What sudoku game do I want for my new Nintendo DS Lite?
December 27, 2007 12:32 AM   Subscribe

I got a Nintendo DS for Christmas! Given my logical style of solving sudoku, which of the scores of sudoku titles do I want?

I solve sudoku 100% logically, so I definitely don't want a game that includes puzzles that make you guess. If the puzzles can be solved with logic alone, any difficulty level is fine for me. A variety would also be fine.

Because of the style I use to solve sudoku, in each square that winds up containing one number, I need to be able to write nine smaller numbers (or place nine dots, or whatever). For example, Brain Age did this perfectly. This is my main requirement -- it's absolutely crucial for me.

It's also important that the game have a ton of puzzles -- I solved all of Brain Age's sudoku puzzles in a week, when I borrowed my brother's DS after having my wisdom teeth removed. Obviously I won't usually play anywhere near that much (maybe one a day?), but I don't want to run out.

I'm interested in plain vanilla sudoku, and I probably won't be really enthusiastic about playing any variants that are included. Missions would be cool, though. A timer might be nice but isn't crucial -- and if there is one, pausing or saving/resuming should be simple and fast.

It would be nice if the DS were held in its usual orientation, and not like a book -- I've heard the hinge problem blamed on holding the DS book-style and flattening it out.

A DS title would be ideal, since I like the touch screen, but a GBA one would also be fine if it has the features I want. $20 or under would be awesome, but I'll go up to the standard $35 if the title has everything I'd like. As long as it's common enough I won't have trouble buying it, popularity/status/prestige/whatever is totally not a concern.
posted by booksandlibretti to Technology (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I hit post too fast and forgot to say (1) screenshots would be awesome, and may be the deciding factor between two near-equal games, and (2) you guys are awesome -- thanks!
posted by booksandlibretti at 12:34 AM on December 27, 2007

I didn't realize there was any version of sudoku anywhere that forced you to guess.
posted by null terminated at 2:02 AM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: Some do require you to guess and check. Sudoku nerds -- not that I am one -- call non–guess-and-check sudoku (ones that can be solved with logic alone) "satisfactory puzzles."
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:19 AM on December 27, 2007

Wow, I'm lame. I've been working through the second tier puzzles in Brain Age for the last month or so and thought I was all Johnny Badass. Apparently not.

One thing that comes to mind is Brain Age 2.

That's really the only thing that comes to mind.
posted by kbanas at 4:40 AM on December 27, 2007

On Brain Age 1, I haven't encountered a Suduko I had to guess on. I like how they implemented the game though, allowing you to jot the potential numbers on the spot. Just don't have it check your answers as you go, as it sometimes misreads writing.
posted by drezdn at 6:17 AM on December 27, 2007

Damnit, that's what I get for skimming (and not being very good at Suduko).
posted by drezdn at 6:20 AM on December 27, 2007

Brain age & brain age 2 really have the best sudoku interface, and the best support for write-ins. However, you must try Picross. You will love it. Any sudoku addict will love picross, it uses the same part of your brain. Kinda. Regardless, it's only $20 and will reward you with hours and hours of fun. You can try it online here with a wii browser-friendly interface. The DS version has a nice zoom/scroll interface which helps with those huge puzzles.
posted by ulotrichous at 7:07 AM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Confirmed, Picross is awesome.

As for non-brain age sudoku games, although I haven't actually played any of these:

Sudoku Gridmaster - 62% on Metacritic. Contains a bunch of games of varying difficulty but no frills except broken character recognition.

Dr. Sudoku - 68%. Actually a GBA game, but works on your DS. Not a real doctor, like Dre.

Essential Sudoku - No metascore. Probably very low-cost if you can actually find it, but it may not be produced anymore. The few reviews that exist are mixed.

Sudoku-Mania - 25%. Awful.

I think those are your options, at least for now. I'd say any non-Sudoku-Mania game will be worth your money.
posted by moift at 9:25 AM on December 27, 2007

Seconding Brain Age 2.

Its' soduku soothed my ego after I learned that my brain age is 20 years higher than my chronological age.
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:23 AM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: I got Picross for Christmas too. It's pretty cool, although it makes me use my brain way more than sudoku does. I also got Tetris DS. Other puzzle games I'm going to buy before long include Puzzle Quest (Bejeweled) and Planet Puzzle League (Tetris Attack, aka Panel de Pon).

Brain Age 2 does have an input style that works for me, but I'd really rather not pay $20 for just 100 sudoku puzzles. At that price, I'd just as soon do paper sudoku with puzzles found online. Besides, I'd feel bad ignoring the rest of Brain Age 2, which doesn't interest me.

I'm finding game ratings and reviews on my own; what I'm having trouble with is finding out which sudoku games let you enter the nine dots, checks, smaller numbers, whatever. A game that doesn't have that feature is totally worthless to me.

Anyone know about Platinum Sudoku DS? Or Sudoku Fever (GBA)?
posted by booksandlibretti at 6:46 PM on December 27, 2007

I've played Sudoku Gridmaster, and it does let you do the smaller numbers (although I don't remember how, by looking at the screenshot). I liked the interface a lot, especially how it lets you highlight all occurrences of a particular number by clicking on it. It definitely made it easy to play. The character recognition is not great, so I mostly used the number pad.

Also, this review says:

"You can write numbers on the touch screen thanks to handwriting recognition that's at least different, but you may well want to stick to tapping the numbers on a touch keypad. The interface is clean and functional. Past entering and erasing numbers, there are undo and redo buttons that let you go as far back as you need to correct mistakes (although if you find yourself stuck at the end, it may be better to just retry the darn thing). Other aids to attaining complete grid mastery are "temporary numbers" -- you can enter up to four small numbers as possibilities in each space -- and the ability to highlight a number to see every instance of that number across the board. When a number is no longer available as a correct answer, it will be darkened on the keyboard."

There are certainly lots of puzzles though, so you'll get your money's worth in that respect.
posted by jasminerain at 12:17 AM on December 29, 2007

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