Thank you Lightwood Games for sending us a review code for this game!
Sudoku is a fun puzzle game where each puzzle consists of a 9x9 grid, divided into nine, 3x3 sections. The challenge is to place the numbers one through nine in such a fashion that no number is repeated for each row, column, and 3x3 section. Some numbers will be placed in advance, and these numbers are what affects the level of the challenge. Many pre-placed numbers can make the puzzle very easy, while a sparse amount can make the puzzle extremely challenging.
In total, there are 1,000 single-player puzzles broken down into four difficulties. The Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulties have three hundred puzzles each. The Fiendish mode has one hundred challenging puzzles. When you start a puzzle the timer will start and depending on your performance you’ll be awarded between one and three balloons. You’ll get one balloon for completing the puzzle and another for not using any of the hints. Last but not least, you’ll get another balloon if you can complete the puzzle within the recommended time limit. Without using the hints I can complete an easy puzzle in less than thirty minutes while the recommended time limit is ten minutes. Each harder difficulty adds five minutes to the time challenge.
When using/abusing the hint system, completing the puzzle within the recommended time limit is not a problem. I like how you can annotate the squares with potential numbers. The game will automatically remove any incorrect annotations or final entries that intersect with the same number. There have been many times when there are two potential numbers that could work and I don’t know which is the correct order. By placing the numbers and tapping on the check puzzle/lightbulb icon the game will check for errors and remove them for you. By using this awesome feature, you lose the chance of getting the no hint balloon though. It’s worth it in my opinion.
While the single-player puzzles are worth the $5 asking price, the real fun of this game is playing against other people. Sadly, I couldn’t find anyone online to play against, but my daughters were willing to play a few a rounds with me (I won every time). Playing locally is easy to do since you can send a limited version of the game to your challenger via 3DS’ remote play feature.
Two players can work against each other to see who can complete more of the shared Sudoku puzzle. Points are awarded for each correct answer and incorrect entries will restrict the user from guessing again for a short amount of time. When the puzzle is completed the player with the most points wins.
Sudoku Party is quite fun when playing against others, but if you want to take your time (despite losing a balloon) the single-player mode will give your brain plenty of exercise. If you enjoy Sudoku puzzles, then buying Sudoku Party for $5 is a no-brainer.