Developer: Midway Home Entertainment Inc.
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

When the original Touchmaster was released for the Nintendo DS a couple of years ago, it was a personal favorite of mine. It included 23 games, all of them based on bar games that had also used touch screen controls. Since the DS has a touch screen, those controls translated well to that platform. A follow up, Touchmaster 2, was also released, and it too had a fairly solid set of touch based games. Touchmaster Volume 1 for the iPhone has 5 games culled from the original series.

The 5 games included in Volume 1 are Spellwinder, a word game, Dice King, a simple matching game, Prismatix, a somewhat more challenging matching game, Combo 11, a card game, and Carpet, a solitaire variant. These don’t deviate much from the standard puzzle games you find on most platforms, and while they aren’t terribly inspired here, they do provide some entertainment.

Spellwinder provides you with a matrix of letters and a short list of words. You are tasked with using the letters to spell the words. You have to link adjacent letters together but they don’t necessarily have to be in the correct order. Once you have cleared the board you are given another somewhat more difficult level to solve.

Spellwinder is also available separately as a single game and currently priced at $0.99. (iTunes Link).

Dice King presents you with several rolls of colored die. You can swap any two with the goal of matching three or more that are identical. These have to line up either horizontally or vertically. You can also form combos and earn bonus rounds.

Dice King is also available separately as a single game and currently priced at $0.99. (iTunes Link).

Prismatix shows you gems in the upper half of the screen and you are supposed to match them in the correct order with gems from the lower half. If the gems up top are in the order red, green, blue, green, for instance, you would attempt to first tap a red one below, then green, blue, and finally green again. You have to match at least two, so you could match just the blue and green, for example, though you unlock more rounds by scoring well.

Prismatix is also available separately as a single game and currently priced at $0.99. (iTunes Link).

Combo 11 gives you several rows of cards and you have to find two that are adjacent to each other whose total value is 11. You can mix up the cards when you run out of matches, as well as replace any that you’ve matched.

Combo 11 is also available separately as a single game and currently priced at $0.99. (iTunes Link).

Carpet is solitaire with a variation: You can’t keep drawing from the deck. Once you’ve expended all of the cards, the game is over. Instead you can place up to twenty of the cards in a holding area and then use them as you go. This is like Freecell, which was made popular on Windows, but with a slightly different take.

Carpet is also available separately as a single game and currently priced at $0.99. (iTunes Link).

None of these games are awful, but I don’t think you’d consider any the best in their class either. They are all attractive, and since the basics of play is solid in each of them, it’s safe to say anyone who loves puzzle games will find something to like here. The collection is quite inexpensive, and while they don’t match the depth of the original Nintendo DS games, they don’t really need to either.

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