Review: The cheapest time-passer on the most expensive hardware. Delicious irony.
The world's fastest-growing puzzle game has hit the world's most expensive game console, in Sumo Digital's Go! Sudoku
. Loosely based on the PSP version that shipped earlier this year, the PlayStation 3 downloadable version of Go! Sudoku
is a tremendous value for those looking for a little mind-bending casual gaming between those sessions of Resistance
- after all, the starter package is the most popular four-letter word out there ? free
. And at $3 each for 4 different challenge levels combining for over 1,000 grids, you really can't go wrong if you love Sudoku and are gaming on a budget after spending your life's savings on a PS3.
Obviously you shouldn't waste the 90MB of your hard drive to download the free starter package (which has about a dozen puzzles from the 4 difficulty levels) if you come into it looking for visuals that push PS3; instead what you get is a crisp, polished game that does run in HD resolutions, and you can adjust the background with about a half-dozen themes. So that's something. If you just download the free starter pack, it enables classic mode that's leisurely (though a time goal is there), a time attack to clear the grid quickly, and a form of online head-to-head, which is the only form of multiplayer Go! Sudoku contains. The only feature missing from the starter pack is high score tracking over the PlayStation Network. The extra puzzle packs range from easy to extremely challenging, and the whole game can be bought for $12, which is like a penny per grid or something. I was a failure at math.
If Sudoku is a foreign concept to you, there's a tutorial in the game to explain the simple rules. Basically, you have a 9x9 grid, and the goal is to fill each horizontal, vertical, and box grid with the numbers 1-9 without any repeats. It involves a lot of mental prowess, thinking ahead and patience, which makes beating the time goal quite a task if you're unfamiliar with the game and its tendencies. At the least, when you make a mistake you know right away, as the square you tried will turn red and you'll lose a 'life'. On the easiest setting you get a few mulligans, but once they expire, any error adds 60 seconds to your time ? on the hardest level it tacks on 3 minutes to the time, and you get less chances to recover from a mistake, along with a much more confusing grid. The idea is to get a mastery of each grid and then tackle it knowing exactly what goes where ? it's the only way some people have beaten some of the grids in less than 2 minutes.
The starter package might be enough for a casual player who only needs a handful of puzzles, but at the least, acquisition of the Easy package will occupy a lot of time ? for $3 you get 500 puzzles, the most of all the different downloads. Needless to say it will take hours, days, and probably weeks to complete each and every one giving it seemingly endless replay value, though perhaps not enough to go back and finish all of them under par time. Mild, Hard, and Fiendish levels add 500 more puzzles between them all, but because they're more challenging it takes much more time and effort to complete them, so perhaps it evens out. Without question though, of all the games up in the PlayStation Store, Go! Sudoku offers the most bang for the buck, especially if you're a Sudoku addict.