What we liked:

+ Tons Of Games, Small Price
+ Online Leaderboards
+ Plays Great

What we didn't like:

- Lacking Extras

DEVELOPER: Midway   |   PUBLISHER: Midway   |   RELEASE: 06/25/2007

If there is one genre that the DS has always done well it is puzzle games. Whether you have the simplistic standard fare or perhaps an old favorite jazzed up with some touch screen interactivity there is no denying that when it comes to dropping blocks and quick fix solution mastering the DS has no equal. That being said the latest collection comes to us from the folks at Midway, who up until recently hadn’t quite jumped on the touch-generation bandwagon. Their latest effort Touchmaster is a solid collection of games that most of us have seen at the local truck stop or bar in the form of slot-type machines; seeing as how most of these machines are touch-sensitive made this a no-brainer for Nintendo’s handheld.

The amount of games in Touchmaster is impressive, 23 in total to be exact and they range from truly addictive to mildly amusing. Probably the most surprising aspect of this compilation is that there is no real theme to the set of games on the cart. You have classics such as Solitaire and Mahjong, but you will also find the game littered with cheap parlor games such as touch-activated basketball game and other quirky additions. This is both a good and bad decision simply because there will likely be something on here for just about everyone, but very few people will enjoy every game it has to offer, thus limiting it’s appeal to those only searching for one specific title.

What this really boils down to is that Touchmaster will likely only appeal to those who already dump quarters into these machines at the local pub and of course the Nintendo fans who simply cannot get enough touch-sensitive titles. There is certainly not much to be found for the hardcore gamer as most of the titles are simple and the cart offers nothing extra outside of the games such as unlockable content or incentives for beating high scores.

While the games feel limiting you cannot argue the value found on this cart. With 23 titles ranging from puzzle games to card games to even simple parlor games there is certainly to see and do. Considering the price tag of thirty bucks it is hard to criticize a collection that offers up micro-fun for little more than a dollar a shot. Even if all of the games are not your idea of a good time they are all well constructed and play good enough that you will certainly not dread playing any one of them.

Graphically the game looks exactly like you would expect. Simple interfaces and bright colors really portray the style of each game well. The sound effects are also standard fare and as I mentioned before every game plays perfectly using the touch screen so there is very little to complain about in terms of presentation. There is support for WiFi, however it is only for posting scores on leaderboards, which is certainly welcome. Although just think how cool some of these games could have been had they supported online functionality.

Really the only crime Touchmaster commits is not being upgraded with any extra features. You get exactly what you see here and while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can leave some gamers who have come to expect loads of extra content a bit disappointed in the end. If you are a fan of the bar games and are tired of dropping endless amounts of quarters to get your fix then this game is perfect for you. With over twenty distractions Touchmaster will certainly keep you busy for months to come.

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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