The Sun Crossword Challenge on DS

This Friday, London town is going to see a games promotion that would make Salvador Dali proud. To promote the launch of The Sun Crossword Challenge, a crossword game from the british Sun newspaper, Vikki Blows and Sam Cooke of The Sun’s Page 3 (I’ll let you google them yourself) will be hanging around London Victoria Station from 8am completing a giant crossword (courtesy of Atari) with help from passing members of the public.

Granted, sex sells, but does sex sell crosswords? The Sun has quite a broad readership, spanning both men and women, but unless I’m grossly mistaken this crossword game is more likely to be aimed at the women who read the paper. I am having a really hard time imagining builders twiddling their thumbs and waving their styluses in-between bouts of wolf whistling during their lunch break.

The Sun Crossword Challenge, published by Mecury Games, operates like a traditional crossword puzzle but with a few subtle differences. Like the daily crossword in The Sun newspaper, each puzzle will have two sets of clues – “coffee time” with quick clues and “cryptic” with longer, more complex clues. The game has more than 1000 crossword challenges in total. Using the Nintendo DS stylus, the player writes their answers straight onto crossword through handwriting character recognition.

I’m undecided as to whether this game is a stroke of genius or not. Crosswords are hugely popular anyway and this kind of simple electronic version of an age old classic may really set the older gaming market on fire. If it turns out to be a success then it would be easily expandable and updatable and could spawn a huge franchise, not only that but it has one of Britain’s most well known brands behind it.

The Sun Crossword Challange launches Friday, April 18th, so why don’t you pop on down to London and, in the words of Atari’s statement “get involved and have your photo taken with Sam and Vikki – perfect for making your workmates envious when you get back to the office.” Yeah, sure…