This review is based on the iPhone version of Sudoku.
There are a lot of versions of Sudoku…well everywhere. Electronic Arts’ version runs a bit heavier and offers a few tweaks, but it plays like any other version on the iPhone, online or even your local newspaper.
For anyone unfamiliar with the game, Sudoku is played on a 9×9 square grid. Each row, column and 3×3 smaller grid within the overall game space contains the numbers 1 through 9. The game always starts with some existing numbers which vary in quantity and reveal based on difficulty, and the player solves this through the process of elimination based on the row/column/smaller grid rules.
So, EA’s version! You start off with Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties and can accumulate points towards unlocking Very Hard and Insane. This happens almost immediately, I ended up running the gamut of difficulties by only finishing a single game per difficulty from Easy through Insane. You can scribble in annotations as you work through the process of elimination on each of the 81 squares, which becomes a necessity at the higher difficulties.
To give you a hand, you can deploy a hint to fill in the most obvious empty square or pull up an auto-fill that fills annotations for your unsolved squares. There’s also an error check that can be toggled on or off, which impatient players can use to figure out squares through trial and error (a temptation that I managed to avoid).
EA’s Sudoku also has a newspaper section which lets you create your own grid to play, or enter in a puzzle from any other source and have the game solve it for you. This feels like cheating to me, but it’s there for anyone who is angrily stuck on an external puzzle.
The graphics are bland and the single audio track is repetitive; there’s also no centralized leaderboard or any other connectivity between your puzzling and the outside world. EA’s Sudoku is at its best when brought out during long commutes, waiting at the airport or other boredom inducing periods when you’re alone, and it’s pretty serviceable at that.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars