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Touch Game Party (DS)

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      25.07.2008 16:49
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      Not worth the money - choose another mini-game collection.

      This game came as part of a 50-game cartridge I recently ordered, and at first I did feel it was one of the games that were there to "pad out" the number to push it towards 50. While it isn't the most exciting game around, it is quite playable if you want to sit down for a quick game.

      Currently it is on sale at Amazon from £14.63, and about this price at various other sites including Play.com. There is a Japanese version so make sure you get the right copy, the English is called NEW Touch Party Game, instead of just Touch Party Game - unless of course you're fluent!

      Now, I don't know if I'd really call it a party. For me the word party generally counjures up images of music, kegs, dancing and people. Not cards and reversi. But hey, whatever floats your boat. I'm guessing the fact that you play with other people (monsters, actually, maybe it's a Halloween party?) to developers Taito makes it a party. Let's remember that should they ever invite us round on a Saturday night.

      The game consists of seven mini-games. You can play in "Challenge Mode" in which you must win each of the seven mini games to progress to the next skill level (of which there are five). You can also choose free play, where you pick the game and level, or multiplayer, which having no friends with a DS I can't comment on, but I'm guessing it involves playing the games with each other. If you have a friend, are able to afford a DS and game, I'm not entirely sure why you can't pick up a pack of cards and play in the old-fashioned way, maybe that's just me.

      There is also an option to read the rules of the games. I didn't even notice this until I wondered what "options" was all about, but I'm quite glad because it's annoying when a game will tell you how to play repeatedly after you've learned. Besides, they are all games you probably know or can pick up easily without instructions.

      The games are:
      Word Hunt - You are shown a square of letters (which gets bigger as you increase levels) and told a category and how many words you have to find. You tap and drag with the stylus once you find one and let go once you've spelled the word. Letters can only be used once so sometimes it takes a bit of shuffling around.
      Reversi - Playing against a "monster". I am awful at this game and have only managed to beat the first level so far (feeble, I know).
      Darts - Pretty self explanatory, pick up a dart and lob it at the board. For me I get bored of this quite quickly and there seem to be too many rounds.
      Speed - You might know it as Spit, the speed card game. Pretty easy to beat though.
      Pairs - A memory game played against more "monsters". The board is pretty big so it can be tricky because I find it hard to remember playing cards over say pictures, and I have a pretty good memory for this type of game.
      Page One - I've never played Uno (yes, I know, who hasn't? Um, me) but I saw a site say this was the same game as Page One. It can be incredibly frustrating to beat and can go on a LONG time.
      Ghost Hunt - Whack-a-mole, with ghosts.

      The graphics and theme are poor. The top screen shows a haunted house, and ghosts float around while you're playing, but that's it. You play against monsters in some other games such as a mummy and a pirate. In challenge mode you have to walk through doors (of the haunted house) to get to each game and there is a pointless dialogue which I always skip past. It's not a story, it's just beating levels to move to a higher skill level, which you can do anyway in free play.

      Challenge mode can be annoying if you are particularly bad at one game, like I am at Reversi, as you can't move on until you've beaten all the games. Again, as you can play them anyway in free play, it doesn't leave much incentive to keep trying.

      Sound effects are "spooky" but practically non-existant. At least they made good use of the stylus, all the games are controlled using it.

      Overall some of the games are fun but it is totally not worth the money. The 42 Classics game that is available for DS would seem a much better option - and I've not even played it!

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