Sodoku is still gripping the country, but can an electronic version of the popular number game be the answer to never being able to find your pen? We get number crunching and find out.
I have to admit, I'm hooked. On the train, in bed and even in the bath, I can't seem to get enough of Sodoku. So, when I was asked to review an electronic version of the puzzle for Pocket-lint that stores 12,000 versions of the numbers game, well, as you can imagine, I jumped at it.
As you'd expect for the tenner price tag, the design is cheap and simple, the LCD mono just like a calculator and all in all this makes it lightweight and easy to use as long as you can get it out of the plastic packaging first.
With 12,000 games it'll keep you busy way into 2006, and these games are split between three different levels of play; Beginner, Intermediate and Expert. Finally there are two game modes for playing against the clock or for taking your time. All will test your ability.
Although the device is simple, there are three additional buttons that allow you to ask for ‘help' and depending on the level of game you are playing you are given a limited number of answers for cells you may be struggling with.
Alternatively, the ‘check' button allows you an unlimited amount of chances to check that a cell has been filled in correctly and finally the ‘undo' button to clear a cell if you have made a mistake, which lets face it, we all do.
Entering in the numbers is easy through the use of a numeric keypad and muting the annoying sounds and tunes is great if you're playing on the train or in quiet waiting room.
With all its good points, it is the actual gameplay that lets this device down. The four directional arrows are easy to use at first when you have lots of empty cells to move into, but this soon becomes awkward once there are less and less cells available, making playing against the clock a pointless task.
It is also highly annoying if you lose track of the flashing cursor as it may take you some time before you notice it again. As long as you can oversee these little annoyances, you are likely to have hours and hours of brain-teasing fun.
Being a big fan myself, my first initial thoughts of this device were that of excitement, but unfortunately this soon wore off after a few games.