There are very few times where a game is released that is a compilation that actually breaks new ground or makes an impact in the industry. Usually compilations are created of either old classics or simple card and puzzle games. However platforms like the Nintendo DS has really revitalized the old compilation concept with the touch screen technology. Today we are checking out a nice little compilation of games from Midway Games entitled Touchmaster, hoping to use that touch screen technology to its advantage. How is the final product? Read our full review to find out!
Whenever you look at a compilation game, personally as an editor, I look at two things - the variety in the different games to choose from and the overall feel of them. So to do that you can’t spend all your time on one game, nor can a compilation necessarily be worthwhile if there is one entertaining experience and the rest fall flat. So it is a little different reviewing a game like this, but nevertheless let’s get into how the game stands.
Touchmaster has a few different categories of games, including card, puzzle, and trivia, but definitely seems to be more in touch with the first two categories. I have to say my experience with this game was at its peak with Target 21, a rendition of the old time 21 game, however with a catch. You have several slots and you want to get each slot to 21, and I can say I was hooked. The other experience I did enjoy was just good old trivia, which actually was great for a nice little road trip.
All in all, each game in the compilation does what it sets out to do, there is nothing in this game that doesn’t work, has any problems, or any glitches. The compilation however, is as straightforward as they come. There are no games in this compilation that are just going to "wow" you or knock your socks off. Midway definitely plays it safe and stuck to the roots of the genre by going with classics that you can just pick up and play; perfect for that 10 hour flight to Europe or a road trip.
What I liked most about Touchmaster was that it is an example of how video games can really go mainstream. An example is that older folks are not intimidated by Trivia, Card Games, or even puzzle games. We all know the most popular game in the country is still Solitaire, mainly because people of all ages play it on their Window machines. Touchmaster is attempting to appeal to that wide audience, and to me it does in great fashion.
I think this was a conscious choice by Midway to keep the visuals simple in Touchmaster, however I don’t necessarily agree with it. For example the Trivia game actually uses some really bland colors and shapes that makes it seem like a game you could play online for free. While the DS is not a graphical powerhouse, it is capable of some great colors and great textures that work perfect for a game like Touchmaster. To me there was no innovation in this category.
Midway got their main goal accomplished, this is a very straightforward and yet enjoy compilation experience, and one that I honestly was not to sure of going into it. Touchmaster however exceeded my expectations, granting a very smooth and unique compilation of games that to me really made for an enjoyable experience. This is not a game that I would imagine remaining in your DS for years to come, but is one that would be great to continually show up when you need a short gaming fix.
To my surprise Touchmaster really did capture what a good compilation is made of. While there are some graphical shortcomings, the overall experience still has what it takes to make for a great game purchase. This is not the next big blockbuster on the DS, but it is one that is surely worth a look.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.