Word lovers rejoice! This all ages casual game eliminates hard copies with a high amount (1000+) of puzzles to solve. A fine game if the only goal is slicing through these word puzzles with some helpful assistance including an option that reveals wrong answers in red text. If not, players won’t find anything highly innovative, only adding anagrams and word searches as related game modes – no multiplayer, online or create-your-own modes here.
Players will immediately notice the adjustable sideways orientation as the developers boost the touch screen features on the Nintendo DS. Players write the answers inside the current box (outlined in yellow), which is fun to experiment with – no penalty except eating away at your time, which can take away a “great” rating. Scribbling over a wrong answer (especially if you have the reveal option on) instead of using the eraser icon can also save a lot of time.
Some of the larger word searches are difficult to navigate through even with the overview screen on the left (or right). Players can easily switch between solving down and across words, but remember the automatic advance benefits sequential solves, so jumping around from the end/middle of words will cost you time. It’s best to start at the beginning of each word so you don’t have to backtrack.
Options include several difficulty levels and hints. The hints require players to spend their points before the helpful reveals. Players can even access additional hints if they’re really in trouble. The training mode only helps novice players unfamiliar with the format of crosswords in general. Most gamers can quickly bypass the training and start conquering the large caches of puzzles to complete. Each puzzle is categorized according to difficulty, category, etc. The higher difficulty puzzles require some considerable work to unlock and definitely bring some formidable challenges, so experts have plenty to grab onto here. Just get past those 13 x 13 medium difficulty grids and you’re home free.
Saving single games is easy throughout the game’s progression. When a puzzle is completed, it’s automatically saved. Players might get stuck in some situations (e.g. accidentally selecting the reveal option), but can choose not to save a game and just start from their last completed game. More memorable music could have enhanced the game even more, but this value priced game still gives most players more than their money’s worth. A vital edition to any puzzler’s collection.
Crosswords DS is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.