Published by EA, Travel Games is the first title to be released in the series of For Dummies games announced earlier this year. Travel Games For Dummies offers Sudoku, Solitaire and crosswords for beginners and advanced players alike. With a sleek presentation and straightforward gameplay, this DS title delivers hours of solid entertainment.
The Sudoku portion of the game comes with 500 puzzles, ranging in difficulty from very easy to very hard. A “How To” section introduces players to the basics of the game as well as to some handy solving tricks. The “Practice” mode allows you to put these tricks into application before moving on to the “Play” section. Read More…
An interesting feature in this Sudoku game is the availability of an “auto-pencil” tool which automatically fills in the potential solutions in each box. Armed with this function, it becomes a lot easier to detect patterns in the puzzle and will teach you how to increase your solving speed.
This Sudoku game is quite intuitive. There is no handwriting recognition involved, offering instead a number pad from which you chose your answer. You can also toggle the “Show mistakes” function, which can save you a lot of time if you are on the wrong path.
Solitaire presents players with 10 different types of solo card games, many of which I personally didn’t know until now. Starting with the familiar Klondike, regarded as the original Solitaire game, you will also be introduced to Pyramid, Scorpion, Penguin, Free Cell, Canfield, Yukon, Monte Carlo, Accordion and Golf.
In How To players will discover the rules of each of the games. The Practice mode will let you familiarize yourself with them, while allowing unlimited undos and offering hints if necessary. The Play mode is harder, with no hints or undos and is timed for a greater challenge. The gameplay in this portion of the game is also quite intuitive. You simply use the touch pad and stylus to drag cards from one point to another, as desired.
As you progress in a specific card game, you will acquire points which add up each time until you receive a bronze, silver or gold star for your efforts. The better you do during a specific hand, the more points you earn towards your star.
The Crosswords start by teaching you the basic terminology of the game, as well as providing some helpful tips in the How To section. Practice mode starts the player with 25 easy puzzles grouped under five themes, which can be solved with the help of three bonus hints and a free letter tool.
The Regular Play mode offers 10 puzzle themes, broken down into three difficulty levels: easy, medium and hard. The first two levels offer 30 puzzles each, while there are 40 puzzles in hard more, for a total of a 100. In this mode, hints are earned by solving entries in which a letter shows a yellow exclamation mark. These exclamation marks will move around the board after a few moments, so you have to think quickly. This mode also offers no free letters.
To solve the crosswords, you write down the letter you want to enter in what the game calls a “scratch pad”. The handwriting recognition seems relatively good, though I did have some issues with H and I, which were often not recognized properly. However, the game does have a keyboard option that simplifies the gameplay quite a bit.
The game’s graphics are attractive and fit the For Dummies brand very well. The presentation is very clean and bright, with a nice design. On the audio side, the game is well put together. Many jazzy and mellow tunes play at different times, while you can hear some soothing wildlife sounds during some of the puzzles.
Travel Games For Dummies is a great game and offers good value for its price. With its helpful tricks and multiple levels of difficulty, it suits novice and expert players alike. Progress can be saved at any time, allowing for shorter play sessions suitable for a commute. If you are a fan of light puzzle games, you will not be disappointed by picking this title up.
+ Loads of gameplay
+ Accommodates all skill levels
+ Great presentation
+ Easily playable for short or longer periods of time
- Slight issue with handwriting recognition