Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Crosswords Plus

Crosswords Plus

Spring 2013 Video Games
Ages: All Ages
Price: $29.99
Gaming System: Nintendo 3DS

Crossword puzzle fiends, whether kids or adults, rarely find a wordy puzzle they don't love to tackle, so Nintendo's new remake of its 2008 Crosswords DS game has a ready-made audience. The 3DS sequel features more than 1,000 crossword puzzles ranging in difficulty from "easy" to "expert," and packs other word games as well, including a classic word search (finding words in jumbled letters), a tough thematic Anagrams (making words from a collection of letters) and a simple Word of the Day game.

As you might imagine, the graphics and 3D effects aren't flashy in a title like this. Visually, word puzzles are word puzzles, and Nintendo hasn't reinvented the wheel here, nor has it added any bells and whistles to this experience. Players will find that the hint systems are helpful and the stylus-in-hand 3DS touch-screen controls are intuitive and easy to use. The software can even read your handwritten letters as you scribble in solutions.

There are issues with the game. You must complete numerous super-easy crossword puzzles first before unlocking the medium-level puzzles, and then those before unlocking the hard puzzles. There's no way around it, and the easy puzzles may bore experienced crossword puzzle players. Still, for word-based head-scratcher fans, especially those attuned to the 3DS experience, this game offers some verbal punch and lots of content.

Don Oldenburg   ©2013 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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