Nintendo sell ice to Eskimos

Well, no, but I bet they could. Instead they announce the launch of Crosswords DS.

My son (11) has a DS. I imagine the the conversation would go something like this:-

Me – “Hey son! Would you like a copy of the new Transformers game where you get get to control massive robots that stomp all over everything and can fly and shoot lasers and stuff? Or do you want the text based crossword game where you get to do crosswords….oh, and word searches?”

Son – “Gee Dad, what a choice. Let me think…FOR A NANOSECOND!”

Of course I would have to teach him what a nanosecond is, but you get the point. Using a DS, or any console for that matter, to do crosswords or Brain Training, just doesn’t make sense to me. If I was a kid the last thing I too would want to do when I got home from school is more school work. But these sort of “games” are selling by the shed load, so what is going on?

It’s obvious isn’t it? It’s the rise of the “casual gamer”. This new niche, that Nintendo have identified and are mining for all they are worth (and that’s quite a lot at the last count), is threatening to take over the whole games market. More and more games are aimed at “the whole family” i.e. the grandparents and do-good parents who think little Johnny should “do something useful with his time”. Bah! The Wii has a lot to answer for in this respect, yes I am talking about Wii Sports and Wii Fit and any other game that has massively simple controls and graphics. In the 1970s and early 80s all the latest games had was left, right, and fire (Space Invaders, Galaxians), I remember the time fondly but I sure as hell don’t want to go back there. I love the learning curve of a new, deep control system and dismissed the Wii as a childs toy as soon as I figured out that you could pitch faster in Wii Baseball with a flick of the wrist as opposed to a correct pitching action.

As you can tell I am not a fan of titles like these, but I know millions of people are so I must be professional and tell you all about it.

Crosswords DS puts 1000 crossword puzzles “in the palm of your hand” (like if they were in a book – sorry can’t help it) as well as 200 wordsearches. There are many difficulty levels and the puzzles get bigger and the clues more cryptic as you progress. There is also a hint system that provides clues for when you get stuck, it will provide another clue, reveal a letter in the answer or just solve the whole word. Answers are hand written using the stylus and, uh, that’s it.

Executive vice president of Sales & Marketing Cammie Dunaway says, “Crosswords DS brings crossword puzzles into the 21st century in a way that’s accessible to everyone.” They are absolutely right. It is simple, casual, will be massively popular and make huge profits, I just don’t understand why.

Now where did I put my Reebok Pumps?