Touchmaster Hands-On

All that time you waste playing with that crazy touch-screen trivia game at the local bar is about to pay off--big-time.

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If you've spent any time in a respectable drinking establishment, chances are you've seen a Touchmaster. These are the touch screen-operated tabletop machines that sit upon many a bar, offering trivia, poker, and several other simple games that can be enjoyed by the sober and intoxicated alike. Have you ever noticed how the Nintendo DS also has a touch screen? Midway certainly has, and now it's preparing a Nintendo DS version of its supremely popular tabletop games.

Touchmaster DS will contain 23 different games, including solitaire, a trivia game with more than 20,000 questions, a skill-based basketball shooting game called Hot Hoops, a sort of Othello-like game known as Artifact, and more. Each game is very simple and uses only the touch screen for play. Like its bar-based brother, Touchmaster DS seems like it could be fairly addictive. On top of playing the games, you'll be able to upload your high scores online and see how you rank. And there will be a tournament mode, which is still in development. One potential idea for tournament mode is that each player would be given a game under the same conditions--for example, cards would be in the same order in a solitaire game--and the scores are uploaded to a separate tournament board after you play.

Touchmaster is scheduled for release on the Nintendo DS in June.

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