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DS Roundup

Top trumps, crosswords, dragons, etc.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Imagine a game where you got to solve crimes, hunt dragons, fight armies, complete crosswords and play cards with Doctor Who. It would be amazing, of course. And it'll never happen.

However! This month's selection of DS games do allow you to do all those things, albeit individually. Whether you like your games competent, mediocre or designed to exploit the gullibility of children, there's something for everyone. So let's press on.

The Sun Crossword Challenge

1. What the Liverpool fans did not, in fact, do to the dead (4, 2)

Not content with sating Britain's insatiable desire for thinly disguised racism and tits, The Sun has done a crossword game. For GBP 19.99 you get more than 1000 puzzles to complete. The crosswords are just like the ones you'd find in The Sun, with the added advantage they don't have a copy of The Sun attached.

With each puzzle, you can choose from 'Coffee-Time' or 'Cryptic' clues. The answers will be the same regardless but the clues will be different - "Design on body" versus "It needn't require the Army to put on this show", for example. As you've probably surmised the Cryptic option offers more of a challenge, while you'll only occasionally find yourself stuck on the Coffee-Time puzzles.

No screenshots released for this game, just a picture of the lady hired to promote it. What a shame.

If you are stumped you can ask for missing letters to be revealed - a serious advantage electromagic crosswords have over the paper version. However, if like me you are pathetically impatient and a bit thick, you'll find yourself doing this all the time. This means you miss the satisfaction of puzzling things out. Points are deducted from your score each time you ask for a letter to be filled in, but it's hard to care.

The handwriting recognition is pretty good, and if you prefer there's an on-screen keyboard you can use instead. You can choose to pencil answers in if you're not sure they're right, and it's easy to erase mistakes - another advantage over paper crosswords. The muzak's bloody awful, but you're probably not buying The Sun Crossword Challenge because you've run out of records.

So. There's a decent number of puzzles to solve. There are two types of clues to choose from. The control system works. There aren't any extras - a dictionary might have been nice, or perhaps some extra word games. But if you're just looking for a straightforward collection of electronic crossword puzzles, and are too young to remember the coverage of the Broadwater Farm riots, The Sun Crossword Challenge will do the job.