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TouchMaster DS review

AT A GLANCE
  • Broad variety of games
  • DS controls work fine
  • No grimy barroom touch screen
  • Most games not fun
  • Some games suffer from small screen
  • No "erotic" category

Like the TouchMaster you may have played on a grimy touch screen at a bar (only out of morbid curiosity, of course), TouchMaster DS is the epitome of casual gaming. It contains a collection of timed minigames grouped into categories like card games, trivia, and puzzles. In theory, the broad range of games represented here is a good fit for the DS. Being able to play anything from a Bejeweled-ish puzzle game, to a Wheel of Fortune-esque word game, to a classic game of Solitaire all on the same cartridge sounds pretty good.



Above: Uh... what? Trust us, it's not worth figuring out

The problem is that these games were designed to take quarters from drunk people, not necessarily to be fun. Some of the puzzle games, like Alien Artifact and Times Square, seem purposely opaque and vaguely explained, as if they were actually designed to confuse. This, coupled with the fact that all the games are timed (with no way to turn the timer off or even adjust the amount of time given), makes it feel like the game is still trying to suck imaginary quarters out of your pocket.  

Mercifully, there's an Exit button in the upper right hand corner of each game that allows you to instantly quit at any time, without even having to bring a menu up first. It's as if the designers knew how crappy these games were and saw the necessity of an emergency escape option. It would be funny... if the game hadn't already killed our ability to enjoy anything.

It's surprising that TouchMaster DS isn't bargain priced, especially given the fact that the "erotic" category contained in its pool hall cousins is conspicuously absent. The multiplayer games might be slightly more fun than playing solo, but you'll have a hard time getting anyone to play this version with you, drunk or not. Like the original TouchMaster, this gold-digging floozy will take your cash and not even have the decency to show you a good time in exchange.

More Info

Release date: Jun 25 2007 - DS (US)
Jun 29 2007 - DS (UK)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: Midway
Developed by: Midway
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Alcohol Reference, Language
PEGI Rating:
3+

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