What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a compilation of 20 games for the Nintendo DS. Most are brain-busting casual games, but a few fall into the category of arcade games, like racing and a shooting gallery. In this shooting gallery, all you do is throw balls at targets.
What's it about?
There's a lot here! TOUCHMASTER 2 is a generally robust collection of 20 puzzle games, most of which are of the casual game variety. Sorted by themes, the games offer trophies as achievements. So, with your customized avatar, you end up making up a bit of a story in your head in which you become the best gamer, the trophy hero of sorts.
All of the games make use of the DS stylus and touchscreen. You'll use the touchscreen to toss balls at targets, encircle the differences in two photos, match gems in a sequence, spell words, play billiards and cards, and more. As you play, you'll earn trophies in each game for speed, high score, and number of matches you make and the like. The music runs the gamut, sometimes making you tense and nervous, sometimes making you feel relaxed and in the zone. You can play with pals who have a game card or even with those who don't via the DS' wireless functionality.
Is it any good?
While there are three fewer games than in the original Touchmaster, these new games are made to feel more action-oriented and graphically appealing. These action, card, picture, puzzle, and strategy games don't break the mold or try anything completely new. Yet, it's a pleasure to have so many games on one cartridge. Touchmaster 2 makes for seemingly endless enjoyment, with some caveats.
If you played the first game, you'll miss having a deep trivia game this time around. Also, games in which you find items in pictures are a little off-putting since the photos are small. You may also find that the top screen isn't as bright as the bottom screen, making finding items a bit more daunting. And some games, like the shooting gallery called Beaned! seem to go on endlessly if you're any good. But you'll love the best game of the bunch, a spelling offering called Rampage Empire featuring George, the giant ape, who's been in Midway games since 1986. Spell a word on one floor of a skyscraper and the gorilla removes the section to make the building smaller.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about which of these games is your favorite. Do you like the spelling game that features a big gorilla? Why? Or do you like the seek and find picture puzzles best? Why? What do you think your choice of favorite game says about you as a person?