TouchMaster 3 (DS)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Graphics: 7.00
Sound: 5.00
Gameplay: 8.50
Replays: 9.00
Gamelength: 8.00

“TouchMaster 3” is a fun collection of minigames that’s sure to keep any casual gamer busy for many months to come.

Given the amount of minigame collections out there for every platform available, it’s hard to imagine that any of them would stand out as long-term addictions. And hey, I don’t blame people for feeling that way. After all, who wants to pay for something that’s already been released several dozen times? Thankfully, this is a series that captures the true essence of casual gaming. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here, but all of the included content should keep just about anyone busy for a long time. Casual gamers, today is your day. Read on for our review of “TouchMaster 3” for the Nintendo Ds.

For a collection of minigames, the visual quality is good. There are tons of colors popping out everywhere, although some games are less colorful than others. Overall though, it still boils down to a collection of quirky 2D sprites and re-skins of classic game theme.

Although audio is never a serious part of most minigame collections, a cool soundtrack always helps to create a sort of fluid atmosphere. Unfortunately, this game lacks any such flow and can be played with the volume completely turned down without any change to the atmosphere or gameplay. That’s not to say anything negative about the sound effects or standard music, but nothing stands out or really pleases the ears enough to make any sort of impact.

From classic card games to a re-skin of “Pipe Dreams” and a weird take on the word scramble idea, this collection is guaranteed to have something for just about everyone out there.

The collection is split into 5 categories, including Puzzle, Word Games, Action, Strategy and Card games. Each genre has it’s own set of games, ranging from 2 to 5 different things per category.

Looking for a different take on Poker? Check. How about a variant of memory? Yep. Mazes? Uh huh. Pinball? Those things, plus many more are all jam-packed into this nifty little cartridge. Granted, this is not the end-all, be-all collection of games, but it’s sure to appeal to quite a wide audience.

Of course, that’s all well and good, but even the most amazing game design can be completely destroyed by a terrible control scheme. Fortunately, most of the games are as smooth as they can possibly be, although a few odd things here and there do prevent the controls from reaching flawless status.

To give you an example, “Slime Assault” requires the player to destroy incoming slimes by throwing bombs all over the place. For the most part, flicking the bombs with the stylus works just fine, but there seems to be some issues with the overall responsiveness of the control design every now and then, causing the bombs to go in unwanted directions.

With such a solid selection of games and a decent control scheme, what more could there possibly be? How about single cartridge local multiplayer? If that’s your cup of tea, it’s your lucky day!

Using a single cartridge, several players can locally connect to the host and take part in some good old-fashioned multiplayer. It’s seamless, easy and flawless. Oh, did I mention that there’s no performance hit or lag during any point in any game? Pretty cool, I must say!

So, if you’re looking for a set of casual games to keep you (and your friends) busy, “TouchMaster 3” may just be the answer. With it’s wide selection of games, single cartridge multiplayer and simple interface, it’s sure to sit well in the hands of any gamer, regardless of age or experience.

Overall Rating: 8.00

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