On August 1, 2008, iLounge published iPhone Gems: Every Sudoku Game, Reviewed, a feature article looking at 23 different Sudoku releases for the iPhone OS. This review focuses on Mr. Sudoku ($5) by Ambrosia Software; you can read the full article, with screenshots of all of the games together, through the link above. A collective screenshot below shows you some of the other Sudoku interfaces you can expect to find in these titles.
If you’re reading this article, you probably already know that Sudoku is a one-screen puzzle game based upon a 9-by-9 grid that’s partially filled with numbers. The objective is to fill the empty spaces of the grid with single digit numbers so that the same digit does not appear twice on any horizontal or vertical line. Additionally, the same number should not appear twice in any of nine 3-by-3 mini grids on the screen.
iLounge’s top-ranked Sudoku games are ones that offered fully-functional renditions of the game, with impressive interfaces, bonus features, user customization, and pricing as of the time we tested them. The fewer of these features a given game had, the lower it rated. While updates to these games may well be released over time, and their features may change, we couldn’t wait around forever for bad or so-so titles to catch up with ones that were already good or great.
Mr. Sudoku started out as one of the most expensive Sudoku titles out there, but wisely dropped its price by 50% to become more competitive. It’s definitely one of the more functionally interesting versions of Sudoku we’ve seen, with its own introductory voice and music, fading your iPod music out; Mr. Sudoku not only creates new games in four different difficulty levels, but also saves your progress in multiple games at once. The most interesting thing about the title, which features only one style of art and tiles, is that it switches between button-style number entry and a finger-based text entry system that works just fine if you draw the numbers as they’re expected to be drawn. It’s missing a possibility marking feature.
While we do like Mr. Sudoku’s general approach, the lack of pencil/possibility marking and music during the game take away from what otherwise could have been a really strong title. Better than most of the demo-caliber Sudoku titles, and worth showing off because of the finger input recognition, the game nonetheless doesn’t come close to what Platinum Sudoku offers for a lower price. It might be worth revisiting after an update or three.
Company and Price
Company: Ambrosia Software
Title: Mr. Sudoku
Compatible: iPod touch, iPhone, iPhone 3G