Thank you Lightwood Games for sending us a review code!
Since reviewing the Brain Age titles, I’ve learned how to play and enjoy Sudoku. Typically, it’s played with the numbers 1-9 and you have to place them in nine 3x3 squares without having any of the numbers repeat vertically, horizontally, or inside of the 3x3 square. In Word Sudoku, you’re working with nine letter words instead of numbers, but the same concept applies. If you’re dead set on playing with numbers, you can switch to them in the pause menu.
Occasionally, the word will be spelled out verbatim, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time the letters up and down don’t form anything coherent. In total, there are two hundred and forty puzzles categorized in five different difficulty levels: Beginner, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Fiendish. The easier difficulty levels typically take me five minutes to solve and the harder ones are a little over ten minutes.
If you attempt to place a duplicate letter the game will turn it red and remove it for you. Placing incorrect letters is possible and you can press down the left and right triggers at any time to check and fix errors. There doesn’t seem to be any penalty for using this feature.
The Vita version is convenient for occupying yourself on the go. While the touch screen is supported, it’s not very well optimized and I found myself relying on the controls more than using the touch screen. Performance wise, the game ran great and I didn’t encounter any issues playing it.
Visually, this game is pretty simple, but puzzle games don’t need stellar graphics to be enjoyable. The canine mascot often tells a joke after completing a level. For example, his favorite movie is “Jurassic Bark.”
The background music is pleasant, but can be disabled in the pause menu if you don’t like it. Alternatively, you can lower the volume on the Vita just as easily.
There are no moral issues to report. I didn’t find any offensive nine letter words in the random sampling of puzzles I have played. I did earn trophies for completing a puzzle on each difficulty and for finishing the ‘Skeptical’ puzzle.
Word Sudoku by POWGI was originally released for mobile devices with one hundred and twenty puzzles for $1.99. It’s currently free on Amazon if you want to try it out. While the price is reasonable for PlayStation users, it’s hard to not notice the better bargain elsewhere. If you enjoy Sudoku puzzles, this certainly is a good collection that’s bound to exercise your brain for hours. I’m not sure if playing it will improve your Brain Age score though.