Puzzler World 2013 (NDS) Review - A Great Game for Grown Ups!

I've been a puzzler for as long as I can remember. Back in primary school our enthusiastic teacher would hand out pages of printed word-searches and crosswords "to keep our busy minds sharp", and I enjoyed them so much I'd look forward to rainy days and the opportunity to do more.

So as an adult, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review Puzzler World 2013 - especially as it offered the perfect excuse to borrow my daughter's 3DS XL!

Puzzler World 2013 is a new title for the Nintendo DS which is based on the popular Puzzler magazine which you can find in any good newsagents.

This latest edition offers no less than 27 different game types for us to play, including Loko, Number-Jig and Maze-a-Pix (which are new for 2013) in addition to familiar crosswords, word-searches and Sudoku. In total, there are over 1200 puzzles to complete!

Create your own profile to share the game with family

As Princess was itching to play Puzzler World too, I was glad to see that up to three profiles can be saved, enabling different family members to save their progress on separate files and play to their own ability. 

A nice touch of this game is being able to write (or draw) an identity for each profile, which also introduces the notion of using a stylus for adding words and numbers in the game.

Puzzler World 2013 profiles
Custom profiles to track your game progress

It's easy to keep track of your progress in the game using the icons in the upper screen. When browsing puzzles in Challenge mode, you can find overall progress and completion status individual game types too. For me, the Fitword and Number Jig tubes filled up pretty quick, while Princess preferred to play the more visual Spot the Difference and Silhouette game types.

A simple, intuitive interface

Using the stylus to play Puzzler world makes for very pleasant gameplay! We found the recognition system for numbers and letters to be pretty reliable, though if you're having problems making the game recognise your handwriting it's easy to make adjustments using the Handwriting Teach mode which is found in the Pause menu. Here you can teach the game to recognise your unique writing style, and lowercase as well as uppercase letters.

Puzzler World 2013 Handwriting recognition
Teach Puzzler World to recognise your handwriting

With regular puzzle books, I find myself having to come back to them more often and sometimes lose interest. In contrast, I really liked the small format of the puzzles on Puzzler World 13: I could complete many of them easily during a five-minute coffee break or when Babyman was napping, which offers a greater sense of achievement.

We both played Puzzler World on Princess' 3DS XL which has a 30% bigger screen than the regular-sized DSi or 3DS and found the size to be perfect for our needs. While the screens on smaller Nintendo handhelds may be smaller, I doubt it would decrease enjoyment of the game too much, especially when you are used to the smaller screen size.

Bonus Games

Of the games we played, Princess seemed to enjoy the Bonus games most of all, which include Hangman, Anagram and Jigsaw (whenever I got a bonus, she would ask to play the bonus games for me!). We liked that they provided a more lighthearted (and slightly easier) contrast to the more serious regular games, especially when we could play the Slot Machine afterwards!

Puzzler World 2013 Slot Machine
Playing the Slot Machine game

Master Mode

After proving your puzzling prowess in Challenge mode, you'll be able to unlock Master Mode games which offer a greater challenge. These won't be available right from the start, but don't worry - you don't need to complete everything in Challenge mode to unlock them! At various stages, you'll receive a notification that you've unlocked a new level and will be able to choose to play it from the main menu.

Final Thoughts

Puzzler World 2013 is a game for the whole family to enjoy, and offers a huge variety of puzzles which could well keep you entertained for months! The games become more challenging as you progress so it's easy for younger players to get stare, while the advanced Master mode provides renewed interest for more seasoned puzzlers

I do suspect that adults (especially those who are puzzle enthusiasts) will enjoy it more than younger children. While enthusiastic at first, Princess (who is almost eight) began to lose interest after a couple of hours' gameplay. She did enjoy the puzzlers but explained that "it's a bit too grown-up" for her.

My favourite aspect of Puzzler World is that it's something I can just pick up and play when I have a few minutes to spare. Unlike other games which require dedication and time to fully enjoy, I can just complete a puzzle or two when I have the opportunity without being concerned at losing my progress. 

It's definitely "a game for grown-ups", and makes for the perfect excuse to stop borrowing the kids' and buy your own handheld Nintendo console!

Overview

Puzzler World 2013 is available from all good video game retailers and direct from the Puzzler website (RRP: £19.99)

Reviewed by Amanda Kennedy and Princess on .

Rating: 4/5


Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of Puzzler World 2013 for the purpose of writing a review for Glamumous. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and those of my daughter, and were not influenced by our sponsor.