Puzzle Express' Mini Crosswords 1.0

In the Handheld PC world, there are a plethora of great applications for business and productivity. However, there are times for all of us that we don't necessarily want or need to be productive (like when we are sitting in the airport during a three hour flight delay). This is when a good game or two on your HPC would be handy. While this segment of the HPC market is still lacking compared to the Pocket PC market, there are a good number of games out there for HPC if you search for them.

One such game is Mini Crosswords from Puzzle Express. This simple application has 100 different crossword puzzles, ranging in difficulty and size and with a price of only $15, it is hard to beat. Puzzle Express also has a free demonstration version of Mini Crosswords which consists of 5 puzzles.

The user interface is clean and simple, with navigation being controlled by the Spacebar or the arrow keys. The Spacebar allows users to move from across words to down words while the arrow keys allow you to move in all directions, letter-by-letter. The hints for each word are in two boxes next to the main puzzle (one for the across word and one for the down word) and is highlighted based on which one you are currently working to solve. Also, on the puzzle itself, the word you are trying to solve is highlighted as well.

The main Mini Crosswords Interface

If you are unsure of a word, you can have Mini Crosswords check it to see if it is correct. When you do this, it will put the corrected word or letter in italic. If you become stuck on a word, Mini Crosswords also has the ability to solve a letter, word or the entire puzzle. Although a true crossword puzzler would consider this cheating, it is handy for those who are not as proficient with them.

A little help? Or Cheating?

If you need to stop working on a puzzle, users have the option to save the puzzle and resume it later using the Save feature off of the File menu. When you restart Mini Crosswords and open the puzzle you were working on, the program will prompt you to if you want to open your saved game or if you want to start anew.

I found Mini Crosswords to be an excellent application that was intuitive to use and understand. The puzzles can be quite challenging but there are some easier ones for beginners.

The demo version as well as the full version of Mini Crosswords can be downloaded and purchased from the Puzzle Express site.

System Requirements:

HPC2000
StrongARM, MIPS

Rating  
Cost: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Usability: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Built-In helps: 3 Star Rating: Average
Customer Service: 4 Star Rating: Recommended
Overall: 4 Star Rating: Recommended

Mini Crosswords can be found at the following URL.
http://www.puzzlexpress.com/

Clinton Fitch
Chief Reviews Editor