Sudoku has been around for a while now and showing no sign of dying down, so it's no surprise that Nintendo is keen to express that its Nintendo DS Lite console isn't just for kids with the launch of Sudoku Master DS. But does the puzzle work on the small screen? We get number crunching to find out.
For those in a time capsule for the last couple of years Sudoku is based on a Japanese puzzle game that sees you filling in a series of boxes. The puzzle is split into nine boxes, containing a further nine boxes again. Each of the bigger nine boxes must contain the numbers 1 to 9, but can't have the same number in the same row either vertically or horizontally.
Still with us? Good, as you can imagine filling this in on paper can, like a crossword, be a series of scribbles as you try to work out which number goes where. Bring this on to the computer screen and it’s a lot easier. Nintendo, clearly understanding the game rather than just jumping on the bandwagon, even allows you to put small numbers in each corner so you can try it out in your mind before committing completely.
There are three difficulty levels with over 400 Sudoku puzzles to master and all are timed so you can rate your performance. Furthermore you can even save your progress, so as not to affect your time, and opt for hints to highlight specific numbers so you can see if they clash or not - a great feature for newcomers.
Nintendo hasn’t really used the two screen option here as it would be hard to do so, however the ability to tap straight to the box you want to fill is much easier than navigating across the grid with a d-pad. You can also opt to have it so you input the numbers by simply writing them in.
Okay, so you could just go and buy all the UK newspapers every day to get your Sudoku fix, however that's soon going rack up the pennies.
Sudoku fans will love it as it's easy to use and there are plenty of puzzles in varying difficulties to challenge. Even better, newcomers aren't penalised for not knowing how the game is played as the learning curve is good enough to entice rather than shun you from the game and the puzzles ahead.
There was a time when videogames where just for kids and the whole thing would have been surrounded by a tale of a small boy on a quest, thankfully now Nintendo is gearing its games to an older generation there are no tales or yore to be found anywhere.
Good, simple and highly addictive. If you want more than just the newspapers and have a DS this is will quench your thirst.