(DSiWare)

Game Review

Telegraph Crosswords Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by James Newton

Box clever

Last year Nintendo took a stab at the handheld crosswords market with Nintendo Presents Crossword Collection, and it did a decent job, with plenty of variation and a decent interface drawing in gamers who like to dabble in the occasional crossword. If Crossword Collection was the tutorial, Telegraph Crosswords is the final boss; every puzzle here is tough and satisfying, and at 500 grids you're looking at a stack of gameplay.

Although there are no specifically named themes, you'll notice certain grids have thematically-similar clues; the second one makes a few references to Norfolk, for example, meaning there's a little glue to keep the often disparate answers together. Coming from the Telegraph you know you're not going to get any simplistic clues; even the first puzzle features some more cryptic clues than you might expect, but they just make it all the more satisfying to conquer a grid. Crossword experts will be right at home while others might take a few puzzles to warm up.

The interface is pretty decent, with letters entered using either an onscreen keyboard or handwriting recognition, both of which work well. You can choose for incorrect entries to be highlighted and, if you get really stuck, call for a letter to be filled in, both of which come with time penalties as each grid is played against the clock. There's a "best times" section but it's admittedly unlikely you'll want to return to previous puzzles to retry them for quicker times. You can suspend one puzzle and come back to it later, and thankfully starting a new puzzle doesn't overwrite your previous save file, plus there's auto-save along the way as well.

On the audio side there's not much to go off but it does feature some music that demands to be turned off immediately, along with a handful of rudimentary sound effects. The visual presentation is clear, although as there's no zoom feature you may struggle to read the text if your eyesight isn't perfect.

Conclusion

You're getting a big set of tough crosswords in this package – almost eighteen months' worth of Telegraph crosswords are crammed into a DSiWare download, and all for less than the price of a week's papers. If you're after an easy introduction to the world of crosswords this isn't it, but as a value package of head-scratchers it's well worth a buy for aficionados.

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User Comments (12)

RaylaxStaff

#1

Raylax said:

I'm not a huge fan of crosswords, but it's nice to see that something licensed for a national newspaper and sold at a low price has clearly had some effort gone into it.

EdEN

#3

EdEN said:

Crosswords DS has a lot of content. I got it at launch and still haven't finished all the Crosswords it has to offer.

warioswoods

#4

warioswoods said:

@EdEN

I bought that one for a girlfriend back when it came out, and I believe she mostly enjoyed it but complained that the harder puzzles are all locked until you go through countless simple puzzles, and I don't believe she ever had the patience to get through all of those.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#5

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

That's actually a very good dsiware download for anyone who's interested in this kind of word puzzle. Strangely, I never could get into crosswords.

warioswoods

#8

warioswoods said:

@WarriorCatFreak

I doubt that this one will; since it originates from a British paper, its puzzles are sure to be based on misspellings British spellings which would make it ill-suited for the US audience.

grumblegrumble

#10

grumblegrumble said:

I am totally getting this later on this afternoon. I loved the Sudoku/Kakuro Telegraph game and being an avid word lover this is a no brainer for me :) Something I would actually spend more than 5 minutes playing! Keep em coming, Nintendo.

phoenixfeather

#12

phoenixfeather said:

It's pretty good, I'm still only on the early puzzles but I've noticed a lot of U.K. placenames so far, and it's kind of a pain. It pains me to admit that I actually liked the cheesy music, haha. Maybe because it reminds me of the 90s computer games I grew up on. But it's a nice crossword game for a low price, and has harder puzzles from the get-go than CrossworDS (which is great, but I've never played past the easy levels out of boredom).

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