iPhone Game Review: Soccer Sudoku 2010 Reviewed by Cassie
Soccer Sudoku 2010 is a great game for sports and puzzle enthusiasts alike. It combines traditional number-based strategy with a recreational, competitive edge that can appeal to just about anyone. If you're looking for a way to wind down, launch the application and let your mind go to work. Want more of a challenge? Test your solving skills against the clock! For a very affordable price, you can have this game on your iPhone, iPod Touch, AND iPad.
For those of you who know how sudoku works, and if you're a soccer eccentric, this game should not only appeal to you, but also be very easy to figure out. The classic rules apply: you must fill in each row, each column, and each 3 x 3 box with the numbers 1 through 9. No number can be repeated in a row, column, or box. Just in time for the 2010 World Cup, the puzzles don a layout resembling a grid-covered field where the given numbers in various squares are the jerseys of your team players. Its interesting that the game allows you to choose the country (there are over a dozen to choose from) you wish to "play for", which will then change the colors of the uniforms to suit that location.
There are two modes with which to play: There is the Normal mode, which can be comforting and relaxing since there's no pressure - You can just relax and enjoy completing the sudoku puzzle. There are three levels of difficulty to choose from in this mode: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Under the Arcade option you'll find the Time Attack mode, which will squeeze your brain to finish a difficult puzzle in 30 minutes.
All of the controls are fairly easy to learn. When you tap a box to select it, you can enter a number by tapping one from the list at the bottom. If you need to erase a number, select that box and tap the eraser along the top menu. Also on the top menu is a button that allows you to check your progress and will mark mistakes with a red tab or the correct numbers in blue. There are plenty of tools to make your solving a little quicker and easier to track!
Graphics & Sound
The overall appearance is fairly impressive for a sudoku app. The colors are bright and fun, unlike other similar puzzle games whose color schemes tend to swindle your attention into boredom. Another of the great physical qualities is how crisp and clean the graphics are. The artwork throughout, even on the menu display, is unique, attentive to theme, and absolutely stunning. Everything is pulled together nicely; it definitely looks like a lot of thought and work was put into it, and for that it deserves ultimate praise.
To create a little excitement parallel to that of the buzz going on at the World Cup, a soundtrack of fans cheer you on as you score number after number. However: it loops itself throughout the game, which can grow tiresome, so if you like the game but would rather go uninterrupted, it's best if you just turn down your sound.
This game is highly recommended for those who are puzzle fans, and even those who may be just looking for something fun to do. It holds a lot of replay value because it's so easy just to pick up and play at any time, and the puzzles are always fresh. Unlike many games, it doesn't require a chunk of your time to play. When you exit the app, it saves your progress and you can resume at your leisure. Even if you don't know how to play sudoku, there's a detailed in-app manual you can follow to help warm you up to it. It's one of those games that you'll just have to try out, and once you do, you'll be hooked on it forever! Soccer Sudoku 2010 is definitely one of those games you'll find yourself going back to.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Colorful and clean-looking. Sound: - 3 - Looped cheering track gets old and is sometimes distracting. Controls: - 5 - Very easy to use. Gameplay: - 4 - Great pick-up-and-play to pass the time.
Playing Hints and Tips:
If you select the marker at the far right of the above menu during gameplay, it will switch how you enter numbers, and instead allow you to create a little cheat sheet for yourself. It will let you mark multiple numbers in the corner of one box that are a possible fit, and you can eliminate the wrong answers later.