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Touchmaster

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Where were you on Mortal Monday? The reason we ask is because Mortal Kombat is the last Midway arcade port that we can remember caring about about. But excited we are: the longtime corner-bar machine, Touchmaster is coming to the Nintendo DS. Wait… where're you going? Seriously, pull up a virtual stool and hear us out.

You gotta give Touchmaster a little credit. Anyone who's dropped a small fortune into the barroom bill biter can attest that its addictive qualities rivals the hooch behind the counter, plus this saloon staple drinks from the very same trough of touchscreen/mini-game ingenuity that has made DS such a tap-tastic success. And despite the tragic loss of the "Erotic" category, each of the 23 games offered up translates to stylus play with refined ease.

With so many play options, ranging from card games, puzzles, and a legitimately challenging bout of trivia, there's no shortage of things to do. Touchmaster also contains its own versions of time-tested classics, such as Solitare, Powercell and Checkers. Of course players will certainly gravitate to some games more than others, but our personal favorites so far are the high-low card game, 3 Peak Deluxe, billiard ball matcher Pairs, and the aptly titled Word Search. And the olive to Touchmaster's martini is that nearly every game can benefit from 2 player action (because playing by yourself may mean you have a problem.)

Touchmaster isn't reinventing the wheel, but it does offer is plethora of simplistic, yet surprisingly deep, pick-up-and-play experiences. It's just as hard to put down as those the casual games cell phone users are downloading in droves, and with the sheer variety of things to play here, it's a mere fraction of the price.

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