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The New York Times crosswords on your DS - Review

By MATT DEGEN, From SqueezeOC | 2007-06-20

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For many of us, a morning or afternoon spent with The New York Times crossword is a sacred ritual. Who hasn't curled up on the sofa at home, settled into the neighborhood coffeeshop, or hit the beach, paper in hand, for a session of brain-busting fun?

Now you can have access to 1,000 N.Y. Times crossword puzzles, all without even a shred of newspaper.

Thank video game publisher Majesco for this one, with its latest title for the portable DS unit. Nintendo's wonderful little device -- which has pleased us with everything from racing in "Mario Kart" to brain training with "Brain Age" -- employs its touch-screen and stylus to replicate the experience of doing a crossword puzzle.

"The New York Times Crosswords," which is available now for $29.99, is a little bundle of joy that will test even the most devoted fan of the puzzles.

Just like the NYT version, the puzzles progressively become more difficult over the weekdays. Or you can just play a random, quick game. If you're stumped, help is a button away to fill in a letter (try getting that in the paper version!).

What also impressed me was the software's ability to recognize even my handwriting, which is among the worst I know. Gentle music plays in the background if you want it, and it's a snap to zoom in and out of the puzzle to get that larger picture. Wherever you want to go on the puzzle, you'll get there with a tap of the stylus.

The game even has an option that accommodates left-handers, and if you want to team up against friends and family -- or include them in the solving -- a Wi-Fi feature lets other DS users join in.

Best of all, with "The New York Times Crosswords," you won't get a trace of ink on your fingers or ever have to fold and refold a paper again.

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