letter words to win and finally ‘long’ section in which you must create three, four, five and six letter words to win. It’s pretty self explanatory.
Overall the game does what it says on the box. If you like crosswords, wordsearches, and anagrams then this is the perfect title for you. The game offers a wide selection of puzzles for you to solve. An ideal game for the long train and car journeys home. Players of all different ages will enjoy this title, even though it would have been nice to see something a little bit extra graphically, at the end of the day the crossword collection offers puzzle addicts a new title in gaming entertainment. It would have been nice to have some kind of multiplayer feature which enabled players to link up with the game and then perform a ‘timed crossword’ in which the quickest player to solve the crossword wins. It’s always nice to have a multiplayer option, even if it is just a game of this genre. Sadly there is no multiplayer option. I think that Nintendo missed an opportunity there. Nintendo do a great job in offering crossword fanatics an opportunity to test their word skills, it’s simple and ease of use makes this a nice title that will keep your brain ticking away for a while.