For crossword enthusiasts, Coffeetime Crosswords had a lot of promise. It is the first crossword game to be featured on a next-generation console, with high definition graphics. Newspapers and books are out, video games are in!
The game uses fairly traditional American-style grids. You can choose from a few different colors/themes, but the selection is very limited. Let's dive right into the game's biggest weakness: Playing the game with a controller. When you figure out an answer for the given clue, it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds just to "type" that word into the squares, due to the horrible "dial" system that is implemented into the game. You can see A-M initially, but if you're trying to type in any letters from N-Z, you have to to switch the dial to side two. This makes the average length to complete a puzzle ridiculously long. I was fed up with this dial system after my first puzzle, so I figured I'd try using the 360 Chatpad. Surprise, it doesn't work! (Unless if you do some kind of two-controller glitch/trick) Fortunately though, this game's saving grace is the fact that a USB keyboard DOES work. Not everyone owns a USB keyboard, though, and a $10.00 game shouldn't make you acquire one just to make this game somewhat enjoyable.
Moving on, the game features 45 puzzles in four difficulties -- Super Easy, Easy, Medium, and Difficult. The Super Easy and Easy puzzles are 13x13, and feature easier clues, while the Medium and Difficult puzzles are 15x15, and feature harder clues. There is a Co-op mode in which you and a friend can work together to solve puzzles, as well as a Time Attack mode in which you must solve the whole crossword before time runs out.
If you're playing this game for fun, you might not get tired of it for an hour or two, assuming you're using a USB keyboard and trying to figure out the clues on your own. However, if you're playing for achievements, be prepared for the long haul. Trying to get the achievements in this game will more than likely put you to sleep at midday. They are long, boring, and insanely repetitive. You will have to solve all 180 puzzles just for a meager 30 points. Even with all 180 solved-puzzle pictures for you available, it still takes on average 2 minutes per puzzle, using a USB keyboard. Multiply that by 180 (6 hours) and that's your bare minimum for completing this game 200/200.
Overall, Coffeetime Crosswords fails. The music can be slightly relaxing, but repetitive. The achievements aren't fun, just boring. And even the puzzles/clues can be repetitive. I can't tell you how many times one of the solutions was "ADE" or "EBB" -- you would think they could be creative enough to not have the same solution a dozen times, but I guess not. This game is only recommended for extreme crossword enthusiasts, but I recommend you save your $10.00 and stick with free crosswords online and in newspapers.
Final score: 1 star