Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Do You Miss the Pencil and Paper?

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
The dependence of the Nintendo DS on stylus-based games has inspired an influx of pen-and-paper game translations. How do they hold up to the real thing?

I didn’t mention it on Monday, but there was one other thing that came out this week that my eyes just couldn’t help but return to: a little thing called Crosswords DS, the not-all-that-imaginatively-titled Nintendo Touch Generations entry into the crossword arena.  Here’s a trailer:


Now, unlike Boom Blox which just looks seriously fun, and R-Type Command, which may be niche but could well be incredible, Crosswords DS is the type of title that inspires an internal struggle.  On one hand, it sounds like an incredible idea for a puzzle buff like me.  Over 1,000 crosswords?  Word searches?  A few other bonus word puzzles?  Sign me up!


On the other hand, I’ve done pen ‘n paper puzzles on the DS, in the form of the Brain Age series’ Sudoku madness.  And I’ll admit, I lost a whole pile of hours to all of that Sudoku.  Still, as someone who grew up searching for the crossword in every Sunday’s paper (after tearing through the comics of course), there’s something a little bit surreal about having a friggin’ thousand of the things in one of those tiny little DS cartridges.  And, you know, I think you lose a little something in knowing that, if you get stumped on something, even for a second, you can just move on to the next one.  A thousand times.  None of this is even to mention the sterility of the stylus-touchscreen interface for putting the letters in, and how it doesn’t compare to the scratch of pencil on paper (or the added challenge and pressure of trying to use pen).


That said, I’d be surprised if I didn’t lose days of my life to Crosswords DS (and its less-publicized, out-for-a-while-already counterpart from the New York Times) eventually, just like I did with the Brain Age Sudoku.  What do you think?  Can the DS compete with the Sunday paper?

Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.