Upon first glance Sudoku looks like a complicated puzzle game, but the rules are quite simple and this game actually makes players use their brains.
Tom is taller than Sally. Sally is shorter than Mike. Bob is taller than Sally but shorter than Tom. Who is the tallest? If you enjoyed solving these problems in high school math class, then you?ll definitely enjoy your time with Sudoku. The game uses nothing more than deductive reasoning to solve each riddle.
The game is composed into families of nine. Nine 3×3 boxes (nine rows, and nine columns) make up the game board. Each row, column, and 3×3 box must contain all numbers one through nine. No numbers can repeat. If this sounds confusing, the game?s tutorial will get anyone quickly up to speed.
When the game starts, some numbers are already placed on the game board. The amount of starting numbers depends on the difficulty setting that is chosen. The more numbers filled in, the easier the game becomes. It is the player?s job to fill in the rest of the empty spaces. The only way to successfully do this is to look at what has already been given to you. For example, say a ?3? is placed within the first row first column while a ?4? is in the second row second column. This means that the entire first horizontal row cannot contain a ?3? while the entire second column cannot contain another ?4.? The placement of numbers decides where other number will go.
The game is played easily through the use of the touch screen. Simply select the tile you want to fill followed by a tap of the number you want to input. For amateurs or for the more difficult puzzles, the game supports a real time Hint mode. This can help alleviate the frustration and is a welcomed option to the game by suggesting a hint; although purists will consider this option a mortal sin.
Besides the hint mode, the game almost promotes cheating in another way. When placing a number into a tile, it will be written in a corresponding color. Blue means that the number placed is correct while a Red number means it does not belong there. This means the player can just go through every number possible until the Blue one pops up. The game does not offer any punishment for using this cheating-like option. In fact, it will actually aid a faster game completion time. The faster the puzzle is completed, the better. The game should have implemented some type of rule or restriction against the number of hints and errors that could be made. Sudoku can be a fun brain teasing game, but this software version of the game makes it so easy to cheat, every player will probably wind up doing so.
For those players that do not want to cheat (which is hard not to do), a secondary screen can be accessed anytime and notes can be jotted down through the use of the stylus. This masking mode is a great addition to the game and an option that can only be created with a stylus.
The game is great for keeping track of stats. The time it took to complete each puzzle on what difficulty are all kept track of. You won?t realize how much time you spent playing this game until you at look at the statistics screen.
Unfortunately, this game is extremely boring in the visuals and audio department. The game is displayed with minimal color and there is no music. If you ever played a crossword puzzle on a newspaper, you will know exactly how this game looks. More colors, unlockable game boards, new themed tiles, and different sound effects could have spiced up the tasteless look of the game.
Sudoku is fun; it just looks ugly and complicated. If you liked word puzzles in math class, or like completing crossword puzzles, Sudoku is right up your alley and worthy of a purchase. This is a puzzle game, but it is much calmer than a typical puzzle game such as Tetris or Bust-A-Move. If you can?t wait to get tomorrow?s newspaper with a new Sudoku puzzle in it, and you have a Palm OS device, you?ll enjoy this game (which can be found for a pretty cheap $9.99). However, I can see this game having sequels, with each additional version containing more options, better graphics, and more puzzles. Sudoku is fun now, but it can surely become better by dressing it up with a few more bells and whistles.