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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is something for everyone in this compilation of 23 short games to play on the Nintendo DS. Kids as young as 6 and as old as 99 will find something to like. Some of the directions are unclear, but most players can puzzle them out by playing a few rounds. Most of the games are timed, so parents should judge whether this pressure is too much for their kids.
What's it about?
A compilation of 23 Mini games, TOUCHMASTER features something for everyone, with games divided into categories of card, puzzle, and skill. Kids as young as 6 will enjoy checkers set in a pond with frogs leaping from one lily pad to another. Young kids will also enjoy the word-search game, a basketball game, and trivia set on a kid's mode.
For older kids, teens, and adults, TouchMaster has a healthy selection of challenging games: There are nine different card games including traditional solitaire and a version of blackjack, and in the skill category, you'll find two versions of Yahtzee, and a cool, turn-based game about dominating a board. Where this compilation really shines is with its puzzle games.
Is it any good?
While this compilation of games has a lot to offer families, it isn't perfect. Directions often aren't clear, and some of the card games are hard to play because the graphics are so tiny. Likewise, it's tough to tell 3-D depth when using the Mah Jongg tiles, making it difficult to discern which tiles are on top and available to match. And the games don't allow you to turn off the timer -- not every kid enjoys playing under pressure.
TouchMaster has several games where two players can play by passing around one DS. Midway Games also hosts tournament play online with a Nintendo DS wireless Internet connection. But to play two-person games using two DS systems, the second player must also own TouchMaster. It would have been better to offer this option as a free download using only one game cartridge.
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