Games Interactive 2: Special Crosswords

Failing to make much headway on the Logic puzzles, I’ve skipped ahead to the next section, Special Crosswords. It’s a similar assortment to last time. The Cross Numbers are gone, but we’ve got World’s Most Ornery, Cryptic, Helter Skelter, and Clueless. They’re all quite revamped and less buggy than before. This comes as a particular relief for the Clueless, which was previously nigh-unplayable, and now functions perfectly, albeit more slowly — you used to be able to scroll the word list by an entire page at a time, but now it dribbles out line by line. And I’m pretty sure there are fewer typos than before, especially in comparison to the regular crosswords. It’s enough of an improvement that I’ve guzzled down the lot, apart from the Orneries, which take a while, and the hardest of the Cluelesses, which features only 9-letter and 5-letter words.

The changes to the UI have an effect on the Helter Skelters that’s worth noting. One of the distinguishing things about the Helter Skelter is that you can’t tell just from the grid where the words end. The first Games Interactive recognized this by not limiting your typing, even to the point of letting you type past an edge and wrap around to the other side. In Games Interactive 2, Helter Skelters bide by the new rules for all crosswords: when you select a word, the space for that word is highlighted, and you cannot move the cursor outside that space. This is effectively a change to the rules. It gives you information that you don’t have in the print version. Sure, some of the other puzzle types make information more easily accessible than it would be in print, like the letter frequencies in a cryptogram, but that’s still just information you could gather for yourself.

The one thing that makes it a bit more like the print version is that the word length indicated by the highlight is sometimes wrong. Not often, but often enough to make me never trust it as a source of information.

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